Well, I sorta attended Tionol. ;-) I really didn't have the weekend free, so I took Friday off and took my new Indian for its maiden cruise--200 miles each way, and a mando strapped to the saddlebags. I got to the Tap Room just in time for the Friday night concert, then while the ceili was going on, somebody told me there was a session in the hallway. It turned out to be a blast! I found a spot in the middle and played for about three and a half hours before catching a ride back to my hotel. There were some really fine players, and there were at least two groups of folk who knew each other and each other's tunes. I was lucky that one of the groups was made up of folks I play with regularly.
I'm sure the session went on for a few hours longer, but I was already starting to feel the effects of 4 pints of oatmeal stout and I didn't relish 200 miles of open road with a hang-over.
I met Mike Keyes there, though we didn't get much of a chance to talk, and another mando player from St. Louis who had never heard of Comando. The space we were in was tight--it was an L-shaped hallway with an elevator at one end. The room was lined with musicians, and a crowd stood outside listening. There may have been more sessions going on in the building, but I didn't know about them.
I capped off the trip by finding a 50 year old button accordion in great shape for a yard sale price. It isn't good for irish, but it'll probably be great for musette.
"I'm not buying a banjo, I'm performing a public service by taking it off the market"