I think it's about time we started a discussion, where folks can post details of when they meet up with other TradConnect members, for the very first time, if for no other reason than to show that this site really does work.

So to start the ball rolling then, I'd like to tell you that last night, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow TradConnect member Dave Lees, from the Midlands of England, when he joined our session in the Anchor Bar in Portstewart, Co. Derry, armed with his terrific little Mandolin.

Of course this was not the first time TradConnect members have met up with one another & shared a few tunes for the first time. I've no doubt there were a few Fleadh encounters last weekend too, that could be added to this list.

Anyway, here are a couple of photos to get the diary started & to prove that the meeting really did take place.

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The Anchor Bar, Portstewart, Co. Derry on Monday 22nd August 2011.


 Dave Lees  on Mandolin & Dick Glasgow on Fiddle.













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Ruairidh on Flute, Sabine on Harp, Alan on Scottish Smallpipes & Dave Lees on Mandolin.
















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Had the pleasure of meeting up with Joe Greene of Dulahan Irl. He came along to our weekly session and we had a great night. And might I say what a banjo player. Knew all our tunes and some, and did a cracking version of The Star of Munster. All in all a great night. I had a photo but have spent a number of days trying to get it off my phone, and have failed miserably. Our night was rounded off with three Mexicans who came in with a Mexican harp of sorts, with nylon strings, and two (small) guitars and boy could they play. They were part of entertainment in a local restaurant I think. Thanks Joe.

I met up with Tony Lawless at his session in Dublin a couple of weeks ago now. Tony and his fellow musicians made me feel very welcome and at ease. The music was lovely as Tony is a great fiddle player and the other musicians played beautifully. There was a great variety of tunes and I must say I had a super night.

Thank you Tony.

I have never seen my name, with the words great and fiddler in the same sentence and probably never will again. Not unless it's something like "Tony went to see the great fiddler Tommy Peoples". Thanks for your kind words Joe. I think my flaws were disguised by my fellow musicians.

Met uilleann piper Larry F. at The Cincinnati Celtic Festival on Sunday, Sept. 25th, 2011!  We didn't get to play together, because were both doing performances that day - me, with my school, and Larry with his band.  But we met on TradConnect first, so we were looking for eachother.  Larry is planning to visit The Riley School of Irish Music in Cincinnati soon :)!

Yes, had a great night with Ben and the others more to come, I hope!!

Nothing to report yet....but I haven't forgotten Tony's invite that I can borrow his amp if/when I make it to Ireland!! I do hope to make that trip sometime around April of next year...so I'm holding ya to it Tony!! lol

And...Connie...I have family in your neck of the woods as well! Would love to stop in and see the Riley School!!!

Thanks guys for your great discussions!

:::---( o )

Had the pleasure of a evening in the company of Suzanne Kennedy on Thursday night at our session in Dublin. Suzanne for those who don't know is a good friend and neighbour of Charlie Pitchard in Elkton VA, USA, so it was good to get at least one of those fine people over to Dublin. Maybe Charlie will follow, with Melanie, or maybe we will have to travel to Elkton some day. Now that would be interesting.


I am assuming Suzanne enjoyed the night as we were there till close to 1am. Initially not drinking Guinness, I pushed her in that direction, hence 1am. We even got a few tunes out of Suzanne, including The Wind That Shakes The Barley. Our guitar player, who has a thing for American Old Time also did a few of her tunes, and we even tried an American version of St Annes Reel, followed by an Irish version. Interesting. It's great to get to meet up with people that I would never have know without this site so thanks a million to Suzanne for joining us. She has a very busy day around the west of Ireland so it was good to have her. Hope you had a good night Suzanne and a safe journey home. Update us when you get back to your PC. Till then keep well.

We had a lovely afternoon with another Tradconnect member Suzanne Kennedy, who came all the way to Ireland from Virginia, USA. She came out to our home on 14th October and we played a few tunes together. We had made contact through our mutual friends Charles and Della Pitchard. It was a pleasure to hear Suzanne play both Irish and American tunes in our own home. Many thanks to Suzanne for taking time out of her trip to come and visit us!

I arrived home safely after a long and bumpy flight, but all was worth the trip. I must say that the best part was meeting up with the folks I have made contact with on tradconnect. Adele and Joe Greene graciously invited me and my travel mate, Petra, into their home. This visit was a treat. Playing some tunes with Irish musicians has been a lifetime wish and what skupereb musicians they are. Adele made Irish stew with Guinness. Seems I developed a taste for that fine drink. I came home and made a pot of the stew as soon as Joe and Adele sent me the recipe which was not as good as theirs, but nonetheless good and fun to make. I am only sorry I did not have more time to spend them. They made me feel like family and I fell in love with the little ones. Needless to say I feel like I have made friends for life. Thanks to Charlie and Dela Pitchard for getting me on to tradconnect. My life is immensely richer for the experience. No doubt I will see them again, either in Ireland or here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, whenever I can persuade them to come for a visit. Sincerely, Suzanne Kennedy 

I had a blast in Dublin on that Thursday night. Hearing St. Annes Reel and Wind That Shakes The Barley first thing was a treat to my ears. I felt immediately at home. Tony is such a personable young man, talented singer and musician. I enjoyed meeting up with his fellow musicians, and played a few tunes on Tony's fiddle. I was excited, nervous, but the guys graciously played along. They liked my Appalachian tune, Whiskey Before Breakfast. I took some pics and video and had a Guinness or two. While there I learned some things about music and Guinness. The music begins late and the Guinness goes down easy, but travels to the brain quickly with lasting effects. I did not want to leave, nor return home. I could have stayed another week or more in Dublin. I met so many friendly people during my trip that I know the treasure of Ireland is its people and their music. 

I want to thank Tony for this website, and Charlie and Della for encouraging me over the years to play the fiddle and piano. Making these connections made my study tour of Ireland an extraordinary experience. I look forward to returning or a visit from some musicians from Ireland at any time. Allen and I have an empty nest. Our home is your home. 


Suzanne Kennedy

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