Georgia and I will be performing from noon to 4:00pm on Monday February 9th.
Please come out and enjoy a fun day in this great national Park.
Elk Island National Park hosts an annual Family Day event focused on enhancing quality family time and experiences within the national park. Elk Island strives to enhance the visitor experience at its Family Day celebration by providing a musical performance in the Astotin Lake Recreation Area.
All activities are free of charge to visitors with a valid park pass.
Elk Island National Park (EINP) will host a winter-themed Family Day event on February 19th, 2018 from 12 PM to 4 PM. The wintery event will feature music, campfire snacks, skating on Astotin Lake, snow activities and games, interpretive programming, and snowshoeing (snowshoes available to rent). A food truck will also be on site.
Come see Georgia & myself this Sunday on Alberta Avenue, Edmonton.
2018 DEEP FREEZE: BYZANTINE WINTER FESTIVAL
Venue Address #1: Hearth (9210 118 Ave)
Date of Performance: Sunday, January 14, 2018
Time of Performances: 2:00 – 2:45 pm
Venue Address #2: New Moon Pavilion Kitchen Jam (91 St & 118 Ave)
Date of Performance: Sunday, January 14, 2018
Time of Performances: 3:00 – 3:45 pm
Venue Address #3: Igloo/Northern Lights Beer Garden (North of 118 Ave in the Giant
Date of Performance: Sunday, January 14, 2018
Time of Performances: 4:15 – 5:00 pm
The Fest also runs Saturday when the theme is French Canadian culture.
My great friend and mentor Jackie Dan Jerry passed awa on Sunday November 19. 2017 at the age of 82.
I learned a lifetime worth of music and wisdom from the man. He will be greatly missed.
I’m up earlyish and cook my own Irish fry of fried eggs, potatoes, black pudding, toast & coffee. Now it’s time to get all that Irish tea into my luggage. I try my best not to forget anything and bid farewell to Ton and Barney & Lucy (the dogs).
I call in on Jackie and immediately Annie offers me a bowl of her famous soup. Jackie is visibly drawn from his treatments. I tell him stories about my travels and the tunes in town and who I played with him. He asks many questions and I am often able to remember a name for him. That man from Clare who played the fiddle and composed many tunes. “Junior Crehan?” “That’s him!”
I play tunes and chat with him for a good hour and a half. Then It’s time for his nap. Get well Jackie Please!!!!!!
I am finishing my trip in Ennis at the Fafa session with Blackie O’Connell & Siobhan Peoples. The plan is to play till 3:00 am like last week, hit the Chipper then car back to the airport. No Guinness for me. Good-bye Ireland, Hello Canada. (+13 in Kerry today -15 in Edmnonton).
Ennis is home to many wonderful statues – you can even do a statue tour.
I arrive in town from Kilkenny at 2:30 and head straight to town to catch some of the action and see the animals.
The town is packed and the bars are full and boisterous. Johnny Cahill once told me “I sell maybe 30 barrels of Guinness but on Fair Day I can sell 35!” Loads of musicians Join our Session. The poster Says “Jay, Jackie & Terrance”. Alas Jackie has to spend the day in hospital doing blood work. People know I am close to Jackie Dan Gerry O’Connor and I am often asked “How’s Jackie”, or “Tell Jackie I’m thinking of him”. I am happy to see Charlie Nelligan join us with his concertina. He one 8 All-Ireland titles as a keeper. It is so loud in the bar you can barely hear your neighbour but the combined volume of the 12 of us cuts through the din and people applaud after each set. Singing is impossible but after the first 2 hours Timmy O’Connor hazards a song. Myself as well. Solo singers seem to get a bit of respect and the crowd quiets – just a little. After 5 hours of music it’s time to wrap it up. “See you next year” I say to everyone. Because of the early start I’m actually back with Tony by 10:30. We have time to visit and play his D tuned guitar with a slide. The first night of the trip I’m in bed by midnight.
I steel myself for the trip to see Tommy Lanigan & Michelle O’Regan in Kilkenny. Google maps says it’s 2 hours 39 minutes but I know better.
Kilkenny is hard to get to from Kerry as there are no direct roads. Last time it took 4 hours. Dr. Google says 2′ 40 “if I go north to Limerick and take the Dublin road (M50) for 8 km. That’s where everything went wrong. 2 hours to that point but the directions are on my phone and I am not reading them well. I stiop at a petrol station, “Google says take the turn into Mooreville” ” This whole area is called Mooreville” “My friend’s house is called ‘Gorteen'” “Oh, many places have that name”. So I am sent to Durrow, the only consolation being we play a reel called “The Trip to Durrow”. I arrive in Kilkenny (Marble City) and ring Michelle. Her directions only do for a couple of km’s then things aren’t matching the instructions. I ask a man at the petrol station and I’m sure he mishears the landmark I asked for “Kilcreene Hospital”. Oh Alicrane Hospital, that’s in Waterforford”. But hes stops a young woman dressed as a cat (It’s Halloween). “Actually I’m looking for Ballycallan”. “That’s where I live” Will I follow you?” Yay!
Irish people in general are inquisitive and direct. I knew enough to ask my guide’s name -Amy. “Oh Amy her grandfather had this house.” And “Why the heck did you go to Durrow?”
Finn is a tall lad now at 16. Ellie is 13 and out at a Hallpween party. Maybe 5’10”. Michelle is cooking lamb chops – so very Irish. Tommy and I break out the instruments after supper and play and tell stories until midnight me on fiddle and he on bodhran and bouzouki. He is a great singer and used to tour with Davey Arthur. Some sad stories; his brother Paul passed away this year at 52. He closes his eyes and sings the song he sang at the funeral. It’s and an adaption of “The Shores of Lough Bran”. I’m holding back the tears. It’s another privileged moment which I seem to often be privy to. Tommy is a heart man and a philosopher so it’s always a joy to hear his insights. We finish off a 6 back of Budweiser. “I don’t consider that beer.” “Neither do I.”
The next morning after a breakfast of porridge and fresh laid eggs (they have hens) Michelle give me fantastic directions back to Castleisland that take an hour off the trip.
I want to play with Dennis O’Connor and Con Moynihan – the local musicians playing Sliabh Luchra music. I call into McCarthy’s at 3:00 and it is so packed with musicians and listeners that it is impossible. I walk across the street to The Crown and find a lovely quiet session with Connor Daly on fiddle. “oh I remember you; you’re Georgia’s father”. I am getting used to that. Also playing are Maura O’Connor concertina, Darragh Horan guitar, David Healy box, & Michael (Mee-hawl in Irish) Broderick banjo. Some great tunes with some joy in the playing. Michael’ sister Eileen Broderick voice, its sitting behind us. She knows Spencer Murray from Edmonton as they were at U Limerick together last year doing the Trad program.
Next I wander up to the half Barrel where there is a great crowd and the Sliabh Luchra session I was looking for with Dennis O’Connor banjo, Tom O’Connell banjo and Niall O’Connor grey Paulo Soprano box. The session continues till 8-ish. The only musicians left are Sheila Coakley whistle and Joan Hanrahan box and myself. But there are dancers so we are pressed into service playing slides and polkas. Clear the tables and 4 couples are up dancing fast and furious.
Dirk Hofman bodhran from Holland calls in then Greta Curtin comes to collect the 2 of us and take us to Brosna. Dirk and I meet yearly at the POK and take turns driving to Brosna so the other can drink. But at the Saturday session Greta offers to be the driver “as long as you don’t fight over who will drive next year!”
A great night in Brosna with Greta & me playing loads of tunes and singing from myself and all and sundry. Greta’s parents Liam & are present. And the Baron. And Tom And Michael Moriarity. At 2:00 am Greta packs up the concertina and it’s back to CI. Next year Dirk. Next year Greta.
On the 3 km walk to town from Tony’s I am often offered a lift from a motorist. On Saturday I was walking by a yard as a white van was pulling out. “Hello I’m Pat Murphy.” Really? Do you know the song? He didn’t so I started singing.
As I get out of the van Pat says “Thanks for the song.”
Another time a red car pulls up. It’s Joe Daly back from Dublin. “Do you know the Cottage of Con Houlihan?” Con was from Castleisland and considered “the greatest and the best-loved Irish sports journalist of all”. He Wrote a sports column for the Independent. A quick ring to Annie and she tells me it’s the mossy cottage at the top of the bend left side leaving town on the Limerick Road.
John has many stories to tell about Con. His son is the driver and says “Let the man go”. Just one more says John. Thanks for the lift says I, it only took twice as long as the walk. Laughs and hand shakes.
#1 At The Shoemakers with Jackie Daly, Matt Cranitch, Connie O’Connell and Paudie O’Connor. Although I’m late I get a seat right beside Aidan Coffey. What an intersting msn; PHD in micro-biology and just released a new CD with homself, Frankie Gavin & Alec Finn. Here is Aidan plying with Frankie.
#2 Kearney’s Bar where i find Dennis O’Connor banjo, Con Moynihan fiddle and Mike Rice flute. This session continues until the next one starts.
#3 Kearney’s Bar withe the 30 year olds (or so) Donal Cullinane fiddle, Emma O’Leary fiddle, Eilish Murphy flute, Connor Mahoney guitar. I’m perched beside Donal in “the fiddle section”. Loads of slides, polkas and reels.