St. Patrick’s Day Wrap-Up…and also an answer to a question I posed last time…

St. Patrick’s Day is gone and in the books.  Once again, the world returns to drinking flavorless beer (or in the case of a lot of you, you’re continuing to drink flavorless beer, but now it’s not dyed green) and people go back to finding Irish folk songs irritating instead of charming.  I don’t quite get that.  I’m a Guinness guy all year round, and any time someone wants to play “Rare Old Times” or “Finnegan’s Wake” or something like that, I’m in for a sing-a-long.  But to each their own.

I had a good time yesterday.  Shipped up to Dogtown with my Dad and met some folks there.  Hung out listening to The Irish Aires all afternoon.  Ate some decent corned beef at the church where the band was playing.  Talked to the guys in the band a little bit.  Noticed that their banjo player/guitarist Gerry wasn’t with them.  Apparently his sister suffered a serious stroke and he went home to Limerick (Ireland).  I don’t know if that’s a permanent move or not…but it was serious enough that he made the call to go back to Ireland, so it doesn’t really matter if I missed his banjo playing yesterday.  I just wish Gerry and his family well as they’re dealing with a hell of a bad time in Limerick.  The band sounded great even without him, but I do hope he’ll be back when this time rolls around next year.

After the Dogtown festivities ended, I wanted a bite to eat and a Guinness…so we went to a little pub/restaurant near my home.  They had WAY better corned beef than we got in Dogtown and I like the atmosphere of the place.  And then there were a couple of episodes of Father Ted, and the day pretty much ended.  All in all, not a bad time.

I did try to order the DKM banjo I mentioned in the last post, by the way.  You may remember that I posed the question of “How the hell am I not supposed to buy it?”  Well, the answer to that is fairly simple.  I COULDN’T buy it because the Deering (music company) website sucks.  They have coding errors all over the place, and you can’t even view your cart, much less make a purchase.  And calling their 800-number just went to an answering machine, with no return call to the voicemail left asking for help with their interface.  They suck pretty hard.  So I didn’t get that banjo…

…I got this one:

That strap's kinda neat looking, but it's like two feet too short for me. But plush lining!

It’s a 1929 Vega Tenor Banjo.  I got it at Music Folk here in St. Louis.  The people there are nice, well-informed folks.  One of the guys behind the counter gave me some tuning tips (that were REALLY handy!)  The other guy made a couple of jokes and was friendly and personable.  Good place to shop for otherwise hard-to-find folk (and not so folk) instruments.

…but there was something that kind of freaked me out when I saw the case.  Take a look.

This case is just BEGGING for some punk stickers. I'm thinking Misfits, Ramones, DKM, Descendents, Reverend Horton Heat, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks...

In case you can’t read them (somehow), those two stickers are from the St. Louis Banjo Club, of which I am a member!  Apparently this used to belong to one of the club’s members.  I don’t know anything about the guy (lady?).  I think I might have the name of the previous owner on a slip of paper that was inside of the case…but I’m not sure.  I might ask around at the next club meeting.  Total coincidence!  Small word, huh?  Took it over to my brother’s place to show it off tonight.  Dave and Valerie seemed to like it just fine.  Tessa mostly just thought it was too loud.  🙂  (I still say it’s her fault for standing too close, though!)  Patterson and Melody, on the other hand, seemed more interested in (scoff!) eating their dinner than anything I had to show them—silly babies!

Anyway, that’s how my little vacation has gone so far.  Tomorrow I just plan to sleep in, go to church, and record an installment of Empty Checking.  Should be a nice, light day.  Hope yours is too!


My Favorite Song of the Minute:  The Irish Aires’ recording of “Nancy Spain.”

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