Friday, February 03, 2023

Aly Bain with Jenna Reid - Sophie's Dancing Feet / Andy Brown's Reel

I had the pleasure, and honor, of meeting the great Shetland fiddler Aly Bain after a Boys of the Lough concert at Town Hall in the mid 1980s. My introduction was enabled by my date's having been his sister in law. In the video above he's joined by another fine exemplar of the Shetland fiddle tradition, Jenna Reid. They do a segue of two lively traditional fiddle tunes, "Sophie's Dancing Feet" and "Andy Brown's Reel." Backing them is a true all-star group of musicians: traditional Irish music stalwart Dónal Lunny on bouzouki, a Greek instrument that has become widely used in Irish music; Jerry Douglas, whose work on dobro guitar has spanned bluegrass, jazz, and Celtic music; Russ Barenberg, known for his contributions to old time and bluegrass music, on guitar; Phil Cunningham, a many talented Scottish musician known primarily as an accordionist but who here plays piano; and English multi instrumentalist Michael McGoldrick on whistle.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Go Iggles!

The Philadelphia Eagles, or "Iggles" as true Philadelphians call them, have won the NFC championship, and so will face the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. After the Eagles won the NFC championship game, the Empire State Building was illuminated with green and white, the Eagles' colors. The New York Daily News demurred, noting that the Eagles are "locally despised". 

I'll confess that I'd rather see another team that wears green, the New York Jets, heading to Arizona in February. Still, I'm casting my lot with the Eagles this year. I have nothing against K.C.; I've had some good times there; sampling, among other things, Arthur Bryant's Barbecue. But I'm a Keystone State native (albeit from closer to Pittsburgh than Philly). Thanks to my wife's genealogical research I know that my great-great-great-great grandfather Samuel Miles served for a year as mayor of Philadelphia. He declined to serve a second term, probably to devote his attention to business matters. Also, my daughter, her partner, and my granddaughter live in Chester, Pennsylvania, part of the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

So, go Iggles!

UPDATE: It looks like I cursed them; never seems to fail. It was an exciting game, anyway.