Grey Larsen and Cindy Kallet in Concert

ImageJoin Grey and Cindy at the uNi Coffeehouse (that’s pronounced “you ‘n’ I”) in Springfield, MA,  Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 pm. These two lovebirds will charm you with their onstage banter and unique style of playing and singing. They play a mix of Irish, Scandinavian, old-time and, well, new-time music. I know Grey as the author of a well known and respected book on Irish flute and whistle playing.

Email or phone for reservations: or 413-562-3990.

More info at

Also, download a printable flier here.

An Port is Déanaí–Bunker Hill

Bunker hill is a rousing reel which I first heard played by a couple of young folks on the Comhaltas website. I can’t embed the video, but you can watch it here:

Here’s Portland, Maine band The Press Gang playing it along with Gathering Sheep.

Boston’s Celtic Music Fest at Passim, Jan. 10-11

ImagePassim in Boston is presenting Boston’s Celtic Music Fest this January 10-11. From Passim’s website:

This January, BCMFest (Boston’s Celtic Music Fest) will begin its second decade of celebrating the Boston area’s abundance of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic-related music and dance traditions.

The 11th annual BCMFest, which takes place on January 10-11, 2014, will once again bring together dozens of local musicians, singers and dancers to present performances as well as participatory music and dance events. Family-friendly and genuinely grassroots, the festival is held in the heart of Harvard Square, starting with the Friday night “Roots and Branches” concert at Club Passim and the Boston Urban Ceilidh – BCMFest’s always-popular Celtic dance party – just around the corner at The Atrium, 50 Church Street.

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ABC Notation, Pt. 2–What Is It?

ABC notation is a way to write out music using just the characters available on a standard computer keyboard. The End…

Just kidding. There’s a bit more to it than that. Basically the above statement is true, and one could learn to read and write abc notation kind of like standard staff notation, but abc files are very useful in more ways than that. So first of all, what does abc notation look like? Like this:

X: 1
T: Garrett Barry’s
R: jig

M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
A|: DEF ~G3|AGE c2A|dcA d2e|fed cAG|
~F3 GFG|AGE (3Bcd e|dcA GEA|DED D2 A:|
|:dcA d2e|fed (3efg e|dcA c2d|efd ecA|
dAA d2e|fed (3efg e|dcA GEA|DED D2 A:|

Garrett Barry’s jig is the first tune I learned both on whistle and concertina.

So as you can see, it’s got a number of lines, each beginning with a letter followed by a colon. That’s part of the syntax of the notation. All of the information with these tags is collectively called the “header”. It tells various programs important information about the tune so that it can be transformed into sheet music and sound files. To explain–