Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Irish Fest--Music from Friday, August 18

Irish Fest
Friday, August 18, 2017

On Friday our crew shows up at 8:00 a.m. in order to clear all the damaged table cloths from the tables used the night before and then re-cover those tables with fresh cloths.  This takes all day and we need to finish by 4:00 p.m. today.

While we worked today there was time to hear the bands doing their sound checks to get ready for the night's performances.

Here is Jig Jam, an Offaly trio comprised of Jamie McKeogh (guitar, tenor banjo and lead vocals), Daithi Melia (5 string banjo and vocals) and Cathal Guinan (double bass, fiddle and vocals) who showed up at our Fest with an additional member, Gavin Strappe.





Here is the Scottish band, Skerryvore, which formed on the Isle of Tiree in 1995:

Today I have to get all this work done by 3:00 p.m.  Then it is time to change my clothes and get ready for when the Fest will open at 4:00 p.m.  My first job today is to shoot the opening of the gates at 4:00 p.m.

My first band to shoot today is new to the Fest and may be my favorite traditional style band:  Cuig from from Armagh and Tyrone, Ireland. The band consists of Miceál Mullen - Banjo/Mandolin; Rónán Stewart - Fiddle/Uilleann Pipes; Cathal Murphy -  Percussion; Eoin Murphy - Button Accordion; and Ruairí Stewart – Guitar.

The lads sign their CD after the show.

Next up on my Fest shoot schedule was an act returning after a few years absence:  Eileen Ivers. Eileen is a former Irish fiddle champ, Riverdance member and was featured on the soundtrack of Gangs of New York.  Eileen’s current touring project, Universal Roots, with Buddy Connolly, Matt Mancuso, Lindsey Horner and Dave Barckow celebrates the connections of Celtic and other Roots music.

This is not me.  But it could be me--since Monday I have been doggin' it around the grounds and the toll on my feet is starting to show up.  No more about this in the blog but trust me--there are going to be some moments when I almost could have used triage.  

My next assignment was the Beglan Academy of Irish Dance.  Irish dance is the thing that got me interested in Irish music after seeing Riverdance.  As a photographer, I wish they would assign someone else to these groups.  This is the hardest thing to shoot of all the stuff I have to cover.

Next I went down to see my favorite band at this year's Fest, Celtica Pipes Rock, who I thought was great yesterday and guess what?  They were still bringin' it today.


Next on my shooting schedule was Skerryvore whom we saw earlier today during their sound check.  They look a little different in the night lights. 

For me, the one of the highlights of Irish Fest is the performances of We Banjo 3 from Galway, Ireland.  The band is made up of two sets of brothers:  Enda and Fegus Scahill and Martin and David Howley.

This year the band showed up with a touring brass section and these guys rocked the Fest.

At the Fest since Monday and having put in a full day on the tables before shooting eight hours of photos--my eyes looked like this too!

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