Pub sessions?

Old Jan 7th, 2005, 08:30 AM
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Pub sessions?

I was wondering how common it is to find sessions going on in pubs in Ireland. I'm hoping to travel there soon and I'd love to bring my violin. Is it easy to just pop in and join in?
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 09:40 AM
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I was in Ireland last year and didn't see anything of the sort in the pubs. In fact, I don't recall seeing much if any live music at the pubs.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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Our last visit to Ireland (Mar '04) we came upon a pick-up session in Cruise's Restaurant & Pub on a Sunday afternoon in Ennis.

As the Ennis Spring 'Trad' Irish music festival in Ennis was winding down I encountered a great impromptu session (at Cruise's again). Lead Guitarist was a guy from N. Carolina. The session lasted from 4 PM to 10 PM and as many as 10-musicians sat in for 'a set.' That was May 31, 2003.

Take your 'fiddle.' You'll probably get a chance to participate.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 10:59 AM
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Where in Ireland are you planning to be? Big city or village?

When I was there (both times) I went into a couple of pubs. I didn't see any live music at most, but one or two evidently had scheduled 'jam' nights (just not on the nights I was there, darn it!).

I think might have some info on it.. good luck!
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Old Jan 9th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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Some pubs do "open session" afternoons or evenings, where anyone came come along and play. But I don't know how you'd find those places in advances. One of our local pubs does it on Saturday afternoons--the Dufferin Arms in Killyleagh, Northern Ireland.
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Old Jan 11th, 2005, 05:10 PM
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Having spent some time in Eire in late winter of 2001, I did see and hear a lot of pub music; mostly on weekends.

Don't know anything about being able to join in, seems most sessons are pre planed to some point.

If in Dublin, go to Temple Bar (the street). We took in a musical pub crawl tour on a Friday evening, kinda touristy but a lot of fun. You should be able to get some info on that somewhere if it still exists.

Heard some great music in a pub in Kilkenny and Dun Laoghaire in the east.

In the west Galway has dozens of pubs with music. A wide varity is available.

When you get there, just ask around.

I have head some talk that now with the smoking ban in Ireland and the high cost of beer the pub action is not what it used to be. Music (and beer) are what many Irish live for.

Happy travels and good crac (Irish for fun)
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 08:16 AM
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Doolin in County Clare has long been known as a great source for traditional Irish music and sessions. It only has 3 pubs (O'Connors, MacDermotts, and McGanns), but there are sessions in each every night. While at O'Connors this past October, I witnessed 2 players set up with the core group of locals and join in. I am not sure if prior arrangements had been made, though. They were both VERY good. Not sure of your talent level, but if you are decent and have a full repertoire of Irish jigs, reels and hornpipes, I would assume that you would be welcome. If memory serves me right (after many Guinness), the core group would begin a song with the others joining in if they knew it. If not, they also sat back and enjoyed.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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hi ck - you should get that sort of thing in many of the small bars around the villages of county donegal at any time of year. anyone can join in. in letterkenny they have sessions like this at least once a week and even step dancers can turn up.

but more importantly for you, county donegal is host this year of the annual 'fleadh cheoil' of ireland and this will bring in musicians with an interest in irish music from the world over. the event is being held between 22-28 august and donegal will be packed with music and events and truly worth a visit if you love music. we will be adding info about it to our site soon

we last had it in county donegal in the 70's so needless to say it will be a major event here. we are also hosts to it next year too so if you get here for it this year you might want to do it next year too! if you need any info on it in the meantime just email me via my site.

all the best!
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