It is now Sunday afternoon and after dinner my wife and I will go to Rostrevor for the opening of the Fiddler’s Green Festival. I shall avoid the Derry self-publicist and listen to Burn the Whins. This is a highly-talented local (Mayobridge) folk group that includes mandolin player Robbie Dinsmore and multi-instrumental singer/songwriter Loretta Phillips. This pair also play with many others, every Tuesday night at The Cove, Derrylacka. I asked Loretta to name the local ‘sessions’ for visiting tourists, who might not be so lucky as to have the Fiddlers when they visit us.
‘Our Tuesday nights out at Gerry and Coleen Guest’s pub is normally a quiet, self-indulgent session, but ideal for tourists and locals alike, who enjoy the music but like to converse among themselves at the same time.
It’s not always that quiet! Among the musicians who regularly attend are Willie O’Hare on fiddle, Benny Sands (vocals, banjo etc) and wife Barbara (bohran), Charlie McGeown (fiddle) Benny McKay, Eddie McIntyre (accordion) Eddie Ruddy (whistle) and of course, ourselves. Ten till one. Come!
There’s another great session on Tuesdays in Forkhill. Famous guest artist featured weekly, then over to the regulars. You might get an aul’ story too from Michael Quinn!
A few miles away Bernard O’Hanlon has a regular weekend session in Mullaghbane, I’m not sure now whether it’s Friday, Saturday or Sunday but give him a ring!
Rostrevor has two mid-week sessions, on Tuesday nights in the Corner House and the Kilbroney Arms on Wednesday nights.
Tuesday nights seem the most popular. P J O’Hare’s in Carlingford (where I’d be attending the Four Pennies al capella jazz session at this minute if I wasn’t preparing to go to Rostrevor) usually has Deidre Rodgers, Gerry O’Connor, Gerry Donnan and M Farrell playing. Now, there’s a line-up!
There are also Friday night sessions (once a month) in Bryansford and Maghera (the Co Down one!).
I’ll not mention the Thursday night Railway Bar, Newry session for you’ve advertised it already.
Do you think that will be enough to keep your visitors busy?’
Well, Loretta, what with the recently-completed and highly-successful Warrenpoint Ulster Fleadh, the Maid of Mournes, Fiddler’s, Lislea Summer Drama and all the rest, I think so.
Must hurry. Can’t miss Loretta in Rostrevor.
P.S. She’s gorgeous and charming as well. Oh to be youthful again!