The last five days have been fantastic, fun, elating, overwhelming and exhausting. What am I talking about? Oh yeah… The Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival. Every year, we help with the festival. We do Lights and Sound, and a thousand other little bits and pieces. 🙂 Plus we get to hear some of the best Celtic musicians in the world. This year’s theme was Celtic and All That Jazz!
I realized yesterday at the last concert that I didn’t take a single picture. We were just crazy busy. So, Instead of pictures, I will do my best to paint with words. Keep in mind too, that there were other concerts going on that we didn’t work as well as workshops and classes in all sorts of instruments.
Wednesday. The Festival did outreach to the schools. Dancing, music and storytelling. That evening, there was a pot luck in La Veta with many of the festival musicians and workers. It was a blast.
Thursday. First real day of the festival. I didn’t get to help with any of this as I had a school board meeting in the afternoon/evening. Dan and Doug were up in Cuchara, and La Veta most of the day. That evening there was the “Taste of things to come” Ceilidh in Gardner. Dan said it was fantastic.
Friday. My first full day. Wow. We were all over the place providing sound. Best part was at UpTop. We have a free concert up there where all sorts of musicians play. It was cold and it rained/snowed on us, but the music was wonderful.
After that, we drove down to Walsenburg for the 6th Street Hooley. Once again, a free concert outside. Only real issue was the wind! 50mph gusts at times made things difficult. People still had a good time though.
After that, the main concert… The Tannahill Weavers. It was great. Wonderful. Funny and just pure magic. Ah….
Saturday. Busy once more getting sound to various venues. We got to listen to Duncan Wickel, a jazz violinist. Then we were off to get ready for a Celtic Mix of Mairtin De Cogain and the Macdonald sisters, Cassie and Maggie. Following that was a Scottish Dance workshop.
Then we drove up to the Timbers in Cuchara and set up for Leslie Anne Harrison and Frederic Pouille, Folk Ragout. It was a very nice little concert. When we were done, it was a quick trip to Walsenburg and the evening concert at the Fox.
This concert was Irish to the Core. John Doyle, Duncan Wickel, Robbie O’Connell, Adam Agee, Jon Sousa, Sean McComiskey and Ashley Davis. Oh My what a concert. Doyle and Wickel amazed us. Ashley sang sweetly. Robbie charmed us and when they all played, our breath went away. The building shook with the applause. The encore was just as amazing. All I could think of when it was all done was a line out of Much Ado About Nothing where Benedict says… “Is is not strange that sheeps’ guts should hale souls out of men’s bodies?”
Sunday. Up EARLY. We were in La Veta at the 4H barn by 7:30am. Why? Well, it was an oatcake and tea breakfast with the Tannahill Weavers. I made and served tea. Jack Yule made oatcakes. Yummm! So, for 90 minutes, we ate, drank and listened. They talked about how the Tannahill Weavers evolved and played a bit.
Then we had Cassie and Maggie giving a demo on step dancing. After that we headed off to the La Veta Inn to do sound for Robbie O’Connell. He is a nephew of the Clancy Brothers. He gave a talk about them and his involvement in the music that really started the modern revival of Irish Music. It was wonderful.
Last, but not least… The final concert… Celtic and All That Jazz. First up were Maire Ni Chathasaigh and Chris Newman. Next was Park Stickney and friends. This year I got to know Park just a little. He is a fantastic musician and a very impish and funny man. I love his warped sense of humor. He also managed something that no other harper has done. I really like his music. To be honest, before harps have always been sort of “Oh, that’s nice.” Park’s playing was so wonderful that I bought a CD. 🙂
The concert was finished off with the Tannies playing Just One More (last) Chorus with everyone singing. It was a good end to a fantastic week.
When we were done, we fed my mom’s cat. (who we’ve been babysitting all week as well) Then we had dinner and crawled into bed by 8:30pm. I think it will take a week to recover. 🙂