March 2, 2015

Well, here I am back in the snowy mountains of Vermont!  Wow, lots of snow here.  I had a great adventure, traveling to Nova Scotia in January, then on to Glasgow, Scotland with Otis Tomas, Deanie Cox, Paul MacDonald, a harp, a cello, a viola, a fiddle, a guitar, and of course, a mandolin-all made by Otis from his Fiddletree.  The harp and cello had seats on the plane to Heathrow!  After a night in Glasgow, a very happening city, we set off for the Isle of Lismore in the Lower Hebrides to rehearse with the Fiddletree.  What a magical place. We met up with Mairi Campbell at the studio where she teaches and holds music retreats; Sarah MacFadyen and Joey Sanderson, and Abby Newton, and Laoise Kelly.  We had a run through concert in the community hall, then headed to Glasgow for Celtic Connections.  Our show was a sellout at the Strathclyde Suite of the Royal Concert Hall.  It was a blast, and we were raring to play some more!  Deanie and Laoise and I headed for Ireland.  It was nice to be in a car, I got to see Belfast for the first time.  Then a week in Dublin.  TradFest was on in Temple Bar, so the pubs were loaded with great music (and superb pints of Gunness).  Outstanding were Gerry O'Connor with The Dublin Legends, and Coda, with Conall O'Domhnaill-lovely singing!  Thanks to Triona and family for the wonderful hospitality.

Then I spent February back in Nova Scotia-the first winter in my "Summer's Home!"  How many times did I hear, "It's not usually like this..."  It snowed 3 times a week, and it was hard getting together with my music pals.  But I loved being there.

Now, I'm back to teaching at Ct. Academy of Irish Music, and I leave for a quick trip to Florida with Gypsy Reel this weekend (sunshine and T-shirt weather, PLEASE).  We'll be back home for our usual St, Patrick's Day festivities in Ludlow VT-Okemo Ski Area in the afternoon, Killarney Pub in the evening.  See you here or there!

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    Thanks for visiting us! I assume you folks just kept on playing longer after we left around 11p. One of the hidden gems in Carrboro is the weekly Sham Rockers Celtic music jam. Clay, Chris, Jack, & Bob are the core, with itinerant folks joining them. It's a highlight of my week--& this week with your presence. Thanks. pb

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