News May 22,2013
Enjoying the lovely colors of spring here in the Green Mountains! And getting ready to go back in the studio for our Songs of the Original Carter Family cd with Vic Paul June 6. Thanks SO very much to all who supported our campaign, can't thank you enough. While we did not reach our goal, we're off to a great start. We will continue to sell the cd in advance (contact me here), and hope to raise more funds by playing some shows. Contact me here if you know of a festival, venue, party, or house concert that would have an audience who would like to hear Vic and me doing those great Carter Family songs, and more..
Still doing the wonderful Thursday night Irish sessions at Hanafin's Pub in Glastonbury, CT-come on by! Will co-host with fiddler Jeanne Freeman at the McKinnon's Irish session in Hartford, CT Wed May 29-always a blast playing with Jeanne! My first semester at Connecticut Academy of Irish music went quite well, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of you there at Sunday afternoon classes this fall-what fun!
Lots of Gypsy Reel summer Gazebo gigs-check the Schedule for more details. Have a great season with lots of music!
A shout out to the allstar lineup of musicians In Burlington at Club Metronome last Monday night who turned out to play their hearts out for John Carleton, who passed earlier this year. John was Gypsy Reel's drummer on our 1990 release, Shake That Spirit Free. John backed me up on songs I wrote like Trouble on the Line and Livin' in the Snow and made sure they rocked! It was great to meet his mom and brothers and sister at this memorial event. John Carleton's talent will certainly be missed.
Breaking News St. Patrick's Day 2013!
Victor Paul and I have officially launched our new music venture, Songs of the Original Carter Family, on the fundraising site Indiegogo.com! You can check it out at http://igg.me/at/carterfamilysongs (you can go to my Related Links page to go there directly.) We hope you will be inspired to contribute to our project-every penny will be greatly appreciated. Time is of the essence, as our site will be active for only 40 days. We also would love to hear your comments and suggestions.
News March 15, 2013
Happy Spring! After a wonderful tour of Guatemala with Gypsy Reel-the best yet!-we are back at our St. Patrick's Day home in lovely, yet still snowy, Vermont, getting ready to crank up the music at Killarney Pub Sat & Sun night at 7:30, and Okemo Ski Area's Sitting Bull Lounge Sunday at 3. Fun!!!
I am also excited to announce that I am working on a new cd with Victor Paul, who was my collaborator on the recent Christmas in Vermont cd. This one has the working title of Songs of the Original Carter Family. We have recorded several marvelous tracks, and are about to launch this project on a fundraising site called indiegogo.com We hope this will be a successful attempt at presenting these song gems from America's First Family of Music with deep respect and some new energy, and we appreciate any support you may give us.
I will begin teaching classes in April at the new Connecticut Academy of Irish Music in Wethersfield in mandolin, tenor banjo, and guitar. There are still some spaces left, so sign up now! Still got the Thursday sessions at Hanafin's Irish Pub in Glastonbury, CT, 7pm start, all welcome to join in. And next Wednesday, I'll be Jeanne Freeman's guest at the session at McKinnon's in Hartford, CT, 7:30pm. Hope to see you soon!
News November 29, 2012
I am very excited to be included in the teaching staff of the brand new Connecticut Academy of Irish Music. Jeanne Freeman, a superb fiddler and wonderful human being, has put this together, and classes will be starting January 2013 in Wethersfield, CT. The space is awesome, in the Wethersfield School for the Arts. Here's the press release. Check out my new Teaching page!
Introducing the Connecticut Academy of Irish Music
The newly formed Connecticut Academy of Irish Music, established by fiddler Jeanne Freeman, seeks to encourage young people and adults to explore the joys of learning and playing traditional Irish and Celtic music. Group lessons will be offered on a variety of instruments to children and adults for a 12-week session beginning in late January 2013. Classes will meet on Sunday afternoons at the Wethersfield Academy for the Arts in Old Wethersfield located at 431 Hartford Avenue. Courses will be offered from outstanding and experienced musicians at both the beginner and intermediate/advanced levels on a variety of traditional instruments, including: fiddle, tin whistle, flute, mandolin, banjo, guitar, concertina, and button accordion. There will also be opportunities for students to play in mixed-instrument groups, including a youth ceili band and a mixed- instrument session led by an instructor. The Academy is pleased to announce that seven-time All-Ireland Champion and recording artist John Whelan will serve as the Artist-in-Residence, and will work with the youth ceili band with a goal of competing in regional and All-Ireland competitions. Registration begins in December 2012. For more information and to register, please contact Jeanne Freeman, Director, at (860) 810-4852, or www.jeannefreemanmusic.com.
News November 5, 2012
What a wonderful Celtic Colours Festival this October! I had so much fun being part of Otis Tomas' "Fiddletree 2" project. Otis wrote some great new tunes, and we put them together for a concert and a recording-Otis, and Sarah MacFadyen (from Orkney, Scotland) on violins; Joey Sanderson (Edinburgh, Scotland) on viola, Abby Newton (Woodstock, NY US) on cello, Laoise Kelly (Achyll Island, Ireland) on harp, and Paul MacDonald (St. Ann's, Cape Breton. Nova Scotia, Canada) on guitar, and I play the sweet mandolin-all instruments from the big old sugar maple called the Fiddletree. Long hikes in the woods and by the sea, super sessions in Otis' workshop, delicious food creations. Thanks to Deanie Cox for EVERYTHING, to Joella Foulds for having us at the Fest, to Shauna for keeping everything running smoothly, to the drivers and all the volunteers-what a musical treat! Missin' everybody! Will let you know when the recording is up for grabs. Meanwhile, check out our previous project at www.fiddletree.com
A bit quiet here in Vermont for "Stick Season;" light snow today with an icy peak on Saltash Mountain. Be sure to get in touch for your musical needs while there is a lull-for gigs, lessons, projects. Gypsy Reel will be performing with the choral group The Feminine Tone December 17 & 18, and there is a Gypsy Reel Reunion with some of the original members from eons ago in the works-will post as soon as details are confirmed. Happy Holiday Season to all!
News September 10, 2012
And a FABULOUS summer it was!! Great times, great music. Highlights-trip to North Carolina, seeing my old Chapel Hill pals, tunes with Jack Herrick of the Red Clay Ramblers, Eleanor Ellis, and Lightnin' Wells. Fun as Musician-In-Residence at Montreat, NC; nice show at White Horse Black Mountain with my old pal Gerald Trimble(surprise!), and John L. Currie. Lots of sweet gigs with GypsyReel at Village Greens all around Vermont. Great times in Nova Scotia, boating, playing tunes with the Klunkers, Pennybrook, Bill Plaskett. Back in Vermont for a few weeks with Gypsy Reel (see Schedule). Then,I'm going back to Nova Scotia, this time way up to Cape Breton Island, to play with Fiddletree Two at Celtic Colours International Festival 2012!! Check out www.fiddletree.com and www.celticcolours.ca for details; we are doing one concert Oct. 10, and then recording a new cd. Still loving the Irish Sessions at Hanafin's Pub in Glastonbury, CT every Thursday night (Thanks to fiddler extraordinaire Jeanne Freeman for covering for me while I'm out of town). Upcoming for Gypsy Reel- Bromley 9/15,Peru Fair 9/22 and the annual Hallowe'en Party in Belmont 10/26 (ZOMBIES!). Hope to see you at lots of places! PS Gypsy Reel is looking for a New Year's Eve gig-please contact us ASAP if you have any ideas-a big party perhaps? Love and thanks.
News June 6, 2012
What a summer this will be! Lots of Gypsy Reel gigs, some with the Mount Holly Folk Club, (see schedule), and some special events. This year I will be at the Old Songs Festival,June 22-24, helping out Ron Gordon and Micheal Eck and Eleanor Ellis with the Festival Jug band - FUN! www.oldsongs.org great lineup!
I want to let all my North Carolina pals that I will be Musician-In-Residence again this year at Montreat, NC. Still putting together a week of performances and workshops, July 1-8, in this beautiful mountain setting. Email me here if you want details-can probably squeeze in a lesson if you're interested! I'm also really excited about playing Sun July 8 at the White Horse in Black Mountain, NC. This is part of a series featuring musicians who frequented the legendary McDibbs in the 80s - one of Touchstone's fave places to play! Please come and see me there! www.whitehorseblackmountain.com
Will be spending much of August visiting Nova Scotia. It's a great place to write songs, and get ready for the Fiddletree II performancewith Otis Tomas and other stellar players at Celtic Colours Festival 2012 in October.
Check out some great videos of me performing at the Ale House in Troy, NY, last February, by Tim Raab. www.youtube.com/user/TimRaabNorthern Just type in my name in "Search Channel." It was a privilege to work with Tim.
Sure hope to see you this summer- in Vermont, North Carolina, or Nova Scotia!! Would love to hear from you!
Our weekly Thursday night Irish sessions at Hanafin's Pub in Glastonbury, CT will continue while I'm away, hosted by Jeanne Freeman, a wonderful fiddler. Keep 'er lit!
News March 19,2012
In case you missed the Thistle and Shamrock show, here's a link that still works! http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=147291255&m=147291951
St.Patrick's Week! Looking forward to Thursday night at Hanafin's Irish Pub in Glastonbury, CT 7-9:30. You never know who will turn up-last Saturday we had 3 pipers-Michael Cooney, Jonathan Warner, and Tony Morse-wow!
Friday March 16 and Saturday March 17, Gypsy Reel will be cranking out tunes and songs at Killarney Irish Pub, Ludlow, VT, 7:30-?. And Gypsy Reel will be at the Sitting Bull Lounge, Okemo Mountain Ski Area, Ludlow, VT, Saturday afternoon March 16, 3-6pm. Whoo-hoo!
HERE's THE LINK for the Thistle & Shamrock show-it will be posted on their website under "Listen Again"-but just for 3 weeks! http://thistleradio.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=572&Itemid=109
MARCH MANDOLIN FESTIVAL MARCH 2-4 I will be performing and teaching -please check out the details on my schedule page, and join us for some mando fun!
Had a blast listening to Fiona Ritchie's "Thistle and Shamrock" show last night! If you missed it, or don't get it on the radio, it should be up on their website soon-www.thistleradio.com Thanks to Fiona for a being such a great interviewer, to Al Petteway for a superb job on the sound, to Margaret Kennedy for keeping us all relaxed and happy, and to Julle Glaub Weems for putting us all together at Traditional Song Week of Swannanoa Gathering in the mountains of North Carolina last summer!
I have posted a couple free tracks on the music page! Bob Perry recorded us live at the All Star Irish Fest, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT, last November. I got to play mandolin, with Jeanne Freeman on fiddle, Loretta Egan Murphy on button accordion, Brendan Dolan on piano-what a thrill! Have a listen!
Just finished recording "Irene's Wake"-cd & dvd-music and images created in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene which caused unbelievable devastation here in Vermont last August. I put together an adapted version of "Waterbound", and there's some great new songs written by Paul Giambatista, one of the singers in the Mount Holly Folk Club, which I started 3 years ago as a hometown singing group-good stuff! Our local tv station, LPCTV, did the video. There will be 2 release parties this weekend-an acoustic concert Friday 2/17 at The Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium at 7pm featuring Gypsy Reel, The Pleasants, Salt Ash Seranaders, and M,ount Holly Folk Club; and an electric concert Saturday 2/18 at The Outback in Ludlow featuring Rick Redington and The Luv and Dank and the Funkstix (both-$10 donation at the door to benefit flood victims and LPCTV). See you there!
Happy New Year! The winter is shaping up quite nicely. I'm hosting a Thursday night Irish Traditional Music Session at Hanafin's Pub in Glastonbury, CT, which is like having St.Patrick's day every week! I'm doing a radio show at Wesleyan University called "Finding Bliss" with Laura Agnelli 1/17 at 5pm, and will be featured on NPR on Fiona Ritchie's "Thistle and Shamrock" the week of February 9 (check your local listings for exact time.) I'm playing at the Ale House in Troy, NY 2/1, at the Ludlow, VT Auditorium with a great lineup of musicians for a CD/DVD Release Party for "Irene's Wake" 2/17, and will be teaching at the Northeast Mandolin Festival in Concord, NH 3/2-4; details of these and lots of other shows on the Schedule Page! Also adding some new photos. Hope to see you soon!
Older Posts from 2011: Coming up November 3, 5:30-7:30pm, a special event- November First Thursday at the Butler-McCook House and Garden, 396 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103-"History Happy Hour" with an Art Exhibition Opening featuring works by Janice Warren www.braodbrookart.com and music by Claudine Langille. It's free admission with a suggested food & per drink donation of $5. Come and enjoy all the treats at Hatford's oldest house! www.ctlandmarks.org
REVIEW OF GYPSY REEL 7/17/11- 30th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT AT LUDLOW BANDSTAND in the7/20 issue of VERMONT JOURNAL by Anne Gardner calls Gypsy Reel's music "sometimes lively, sometimes poignant, but always beautiful."
Just back from three great weeks in North Carolina-one in Montreat as Musician in Residence, with a spot in the great new musical by John Currie, "Windows on the Women;" one at Swannanoa Gathering Traditional Song Week (watch for an upcoming interview with Fiona Ritchie on The Thistle and Shamrock on NPR!); and one at Swannanoa gathering Celtic Week-super music! Currently playing with Gypsy Reel in Vermont and at the PV O'Donnell Wednesday night session in Hartford, CT. Looking forward to Nova Scotia in August. Check out the fabulous new release-book and cd-from Otis Tomas, "The Fiddletree" (www.fiddletree.com) Adding new titles to Music page and Photos page-check "em out! And please sign my guestbook.