Conor O’Neill’s

318 South Main Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Twelve comments

Conor O

Sunday night at about 7pm

Posted by .

great session, with some major exceptions.

If you are not going to say what the “major exceptions” are, why bother commenting?

It’s a great session, with some really wonderful, talented musicians.

Info on Ann Arbor Conor O’Neil Sessions

Hi! I’m interested in attending a Sunday jam session, but I’m nervous as heck. I plan to go watch/listen first, but thought i could ask a few questions first:

1. Which songs are usually played there?
2. I’m really interested in just playing “back-up” on songs since I’m a beginner and that’s what I like anyway… I don’t play fiddle or tenor banjo, but do play 5 string banjo and guitar/bass (beginner/intermediate). Are these instruments welcome?
3. Any other tips/info?


First Session - Questions / Advice (Ann Arbor)

I’m looking to go to my first session and have some questions before I go and check it out, etc. As you’ll see by my questions, I’m pretty new to all this.

#1 What are the most common songs that are played / are there a couple that are absolute standards I should get to know first (Any Ann Arbor people know specifically for Conor O’Neils)?

#2 I know the fiddle, flute and bodrahn are staples, but what about other instruments? Specifically five string banjo or acoustic guitar/bass? Any instruments not welcome?

Any other advice/tips? I’m in the Ann Arbor area so Conor O’Neils is probably where I’m headed… anyone been there that can give me some info? Thanks!

Re: First Session - Questions / Advice (Ann Arbor)

( How do you get a hash ?
It’s not on my iMac keyboard. )
1) They’re tunes, not songs, sorry, And, no there are no universal standards.Every so often someone asks what is a useful list of common and popular tunes, and they get lists of 150 + tunes back. Try getting the most often requested tunes in this forum, they’re a guide, but each area, and indeed each session, has it’s own favourites. You can only learn by being there.
2 ) Whistle, B/C melodian, anglo concertina, pipes of course, mandolin, mandola in its various types including bouzouki. Tenor banjo, but not usually the 5-string unless as a chordal instrument, melody use would be taking you dangerously near bluegrass. Guitars are not usually frowned upon except in the most rigidly traditional circles, but my personal preference is that you only need one rhythm guitar per session. I can’t spell bodderan either, always have to look, call it the old goatskin and be done with it, but remember you hit it with a tipper.
Approach a new ( to you ) session cautiously, maybe just stand and listen the first time. See what everyone else does first before trying your hand. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice from the regulars, especially at the bar and before and afterwards.
You are at the beginning of a lifetime of possibilities - step in and enjoy !

Re: First Session - Questions / Advice (Ann Arbor)

And the old discussions here can be called up once you find what you need to know to take you down the path to becoming a Grand Master sessioneer.

Shifted comments.

Surprised to find my comments here, and not on the discussions page.
Ah, well.
And I have no knowledge of Ann Arbor, couldn’t even spell it first, never been further west than Rochester, NY.

Connor ONiell’s Session Review

Ann Arbor is my home town, I grew up there and I was very excited a few years ago to find that a session was happening there!!

Well, I have been down there three times now when I was visiting Ann Arbor. And I must say there are some great musicians that appear at the pub on Sunday evenings to play. It is also sad to note that I have been pretty much ignored every time I have been there. No welcome… No where are you from? No, hey, what tunes do you know? This was very disappointing to say the least.

This last Sunday I went down with whistle in hand. I followed all of the standard Session protocols. I did not claim a chair in the circle but sat just outside it. I played one tune that I recognized but most of there repertory was unfamiliar to me… and I have a LOT of tune books and have at least played through most of them. When I asked about whether there was a list, one fellow said, no… people just start up tunes and we join in. Well, that seemed to be true ONLY for the two fiddlers at the head of the circle. Fine for them and there students.

So, If you want to go and listen, this is a nice place. IF you have an inside friend, it might be a good session. If you are a traveling musician from out of town, prepare to be ignored while the regulars have a good time.


Connor ONiell’s Session Review

John, I’m sorry that you got a bad impression about our little sesh… The “mood”, as it were, really depends upon who shows up on a particular night (it’s a constantly-changing cast of characters). With this crew, it seems like it’s also up to the hapless newbie to jump right in and not wait for introductions. Yup, they play some obscure stuff sometimes. I especially like it when Mick goes off on one of his “adventures” and ends up in places like A-flat (?!?). It reminds me of riding my motorcycle in the woods with my faster friends (wait…they’re all faster than me), you just do your best to try to keep up and not crash…exhausting but exhilirating…
Awwww, come on back! If I’m there I’ll introduce you around. I hear that there’s going to be other stuff happening the weekend of the Christmas Ceili if you’re in town. I’ve already been asked to “bring your guitar..” and I’m not particularly good…

Posted by .

Went for the first time last Sunday

Went to my first ever session last Sunday which was at Connor O’Neills. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience! Mick, Ray, Evan, and everyone else there was very welcoming and friendly. I brought my D/G box, and while I didn’t know many of the tunes, I expect it takes quite some time to figure out the obscure stuff. Ray even let me play his octave mando when the session went into Sweeney’s Buttermilk, which was really nice. Can’t wait to start making this a more frequent experience! Loved it.

Re: Conor O’Neill’s

I had the opportunity to sit in on the Conor O’Neill’s session this past Sunday. I would say that it was a very accomplished session with some wonderful players - Mick, Marty, and Evan were some of the folks that I met, but there were many more. As mentioned above, everyone was very polite and friendly. There were, without a doubt, tunes that were unfamiliar, but that’s to be expected from a group that’s been playing together for 20 years. It reminded me of several of the Sandy Bell’s sessions in Edinburgh. I was told once in Doolan that there are over 30,000 tunes, and no matter where you go, even in Michigan, tunes will vary greatly from pub to pub. Overall it was a highly satisfying session and I hope to visit there again.