Looking out at blooming sunflowers and orange maples! Lovely autumn here in Southern VT! Enjoying loads of visitors, many toting instruments. School has begun at the Connecticut Academy of Irish Music, and I'm enjoying teaching tunes and songs on some Sunday afternoons. Had a brilliant summer on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, lots of music, boating and swimming. Making this short so I can get outdoors and go for a walk in the sweet glow of the season! Love to all.
Welcome to my website!
Come in, sit down, relax, converse
Our house doesn't always look like this-sometimes it's even worse! (from The Trivet Song)
I am looking out at Saltash Mountain, here in beautiful Belmont, VT.
Be sure to check my scheduled shows on the right to see where I will be playing.
I am scheduling new private students in all levels of mandolin, tenor banjo and guitar, so contact me if you would like to work with me, at my studio in Belmont VT, or on Skype. If I am traveling in your direction, I can also arrange to meet you.
I have cds available at my Store, and Free Listens on my Music Page.
The winds are howling here on Frost Hill Road in Belmont, Vermont, but the sunshine is gaining in strength, and the long cold snowy winter may be giving way. I haven't been writing much, because of a long struggle with my vision, recovering from surgeries, but now things are looking up! In the months ahead, I am looking forward to playing more music. St. Patrick's Day 2019 is right around the corner, and Gypsy Reel is excited to welcome former Gypsy Jon Scaife, extraordinary guitarist from Sheffield UK, for the big weekend! Right after, I'm taking off for another visit to North Carolina, playing with Fiddling' Al McCanless, Will McCanless, Colin Shoemaker, and Bob Vasile, and also with Jack Herrick of the Red Clay Ramblers and Jane Peplar of Pratie Heads. Also hope to get together there with Eleanor Ellis, wonderful singer and blues guitarist-stay tuned for developments.
I continue to play most Thursdays with Gypsy Reel at our fine session at The Killarney in Ludlow Vermont, and I continue to teach fretted instruments at The Connecticut Academy of Irish Music in Wethersfield CT most Sundays through April. I also sing with Mount Holly Folk Club most Mondays when I'm in town. Check my schedule for solo gigs in the spring; also will be performing in a duo with Silas Hamilton, and with Celticado (Adam Sweet and Jim Bunting). If all goes well, I'll be in Nova Scotia July-August, will keep you posted-usually loads of fun music collaborations there.
I recorded my solo cd The Tartan Project many months ago, but am just getting around to offering it for sale here. This one's got more of a Scots/Nova Scotian/Shetland focus. I hope you'll enjoy it. Stay well, keep smilin'!
Happy New Year! Started out with a quick escape from the lovely Vermont deepfreeze (how many days of 20 below zero??) to Durham NC (just in time for their freak snowstorm that shut down the state for 3 days!!) Had a blast playing music with Bob Vasile, Revisited the place where Touchstone was born, once The Cat's Cradle, then Rhythm Alley, then the Skylight Exchange, now the Nightlight. Bob and I played, and it was so great to see our friends who braved the icy roads to come out that night. We went to Charlottesville VA the following night and played at the Tin Whistle pub. Thanks to Cece Conway for making these events happen. Bob was awesome on bouzouki, guitar, and vocals. Thanks to Bob and Barb for hosting us.
Back in Vermont, having some fun playing Wednesdays at RiRa Pub in Burlington VT with Graham Parker and Silas Hamilton of Gypsy Reel. Thursday night sessions continue every week at The Killarney Pub in Ludlow VT. (If it looks like I'm double booked on these recurring events, there will be someone, probably from Gypsy Reel, filling in for me in VT) Playing some Old Time and Americana music this weekend with The Shrewdberries Live at Mount Hollywood Studio. Looking forward to my first gig in Boston in ages, at the Burren in Somerville, with Silas (and maybe a surprise guest or 2!) Gypsy Reel leaves for Guatemala the next day. Will fill in gig details as I get them. Looking forward to seeing our Lake Atitlan friends soon!
Check my Events schedule. I'll be teaching Sundays at Connecticut Academy of Irish Music in Wethersfield CT (www.ctirishmusic.com)-enrollment now open. And when we get back from Guatemala, it'll be almost time to start celebrating St. Patrick's Day!
Meanwhile, I am finishing up the mixes for a new solo cd, featuring Scottish songs and Shetland Isles tunes, The Tartan Project. Will post ordering info soon! The days are getting longer!
Autumn leaves are falling, days here in Vermont are bright and sunny, and it's time to dream new projects into existence. The new Gypsy Reel, Live 2017, is done, out, and being played on radio stations around the US. I will add it to my titles to purchase here; meanwhile, just email me if you'd like a copy.
Our Mount Hollywood Studio has moved into a new dimension. Now, in addition to being a full service recording studio, we are doing live performances and streaming on Facebook! Had a great response to our first concert. More in the works!
I had a wonderful summer in Nova Scotia, and thanks to a great new session at the Saltbox Brewpub in Mahone Bay led by Eilidh and Paul Buchanan, I learned some wonderful Shetland tunes.
I continue to teach fretted instruments at Connecticut Academy of Irish Music in Wethersfield CT on Sundays, and I also have some fantastic students who take lessons here at Mount Hollywood. Always room for more!
I enjoy playing contradances with The Shrewd Berries. I occasionally play with Celticado in Western Massachusetts, and in Connecticut with Jeanne Freeman from the Academy. And our local session at The Killarney Pub in Ludlow Vermont every Thursday night at 6:30 is still going strong, with members of Gypsy Reel and friends. Monday nights at 7 is Mount Holly Folk Club-stop by the library in Belmont VT!
Lots of different music presentations coming up for me. Will be playing in Burlington VT at the wild Irish pub RiRa with Reagh Greenleaf Jr and Graham Parker of Gypsyreel. Also doing a couple nights and the new pub in Killington VT, O'Dwyer's at the Summit Inn, with Reagh and Dan Brown. Doing some contradances with Mark and Silas Hamilton. Getting together with Adam Sweet and Jim Bunting for a Celticado gig at a party. Got our usual Gypsy Reel St.Patrick's Day bashes in Ludlow VT, and I have a couple solo appearances leading up to that. And, starting February 26, I'll be resuming my teaching of fretted instruments at Connecticut Academy of Irish Music in Wethersfield CT. Also doing a couple sessions in CT, and the weekly Thursday night session at Killarney in Ludlow VT. Singing ever Monday night with the Mount Holly Folk Club (MoHoFo). So, check out my schedule, and I hope to see you at one of the events! Thank you for your continued support. And special blessings on those of you who still purchase our cds!! Feel free to contact me for bookings, lessons, studio info, or with your comments. Be kind to one another. Music heals!
Now it's back to school time! I'll be teaching at Connecticut Academy of Irish Music in Wethersfield CT every Sunday, with classes in mandolin, tenor banjo and guitar, as well as leading a Slow Session. ctirishmusic.com Also back to work Saturdays at Be Music Store in Rutland VT. And Gypsy Reel has some upcoming autumn shows, featuring our pal Orla McGovern from Doolin Ireland on keyboard.
A big thank you to all my friends for making my musical rambles so rewarding!
I continue teaching classes at CT Academy through May 1, then I'm planning a trip to North Carolina. I'll be playing a House Concert and doing workshops May 7 in Durham, joined by Bob Vasile on bouzouki and Jack Herrick of The Red Clay Ramblers on bass, trumpet, and whatever else he chooses.
I'm booked at the Ludlow Farmer's Market Friday May 27-that's a first for me! On May 28 I'm putting on a concert and workshops of one of my fave mandolin players, Will Patton, and his Ensemble, at our local Library here in Belmont VT. Hope this will be the beginning of a series of "Musician's Choice" concerts. Contact me here for more info or to sign up for a workshop.
Gypsy Reel has a couple concerts so far in June-6/11 in Brandon, and 6/17 at Jackson Gore in Ludlow. July has the band busy with outdoor concerts. July 6-Proctorsville; July 7-Belmont; July 14-Chester; July 17-Ludlow. Then I hope to be heading to Nova Scotia. I'll get back to you with details. Now back to packing! Hope it'll be time to say Happy Spring when i return! Thanks for your continued support.
Nothing like taking the Mini Wini camper a thousand miles one way, playing a few gigs with Gypsy Reel, then heading out 1000 miles in another direction...whew! Made it to awesome, beautiful Nova Scotia. August was the way I love it by the shore-hot and sunny. Loved sitting in with The Klunkers, meeting and playing with Jim Reid, with Paul MacLellan and Michael Hermiston, with Bill Plaskett and Ronnie MacEachern. And the biggest and best surprise of all was meeting the Philadelphia band, Runa, at Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. They recorded my song Jealousy a few years back as title track of their first album, and they now close their shows with an expanded version of the song that includes reels and step dancing at the finale. They asked me to sing it with them on the Lunenburg Wharf stage! What a kick! I had so much fun. They do it in a different key and a bit faster. I did fine till the last verse, where Touchstone normally skipped the pause-old habits! But overall it was one of those unforgettable moments. To think that a song I wrote in 1982 is still updatable and current! Thanks, Runa! Lovely, talented folks.
How did it get to be mid-September here in Vermont? Still enjoying gorgeous sunny days. Had some nice reunion gigs with Gypsy Reel, played a fantastic wedding by the sea in Bristol, Rhode Island with Adam Sweet and Jim Bunting as Celticado, and made it back to The Erie Canal for the Waterford Tugboat Roundup with The Boys (and Girls) of Wexford-great tunes with JIm Bunting, Tony Morris, Melissa Murray, and Thomas Doyle. Love playing on the stage on deck of The Grand Erie canal boat! Thanks, Mike McGarry, for our 9th year performing at the Canal events.
Now it's back-to-school time! I start fretted instrument classes at Connecticut Academy of Irish Music in Wethersfield, CT next Sunday, 9/20, 1-4pm. (If you haven't signed up yet, it's never too late-my classes are customized to student's needs, and we try to accommodate everyone at all levels.)
I'm playing a live show at MOJO Café in Ludlow, VT Friday Sept 18 with Piedmont Blues songstress and guitarist Eleanor Ellis-hot music and spicy New Orleans style food and music. Gypsy Reel has some nice shows coming up, including the Peru Fair Sept 26 10am, always a blast. Check the schedule, we're adding new shows every day. Ray Greenleaf has been singing and playing bodhran with us at some shows, and he adds such great talent and energy to the band.
Keeping fingers and toes crossed that the Cape Breton group I play with, Otis Tomas' The Fiddletree, will be playing in Ireland next May!
Hope to see you somewhere along the trail!
On a more serious note, this spring I lost two of my dear music pals. John L. Currie died April 22. He graciously hosted me as Musician In Residence in Montreat, NC for many years, and we loved playing and singing together. He was a treasure trove of old timey songs, a brilliant doctor and lawyer, and a real character, who will be sorely missed. Wish we had done more recordings.
On June 4, Victor Paul passed. Vic was the producer of the cds Christmas in Vermont and You Are My Flower-Songs of the Original Carter Family, in which I was an enthusiastic participant-both were his idea. Vic was a gentle soul, a wonderful artist, with tons of patience; he liked to get things right. I will miss working with him. We didn't get much of a chance to gig our Carter Family songs.
I hope to be a part of a memorial for John L in Montreat, and for Vic here in Vermont. It was an honor to know them and work with them.
Mount Holly Folk Club
Claudine founded (2006) and hosts this group that likes to sing and play. It is an open group, and you are welcome to come and make music with us or listen. We like a variety of musical styles and like to sing harmonies!
Gypsy Reel and Jon Clinch go A-Wassailing
Special holiday program! Call ahead for dinner reservations, awesome food, byob.