Captain Fiddle Music

Ryan and Brennish

Thomson

Green Linnet Irish weekend

1995

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Green Linnet Irish Music and Dance Weekend

by Ryan Thomson

Monticello, New York, was the continuing site of Green Linnet's Irish Weekend, in Sept,

1995. This music and dance party has become so popular that the host resort had arranged

for additional housing at a neighboring hotel with shuttle busses running back and forth

night and day. Concerts, dance workshops, and lectures were plentiful, with several events

going on simultaneously throughout the day and evening. Scheduled events ran from Friday

afternoon till late, on Saturday from immediately after breakfast to 2 AM, and on Sunday

till 5pm, with informal sessions continuing even as I left at 6pm.

Early risers on Saturday were greeted by the music of impromptu sessions of pipers,

fiddlers, and accordionists who had played throughout the night till the light of day. The

scheduled events were not strictly Irish but included other celtic and Canadian music, and

appalachian dancing. Being a fiddler I was fascinated by a multimedia lecture on the life

and music of Francis O'Neill, the former Chicago Police Chief who made a point of hiring

immigrant musicians to the force so as to support traditional Irish culture.

I had ample opportunity to chat and share music with many performers who record on the

Green Linnet label. This was possible because of the way that the weekend is organized.

Everyone, performers and attendees alike, share meals, walk the same hallways, and are

generally very sociable. Just when you think you've heard the best fiddling of your life at a

scheduled concert, a visit to the hotel lobby reveals an informal session with players of all

ages making amazing music together. The nature of these sessions changes every few

minutes as new musicians join in, and others leave. This is true folk music, where well

known performers and newcomers alike, join together in music and song just for the joy of

it.

The intensity and energy of the musicians was possibly exceeded only by the large number

of set and ceili dancers who danced tirelessly through out the day, and continued to

encourage the scheduled dance bands for more more music, even as the clock passed the 2

AM mark. The best part of the Green Linnet weekend was the fun of sharing a celebration

of celtic culture with so many folks of like interest, all in the same place, at the same

time. Highly recommended!

Written by Ryan Thomson