Friday, July 22, 2011

Peaceful Fridays and CG wrap up.....

Is it really Friday already??

Just a wee update from the past week or so from one truly tuckered-out Irishlas...

My week at Common Ground on the Hill was spectacular, way too short, and passed way too quickly.  I played and sang more than I have in ages and the best part of doing all this mad playing was being able to do it with others I hadn't played with before!

Sadly, I haven't any photo's or video.  I was too busy being immersed in learning during the day and concerts and sessions late into the night.  We didn't roll in on Friday until almost 4:30 am.... and I've been paying the price for these late nights ever since!  And you know what?  I'd do it all over again!

The video above features one of the songs we learned in the song class which was taught by the guitar player who is singing it in this video.  Jim Rainey is one of the members of Craobh Rua, from Belfast, who was over to teach.  The banjo player in this video was also here teaching.  There was third member of the band here teaching who is not in this video, but, if you Youtube the band, you'll find some video's of him playing the uilleann pipes.  His name is Aaron O'Hagan and at 25, he is an amazing piper!

Along with learning the songs and playing tunes we were told stories from some of the band members about what it was like growing up in Northern Ireland during the "troubles".   I can only remember what was televised during those times, and, let me tell you, it was quite enlightening to hear an inside perspective.  We were all quite touched by their willingness to share such intimate stories with us.

So, Friday night was the last of the week and we were invited back to a private party and session at one of the teachers dorms.  Many tunes were played and many a glass passed over lips time and time again.  Jokes and travel stories were told with everyone laughing and enjoying the company of one another.  Folks from all parts of the world, in one small dorm sharing common ground - love of music.  Old friends were catching up and new friends were being made.  Some will cross paths again and others never will.

The night ended and I think everyone in that room had a smiling heart.

Jim Rainey of Craobh Rua (pronounced crave roo-a) and myself at the dorm session
My friend Dorothy took this pic as the night was ending of myself with my song teacher (who was in the video above).  A small visual memento of a great week and a great teacher.  The memories stored within my heart of this week are numerous and soon I hope to be passing along some of the traditions the lads from Belfast shared with us.
Oh, and have a peaceful Friday, y'all............


  1. Sounds like a wonderful week! Kim has a similar experience every summer when she goes to Blues Camp at Centrum in Port Townsend, Washington. Clearly I'm missing out on a lot of fun. I gotta get me an instrument and learn how to play!

  2. I'm so glad you had a good time. It sounds like a full and tiring week, but in good way.

  3. So glad it all went well and you learned lots AND had a great time doing it.

  4. Sounds like a great time was had by all and its great to see a lovely picture of you!