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Sean’s Sunday session

musicians gathered around the table at a traditional Irish session in Sean's Bar, Athlone

Another Sunday afternoon session in Sean’s Bar.

This one spelled a bit of difference for yours truly, as it is the first trad session in which I have been the guitar player. Sure, I play the guitar and I do spend a lot of time around trad, but – believe it or not – the two have rarely come together for me. I’m like a babe in the woods. Chord formations, patterns . . . keys? Anyone? What key is that? Oh lord, I’ve ruined everything *insert sound of guitarist hurling himself into the fireplace*

Here’s how it happened: one of the professors (accordian) arrived expecting the other (guitar), who had forgotten about the session. I blithely walked in toting bodhran and guitar to find accordian and a mandolin player looking desperately around for backing. I decided I’d chance a few on the guitar and during those first few tunes another bodhran player arrived – meaning I’d be playing guitar or . . . ah, feck it. It can’t be THAT hard.

Here’s what it sounded like.

In fairness, when ze germanz arrived the bass sure helped a lot. I did enjoy myself somehow, through my feelings of inadequacy. I’ll definitely try it again, though it may be hard to find a session happening WITHOUT a guitar already on board.

Behind us throughout the session were two lovely girls from Grenada, Spain and we persuaded them to give us a song.

“Sean’s Bar es la barra mas viejo en todo de Europa,” I pointed out, “Necessitas a cantar aqui!”

And, shy though they were, one of them did comply (forgive the quiet at the beginning of that recording, it gets louder after a few seconds).