Friday, July 24, 2009

Scad the Beggars ~ Friends

As we play regularly in local Pub Sessions, we often come in contact with Musicians and Singers who are just passing through or are actually on holiday in the area. We always encourage such musicians to join us, so that we might share each other's music and song. This open policy to our sessions has led to many wonderful musical evenings and new friendships being formed with musicians from all over the place.

Saturday 3rd October

Clive, who is a Portstewart man born & bred, is now living in England, but on this recent trip back home, he called in to see us & to share some of his music with us & we all had a great night. 
I must just say, these Salterelle Piano Accordions are the Bees Knees of PAs as far as I'm concerned. 
For my money, when it comes to PAs, that lovely dry sound is hard to beat.

Saturday 26th September
Last Thursday night we had Uilleann, Border & Scottish Smallpipes at our session in Portrush, then last night in Bushmills, we had a different Uilleann Piper {Trevor Stewart}, plus the Scottish Smallpiper {Alan Wade} & a Northumbrian Piper {Sam Fleming}.

As a Fiddler, I just love playing along with Pipes and it was brilliant having those three very different pipes & their own music, all at the same session. 

However, I must confess, I was constantly tuning the Fiddle up & down, for nearly four hours, between the Uilleann & the Scottish Smallpipes, as they were never exactly in with each other, but it was worth every minute of it.

Luckily I had my spare Fiddle with me too, so I was able to tune that to F for the Northumbrian Pipes.

Saturday 22nd August

We had a great night, with old friends & new joining us, including: 

Emmett & Emmett junior, over on holiday from Nottingham.

Excellent musicians and Emmett senior is a member of  the group Acushla
Saturday 15th August

We had a great night, with a few musician friends joining us and a number of singers too. 

The night included one song in Irish and another in Welsh
......... oh yes and a Willie Nelson song too!
Well, you can't beat variety!

1st August 2009
Last Saturday, we were joined by Co Antrim Fiddler Kathleen Smyth (see below) and also by Stiofán ó hEochaidh and his wife. 
Stiofán, who is a regular musician at the sessions in the Springhill Bar, Portrush, not only plays Flute, Whistle & Bodhran but he also sings and here he is, last Saturday night, singing an unaccompanied song with us, in Irish.

25th July 2009
We had a great night recently, when well known Co Antrim Fiddler Alec Kerr of the 'Antrim and Derry Country Fiddlers Association' joined us. 
As luck would have it he arrived in on a night when four Scottish musicians also called in to join us for a few tunes.

Here's a shot of Alec playing a couple of tunes with Norman Mackay

Here are three members of the Argyll group 'Canterach' galloping along through a set of Reels, with Rebecca Brown on Fiddle, Norman Mackay on Accordion & Angus McLaughlin on Low Whistle.

These four excellent Singers from Scotland joined our Session one evening and treated us to some delightful Scottish Songs.

Another very special night was when the last two resident Co. Antrim Hammered Dulcimer players, the late Nat Magee and William Rea, joined our session for a few tunes.

Renowned Co Antrim Uilleann Piper and Flute Player John Hughes, joined us one night, along with our friend Kathleen Smyth on Fiddle, for a few tunes.

This lovely local singer has joined us on many occasions and is always only too pleased to give us a song or two.

Rick Davis from Chattanooga comes over every year to study the history of the Hammered Dulcimer in Co. Antrim. He always makes a point of joining us at our Sessions to share his latest tunes with us & borrow some of ours. Here he is galloping through a few fast ones, with our Desie in hot pursuit!

This charming and very musical English couple, have joined us on a number of occasions and we always enjoy their visits.

Co. Antrim Fiddler Kathleen Smyth is a very good friend of the Beggars and always joins us when she is in the neighbourhood. She is known and loved the length and breadth of Ireland for her excellent musicianship and warm friendly personality. 
We always look forward to her visits.

Two more regular visitors are this couple of fine English musicians. They have a holiday home nearby which is very fortunate for us, for it means we get to share some music with them each year. They both play F & D sets of Northumbrian Pipes and when they are around, you can also expect to hear some dazzling finger work on Accordion and see some very fancy footwork on English Step Dances.

We were in for a special treat when this lovely lady borrowed Riley's Guitar.

Mr & Mrs T'J' Hull, all the way from Milwaukee, joined us on their Honeymoon and we enjoyed a memorable night with them, as T.J. in particular, produced some amazing Fiddle playing on the night.
We have, of course, enjoyed many more nights than I've listed here, when visiting musicians joined us for a nights crack, too numerous in fact to mention. However, the finest night in the history of our sessions so far, without a doubt, was the night previous guests of the Black Nun Fest, Malinky, joined us for a session.
These guys are without doubt, some of the very finest musicians and singers in Scotland today and it was a real honour and privilege for us, when they joined our wee session for a night.
We heard in one night alone, the most delicate, controlled and unpretentious singing our session has ever experienced, coupled with some amazing musicianship including award winning Fiddle playing. 
I've never seen our audience so affected by the music and song, the whole night was a pure delight.
Unfortunately, it was one of those nights when I didn't bring my camera, still, here's a photo of Malinky off on tour, somewhere in the World.
Judging by those sunglasses, I think it's safe to say they weren't in Scotland or Ireland, when this photograph was taken!


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