From this time of year on, our overseas visitors – and returned emigrants – will be here on holiday. You might need reminding of the venues of the traditional music sessions : that is, where to find good traditional music, sing-songs and excellent company.
This is your annual update!
Our photo shows the Corrs – yes, the real Corrs! Alfie (on banjo) is a cornerstone of the Fiddler’s Green Festival in August, but the rest of the year – with his lovely wife Mary on bodran – he leads the craic at Kieran’s Corner House Bar in Rostrevor’s Square on Tuesday nights from 10 pm. A friendlier place is hard to find. Last evening Alfie and Mary were joined by John on fiddle – no session is complete without a fiddle – by Matthew McGrath, local singer and song-writer supreme, on guitar and vocals, and Matthew’s brother-in-law Phillip on guitar and vocals also. Of course, like any good session, any musician can join in and usually we also have Jim and his wife (currently in the Antipodes for a wedding) Claire McGrath and Dr Liam Farrell and quite a few others. While we’re in Rostrevor, I must mention that Alfie, Mary and friends also appear in St Bronagh’s GAA Club at the weekends, there is another musical soiree in the Kilbroney Arms on Wednesday nights and Kieran of the Corner House hosts yet another on Friday nights. Don’t forget Warrenpoint’s First and Last on Monday nights. Also Bernard O’Hanlon’s in Mullaghbawn on Friday and Saturday nights. And Nan Rice’s from 7 pm on Friday nights. And Canal Street (facing Timoneys) on Sunday. And Forkhill’s Welcome Inn on Tuesday evenings in the summer. Unfortunately Newry’s First and Last session on Thursday nights has slipped badly, though you might occasionally hit it lucky there too. Anyway you’ll need a night in after that punishing schedule. Happy music all.