Sunday, March 2, 2014

Another Wonderful Irish Music Session in Harpersfield (near Geneva, Ohio)

John Foyle on bodhran. Maureen McGuire on button-box.

For the second month in a row, we've had an Irish music "session" at the Kosicek Winery in Harpersfield, Ohio (that's about 4 miles south of Geneva). A session is when Irish/Celtic musicians get together and play tunes (and sometimes sing songs) for a couple hours. These take place anywhere, from Galway, Ireland, to little towns in Montana, to Harpersfield, Ohio. There is a corpus of tunes that everyone seems to know--jigs, slip jigs, reels, hornpipes, airs, waltzes, polkas, etc. At yesterday's session there were about 3 guitars, maybe 5 whistles, a concertina, a button-box accordion, 3 mandolins, 2 tenor banjos, a few bodhrans (Irish drums), a set of "bones," and a few other things. There were 15 musicians total (many with multiple instruments), sitting in a circle. I know some of the names: Kyle Smith (fiddle), John Foyle (whistle, bodhran, bones), Jack Lewis (banjo and guitar), Maureen Reich (fiddle and banjo), Maureen McGuire (button box accordion), Sheldon Firem (bodhran, whistle, guitar), Jule (spoons). There were many others I don't know. Musicians came from all over Northeast Ohio--Mayfield, Wickliffe, Chardon, Hambden, Girard, Conneaut, Youngstown, and points unknown. I was there with my whistle.

I tried to write down the names of most of the tunes:

1. Swallowtail Jig
2. Morrison's Jig
3. Fox Hunter's
4. The Rattling Bog
5. Merrily Kiss the Quaker
6. Planxty Irwin (O'Carolan)
7. Irish Republican Army (song, sung by John Foyle)
8. John Ryan's Polka
9. Haste to the Wedding
10. Dennis Murphy's
11. Si Bheag Si Mhor (O'Carolan)
12. Irish Washerwoman
13. Bally Desmond
14. Higgins'
15. The Butterfly (Slip Jig)
16. The Rose of Mull . . . (didn't get all of the name)
17. Rights of Man
18. May the Road Rise to Meet You (song)
19. Whiskey Before Breakfast
20. Off to California
21. Banshee Reel
22. Maid Behind the Bar
23. Drunken Sailor
24. Donneybrook Fair

And many others! Oh yes. And John Foyle did a fine rendition of "Danny Boy."

Hope to play with these musicians again, maybe at the Hiram College Session, in Cleveland, in Niles, Ohio, wherever!

Kyle on fiddle. Sheldon on bodhran.

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