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Thread: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

  1. #1
    Registered User CelticDude's Avatar
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    Default New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    Hello everyone,

    I've just started a seisun (Irish jam session) every first and third Sunday at the Backstage Pizza in West Hartford, CT, from 6:30 to 8:30PM (Irish time of course...) If you live in the area, or are passing through, please come and join us.

    DWP aka CelticDude

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  3. #2
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    I'll pass this on to the usual suspects out here where I play. ITM only? Is it a miked session?
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  4. #3
    Registered User CelticDude's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    Randi,

    Thanks for passing this on. Yes, it's ITM only, until it's not... We had the first one on the 7th, and it was a guitar, a fiddler, and me. I'm hoping it picks up, and I'm intending it to be a round-robin, where we go around the group for tunes. My stress is ITM, but I expect some other stuff may creep in - Scottish, contra-dance, maybe old timey. We haven't decided on a sound system, but I think the restaurant wants it that way. I'm thinking of a couple of mic's into a small mixer into a small acoustic amp. Point the mic's towards the musicians, and the amp toward the audience. Not sophisticated, but hopefully it will work. It's my first time trying to run a session, and I expect it to evolve.

  5. #4
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticDude View Post
    We haven't decided on a sound system, but I think the restaurant wants it that way.
    A bit of friendly unsolicited advice here, from someone who helped run a session for a few years.

    Are you sure you need amplification? Once you go down that path, the venue owner may want more even distribution through the room than you can provide, unless they have an installed system you can tap into. Just using a small acoustic amp will give you a very narrow throw, and not much area coverage unless you raise it high on a stand. Mic placement will be a hassle, because some instruments are louder than others, and you can't always control who sits where on a consistent basis at a session.

    The presence of microphones might also intimidate some folks who might otherwise join your session, or it could lead to the dreaded "more me" syndrome where others start bringing their own amps. Once your session gets rolling with a few more players -- especially if they're on louder instruments like fiddle, concertina, flute, whistle, etc. -- you may find there is a nice acoustic blend that doesn't need amplification to fill the room. Or at least, a good corner of it. Trying to match or balance individual instruments with amplification is very difficult, unless you're doing it with fixed arrangements and mic setups. And then you're a band, not a session.

    Of course if the venue owner is expecting amplification, you may have no choice. I've noticed that most bar and restaurant owners here in the USA need a little education when negotiating a scheduled Irish trad session. They usually think of it as a "performance" for the patrons, and it needs to be explained how the dynamics are a little different.

    Anyway, good luck with the session! Let us know how it goes.

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    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    I would do everything you can think of to avoid micing things up. It completely changes the feel and social dynamic of a session. And the sound is never really right. Best of luck with it though.
    Steve

  7. #6
    Registered User CelticDude's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    Thanks for the advice, Yes, I was/am hoping to avoid the whole amplification issue, but intend to have the equipment in the car, just in case. One unmentioned bit of info is that the session will be outside, in front of the tables set up outside. This puts an even weirder wrinkle on amplifying. I have played here twice for "regular" gigs, using just a small amp to boost the mandolin, with a guitar player who played un-mic'ed. Not ideal, but it worked, and for what we got paid, we didn't want to carry more stuff.

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    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    Years ago when I lived in ct there were sessions at the Irish club in Glastonbury.

  9. #8
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    There's one in Wallingford on Thursdays (miked), and two in and around Hamden/New Haven on Tuesdays and Sundays (acoustic) - plus Glastonbury (I think it's glastonbury) comhaltas -- the rest that I know of are further south (the ones I occasionally attend). But our sessionaires don't seem to mind driving if there's a chance to play. The Sunday session at the Playwright is almost too big some days -- two, sometimes three circles back from the leaders, so I know that some people would prefer a smaller session where there's a chance to be part of the music and not get tripped over by the patrons. I'm at CIAW this coming week, so I won't be at my usual Monday band rehearsal, but when I come back I'll pass the word.
    --------------------------------
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
    1923 Gibson A-1 snakehead
    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

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    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    Hi,

    I am searching for an Irish session. But my instrument is harmonica, not mandolin or guitar. I used to play harmonica at the Session near the now defunct Irish place called - I think - Hannigans in Glastonbury. Those sessions were lead by Claudine Lengelle (Sp?).

    Might I be welcome at the new Session ar Backstage Pizza?
    I have made my own collection of my harp accompaniment mixed with the background of
    various groups.

    Curiousd

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    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    What does ITM stand for?

  12. #11
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    Quote Originally Posted by curiousd View Post
    What does ITM stand for?
    Irish Traditional Music, usually means just the instrumental tunes, but for some folks it may include songs. Sometimes you'll see STM for Scottish Traditional Music.

  13. #12

    Default Re: New Irish Session in Hartford, CT area

    Hello. May I suggest you check out Central CT Sessions with your browser. The Glastonbury session (which always ran opposite the Hannifans, I think) is 1st and 3rd Sunday, 4-6, at the Irish American Home and Club. 3rd Sunday starts at 3 with an hour of slow. I am almost always the only harmonica; you’d be welcome. Fact is, can’t be heard much over the strings, anyway. A nice bunch of people. There’s also a regular session nearer you in Willimantic; I can find out more if you are interested.

    David

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