Exploring the Ukulear Options

Bring Your Own Ukulele-001

Until a couple of months ago I had never really played a ukulele. Now it’s one of my favorite instruments to pick up and just noodle. I’ve also been enjoying playing in groups. I bought my first ukulele so that I could join my friends at Bring Your Own Instrument on ukulele night, but I wanted to see what other groups were out there. Over the last couple weeks I’ve visited three other active ukulele groups to see what they are like. Continue reading “Exploring the Ukulear Options”

La Conner Guitar Festival

La Conner Guitar Festival-93

This past weekend was an event which I had been anticipating for several months. This was the weekend of the La Conner Guitar Festival. Unlike the Bellingham Folk Festival back in January, the focus was more on the instruments than the music. Specifically, it was a luthier event. I now own three guitars, so I wasn’t looking to acquire a new one, but I was still looking forward to attending. Continue reading “La Conner Guitar Festival”

Random Skagit – Volume 5, A Visit from Bubba

Houston with Fire Pit-001

I’ve got some catching up to do. The last few weeks have been a relaxed whirlwind and I’ve been having too much fun to write about it. It’s Tulip Festival time here in Skagit Valley, but, more importantly, we’ve had a visit from my brother, Houston. The past week was spent showing him all our favorite tourist spots and having a great time in general. Continue reading “Random Skagit – Volume 5, A Visit from Bubba”

Thai, Slides, and Drums

Vernal Equinox Sunset-008
Vernal Equinox Sunset over Fidalgo Island – a photograph that has absolutely nothing to do with the attached post, but included because I like it.

For a Wednesday there was a LOT going on. There were trips back into town and to see more daffodils, as well as new musical and food experiences. Here’s a quick rundown of the day… Continue reading “Thai, Slides, and Drums”

The Good, The Bad, and The Irish

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Clonmacnoise Abby and Ruins, 2015

In my single, young adult life St. Patrick’s Day was the biggest excuse for a party of the year. I’d dust off the green and tweed and trot out the Irish ancestry (William Taylor, the ship Earl of Donegal, County Antrim, etc., etc., etc.), and purchase large quantities of the chosen poison for the evening, whether Jamison, Guinness, Bailey’s, or some green concoction. It didn’t help that my usual partner in crime back then, Bob Donnan, celebrated his birthday on March 17. I remember a couple of particularly epic parties (barely.) It was also about the only time I’d listen to Celtic music.

Fast forward a few decades and my St. Patrick parties are much less epic, if they occur at all. Since this year’s celebration was on a Saturday, there was the potential for more epicness. While the actual date was celebrated quietly, it was a weekend full of Irish music, including the good, bad, and ugly. Continue reading “The Good, The Bad, and The Irish”

Irish Music at Village Pizza

Irish Music at Village Pizza

I had a very different post planned. I’ve actually got a draft entitled “I Hate Irish Music.” I was going to vent some of my frustrations with the music sessions I’ve attended up here, specifically the Irish sessions. However, I decided to give the genre one more shot, so I decided to try a different session at Village Pizza in Anacortes. My mood did a 180. This felt like the closest thing to the pubs I enjoyed so much while in Ireland. Continue reading “Irish Music at Village Pizza”

Bellingham Folk Festival

Bellingham Folk Festival-24

It’s been a solid week of music. We had our Bring Your Own Guitar session on Wednesday at Empire Ale in Mount Vernon, followed by the Bellingham Folk Festival this past weekend. I had a great time learning new things and meeting other musicians in the area. There were even a few connections with folks from back home. That’s quite a bit for one post, but I’ll try to wrap it all up here. Continue reading “Bellingham Folk Festival”