Southern California Tionól
with Mikie Smyth

May 27, 28 & 29

We were lucky enough to have had Mikie Smyth spend this past weekend with us. He taught some classes and played a house concert at Chez McKeagney in San Juan Capistrano on the Saturday night. Needless to say the piping was impecible, just spellbinding! The immense control Mikie has over the instrument is to the fore at all times. His backstitching and regulator playing left the collective mouth agape and hungry for more. Mikie's C# Geoff Wooff set purred like a happy kitty the whole weekend and drew many curious stares on the night of the concert as he plays the bass drone a 4th high.... so if it was a D set it'd be playing a G.... very medievil sounding and sweetly complimentary to the tunes Mikie played in G.

Audio Sample of Mikie from weekend »

Photos and further reviews will be posted soon. If you have some you'd like to share please send them along to pat@uilleannobsession.com
After spending a few days at Larry Dunn's house sunbathing Mikie was ready to share his bronzed complexion with the rest of us :)
San Diego piper Michael Eskin and Ann Arbor accompanist Dave Bowen open the eveings concert at the McKeagney's with a nice set of tunes on Michael's Kirk Lynch D 3/4 set.
Patrick D'Arcy followed Michael and Dave with a few tunes on The Holy Order... an abbreviation of the name given to Patrick's new D set from master pipemaker's Benedict Koehler & David Quinn.
Larry Dunn scary the wits out of the children.... and a few adults too ;) There's Gabriel's brother Paul on the right of the picture there. I had the pleasure of playing and hearing others play his new C set from Geoff Wooff this weekend. Another amazing set of pipes from Geoff these.
Mikie trying out Gaby's fabled Leo Rowsome Chanter.
Mikie mentally preparing us for the weekend.
Mikie giving Gaby's Koehler & Quinn B chanter a run around the block.

Mikie teaching the battered troups.
Michael Eskin & David Bowen having a few tunes at the crack of the dawn.

Mikie adjusting to his surroundings. He gave a nice demonstration of the regs for us.... amazing playing!
Larry Dunn and Cathy McFadden.
Gabriel's brother Paul McKeagney giving my Koehler & Quinn D set a whirl. Paul was over visiting from Dublin, great to see him again.

The Saturday night concert begins! Michael Eskin and David Bowen open up the first half followed by me (Pat D'Arcy) then Mikie Smyth. All these shots are in sequence. There's Larry Dunn in barman/ticket agent mode and Michael Eskin in sound engineer mode... multitaskers all :)

Cathair an Píobaire

Round two of the concert was started off by Spancilhill, Co. Clare musician and photographer Christy McNamara. Christy was here on holiday visiting our good friends Jeff and Lynn McGuire after having a photoshoot in New York. It was a treat to meet him and see some examples of his beautiful work ::: more»
Here are three photos from Jeff Maguire.
Chillin... late, late at night..... ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz........

Sunday.... playing tunes and hanging out. Larry beating up the kids again and "the pipers wife" Eileen McKeagney makes an appearance with young Ronan.
Part Deux
Mikie was foolish enough to rejoin us on his return trip from New Zealand. He seemed to enjoy himself though once he knew where the beer was stashed ;) This is a photo of the Friday night party gone bad... people actually playing tunes! This sentence brought to you by your friendly neighbourhood Trader Joe's.
Pissed as farts! 4AM or there abouts..... oh my poor liver!
Saturday classes.... you'll note that Señor Dunn is asleep..... for shame Sir..... FOR SHAME - LOL :)
We are very lucky here in LA at the moment as we have a lovely concertina player from Sligo visiting us for the summer. Mairéad Hurley is her name and she kindly agreed to play some tunes for the Saturday night concert.
His last night in LA and I felt that Mikie was giving this tour one last HURRAH.... and he did! He was in flying form and said that most of the tunes he played were ones he didn't normally play.... well you'd never tell from the music I can assure you!
Mairéad rejoined Mikie then for the Grande Finalé! Reels were the thing to do apparently as it was after 11PM - and out they poured.... great music and a great night. Mikie had to play my set [The Holy Order] for the duet pieces as he was playing his Geoff Wooff C# set and Mairéad hadn't her C# concertina with her ;) I have to say, it sounded amazing. The third photo in this section sponsored by Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Thanks to both Mikie and Mairéad for a great nights music and also to Linda and Larry Dunn for hosting this weekends shennagins.
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