|Grass Valley, CA with Alasdair Fraser, Dougie Maclean and the Cottars
October 7th, 2006
Celtic Spring performed at the KMVR Celtic Festival in Grass Valley last weekend and participated in a wonderful celebration of Celtic music. The lineup included Alasdair Fraser and his band, the Cottars, and Dougie Maclean. We were delighted with the warm reception from our audience and also with the opportunity to meet up with, meet ,and play music with some of our favorite musicians.
We met up with friends from the Sierra and Valley of the Moon fiddle camps. Sean was especially happy to renew friendships with Alasdair Fraser's son, Galen, as well as other camp friends. We were all happy to see Haneke Cassel and Natalie Haas, long time Valley of the Moon teachers and friends. During Alasdair's set he invited Celtic Spring members as well as other young musicians up to join him on his encore.
For a long time we have been wanting to meet the great young musicians from Cape Breton, the Cottars. We always seemed to be at festivals where they had been the previous year or were performing the next year, and they had even stayed at our house when they were performing in our town a few years ago, and we were away performing in Alabama. They were as wonderful musicians and friendly people as we had anticipated. Young musicians have a lot in common and we enjoyed spending time with them during the meal breaks.
The highlight of our festival weekend was the after- the- festival ceili, when all the musicians just jam together and the dancers dance and the audience soaks in all the amazing and spontaneous tunes flying by. Dougie Maclean asked for a fiddle, and Elizabeth happily offered hers, which has also been played by Alasdair Fraser, and the Leahy dad. She is honored to share her fiddle with such incredible musicians. But it got even better, when Dougie and Celtic Spring members began finding tunes in common and jamming together. He could not believe that America could have such fine, young, traditional fiddlers! We loved his music and his stories of life in Scotland, where nature is "always in your face," and we were honored to play tunes together.
Now we begin a very busy month of performing; we head down to LA in a little while for an evening show. Next weekend we will be at the Seaside Highland Games, and a few weeks later, we will be at the Arizona Irish Festival. In the cracks we are still immersed in the recording of our second CD and are deeply enjoying the process.
Cheers and God Bless!