Last night we headed to Kenmare in search of a session. After several tries we spotted a fellow sitting in the window with a fiddle case. It turned out that John was waiting for a ride to Kilgarvan, where there was a nice session with several very good players. It being Kerry, there was a nice mix of polkas and slides in amongst the reels and jigs. Brilliant playing from Eamon on box and John on a lovely David Boyle banjo, with Noreen and Dick on fiddles, folks we heard last night at Lake House. Paddy showed up later with another box, and there was a fellow from Brittany on guitar. with the addition of Morgan on fiddle, Rick on guitar, James on whistle and Don on mandolin and Anne on flute, Lisa on bodhrán, it was a mighty session. There was a lovely old man at the bar with a whiskey and a Guinness in front of him and two teeth in his head, Mike, an enthusiastic listener, who graced us with a song, The Queen of Society, which has, unknown to him, a video on YouTube. Just search for Kilgarvan! Fair play! (James)
Woke up today and it’s a rain day. It hasn’t stopped all day so we’re sitting in and practicing tunes and trying to stay warm. I’m going to drive up the hill to the little store and see about scoring some coal so we can get it warm in here.
Morgan and I got up the hill to O’Shea’s store and met the proprietress who was a very nice woman. We bought a large bag of scrap wood for 4 euro and a bag of Polish coal for 8.80 euro as well as a few edible items we needed and then decided to go down to the bay and stopped in at O’Sullivan’s to see if we could grab a bottle of whiskey at James’ request. We weren’t sure if what they offered would work for James, so didn’t get a bottle. I was driving around a turn quite carefully and we almost hit a very large truck, looked like a garbage truck or something on that order, and he wouldn’t give an inch. I had to back up and keep backing up until we found a spot barely wide enough to pull up against the bank and he edged around us and avoided scraping us by mere inches. Bejesus that was close and bloody scary. Got back to the cottage and banked a good fire and finally drove the chill out of the place. We drove hot blooded Don out of the room as well, but the rest of us were warm at least. We played some new tunes and we’re getting some new sets together and are now getting dinner made. We’re having a lot of fun.
After dinner we got our instruments in the car and went to see if we could find a session in Kenmare. We only found one possibility at a pub called Crowley’s, but continued around the town and saw a fellow reading a paper in a shop window. We saw his fiddle case next to him and Morgan went in to ask him about a session. I followed in and saw a banjo case leaning up against the wall. He showed us his banjo, a David Boyle made in Ireland, a very nice instrument. He told us that the only real session was up in Kilgarvan a village we’d been through a couple of days back, and that if we wanted to head up there we’d be welcome. We thanked him and discussed it with James and Don and decided to go. We actually beat John the banjo/ fiddle player to Reilley’s ( we weren’t too obvious in our enthusiasm ) and soon a number of players showed up. A great group of folks and some fine players with great tunes and good spirits. It was what we’d been looking for since we’d come over and it felt so good. We were high on playing. There were John on banjo, Eamon on box, Pauly on box, with Ann on flute, Noreen on fiddle, Lisa on bodhran, Morgan, James, Don and myself. There was another guitarist from Brittany as well, nice guy and a good player. I had a funny discussion with Ann and Lisa and mentioned the Lake House session and how it was a bit slow for us. They asked who was there and when I mentioned there were four box players they laughed and said no wonder!! We received some sincere compliments on our playing, and we gave many as well. Mike Doyle sang a couple of great songs as well. Fair play Mike. What a night! (Rick)