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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:23 pm 
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Not sure when we'll be there, could be as early as June 20 and as late as July. I'll make a point of checking out the Britannia Arms session. --Larry


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:24 am 
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Location: San Diego
Look foward to meeting you. Another musician in these parts is always a welcome addition. The weather's great in July too, it's what Santa Cruz should be year round.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:15 pm 
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I'll definately try to make the Aptos session.


The picture here was taken in front of the pub we used to play weekly. It is owned by a family from Ballyshannon. One of the daughters used to play fiddle with us but went back to Ireland and is touring Europe with a band. There was a snug named the Johnny Dogherty Room.

Cya!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:11 am 
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The Aptos session was the weirdest session I have ever been to. I have been to hundreds of sessions around the world, and a good few beginner sessions, but last night’s was the worst.

I have been playing Irish trad since 1970 and have played in sessions with the Chieftains, Planxty, Jackie Daly and Kevin Burke, etc, etc over the years and the Aptos session was like something out of the Vonnegut novel where everyone is handicapped so everyone is equal.

The topper was your bodhran playing Trad Nazi running the session like a middle school music class.

A session is about playing the music with other musicians, listening and attempting tunes you don’t know and all the while remembering this is Irish Dance music. The Trad Nazi clearly hasn’t a clue. The emporer’s clothes came to mind. Drop the lists, the sheet music, listen and enjoy.

If you ever want to get together and play a few tunes, I am always up for it but I'll give the Aptos session a wide berth.

I guess it's San Jose or San Francisco?

Cya

Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:07 pm 
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Bob Denton wrote:
The Aptos session was the weirdest session I have ever been to. I have been to hundreds of sessions around the world, and a good few beginner sessions, but last night’s was the worst.

I have been playing Irish trad since 1970 and have played in sessions with the Chieftains, Planxty, Jackie Daly and Kevin Burke, etc, etc over the years and the Aptos session was like something out of the Vonnegut novel where everyone is handicapped so everyone is equal.

The topper was your bodhran playing Trad Nazi running the session like a middle school music class.

A session is about playing the music with other musicians, listening and attempting tunes you don’t know and all the while remembering this is Irish Dance music. The Trad Nazi clearly hasn’t a clue. The emporer’s clothes came to mind. Drop the lists, the sheet music, listen and enjoy.

If you ever want to get together and play a few tunes, I am always up for it but I'll give the Aptos session a wide berth.

I guess it's San Jose or San Francisco?

Cya

Bob


You knew, from this thread and from what I told you before it started, that it's a slow-moderate session with a lot of learners. Have you actually read this thread? There's never been any secret about that (and we make no apologies for it either). We focus on learning to play the tunes well, with good rhythm and lilt, and on learning to play together. As I told you from the beginning, the first half hour or so is slow play, from the play list that we all know by ear. After that, we TAKE TURNS CALLING FOR TUNES, and the person who calls the tune sets the pace...that means that, if I call for "O'Keefe's Slide," I expect to take off and run with it, but if a newbie calls for "Kesh" played at half speed, that's what we play. Generally, as the night wears on, individuals will throw out something they play particularly well for everyone to listen to, or someone will have a bit of song. That's the dynamic at this particular session. We're friends and we have good craic, and it works for us (and, not coincidentally, for the people who come to listen and enjoy the music).

The bodhrán player you mention is one of the session leaders. BTW, she's been playing Irish trad for a lot of years (hint: at least as many as you have), and is a great teacher, as well as an all-round nice gal. But yeah...you got her riled with your attempts to dominate the session and with your muttered comments (did you think we couldn't hear? Or did you just not not care how many budding musicians you hurt?) about finding some "real" musicians to play with. I heard her try to explain to you nicely several times how this particular session runs, and yeah...she finally lost her temper and read you chapter and verse, buíochas le Dia.

"Trad Nazi???" You're the one who kept insisting that your way was the only "right" way. "Playing with other musicians??" You might have tried playing with us, instead of over the top of us.

We are, unabashedly, a group of learners, and we welcome EVERYONE...including rank beginners and, yeah...people who haven't quite weaned themselves off the dots yet. I have to tell you that the only reason some of us finally resorted to printed music is that you were playing so loudly that we couldn't hear our own instruments, and we wanted to do SOMETHING other than listen to you play all night.

You're so experienced? You could have been a tremendous help to some of the people there. CCÉ is a teaching organization, for pete's sake! Instead, you treated them like sh*t.

You know what really pisses me off? I'd been working my arse off all weekend...playing for Morris Dancers, doing concerts, helping out with a charity function at my church. I was so tired I could hardly stand up. One of the few things that kept me going all weekend was that I was really looking forward to getting together with a bunch of nice people and having a bit of craic and some fun with the music...on MY FECKIN' BIRTHDAY, of all days. For the first time since I've been playing with this bunch of really nice people, I left the session last night exhausted and in tears. Thanks awfully.

Yeah, go to San Jose or San Francisco. We're obviously not in your league.

Folks, if you're looking for a friendly, welcoming and SUPPORTIVE session in which to get your feet wet in the tradition, come to our session. We'll do all we can to welcome you, help you learn, and show you how you can have a really good time playing out with friends. If you're an experienced player, we'd love to learn from you, if you'll be so kind as to respect OUR dynamic. If you're going to be a jerk, don't bother.

Redwolf

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 4:33 pm 
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I'm terribly sorry that I appeared to "dominate" the session. I have played in sessions with beginners and never had any issues. I also don't know what a "session leader" is.

You are quite right. I really should have listened first and realized what was actually going on, rather than make the assumption that it was a typical Irish session.

You did state that the first 1/2 hour was a training session and I was fine with that. I did expect that later, we would be playing sets of tunes and it would evolve into a traditional session. My mistake. In a session, anyone can start a tune, but then the set moves on any anyone can kick into the next tune. This can go on for "hours".

I have always encouraged beginners and always welcomed them at any sessions I have been involved with. When I played in Chicago in a group called Baal Tinne (www.baaltinne.com), Noel Rice, our flute player was one of the most influential musicians in the Chicago area in introducing young kids into the sessions. We spent my hours on Sundays with the "kids", most young teens. It was never "managed" like the Aptos session.


I found it rather interesting that when I was singing and had mentioned that we would go into a well known trad tune afterwards, your "leader" put down her instrument and proceeded to talk loudly to the person next to her. This I found surprisingly rude for someone who appeared to be beyond a beginner.

In any sessions I used attend regularly, the group tends to quiet down for a singer.

One last point. The banjo I used is a 1928 Gibson and relatively new for me, and it is the first time I have used it in an acoustic session. I have been playing it on stage through a PA system for a while, so I really did not have a feel for the volume. It woul dhave been really easy to inform me that the banjo was loud and I would have muted it.

So please pass on my apologies to anyone that needs an apology. This sort of stuff has nothing to do with music...

Cya

Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:53 am 
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We now have a forum! If you're interested in the Irish music or Irish language scene, particularly on the Central Coast check it out! The "CCÉ Chat" section is specifically for people who are involved with or interested in the local Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann sessions, but the other boards are more general:

http://www.armbell.com/forum/index.php?mforum=canc

We're just getting started with it, so it may be a while before things get hopping.

Redwolf

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:51 pm 
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Hi Bob, I see you are up in Boulder Creek. We (my wife and I) <i>almost</i> rented a place there (way up near Big Basin) but decided to go for a place nearer to civilization, in Mount Hermon (between Felton and Scotts Valley). In fact, we're moving in today. I've played in many sessions myself in many places and I know what you were expecting. I'll be up for heavy tunage myself--maybe we can find some other players beyond the "intermediate" stage. If you're interested in a few chunes, drop me a line at blarneypilgrim at yahoo dot com. I hope the Internet gets hooked up soon.

(I know lots of John Docherty tunes so I appreciate having a room named after him!)

Redwolf, I am very familiar with the sort of session you've got going there (I've attended or started many "slow" sessions--and my Dad played flute in a little-known Anchorage band called the Slow Hands Band). I'll be interested in participating from time to time--I like to support the local scenes.

--Larry Sanger


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:46 pm 
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lsanger wrote:
Hi Bob, I see you are up in Boulder Creek. We (my wife and I) <i>almost</i> rented a place there (way up near Big Basin) but decided to go for a place nearer to civilization, in Mount Hermon (between Felton and Scotts Valley). In fact, we're moving in today. I've played in many sessions myself in many places and I know what you were expecting. I'll be up for heavy tunage myself--maybe we can find some other players beyond the "intermediate" stage. If you're interested in a few chunes, drop me a line at blarneypilgrim at yahoo dot com. I hope the Internet gets hooked up soon.

(I know lots of John Docherty tunes so I appreciate having a room named after him!)

Redwolf, I am very familiar with the sort of session you've got going there (I've attended or started many "slow" sessions--and my Dad played flute in a little-known Anchorage band called the Slow Hands Band). I'll be interested in participating from time to time--I like to support the local scenes.

--Larry Sanger


Whereabouts are you in Mount Hermon? We live on Prospect, a couple of blocks from the Conference Center.

Redwolf

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:01 pm 
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Well, howdy neighbor, we're within walking distance! I'm on Manzanita Springs, also just a few blocks from the conference center.

--Larry


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 9:17 pm 
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lsanger wrote:
Well, howdy neighbor, we're within walking distance! I'm on Manzanita Springs, also just a few blocks from the conference center.

--Larry


Well, if you happen to be out walking and hear someone obsessively playing a G scale over and over on a mandolin (or, even more likely, making a total hash of Drowsy Maggie on a whistle), that'll be me!

Welcome to the neighborhood! Mount Hermon is a great place to live. We've been living here full-time here for six years now, but my husband grew up spending his summers here.

Redwolf

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:08 pm 
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We have the opportunity to have a session at Byington's Winery on Bear Creek Road in Los Gatos. A number of the folks from this forum will be attending.

All are invited. If you are not an advanced player, you are most welocme to sit in, do your best, listen and have fun!

There will be no play lists, no-no play lists, no session leaders, no session followers...just a good time playing tunes. Bring your ears and leave the sheet music. Dancers are most welcome!

Byington's is absolutely beautiful and there are lots of different places to play, including a cave with amazing acoustics. We'll figure it out on the day. We'll try to start around 1pm and play till 3 or so, later if people are still playing. Byington's closes at 5.

It should be relatively easy to reach from both sides of the "hill"

DIRECTIONS:
From the Bay Area take Highway 17 to Santa Cruz. Exit at Bear Creek Road and travel uphill for 5.5 miles. Look for us on the left side of the road.

From Santa Cruz take Highway 17 to San Jose. Exit on Summit Road and turn left over the Highway. Continue on Summit until it dead-ends at Bear Creek Rd. Turn left on Bear Creek Rd. and continue approximately 2 miles. Look for us on the left side of the road.

I can be reached at work at 831-335-8128 or cell at 561-445-0861 and e-mail at bob (at) sinkthestink.com

Hope to see you there!

Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:55 pm 
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I'm going to be in Scotts Valley this weekend. Is the Britannia Arms session going to happen this Sunday? If so I may be able to stop by and play a little.

-Craig

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:01 pm 
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There is a session tonight (Monday) at the Boulder Creek Country Club and it is usally attended by Larry Sanger, a former Columbus person.

If you need directions, etc call me at 831-420-7960. It's about 20 minutes from Scotts Valley

Cya


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:09 pm 
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Thanks, Bob, but I won't be in CA until Thursday.

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