Session at Cooley’s, Ennistimon, with Adam, Paul Dooley, Stefan, 2 Australian Bob’s, etc. 

We made up our minds that we’d not hesitate the next session. So off to Cooley’s House in Ennistimon. We were told that this was a really good session.

Cooleys is a cozy narrow pub very similar to the old Bould Biddy’s in Westport, but much warmer feeling. The session was to start around 9:30 and we got there at 8:00, staked out our spots and stayed put. When we arrived a woman was tending and we found out her name was Joan. We mentioned why we’d come and she assured us that we were very welcome and that musicians were more than welcome, the session was open and that Adam and his friends would be glad to see us. She also assured us that being American wasn’t and issue as there was only one player that usually came who was Irish, all the rest were from other points of the compass.

We ordered pints sat down and a colorful character showed up carrying a fiddle case. His name is Bob and he’s from Australia. Great guy, very open and talkative, as curious about who we are as we are him. The topics range from him learning fiddle by playing America old time music in Australia, to traveling to Ireland and settling here, to buying houses, etc. Then another man steps in with a fiddle and he too is Bob, Bob Singer another Australian. He’s also very open and friendly. Then the flute player whom we heard at The Roadside two nights before stepped in. He’s Stefan who’s not very talkative, and we believe is French.

Then Adam came in, young, energetic and greets us warmly. A few others show up and the fiddler we liked so well at at The Roadside steps in. He’s Paul Dooley the Irishman. Another American is there, Richard whose wife is the niece of Chris Droney a pretty famous concertina player from Bell Harbour. Richard’s a nice fellow, tells us not to hide our light, that he’d heard about our playing at The Roadside and wished he’d been there. We were getting a lot of positive comments from that. Greetings are exchanged, cases opened, strings tuned, flutes adjusted, all very unhurriedly and Adam and Stefan agree on the first set and away we go. The first tune is new to me, I’ve almost got it and Adam calls out a change for me, nods when I get it, and then to the next tune. When the set is finished conversation continues, pints sipped and the next set is determined with glances, a few opening notes played so the starters know what’s coming and off we go. This is the very kind of session we come for. It reminds me of the session we had in Kilgarvan in 2012. I’m starting to feel physically very hot. Adam says “Cooley’s is the hottest pub in Ireland”. I start stripping layers. He and Morgan continue the thread and Adam states that when they get a lot of players in it’s like a steam bath. They invite us to do a song, I sing The Mountaineer and it’s well received. I feel the tension ease inside of me and even Stefan is smiling at times. We’ve made the connection with fellow musicians and it feels like we’re in the right place at the right time.

We step outside to cool off and have a hysterically funny conversation with a young man from Scotland. He’s full of funny remarks and has Morgan and I laughing uncontrollably. Soon a friend of his also Scots comes out and we have a nice exchange. He fills me in on the state of the economy and how their banks were handing out loans like candy and all the people he knows that are in their homes upside down financially. The evening is a great success. We’ve met some nice people, played some great music, had interesting conversations, made connections, which is what its all about and there you have it!

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