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Favorite pubs - tell us about yours

Liam's Brother 19 Aug 99 - 01:37 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 18 Aug 99 - 07:44 PM
Big Mick 18 Aug 99 - 03:13 PM
j0_77 18 Aug 99 - 03:00 PM
Big Mick 18 Aug 99 - 02:42 PM
j0_77 18 Aug 99 - 02:39 PM
amo 18 Aug 99 - 01:38 PM
j0_77 18 Aug 99 - 01:23 PM
Dan Evergreen 18 Aug 99 - 11:28 AM
Big Mick 18 Aug 99 - 09:35 AM
Roger the zimmer 18 Aug 99 - 04:11 AM
paddymac 18 Aug 99 - 02:38 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 18 Aug 99 - 02:06 AM
Winters Wages 18 Aug 99 - 12:49 AM
Barry Finn 18 Aug 99 - 12:47 AM
Rick Fielding 18 Aug 99 - 12:16 AM
Big Mick 18 Aug 99 - 12:03 AM
Barry Finn 17 Aug 99 - 11:27 PM
Big Mick 17 Aug 99 - 10:41 PM
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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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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Mudcat time: 11 August 5:43 PM EDT

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