Sunday, August 28, 2005

Non-music related vacation content

I realize that I picked a bad time to start a blog about my music, as I launched the blog in early August and have basically taken the entire month of August off from playing music. nevertheless, I hope you enjoy these snippets of what I've been up to in the meantime.

My wife and I just got back from a week in the northwoods of Wisconsin. We spent two nights camping at copper falls state park enjoying hikes and bike rides along beautiful views such as this.

Back at the campsite we made some delicious gourmet campfire delights such as these marinated veggie skewers. Something about open-fire makes everything taste better.

The highlight of the camping was the night my wife, Jessica, had a run in with a bear. Heading back to the campsite after dark, she found herself about 5 feet away from a black bear. Once she realized the bear was not just me in dire need of a shave and breathe mint, she slipped into a near by campsite and the bear ran off into the woods. All parties unharmed.

Here's a digitally enhanced re-enactment we created the next morning for your viewing pleasure.

After the camping, we spent four nights at the residenz, a bed and breakfast in Ashland, WI, owned by our good friends Bob and Reba Rice. It's a beautiful victorian home with tons of antiques and two great hosts. If you're ever looking for a weekend getaway, it's a great choice. Right on Lake Superior, Ashland and the nearby Bayfield Peninsula host any kind of outdoor activities you could ask for, great restaurants, and a wonderfully welcoming community of people. Thanks Bob and Reba for a really relaxing, fun week.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Weekend in Boston

Well, we just got back home last night from a weekend in Boston. We were there for a wedding which went great (congrats C & C!!).

I did manage to stop in for a session at the Burren hosted by fiddler, George Keith and a box player by the name of Sean Gannon (I believe). George lived here in Chicago for a while and we first met at the Wednesday night session at Irish Times in Brookfield back in the mid-nineties. At that time, the session was really booming. There were nights with 15 musicians or more crammed around the fire place. Somewhere I have a recording for George and Alfonso performing an extremely melodramatic version of Czardas at Irish Times.

The Burren session was small, and I actually didn't play much. Partly because I had family and friends (and a burger) at another table, so I kept running back and forth. But also because I didn't know alot of the tunes they were playing which is a reminder that (1) I must keep learning tunes and (2) I really need to get back into going to sessions here in Chicago. We also didn't stay too long, as we were on our way to a "string" of candle-pin bowling.

For the Knitters among you, I did stop at Woolcott in Harvard Square. I actually ended up talking with Sean of Sean's Soapbox, which is how I knew of the store in the first place.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Paddy Reynolds Recording

Chicago's own (can I say that?) John Daly is involved in a new release highlighting classic recordings of the New York-based Irish Fiddle master, Paddy Reynolds. John has graciously posted the recordings on his website so folks can give it a listen before it's released. Good stuff.
Check it out here, along with some enjoyable anecdotes written by John.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

Posting Comments

Thanks to those of you who pointed out you could not leave a post. I've changed the settings so that shouldn't be a problem. Just choose 'other' or 'anonymous' in the comments page. Thanks.


Moher Pub

We (Donnybrook) played at a new place Saturday night. It's called Moher Pub, at 5310 W. Devon in the Edgebrook neighborhood of Chicago. it's a nice, fairly small pub, although I hear word they're expanding to the space next door. They've been open since May and apparently they are the first new liquor license in the neighborhood since 1947.

For those interested, our own Davey Arwine and Sean Cleland are leading a session there on Sunday afternoons at 2PM.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Arbor Vitae

A few weeks back I performed at the Arbor Vitae Art Fair, in the Northwoods Wisconsin resort town of Arbor Vitae. It was a great setting for an art fair, out in a wooded park, surrounded by pines. Very enjoyable day, good weather, very nice people.

I shared the stage with Greg Percy, an art teacher from Madison Wisconsin who writes songs about, you guessed it, art. The songs are mostly geared towards children. More popular titles included "Van Gogh, no stereo", and "Picasso Polka". I know you're groaning, but he really pulls these off well, getting kids from the audience up on stage to participate. He really does a good job of merging historically, interesting art knowledge with the down-to-earth way that children view art.

Anyway, it was a nice mix for an art fair, his educational stuff and my instrumental stuff, switching back and forth. The crowd seemed to respond positively.

Here's a photo that greg emailed me from the day:

That's me playing a set of tunes on the tin whistle.



Welcome to my blog. My name's Andy Young and I'm a hammered dulcimer player in Chicago. I mostly play Traditional Irish and Quebecois music. I also perform on Irish flute, tin whistle, and guitar/vocal. You can check out my music website at

I have a couple goals for this blog. One is to keep friends and folk music fans abreast on my comings and goings, musically speaking. The other is to offer a place to share some of my knowledge about playing the hammered dulcimer to other players. I certainly don't claim to be the end all player, but in the spirit of the digital-aural tradition I thought it would be a good thing to pass on what I've learned.

I also kind of hope this becomes a place for me to receive some feedback on performances and generate interesting dialogue about traditional music, the hammered dulcimer and other things.

Thanks for stopping by.