Today is a great day for Full Circle Band – we’re performing at PJ O’Reilly’s in Civic from 1.00pm – 4.00pm and then at Filthy McFadden’s 5.00pm-8.00pm in Kingston. These are always lively shows  – so if you’re in Canberra, come and join us and help celebrate Australia’s Irish heritage :-)

Cheers
Jerry

Well, I promised some audio from St Patrick’s Day – and some audio of the newly repaired violin, so it seems a good idea to combine the two :-)

Full Circle at Filthy McFadden's

The first tune is Ashokan Farewell, written in 1986 by Jay Ungger, about the town of Ashoka – and farewell to the town as it disappeared beneath the artificial lake created by a dam – in much the same way that part of old Canberra was submerged to make way for the artificial lake. So I guess that makes Canberra and Ashoka sister cities. It’s a lovely tune. [NB: It was recorded at a high level - so you may wish to turn down the volume on your computer first] ;-)

The second tune is a kind of ‘wall-of-death’ version of a reel called Tongadale (not to be confused with a small Pacific Islands nation). As St Patrick’s Day gathered momentum, so did our music, culminating in a somewhat blistering pace that just seemed to get faster as the night went on :-)

I hope you all had a great St Patrick’s day!

Cheers
Jerry

And what a glorious St Pat’s it was too! Both shows were packed out and the energy was high :-)

At PJ O’Reilly’s in Civic (Canberra, Australia) we started at 1.pm sharp with a set of reels – Paddy Fahey’s Number 1 and Gravel Walk (well… sprint actually!) and that set the tone for the session.

At one point a troupe of Irish dancers invaded and called for a couple or reels – the dance schools usually use CDs so they welcome the opportunity to dance to live musicians – and we were quick to oblige.

We did a bunch of old favourites, like Black Velvet Band and New York Girls, threw in a few slip jigs and double jigs and generally had a great time. Then it was time for a quick pack up (ie hurl everything into Jerry’s van) and drive to Kingston to set up at Filthy McFadden’s where we played from 5.00pm-8.30pm.
Full Circle live at PJ O’Reilly’s

Full Circle at PJ OReilly's

Full Circle at PJ OReilly's
…not bad bowing technique!

Full Circle at PJ OReilly's
Hmm – those mic stand drink holders are handy!

Full Circle live at Filthy McFadden’s

There was little time for a sound check, but the sound was quickly sorted – and it got better by the end of the first bracket. The audience were great calling out requests, getting up and dancing and having a great time. At the end of the evening we were called back for several encores and throughout the show there were queues outside waiting to get in – the place was at capacity crowd. Our energy was high and the pace quite blistering :-)

Full Circle at Filthy McFadden's

Full Circle at Filthy McFadden's

Some said Jerry played fiddle like the Devil himself! This photo was taken mid-leap!
Full Circle at Filthy McFadden's

The Ashokan Farewell went over in classic style – an Army bloke came up after and said he had tears in his eyes…

At the end we were exhausted but bouyed up by the energy – and relaxed with our first pint of Guinness at the end of the night – with two shows we have to be disciplined and stick to low-alcohol beer otherwise our fingers fall off and that gets messy ;-)

Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all – may the road rise up to meet you and the wind be ever at your back!

Cheers
Jerry

The Mothers of Intention came to Canberra last night along with wonderful Blue Mountains singer/songwriter Anne Ridgeway, to sing at the Merry Muse Folk Club. It was a great night and the harmonies were amazing!

Anne Ridgway has a rich mellifluous voice that complements her 12-string guitar, and the harmonies added by Rosie McDonald and Penny Rankin-Smith from Mothers of Intention contributed further depth and range. And Tony Pyrzakowski’s deft fiddle playing gave another dimension to the music. The crowd may not have been large, but it was very appreciative – calling the Mothers back for more at the end of the night. If you missed it then you missed one of the folk music highlights for this year.

The Mothers of Intention gave richly of their talents, and Lainey Balsdon’s recorder blends well with Tony’s fiddle and and the power of Rosie’s guitar.

And with energy to spare, they all went down to the Gorman House Markets to once again give freely of their music, and I was privileged to be asked to step in with Tony on the fiddle for our own dueling fiddles moment, as well as a lyrical Ashokan Farewell with the whole band. Anne Ridgeway was there also, so the market goers were given a real treat with some wonderful folk talent :-)

Mothers of Intention band

Cheers
Jerry

One of the side effects of any festival is that I come home with a pocketbook (moleskine of course) filled with names of tunes that people have played in sessions – and these become my to-do list for the next several weeks, as I struggle to learn a few of the more memorable ones.

One such tune is Frankies Reel, or Frank’s Reel, which I heard played really well by Tony Pyrzakowski of Mothers of Intention. It started when my ears cringed at what what seemed to be the start of some hillbilly type tune – then the second part arrived, with all those syncopations and I was hooked. It’s a great tune, written by John McCusker. Another one – that Frankie Gavin plays really nicely – is ‘Man o’ the House‘ – a simple but really lyrical reel.

Full Circle Band at Kangaroo Valley

We got Tony up on stage with us during the festival, and we had a great old go – like a couple of dueling fiddlers!

Full Circle live at Kangaroo Valley 2006

Cheers
Jerry

Well Thursday was a great night at the Valley Tavern, Wanniassa – Full Circle and our friends GiLF (all-girl rock and roots band) played to a packed and enthusistic crowd. It was great to see everyone there and of course, in addition to the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival (8-10 Sept) we’ll be back at the Wanniassa – again with GiLF on 28 September.

Full Circle Band at the Wanniassa Tavern

Full Circle Band at the Wanniassa Tavern

Of course all this is great exercise and by Sunday my pedometer steps had crept over the magic 70,000 to show that 90 minutes of fiddle playing is equivalent to a whole day’s worth of steps!

pedometer week 4

Well we took the band (Full Circle) down to the muso’s night at The Pot Belly Tavern in Belconnen, Canberra and it went down a treat! Great crowd, wonderful atmosphere. We trialled a couple of new (for us) pieces like Old Joe Clark – an Appalacian fiddle tune and the crowd loved it and called for more. So a good night was had by all!

cheers
Jerry

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