Ah no. We don't have a new member after all! Steve has told us he can't commit the time needed to be in The Jones Boys.
Looks like we're back to a duo for now ...
Ian Carey has now left the band, as sadly he couldn’t commit enough time to it. Thanks to Ian for his contribution to The Jones Boys over the past couple of years.
However, things move on, and we are absolutely delighted to welcome Steve Mulhern into the band. Steve plays fiddle as well as mandolin, and so will give us a new dimension. He has quite a bit of work to do: our current set list comprises forty-three tunes, plus songs! Still, with a strong classical as well as a traditional background, he won’t find that too difficult.
We’re not sure when Steve will be ready for his first TJB gigs, but Sam and I showed at the weekend that we’re more than capable as a duo, so we’ll be back performing as a trio when we’re ready for it.
Played at The Charity Inn in Woodnesborough, which is near Sandwich. Ian, bringing Sam, got badly held up on the Dartford Crossing (now there’s a surprise), and arrived later than we’d have liked. Well, too late for a proper sound check.
But, apart from occasional squeals of feedback, which Simon strove personfully to cope with (‘We should have had a sound check …’), it went really well. We sent Sam round during the break to ask people to sign up to our mailing list, and she got a bunch of names. The night also marked my debut performance of Danny Boy, as a special treat (or was it punishment?) for Sam, cos she loves the song. She said she nearly cried. Me too.
We went to play at Sam’s primary school in Essex this morning. This morning, of course, being St Patrick’s Day, we went in to provide a taste of Irish music to the whole school and indeed the staff. We played a half-hour set of exclusively Irish tunes and a couple of real Irish songs.
Funny really. Both staff and pupils all know that Sam is a musician, but very few had ever heard her playing Irish traditional music. Probably thought it would be a bit of a laugh, not too serious, musically. Heh heh! I love the opportunity to shatter a few preconceptions and stereotypes, and this was certainly that. Mind you, the Head did have us leading the kids through It’s a Long Way to Tipperary (English) and Molly Molone (probably Scottish).
The kids were great. We’ve never had such an enthusiastic audience, clapping and cheering for all they were worth, really going for it. Not surprising I suppose. In addition to being Head of Year Sam is also the school’s Music Coordinator, and is immensely and justifiably proud of the fact that EVERY child in the school plays a musical instrument. A remarkable achievement Sam: well done.
Zoomed back home afterwards to try to get the CD covers printed in time for tonight’s gig. Nope. Collect them on Monday. Oh well.