Reading My Way Around the World

Monday 7 November 2016

Some good news stories and songs

I've been finding it difficult to find my centre these past few months - lots of pressure coming from different angles aren't leaving me with much time for contemplation or creation, just for getting done the absolute necessities of each week.  Hence my absence from getting around to commenting on your lovely blogs or posting many of my own.
So we've taken ourselves off for a week to an artist retreat to concentrate on writing.  I'll have pictures next week.

Our world is so full of fear these days.  My thoughts go out particularly to all my American friends who have this very divisive election coming up tomorrow.  The politics of fear seems to be rife everywhere in the world at the minute.

So, not to add more to it, today I wanted to share with you some music and stories that have passed through the periphery of my vision over the past few days and have brought a smile or a tremor of joy.

Firstly this most wonderful rendition of Here Comes The Sun featuring James Taylor.  A lot of the comments to the video were castigating the changes made, but I adore it.

To my shame I didn't know who the dignitary was sitting beside Michelle Obama - so after a bit of research I found it was Yo Yo Ma, the Chinese American Cellist.   So here's a piece from him - the Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 - this moves me to tears every time I hear it, and he plays it beautifully.

Lastly, there have been several posts on Facebook over the past few weeks, about the first person with Down's Syndrome to qualify as a pre school teacher - how absolutely wonderful.   This story comes from Argentina, and there's another one from Gaza - both young woman had so many adversities to overcome.   Surely a lesson for us all.

I hope your week is full of wonder and joy as the nights get darker and the days shorter up here in the Northern Hemisphere and as you pass into the season of sunshine and warmth down in the southern regions of this wonderful planet.

Thursday 3 November 2016

Rostrevor Folk Club

I'm delighted to be passing on the information that Rostrevor will have its very own folk club starting next Monday, 7th November - running initially fortnightly and then monthly in the new year.  

Crawfords Bar is a beautiful intimate venue, perfect for acoustic concerts. To make the evenings even more special, numbers will be limited, there will be no sound system and the bar will be open before, in the break, and after the performances.   Get up close and personal with some of the finest touring artists on the folk scene.  
The first artists are as follows:

Monday 7th November - Lisa Gutkin
Lisa"One hot fiddler!" - Cyndi Lauper; "Hauntingly emotional vocals"L.A. Times;  "Genius!" - Pete Seeger
Best known from The Klezmatics, LISA GUTKIN steps out on her own on "From Here On In," her first CD of six warm and wonderful songs featuring her vocals, fiddle, and tenor guitar. The Brooklyn native was a founding member of the downtown Celtic group Whirligig with Cillian Vallely (LĂșnasa). Playing klezmer to Celtic, Appalachian to blues.
Tickets £10, available in advance or at the door from the Rostrevor Inn 028 417 39911.

Monday 21st November - Niamh Parsons and Graham Dunne
Niamh and Graham"Describing Niamh Parsons' singing is like to trying to describe color to a blind person." -Jamie O'Brien
Niamh Parsons has come to be known as one of the most distinctive voices in Irish music.  Dubliner Graham Dunne is a well-known guitarist in the Irish Traditional music scene. He is known for his sensitivity of touch as an accompanist, and his fiery ability as a soloist.  Together "neither Niamh nor Graham wastes a single note or nuance in their matchless renditions of predominantly traditional songs" Dave Kidman
Tickets £10 - early booking advised.  Phone 028 417 39911 or call in to book tickets

Monday 5th December - Avalon Quartet
AvalonA special pre Christmas folk club featuring the gorgeous traditional and classical sounds and songs of the Avalon quartet featuring the vocals and uilleann pipes of Brendan Monaghan.   Not to be missed. 
Tickets in advance £10  from The Rostrevor Inn, Bridge Street, Rostrevor - phone 028 417 39911.  

More details can be found on the Rostrevor Inn Facebook and

I'm so excited to see the quality of acts that are scheduled - in the new year you can look forward to Brian Willoughby, ex guitarist with the Strawbs with his wife Cathryn Craig and also to one of Ireland's top songwriters, Mick Hanly and many more to be announced shortly.  

See you there.