Saturday, December 24, 2005

A perfect evening ... 
Got off work tonight. Knocked back a Guinness in a dive bar raising a toast to a coworker who's leaving for another advertising/marketing firm. One of the waitresses took her top off. Yeah, they warned me about this bar. Got a coworker to 'fess up to how she earned the nickname "switchhitter."

No, it's not 'cause she's bi. But the rest I'll never tell.

Passed a movie theater on the way home. Had time to get a slice of pepperoni and mushroom pizza. Saw the movie.

Memoirs of a Geisha.

See it. Touching love story. Visually stunning. Faithful and respectful to the time and place. Exquisitely well-written (though the Sumo wrestling parallel didn't have to be spoonfed to me so much.) Gorgeous soundtrack. Lots of good string playing.

Left the movie. Walked to Borders. Got a peppermint mocha. Cell phone rings. It's Jeff, the bodhran player.

"You coming over, man?"

"Sure, I'll be over there. Is the music happening?"

"Sure is! Come on over!"

"Well, I'll come by, but I don't have anything to play, though."

"No, fuck that, go home and get your fiddle!"

"Well, I'm a lot closer to the pub then home!"

"No, go get your fiddle mam!"

I check my watch.

"It's 10:45. How late you guys planning on going?"

"Let me work on that. Get your fiddle."

Well, I went home, got my fiddle, and arrived around midnight. The band was knocking off for the night.

One beer's my usual limit, so I got a coke and hung out for a bit at a table outside. Piper Eamonn Dillon is there. Again, one of the very top players in the world. John Schreiber is there - a scary good DADGAD guitar player,mandolin player and tenor bango player, who sometimes performs with Cherish the Ladies (his wife, Roisin, is a member of that band and a monstrous fiddler herself. But she's just back off the road and is long since asleep at home)

Virtuoso accordian player Victor Alexander is there with his box, still on his visit from Ireland.

I'm in Earnie Banks mode. What a great day for trad! Let's play some!

So we set up outside. Weather's perfect. Four fabulous musicians - each of them world classers. And then there's me. But they'll pull me along for the ride.

We start at about 12:30 and it's nonstop reels and jigs until almost 4.

Everyone at the top of their game.

The craic, as they say, was grand.

Even when that rat bastard accordian player transposed all these A tunes up a half step it was still grand. (Try playing Red Haired Boy, AKA Danny Pearl's Favorite, in B mixolydian. Loads of fun, and a different look at the tune. I didn't know I had it in me to transpose on the fly like that, at speed. But somehow I did it.

That's what playing with super musicians does. It makes me a better player than I normally am.

I felt like I was on top of the world coming home.

Splash, out


Jason, I am a fan of Clandestine and was very disappointed when they broke up. Who, out there, is recording similar music and style?
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