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Favorite pubs - tell us about yours

Big Mick 17 Aug 99 - 10:41 PM
Barry Finn 17 Aug 99 - 11:27 PM
Big Mick 18 Aug 99 - 12:03 AM
Rick Fielding 18 Aug 99 - 12:16 AM
Barry Finn 18 Aug 99 - 12:47 AM
Winters Wages 18 Aug 99 - 12:49 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 18 Aug 99 - 02:06 AM
paddymac 18 Aug 99 - 02:38 AM
Roger the zimmer 18 Aug 99 - 04:11 AM
Big Mick 18 Aug 99 - 09:35 AM
Dan Evergreen 18 Aug 99 - 11:28 AM
j0_77 18 Aug 99 - 01:23 PM
amo 18 Aug 99 - 01:38 PM
j0_77 18 Aug 99 - 02:39 PM
Big Mick 18 Aug 99 - 02:42 PM
j0_77 18 Aug 99 - 03:00 PM
Big Mick 18 Aug 99 - 03:13 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 18 Aug 99 - 07:44 PM
Liam's Brother 19 Aug 99 - 01:37 AM
Rick Fielding 19 Aug 99 - 01:41 AM
Big Mick 19 Aug 99 - 08:58 AM
Jack (who is called Jack) 19 Aug 99 - 01:04 PM
joeler 19 Aug 99 - 03:17 PM
Celtic-End Singer 19 Aug 99 - 06:44 PM
Big Mick 19 Aug 99 - 09:06 PM
bill\sables 20 Aug 99 - 04:46 PM
paddymac 20 Aug 99 - 05:42 PM
Rick Fielding 20 Aug 99 - 08:18 PM
Dave Swan 20 Aug 99 - 08:43 PM
John Nolan 20 Aug 99 - 08:55 PM
Mandochop 20 Aug 99 - 10:14 PM
Big Mick 20 Aug 99 - 11:42 PM
Jack (who is called Jack) 23 Aug 99 - 12:47 PM
bill\sables 23 Aug 99 - 06:09 PM
Rick Fielding 24 Aug 99 - 01:28 AM
Cara 25 Aug 99 - 04:55 PM
M 25 Aug 99 - 06:20 PM
Cara 26 Aug 99 - 09:55 AM
Curtis & Loretta 26 Aug 99 - 01:01 PM
LaurJ 27 Aug 99 - 01:16 AM
pj 30 Aug 99 - 05:17 AM
Big Mick 30 Aug 99 - 08:51 AM
LaurJ and Shay 30 Aug 99 - 10:42 PM
Susanne (skw) 15 Sep 99 - 05:32 PM
selby 16 Sep 99 - 01:00 PM
ericsymonds 08 Oct 99 - 05:28 PM
Mían 08 Oct 99 - 06:00 PM
Tincap 08 Oct 99 - 06:19 PM
bill\sables 08 Oct 99 - 06:56 PM
roopoo 09 Oct 99 - 12:43 AM
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Subject: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Big Mick
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 10:41 PM

I have often talked about my favorite pub, Fenians Irish Pub, in the wee village of Conklin, MI. I would like you to tell me about yours. Particularly,I would like to here about "The Starry Plough" that is mentioned by the west coast 'Catters. For those that don't know, The Starry Plough refers to the design on the flag carred by James Connolly's Irish Citizens Army just prior to and during the Rising of '16. Is the name of the Pub a reflection of the politic of the patrons and owners? Or is it just a cool name that denotes a working persons pub? Tell us the story on it. I will re-post the story of The Fenian's Pub a little later in the thread. It is a great story.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Barry Finn
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 11:27 PM

Hi Mick, It's been close to 20 yrs since I used to frequent the Starry Plough, great place but there used to be a place though, that closed about 10 yrs ago called the Old Village Coach House, in Brookline Village just over the road from Boston. It's Monday night sessions were legendary (ask Riggy). Sundays you could find musicians playing in the afternoons, usually a time for familys that would drop in for lunch & a bit of socializing. There was always live music nightly & most of the performers new the local singers/musicians & would put out an invite to join them onstage the talent would be from awful to great it didn't matter everyone was having a great time & when there was no stage music a singing or music session could happen from out of nowhere. One of the old owners Henry Varian a singer & musician himself always incouraged the music & it showed, musicians from all over the world would make it a special point to get there to play when in the neighborhood. Paddy Cronin, Seamus Connelly, Jerry O'Sullivan, Pat Sky, Johnny Cunningham, Larry Reynolds were only some of the regulars, groups like DeDannan, Ossian, Touchstone, Silly Wizard would stop in when touring in the area, singers like Bridget Fitzgerald (Cherish the Ladies) & her sister a great Connamara sean nos singer Sally Coyne, Tony Cuff, Shay Walker, Declan Hunt & on & on &on where often to be found hanging about. It was heaven, no telling what you'd run into any day or night of the week. It didn't matter if you drank from the tap or the coffee pot if you played or sang you'd stay all day & night. Alot of the old session musicians still play together at another local pub but the Coach House could never have been recreated. Barry who's still pining 10 yrs. later.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 12:03 AM

Dat's de stuff I'm looking for. Good man ye are, Bro Barry.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 12:16 AM

Gotta be the Tranzac. (originally the Australian/New Zealand Club) Friendly place and no one minds if I drink water and bring chapatis in from the Rajput restaurant next door. Of course on Monday nights Heather and I also bring the guests from the radio show, and a bunch of folks now come down and join us for songs and chat - so the bar's doin' good business (even on the questionable frozen steak and kidney pies). There are several rooms. The big one has folk concerts (capacity about 150), the front room has the ubiquitous giant TV screen where they show irish football, Ozzie rules mayhem, and baseball...BUT they keep the sound off! Another room has a pool table where Mose Scarlett and I play our "first one to reach a 1000 victories" match. (I'm ahead of him 125 - 120) Upstairs, the singers club operates once a week - and you can hear the shanties and ballads from the stairs. In another room you can see the Tranzac acting company rehearsing their newest play. About 4 years ago I suggested a "Club Django" night and my friend Andre (who knew Django) runs that every two weeks. The best thing about the Tranzak? NO MUZAK of any kind.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Barry Finn
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 12:47 AM

It's funny Mick, I first met Mudcatters John Nolan & Ricky Rackin there probably 20 yrs ago & then when a visiting musician I knew from San Francisco, flute player, Jerry O'Lochlainn, introduced me to his whistle student, I married her. Also some of the sources that Liam's Brother used in his Bonny Bunch Of Roses could often be found playing or singing, Daivd O'Docherty, Mick Moloney, Patsy Whelan, Johnny Beggan & the above mentioned Seamus Walker & Declan Hunt. Barry


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Winters Wages
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 12:49 AM

Hi Fellas...Im here on the West coast (where we just had a 5.0 quake about 6:06 PM this eve..got everyone in a uproar..although being a native..Im used to them) I was in the Starry Plough a few years ago for a Wake. I believe the name stands for both a working persons pub as well as tradition. I know that the owner of The Plough & Stars, in San Francisco used to be owners of that place as well...in fact I believe the current owners of both locations are related. RiGGy could probably dvise you more.. Every Sunday eve the Starry Plough has sessions hosted by Shay Black..a very fine musician..I have talked briefly with him at gigs but you know how that goes..short and your on a time frame that will kill you. BSeed should shed some more light..or Dave Swan..Where are ya Dave Cooking at the house tonight?? Or did ya have to pull your rigs outside for a while after the shake like we do here in SOS county.. Any way guys hope this helps Lloyd (Winters Wages)


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 02:06 AM

Shay Black wasn't there last Sunday--he's up in your area, Rick. Kevin, the replacement emcee, read a card from him before the solos started. I don't know an awful lot about the pub; I think I've been in it a total of six times, five of them Sunday nights in the last couple of months. The first was in 1975, after the Berkeley teachers' strike. The strike band I was a member of, the Board Erasers, were invited to come and perform our songs. Only three out of the 10 of us made it. We did a few songs, then the other two, both much better musicians than I, began playing bluegrass (a curious BG duet: fiddle and accordion) much too fast for me, so I checked out.

Oh, I came in one other time: when I did my first solo in the Irish session a couple of weeks ago, I left without my jacket, so I went in to pick it up the following night. Mondays are Irish dancing time. There was a group on the stage--most of whom had been in the session group the night before--and the rest of the room was filled with dancers. I didn't get to see much dancing as the band took a break a minute after I arrived.

Dave and PJ have been going there longer than I have, and Riggy, of course, is a regular member of the Sunday night circle--as Lloyd said, Riggy can probably give the most detailed rundown on the Plough of any of us. --seed


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: paddymac
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 02:38 AM

Great thread idea. Don't know that i've yet found my favorite pub, but i keep searching diligently. Two great pubs in ireland are "o'shea's merchant" in dublin and "furey's sheelagh na gig" in sligo town. Both are rather ordinary in terms of decor and physical facilities, but extra-ordinary in terms of music.

the "merchant" fills up each night about half eight with dubs and the occasional tourist looking for great craic. they have live music every night, usually folk with a goodly dose of trad, and set dancing 2 or 3 nites. it's located on the south side of the liffey, right across the street from the "brazen head". i don't remember the street name, but it crosses the river to become capel street (i think).

the "sheelagh na gig" is on bridge street at the river in sligo town. presently owned/operated by three of the lads in "Dervish". they have a dynamite trad seisiun 5 nites a week. no music on wed or sat, but the place fills up anyway. it's a comparatively small place and the seisiun gets shoe-horned into the snug by the door. not a seisiun for beginners, but there seems to be a steady stream of talented local folks droppin' in for a pint and a few tunes.

can hardly wait to go again.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 04:11 AM

The Mudcat Tavern, surely, great bunch of wierd regulars, every drink and comestible you can think of, at ridiculous prices, constantly changing scenery and interesting range of leisure activities and the music's great!


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 09:35 AM

Winters Wages and Bseed,

When Shay Black gets home, would you be sure and give him my very best. He and his brothers, Martin and Michael, as well as sister Francis played the Fenian Pub in Conklin. If you want a first hand description of the place, he can give it to you. The next day the five of us visited Elderly Instruments. Ask him about that place as well. He is a gentleman of great talent. One of the great moments that day was when we walked around the corner and on the wall was the latest issue of Irish Music magazine. Who is on the cover? Their sister, Mary Black. I told Francis that it was just a couple of months ago that she was up there. Pretty cool. Great bunch.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Dan Evergreen
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 11:28 AM

Y'all are making me drool. We don't have good pubs in the Southeastern U.S. If anybody knows of any, please post.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: j0_77
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 01:23 PM

Ok There are a bunch of Bars all over which try to have sessions. In Philly, I believe it's address is a Culture Resources Web Site as are several others in California and Atlanta Ga., In addition if you can play pretty good you may be able to start your own, never seen a bar manager yet who wouldnt give it a whirl and when the beer barrels starts rolling :) things can get better.

My contribution is Johnny Wards in Omaha Ne, it's in the old down towm area, near the Brewery. They mostly cater for shows but have an open mike night but that used be pretty basic - Performers include the Turf Men - I never did see a trad band there.

I have heard there is a session in Oklahoma City but have not yet found that. There is an excellent folk meet organised by the Oklahoma Song Writers Guild - it has classes for various instruments. The fees are $3.00 :) and the teachers excellent. They teach Guitar, Fiddle, Penny Whistle... but I did not manage to check everything out. There are also other classes including song writing.

They meet the first saturday of every month, and after classes there is a show, after that there are little sessions with some excellent musicians.

Although there is no beer there - I think that is a plus - you can have a great evening and play any style of music you please AND you'll find others with similar interests.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: amo
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 01:38 PM

what about pubs in germany?


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: j0_77
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 02:39 PM

Try this for references

http://www.webring.org/cgi-bin/webring?ring=celttrad;list


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 02:42 PM

Pubs anywhere are welcome here. Tell us about your favorite in Germany.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: j0_77
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 03:00 PM

Second reference is

http://www.ceolas.org/events/events-na.html
Poke around and there are sessions listed - all over the states :)


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 03:13 PM

But remember, this isn't just about sessions. It is about pubs, that may have sessions as well as other things. The intent of the thread is for people to tell us about their favorite pub and why it is. Seísuns may the it for some but the craíc is it for others, and for some it may be something entirely different.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 07:44 PM

Oh, one other thing about the Starry Plough--despite its seeming appearance as a bar, it is technically a restaurant, meaning kids can be there--and often are. Next time I go I'll pump a bartender re: the rest of the week (I know they have performers come in some nights--I just don't know the schedule). --seed


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 01:37 AM

I have fond memories of a number of pubs. Peter Johnson, who produced virtually every concert in Boston (actually Cambridge, MA) for many years, took The Flying Cloud out to a Sunday afternoon session at The Village Coach House (lamented above by Barry) in Brookline, MA. It was a fine place. I remember singing with The Flying Cloud at a concert in Cincinati put on by Malcolm Dalglish & Grey Larsen in a unique establishment named Arnold's. That was quite a pub and I'm sorry I have not had the opportunity to revisit it in the last 25 years.

For drinking and pool playing, there has never been another place for me like the late Liffey Tavern in Jackson Heights, NY. The Liffey had real Guinness taps imported from Ireland years and years before they were available in America and was recognized throughout the Irish community as the only place in the U.S. where one could get a "proper pint." I spent many a night in there with Margaret Barry and drove many a visiting musician - the likes of Johnny Moynihan, The Irish Tradition and Tony McMahon - out to this dingy spot in Queens with superb ambiance and a great taste of home.

The Irish Arts Center was a great force in popularizing Irish music in New York. I don't mean by that that there was no Irish music beforehand, just that it existed in the "clubs" of C.C.E., the Irish traditional musicians' association and was not readily available to a larger audience. In that sense, the Center virtually invented the "seisiun" as we now know it in America. To put this in perspective, there were only about 5 people in the U.S. who played the bodhran at that time and 4 of them were members of the Irish Arts Center. Kevin Burke the fiddler and Joe Burke the great accordionist used to play there all the time. Their great venue was a place on Park Avenue South called Munk's Park Pub. One of the best aspects of Munk's was that it had 2 floors. The ground floor usually reserved for tunes and the second floor for singing. I remember 2 nights in particular. On the first, I had the great honor and delight of swapping songs in brotherhood with 2 singers well beyond my stature, namely Norman Kennedy and Tommy Makem. More importantly, on the second, I became friends with the great fiddler and banjo player, Larry Redican. We "solved the problems of the world" that night. A few weeks later, I asked after him only to learn he had died and I have had some sorrow over that since. It was a most magical evening for me but Munk's was always great.

There was a place in the Bronx named The Bunratty Pub. I first saw All-Ireland Champion accordionist Billy McComiskey and All-Ireland fiddler Brian Conway playing there. They used to fill in for 2 great fiddlers: the late Johnny Cronin from Co. Kerry and New York native Andy McGann. Billy was about 16 at the time and Brian about 12. It was a hard-drinking immigrant bar where real Irish music was played. I don't think the place ever closed; it just kept going 24 hours a day!

The place I've spent the most time in was The Eagle Tavern on West 14th Street in Manhattan. When we started our folk club, it was at Malachy McCourt's Bells of Hell a few blocks away. At that time, before Frank McCourt had written Angela's Ashes and won the Pulitzer Prize, he was just Malachy's brother, the public school teacher. We played by candlelight a few nights when Malachy either couldn't or refused to pay the electric bill. The Flying Cloud was the house band and our first guest was the late Peter Bellamy. We ran the folk club there and at The Eagle for 10 years or about 500 concerts. The guest list was a Who's Who of Folk Music including The Battlefield Band, Martin Carthy, DeDannan, many of the guys from Planxty, Frankie Armstrong, etc. with most of them returning time and time again. We had quieter nights - Singers' Nights - where the audience would get to share songs with the likes of Joe Heaney, Lou Killen and Frank Harte. We also gave a stage to younger Irish-American instrumentalists like Joannie Madden and Eileen Ivers who did their first gigs ever there. We used to do a Wren Boys (and Girls) night with The Irish Tradition every St. Stephen's Day (26DEC) when we would take up a collection for UNICEF. The club still exists at another location - The Blarney Star on Friday nights - stop in if you're ever in Manhattan.

Usually, it's the owner who "makes" the pub. I want to try that new Mudcat Cafe owned by Lonesome EJ... or is it Bert. Say, I hope they get Stegmaier Ale and Yeungling Lager at the bar.

All the best,
Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 01:41 AM

Hey Mick, I just thought of something. If this thread can stick around for a while and enough catters see it, it could be a great thing to keep a copy of it when travelling. I'd love to know if anyone has favourites in:

Buffalo
Rochester
Syracuse
Albany
Erie Pa.
Pittsburgh
Washington

Rick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 08:58 AM

Rick, you're a friggin' mindreader. There were two reason's I had for starting it. One was to get what Dan and Barry have given us, which is the "feel"of what makes a great pub. Secondly, when I am "on the road" and in a city that I am unfamiliar with for an extended period, I always search out the real pubs. The neighborhood joint where the local musician's hang out, where one can get a "proper" and good conversation. Where you can sit in the corner and perhaps share a song or tune. I was hopeful that the wonderful musicians and singers here in our community would let us know where they are, and what makes these places special. We are well along the way.

So how about it, folks. Rick gave you a wish list. Tell us about the good pubs in your town. Both in the states and overseas. Let's keep this one going for a bit.

Great job, Dan. I knew I could count on you.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Jack (who is called Jack)
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 01:04 PM

The best 'pub' in Cleveland bar none (pun intended) is The Barking Spider. Its in an area called University Circle, which was once populated by the affluent of the gilded age a century ago, but is now a nexus of museums, universities, hospitals, concert halls etc. The Spider is located in a sizable old carraige house; small, dark, ivy covered on two sides, and decorated within with eclectic paintings by local artists. There's a wood stove in the corner, and local musicians every night for whom they pass the hat. It has a great owner/manager named Martin, in his 50s, who is tall, portly, with a big grey mane and beard, kind of like a Santa Claus in blue denim and flannel. He has two beautiful daughters who sometimes tend bar. There was, until recently, an old stray mutt, named him Blackie that Martin adopted and let live out his last years at the pub. Blackie was partially deaf and a little blind, and would mosey around bumming backscratches and smokies from the patrons. It has game room in the garage area, and a wall sized public bulletin board next to the bar. There's always some dog-eared reading material scatter about--usually some Scientific Americans, National Geographics and some other eclectic publications. A hangout for artists, students, musicians, professors...anyone really, the Spider has a seemingly infinite supply of the atmosphere that other bars work so hard to create but never do.

The Spider virtually saved my wedding too. The nuptuals were planned for the last week in December. I was in engineering school and working full time, taking two graduate level courses. My wife-to-be was an ICU nurse and had decided to do most of the wedding details herself (including making her own wedding dress). Even thought we only planned a small candlelight ceremony with about 40 freinds and family, it was still a lot to do. Also, Christmas was comimg with all that entails, we were in a carolling club, and I forget what else, but suffice it to say we were stretched about 20 fathoms beyond our limits.

So its the first Friday after exams, about 3 weeks before the wedding. She calls me at the end of our work shifts and says that she NEEDS to go out NOW for a beer or twelve or she's going to go postal. Anyplace will do as long as a) there is beer, and b) its nowhere near the vicinity of that damned wedding dress. I had just learned of the Spider so I gave her directions to meet me there. School's already out so the place is near deserted. Just Martin, Blackie, a bartender, and one or two regulars sitting around the fire. The wall by the fireplace is all windows, and we sat there till 1 a.m., drinking, relaxing, talking, petting the dog and watching the snow fall gently outside. We felt more deliciously removed from our lives for those few hours than we have on most of our vacations since then. It wasn't just what we needed, it was everything we could have wanted.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: joeler
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 03:17 PM

My favorite pub was Tommy's in Oxnard California. You would walk in and a beer was slid down the bar to you before you even sat down. After you had had a few to many you could walk across the street to a little park and lay down on the lawn and take a nap. I used to like to talk to the migrant workers there about when they would pick beans in the thumb of Michigan.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Celtic-End Singer
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 06:44 PM

The Scotia Bar in Glasgow- great place!


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 09:06 PM

Hey CES!!!!!! Cheating, bro! Not good enough. Extremely average. You have to tell us why, what makes the place special. C'mon my friend, I want the lowdown so when I visit it, I will feel like I already know the place

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: bill\sables
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 04:46 PM

I Feel I must tell you about the "Jug Inn" Chapel Hadlesea North Yorkshire Just off the M62 near Selby The bar and the lounge are smaller than the average room in a normal house. If you are 5 foot 10 you will probably hit your head on one of the hundreds of jugs hanging from the low ceiling, but If you want a giant meal at very reasonable prices this is the place to be, (Try a Desperate Dan Pie) My advice is not to get the large mixed grill, you won't finish it unless there about six others to share it with. The ales sold are of the real ale type with a number of guest ales always on hand ( The Jug won CAMERA real ale pub award last year) But the highlight of the week is on Wednesday nights when a group of music makers get into the lounge and play from about 8-30 till closing time approx. 11-30 ish It is not a folk club more of a musicians session but expect anything from Beatles to O'Carolin The session is very friendly with no prima donas and everyone is made welcome but if you want to sing expect a full orchestra backing from everyone else. So if Big Mick comes over for a trip to the UK we will arrange a session in his honour any night he wants to go there. If any other catters are in the area remember you are most welcome any Wednesday. Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: paddymac
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 05:42 PM

Dan Evergreen: in re dearth of southeastern pubs. If you happen to be in Tallahassee, on a first saturday or a third friday, check out "The Warehouse" on west gaines St. The first sat seisiun has been great, but is seen by some to be suffering through a bit of over- organization at the moment. Primarily trad, but occasional singers. It used to be beginner-friendly, but is presently geared towards more accomplished players. If your interest is a good pint and good chat, it's the place to be. Usually gets rolling good about half seven and runs till after twelve. Closing time is 2 a.m., but sometimes it takes awhile to "sweep up." The third friday seisiun is less intimidating for beginners. But still great music and chat.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 08:18 PM

Wow these sound great!! Hey Mick. So far the one that's really got the adrenalin goin' for me is the "Jug Inn" near Selby. I wanna go. And soon! And of course we treated Bill so well he's bound to stand us a few pints! Oh yes, as I said, whenever I've toured "the Isles" I drink like a fish. It's only here that I'm a teetotaler. I'm six foot so I'll watch my head, but you might be decapitated. Sounds like the music's pretty varied, but since the "orchestra" plays on everything, we better keep it simple.

Keep these goin' folks. I think this is going to be a hugely valuable thread. Even more so than "Hiroshi" and "condoms"!

Rick (wanting to fly over on the Concorde tonight, if it stops in Selby)


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Dave Swan
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 08:43 PM

The Falkland Arms, Great Tew. P.J. and I stayed there on our honeymoon and I had to be forcibly removed. There was a local brewer's festival underway, hosted by the Arms. Beer was delivered in quarter kegs, so the turnover of product was rapid and it was necessary to drink like a fish to keep up. New flavors seemed to spring up about every half hour. Hook Norton Brewery is just a few miles away, so all of their goodies were available. There are four wee rooms upstairs, just beneath the thatched roof, and when P.J. and I retired it was as if we had never left the party. We could hear people ordering and glasses hitting the bar top. Just great. Slate floors, Cotswold sandstone, sixteenth century architecture. The best. In a sad bit of juxtaposition a television was moved into the breakfast room the next morning and staff and guests sat over cooling breakfasts as we watched Princess Diana's funeral procession wend its way through London. E.S.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: John Nolan
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 08:55 PM

Celtic End Singer: I have to agree about the Scotia Bar, but there was one drawback, when I drank there. The ceiling was laced with strands of burglar alarm wire on which had gathered, over the decades, thick lines of dust. When the wrestling club met in the rooms above the bar, the thud of bodies hitting the floor produced a constant drizzle of grime from the wires, and so while people sang they had to keep their hands over their pints. Folks who played, had to have a beer mat sitting on top of their glasses. Plus you needed wellies to go to the pissoir. Just like Barry Finn's recollection of the Village Coach house, though, there was (is?) a constant stream of musical talent. Among my favorite times were when Big Mick Broderick (Whistlebinkies) was doing his submarine stories, and using two beer glasses and the back room pole as a periscope!


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Mandochop
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 10:14 PM

Hey All Lets not leave out Mulhaney's Harp and Fiddle in the strip district of Pittsburgh, PA. There are seisiuns there every Sunday afternoon and ceillidhs every tuesday night. Mulhaney's great just because it's the only good traditional pub in Pgh, but as far as pubs go, I think it has quite a bit of character. The walls are covered with signs directing the way to Sligo and to Westport and with old vintage parlor guitars and fiddles. The Yeats poem "Th Fiddler of Dooney is framed in the entranceway. Half the pub is a restaurant in front of the stage and he other half is the bar. On a Tuesday evening in the winter you can go back and forth between Bruce Foley (former member of the Irish Tradition) and members of the local band Hooley blasting reel sets out for the dancers, and the cadre of (the incomparable) Pittsburgh sports fans watching the Penguins game at the bar. All in all, Mulhaney's is just a great atmosphere and if you're ever in Pittsburgh, be sure to stop by. Rob


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 11:42 PM

Rick,
The Jug is a must based on what I read. And wouldn't it be grand if the two of us could give it a whirl? And Bill, bring your wallet, because I believe I could handle the grill, with enough pints. LOL Great post!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Jack (who is called Jack)
Date: 23 Aug 99 - 12:47 PM

I'm going to Toronto in a few days, any good pubs or folk music spots to try?


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: bill\sables
Date: 23 Aug 99 - 06:09 PM

Big Mick And Rick, I was in the Jug tonight for a meal and all was quiet Even the landlord and landlady along with all the customers have gone to Whitby Folk Festival so not to be outdone I am going there tomorrow, so dont come over this Wednesday we will all be at Whitby Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 01:28 AM

OK Bill, how about next week? Jack, The Tranzac is closed for a couple of weeks. Try the Madison, on Madison ave. in downtown Toronto.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Cara
Date: 25 Aug 99 - 04:55 PM

I should say that my favorite pub is the one I used to work at, Murphy's, but I don't know if that's tue. For me, it's great, because I know everyone there, including the entertainers. But, I'm not sure how enjoyable it would be for someone just passing through (depending on who's playing). Truthfully, it can be just too damn bright in there. But with the right mix of people singing along, and no requests for the "Unicorn Song", it can be great fun for everyone. (It's always great fun for me..."Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name" and whatnot). And it stands alone as one of the few drinking establishments that I can go alone and not be bothered. That's priceless.

The pub I tell people to go to if they're looking for a good time is Nanny O'Brien's. That's the one that the Irish expats go to when they're looking for a bit of home. It's great in there; all dark, and covered with Irish road signs and mementoes of famous folk who have passed through. The great majority of their regular musicians are superb too. They used to have trad sessions in the back room, but I think it might just be a Sundays in winter thing. Same with set dancing. And of course, they pour a good pint. So good I may have to have one this evening in fact....


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: M
Date: 25 Aug 99 - 06:20 PM

Cara, where are these pubs?


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Cara
Date: 26 Aug 99 - 09:55 AM

Hmmm, this is te second time in one day I've been geographically vague. Sorry.

They're both in Washington, DC.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Curtis & Loretta
Date: 26 Aug 99 - 01:01 PM

Grand Mantel Saloon in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Anyone else remember that place? It's been gone for years, but it was a great place to hear folk music in the seventies, and maybe before. I heard Jericho Harp there, who have since broken up, along with many other great groups. We even had the honor of playing there a couple times, before it was sold and became a pub without live music. Also lived on the free popcorn while I was going to college.

Loretta


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: LaurJ
Date: 27 Aug 99 - 01:16 AM

Jack: re Toronto Unfortunately I haven't been there, but the following URL http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/7088/events.html is to a Toronto Celtic music site, which I found through the Celtic Music in North America: http://www.ceolas.org/events/events-na.html Perhaps it'll a start, if no one responds with better. Let us know what you found!

re: SF Bay Area & the Starry Plough I've been dancing on Monday nights at the Starry Plough (on and off) since '82. The place itself is quite unique and appropriately eclectic. The wonderful irony is that Shay and (part owner?) Frances are about the only Irish who come by.

Some folks come to dance, some to jam, some to play chess, locals to talk - some to watch the dancers others to ignore them. The age range and backgrounds vary so much that anyone feels welcome and unique at the same time. It's a matter of jump in and do as you wish (it's Berkeley after all).

Singing and session on Sunday - of late with Shay, and Brian, a fine fiddler with Cape Breton accent - plus many others. Everyone is truly welcome to sing or play or both, although Shay asks that it be "in the tradition" meaning not one's own song. He also doesn't say which tradition: We've heard some great songs (Finnish, French, Israeli among others) as visitors share, but most tend to be Celtic, with many from the British Isles, or N. America.

Mondays are Irish dancing (and jam) with lessons at 7:00, open dance somewhere around 9:00 or 9:30, and general session (music too fast and dancers generally too tired) sometime around 10:30 until the last musicians leave (often about 1:00 or 2:00). A great Bay Area dance and music enthusiast, Terry O'Neil, died suddenly last December. He was responsible for many of the Irish, Morris and Irish dancers in the area. I pass this on in case any of you knew him, but haven't yet heard.

When I first returned to the Bay Area from the Twin Cities (MN), I ventured from the safe suburb to the border flats between Berkeley and Oakland. At that time, only my forced withdrawal from music pushed me into the neighborhood (which is now safer) and into the Plough. I was immediately assaulted by the political posters and the eclectic clientele. Then, a gregarious 6-ft redhead approached. The next thing I knew I was doing 3's and 7's to the music, making plans for morris, contra, Scandi, English, shanties . . . back in the mainline - and Terry knew it all. After the dancing, I got to talk to the non-dancers. They're patient gems and worthy of a stop without the music.

Both the Sunday and Monday sessions are great experience for newer musicians because there are enough other musicians (usually) and they are inclusive.

The Plough & the stars in SF is a find place for traditional music all nights of the week and a fine place to hang out in an acoustic Irish atmosphere. The session on Sundays, to my mind however, is a bit snobby - but the music is great.

One of my favorite musical pastimes is the Shanty Sing on first Saturday evening of the month at Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco (usually aboard the Balclutha). Should anyone be in town that night, stop by, then wrap it up with an Irish coffee (or other drink of choice) at the Buena Vista, a block away.

For Irish style hangout, and not necessarily music (but sometimes there is), I like O'Reillys on Green Street just above (West in this case) Columbus. Small enough to be cozy, large enough to usually find some place to hide when one wants (and come early enough);friendly folks - mostly local (North Beach) with enough travellers and visitors to keep it fun & interesting, bartenders with great memories and good personalities. A long bar; overflow with tables onto the sidewalk for the Mediterranean feel (if the fog's lifted!) Needless to say: good beers on tap and full bar.

Back to Berkeley: On other nights, The Plough has an open mike (either Tues or Wed), and generally hosts upcoming bands of the area on the other nights. Many then go on to bigger locales after playing at the plough and elsewhere - and some never get much further. Although I haven't been much on other nights, it's usually electric, and I won't even attempt to categorize the music.

Hope this isn't too long.

RFC: Does anyone know of any good places in: Vancouver (BC), Seattle, or (don't laugh) Salt Lake City.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: pj
Date: 30 Aug 99 - 05:17 AM

More notes from the Starry Plough in Berkeley...

It's 1:30 a.m. here, and I just returned from the Sunday night session at the Plough. While it was fresh on my mind I wanted to send these messages along:

BIG MICK:

Shay sends you his best. We closed the place down tonight, the crowd dwindled to just 6 of us around the table by about midnight(kinda like in the Mudcat Pub, only without the jello and velcro).

It was 2 great fiddlers, a new guitar player, a veteran mandolin/guitarist, Shay and me. We played and sang long after the crowd went home, as the crew cleaned up around us. Shay talked about the tour he just returned from, and how much he enjoyed meeting you.

He had great stories about how impressed he was with Elderly Instruments, and he was particularly tickled that he was able to stump you with a CD request, since according to him you have absolutely everything. (By the way, this Canadian band he asked you for, can you order the CD? They really sound great.)

Shay asked me to let you know that his 85 year old mother just recorded an album, cutting 15 tracks in 15 hours. A typical Black Family over-achiever, I say. He assures me that when it's finished (it still needs a bit of work) he'll let us know how to get hold of it.

He said you took good care of them and he sends his very best. So when are you coming to stay with us and go to a Sunday night session?

LARJ:

It's nice to meet another 'Catter who's local! The atmosphere on Sunday is a bit different from Monday nights, it's true. But I can tell you as somewhat of a newcomer (about 6 months) at the Plough, I've been made to feel welcomed by the session musicians. I like the fact that the crowd (and the players) show absolutely no distinction in enthusiastic support for anyone who'll get up their nerve to sing or play, whether they're a newcomer or a pro. I'm also constantly amazed with the quality of musicianship among the folks in the session. It's a chance for beginners to cut their teeth around some incredible musical influences each week.

Shay has the reputation for running a tight ship, it's true. But I think that's the reason so many wonderful singers and musicians want to do sets here, it creates an atmosphere where the audience really listens and the singers feel appreciated.

I loved coming to Sunday nights when I was part of the audience, and I love it as a participant as well. Come see us again sometime for a session-- You'll be able to pick Dave, Seed and me out of the crowd: look for a tall, silver-haired banjo player with a GREAT smile (seed), a tall tenor with gorgeous blue eyes and an UNREASONABLY large moustache (Dave), and a blonde bodhran player annoying the real musicians at the session table (me). I'll buy the beer!

DAN EVERGREEN:

Dave and I found a pub in Atlanta the last time we were there called Fado (Irish for "long ago"). It's in the Buckhead section of town, trendy but very interesting. We liked it so much we got on their newsletter mailing list, and recently saw that they have started regular Irish music sessions.

We're going back for a visit again next month, (my folks live there) so we'll update you on how it measures up.

Hey, does anyone know of any other good pubs in the Atlanta area? Especially ones with music, of course.

pj


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Aug 99 - 08:51 AM

PJ, what a great post on what sounds like a marvellous pub. Never fear, I shall make it there at some point. Any pub named after the flag carried by one of my heroes, .........well, I just have to get there. And El Swanno goes there, eh? Well I will just have to get to this pub. And tell Shay that I haven't forgotten his bloody CD (hahahahahaha), I just have to get time to sit down and mail him and Francis one. I will though.

Hang with me, friends. I am in the last four days before a Union representation election and am buried just now. I will post the story of the Fenian Pub when I get back. I just wanted to scan the threads before heading out for another very long day.

All the best,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: LaurJ and Shay
Date: 30 Aug 99 - 10:42 PM

Hey PJ - I'll come by a Sunday soon and look you up. It would be great to meet another local 'Catter.

Shay just found the 'Cat through a link with Strawberry festival.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 15 Sep 99 - 05:32 PM

Sorry I'm late - I've recently come back from a visit to the Scotia Bar in Glasgow (and other places in Scotland) and am only now catching up on the longer threads you've come up with in the last six weeks.
The Scotia is indeed a great place. I particularly liked the night a couple of years ago when I turned up in the snug, found a few familiar faces and was greeted - 'Haven't seen you for a while. What've you been doing wi' yersel'?' To which I could only reply - 'Yes, it's been about a year. I had to go back home, earning money for my holidays.'
My other favourite pub is in Hamburg, Germany. It used to be 'Die Zwiebel', right on the quay in Altona, a dark, dingy and very homely place. It's still there, but turned into an Irish 'theme pub' and, no doubt, given a thorough scrubbing. The guy who ran it and who was its heart and soul, Uli Panknin, got another pub, called it 'The Onion' and carries on as before. I'm glad to say that most of his regulars followed him to the new venue. It's like an extended family! He normally closes on Sundays, but about once a month he opens for a folk gig. (Well, sometimes it's blues or boogie or whatever takes their fancy.) The next few months we're having Brian McNeill & Iain MacKintosh, Allan Taylor, Mike Silver and Roger Sutcliffe. A few months back we had Australian lady Ronnie Taheny and Vince Weber, Germany's leading boogie piano player. Iain MacKintosh and Hamish Imlach even recorded a live album there twelve years ago - in the old place, of course.
If you ever find yourself in Hamburg, this is the place to go. John James (the Welsh guitarist about whom there was another thread not long ago) once described Uli as 'looking like the last relic of the summer of love, the ultimate hippie'. He's right! - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: selby
Date: 16 Sep 99 - 01:00 PM

I was in the JUG INN last night & I didn't see no big Mick


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: ericsymonds
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 05:28 PM

I am surprised Bill Sables waxes so about the Jug,nice as it is, but I am sure that his roots are to be found in the 'Kings Head'were for several years he hosted the Tuesday night Folk club in the 60's.Sadly the 'Head' has gone but not the many creatures he inspired to make music and laughter.Good on yer Bill and love to Lorna(platonic of course!).


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Mían
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 06:00 PM

Not really a pub frequenter nor have I ventured much beyond the Pacific Northwest. My favorites so far are in San Francisco: Kate Ó Brien's, The Plough and Stars, The Irish Bank, Dirty Nellie's, Molly Malone's and jeez what's the name of that little pub over there by the Cannery on Fisherman's Wharf.

And are we still waiting for the story of the Fenian Pub? Is Big Mick holding out for us to buy him a Pint of the Black first before he lets loose the sceal?


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: Tincap
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 06:19 PM

Jack... if you are going to Toronto - try McVie's (sp?) Irish Pub on the corner of Jarvis and King. Great live music on weekends.

As for my favourite. It no longer exists but it was the Buffalo Paddock in Banff. Nothing special except that it was there that I first heard good live folk music and it was sort of a turning point for me muscially. After that evening, the music of people like John Prine and Emmy Lou took over my record collection from Nazareth and Deep Purple.


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: bill\sables
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 06:56 PM

If you want to know who garath is you will find him in my photos on bbc,s album. He is the old white haired bugger on the left in my band. Actually he is realy my father. And if you don't beleave me ask Sam Pirt, Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Favorite pubs - tell us about yours
From: roopoo
Date: 09 Oct 99 - 12:43 AM

When will "gareth" next be in the Jug? At this rate we'll soon need to use toes as well as fingers when counting up the 'Catters on a Wednesday night. Mouldy


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