I've been holding off on commenting on the festival,
waiting to hear what some of the other attendees had to say
since I missed some pretty big chunks of it. Though I still
saw plenty, and the parts I did see were a lot of fun.
I started with the Fiddle Workshop. Wonderful tunes by
some great musicians. But I agree with Philippe that I wish
the presenter had drawn more information out of the
fiddlers. There was so much I wanted to know, and judging
from the number of fiddle cases in the audience more
technical info wouldn't have gone over people's heads.
Mairead was very good about talking and explaining, but the
others were more reserved. Until they played of course!
I did see a partial Turas set and was very impressed.
They're young still and unpolished in presentation, but
with one heck of a lot of talent. Straight ahead tunes with
energy to spare.
I heard (I couldn't see them from my volunteer post but I
could hear perfectly) Altan on Sunday and they sounded
great. I've missed seeing them several times before so I
was glad to finally have the chance. I do wish Mairead
would sing some unaccompanied songs again, but that's a
personal preference. A lovely voice, great stage presence,
excellent musicianship; a great band.
A couple of the highlights for me were Brendan Mulvilhill
(Wow. Amazing, incredible, stupendous. Just... wow.) and
Frank Harte. I was really enchanted by Frank's set. His
entertaining and informative background on the history and
story of the songs made the telling of them so much deeper.
I hope very much to see him again someday. Truly impressive.
My only regret of the weekend... I arrived Saturday
pre-tired, and after a long, very hot, day in the sun I
couldn't stay up to take in the session action. I caught a
few moments of the hotel lobby action and I had to crash.
With a festival of that size and scope there's bound to be
more than enough good music, and plenty of great, and quite
a few incredibles. A wonderful weekend and a big success.
Can't wait till next year!
Conery, Kathleen Ann
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