Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patrick's Fun

Aisling had a long, but fun St. Patrick's Day. We left the house at 7 am to drive over to Craig's place in Plain City so we could caravan to Dayton.

We started out at 9:30 in the morning at the Dublin Pub in Dayton. We were out in the big tent, where it was freezing cold on stage, but warmer out in front of the stage. The crowd started building after we started our set, but they seemed to be more interested in drinking than listening.

Here's Mary snapping photos of Craig doing his uillean pipe solo. No, she's not working on an appliance repair . . .


Sound guy, Robert. It's always nice to have a sound system and technician provided. The rest of the day we had to provide our own sound system, and we had some challenges getting the mix and volume right.

Craig on uillean pipes.

The view from stage.

Steve and Carol Smith. You can tell how cold it is by how bundled up we were on stage.

Of course, if you start drinking beer at 5 am, you're feeling pretty warm and unhibited by 10:30 am. I think this is Ken. Hello Ken! Welcome to the Aisling weblog.

There seemed to be a lot of unhibited attendees at the Dublin Pub, including a piper who came in during our set and commenced playing pipes at the entrance to the restroom in the back of the tent. After several minutes, the management went and told him to pipe down because we had a concert going here and all. . . Geez!

After our Dayton gig, we rushed back to town to grab the sound system and then we were off to Westerville for a two hour set at the Old Bag of Nails Pub. We played up on the third floor, which was a nice space. We didn't have to contend with a wayward piper, but we were up against the NCAA basketball championship tournament. We did have a lot of cheering and applause at odd moments during our set, but, hey, we'll take it like an Irish band. . .

Here's some of the afternoon crowd. They seemed pretty nice.

Now, this has got to be interesting. . .

Yes, indeed. This was the upstairs bartender in full St. Patrick's day regalia. What is it about green beer that has this effect on people?

Steve, Carol, and Craig playing "Sally Gardens."

These were a couple of Mary's friends who came to grade final exams while listening to our music. Faith Ann said the scoring would be much more favorable since our music put her into such a good mood.

The evening was capped off at the Groveport Town Hall. We've been playing here for several years and always enjoy ourselves. Linda Haley and the staff at the town hall do an excellent job of running a St. Pat's party. They start the evening with crafts for the kids, then have a dance troupe in to demonstrate traditional Irish step dancing. Traditional corned beef and cabbage is served to all attendees (no charge!), and then we play traditional Irish music. The crowd gets bigger every year, too. Thanks, Linda!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Another rehearsal, another dinner

Aisling is going to collectively get fat at this rate. We had another productive rehearsal on March 4th - this time at Stuart's house.

Stuart did Asian cuisine for us. Not too shabby for a bachelor, eh? Take note, Ladies - this guy can cook!

Stuart is now having a good time in China - just as we gear up for the St. Patrick's Day celebrations. The upside to this trip, besides Stuart having a good time, is he can learn some more recipes and we can have another yummy, I mean, productive, rehearsal at his house.

We played a concert last week at the Gerlach center - that was with half (or nearly half-Aisling). This was a noontime concert for a nice group of senior citizens. Whilst we were playing, the fire alarm kept sounding off. I'll interpret that to mean that we were really hot and not that someone was desperate to escape the premises while we were playing.

Last night we played at the Wesley Glen center - another venue for some nice seniors. This was a lot of fun for us because John Sherman joined us as a sub for Craig, who pulled a 24 hour shift at the hospital and couldn't be with us. The other fun aspect of last night's concert was the interaction we had with the audience. They were very curious about the music and our instruments and asked a lot of questions. We all had a good time together.

Our big day is St. Pat's, though, and we'll be playing three concerts in three different cities. We start out in the morning in Dayton at the Dublin Pub, where we'll play from 9:30 to 11:30. Then we have to rush back home to grab our sound system and head to Westerville to play a two hour set (2 - 4 pm) at the Old Bag of Nails pub. Our day ends at Groveport with a concert at their wonderful town hall on main street where we play from 8 to 9:30 pm. I love the acoustics of the Groveport Town Hall.

Join us if you can and say hello to the band!

Monday, March 05, 2007

We're going to be recording two new projects!

Our loyal fans will be glad to know that we are finally gearing up, for real, to record two new projects. We met with Craig Markley at Lone Raven Studios on March 1st to do a rehearsal so that he could get a feel for the group dynamics. Craig has a very nice set-up and it will work very well for us. We'll lay down the rhythm and primary melody tracks first using a click track. Then the rest of the group will go up and record their parts.

Our first project will be a band CD called, "The Pilgrim's Road." This is a tune I composed as part of a set. More details to come as we finalize the arrangement, but we're very excited about this one. . . This project will have five or six song arrangements, some original tune compositions, and a smattering of old favorites.

The second project is an O'Carolan CD - more of a chamber music approach to Irish music. I'm still working on the set list and title for this, but I hope to have it ready in time for Dublin Irish Festival.

Steve and Craig. Steve is prepping his alto flute for his digeree-flute sound effect. That probably won't make the cut on the CD, but who knows?

Mary singing, "Paddy's Green Shamrock Shores."

Mary, Stuart, and Craig Markley.