Donegal & Ballyshannon, a true start to my trip

IrelandSomeone said today that the key to a long life is going to bed the same day you woke up. Well if that’s the case, this week is probably going to knock a few years off.

After Dublin, I hopped on the bus to Donegal where I was greeted by fiddler, Tara Connaghan who graciously picked me up from the bus stop. We grabbed a bit to eat at a local sandwich shop and as we were headed to Glencolmcille, we made a pit stop in Ballyshannon at the Creevy Pier Hotel for my first session in Ireland. The session was supposed to start at 5pm but as I am learning, we are on “Ireland time” so it didn’t really get going until about 6ish and didn’t finish up until about 4am, and then some. Needless to say, I’m a bit tired as I’m writing this and I suspect the loss of sleep is going to continue as the week goes on.

We were joined at the session by some amazing musicians including Cathy Jordan of Dervish and Seanan Brennan of Kila. You, know, no pressure!…Luckily, it was a small session and everyone was very gracious allowing me to start tunes. There wasn’t one I could stump them on, but then again, I am in Ireland.

Below is a taste of what took place last night. This is a tune called Glen Road to Carrick. Paddy Glackin once said: “There’s everything to learn about Irish music in that tune.” Have a listen and you’ll see:

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