Friday and the Festival proper has begun. A struggle after getting to bed at 4am but I made it to the Café session at Bia Agus Caife. This is a great spot tucked around the back near the Abbey but Yvonne Casey and Eoin O’Neill really gave us a treat. It was more like a big house party or a family reunion than a session. And in many ways it was. The tune selection was brilliant ensuring that everyone could play along and the joy was evident everywhere, dare I say even among the session leaders!
On then to the Sanctuary for some terrific music from Conor Keane, Johnny Ringo, Kevin Finucane and Dave Harper. The Riches of Clare concerts continue to be packed out. Excellent move to relocate it to the Queens.
Then sessions. And there were some beauties. Just caught the end of some tunes at Fawls with Cormac Begley, Jack Talty and Claire Egan. Wow. I would walk across hot coals to hear these guys. Too short. Then stayed at Fawles with Moya Fitzgerald and Dave Harper.
After dinner I ended up at Knox’s for the early session. Hugh Healy, Brian O’Lauglin and Johnny Kelly among others. Love playing with these guys. And so did the audience. In fact this tall Texan (I’m assuming here) dressed in black and with a black Stetson threw $200 on the table as a tip. There was a stunned silence! No one had ever seen a tip of this size. God bless Americans.
Then I took a break and had a wander, popping in to sessions at Ciaran’s, Faffas, Old Ground, Fawls and Temple Gate, Check out the photos.
Today (Saturday) promises a lot with three cd launches, wall to wall sessions and a concert. Some hard choices coming up.