Last night went to the 2016 Comhaltas Tour of Ireland, Macalla na hÉireann in Tullamore GAA. It's difficult to describe how great a group of musicians perform in a writing. Videos also don't do it justice. You just have to be there.
Ciarán Mac Gearailt 2016 Comhaltas Tour of Ireland, Tullamore GAA
While listening to some amazing musician do something magical I kept thinking how lucky I was to be right here, right now and about all the people who were far afield who couldn't be witnessing this tonight. I know that's a bit heavy and I perhaps at the back of my mind I was thinking about Pat Olwell talking about how eventually he had to go to Ireland to see the music. So many people far afield who don't get to pay just €10 to see what so many perhaps might take for granted.
Great selection of tunes. Great vibe in the place. They played from 8 to 11:30. Had a quick chat with Ciarán afterwards. Agreed we'll organise lessons when the madness of the tour is over. He said they were all going to the Bridge House for supper and then they'd start a session (this wasn't that session but to give you an idea) up there and probably play until 4am.
Unfortunately I had to get home so I had to skip the bridge this time but .. there'll be a next time .. and maybe that next time I'll bring my flute.
To help me get there ..
I'd been thinking for a while of getting Foinn Seisiún 1 to 3 so picked them up for a good price on the night. If you don't know them there're a lot of the popular Comhaltas/session tunes in Ireland. Very conveniently they group the tunes into sets.
In the three books you end up with 328 tunes and on the 3 double CDs you have them played in a session environment. Great resource to get your practice, bravery, confidence up for a session!