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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hey folks,

Long time, no update. Apologies! For those who don't know, our next record is currently being edited, mixed and mastered by our buddy Jake, who produced our last record, "Sunshine and Shadow." We've heard almost half of the record and it sounds really great - we're going down to visit him in NYC next weekend to have a listen.

We performed with my Junior Choir and the rest of Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus out of Torrington (link) and it was an absolute blast. I am so thrilled that two of my passions could come together to create a wonderful project - we did "The Parting Glass" with the choir, and if a video ever surfaces online, I will post it to this blog.

We'll be playing a few times before the new record comes out (by Christmas, if all goes well), and we'll have the CD available for pre-order soon. We think it'll be called "Bound Far Away" and we have some thoughts about the record design, but nothing is set in stone yet.

I'll try to get a video at our next rehearsal of one of our new songs...we've added "Leaving of Liverpool" to our rep and we're working out arrangements of "Rant and Roar," "Four Green Fields," and "Whiskey in the Jar," as well as a new instrumental set.

Greg, Dave, and Chris J lost power all week due to the storm. Chris V never lost power. Jeff moved. We haven't heard from Matt in a while, but he's down south and probably didn't get hit as hard as those of us in West Hartford.

- G

Jake spends a lot of time looking at this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Slammers n' pogz

We're going to the studio this weekend with our good friend Jake! He's going to record us making pretty music over the course of the next two weekends. Stay tuned for updates on our progress. We still don't have a name for the record, but we're pretty set on which songs we'll be recording. Old songs in our rep that never got recorded (The Blacksmith, Oldstrumentals), some more recent songs that have been played out for a while (Step It Out Mary, Johnson's Motor Car), and some brand new songs (Tell My Ma, Hector the Hero). Plus, David's dad will be guesting on fiddle for a few songs.

It'll be cool. I hope to get some footage from in the studio...but we're on paid time and it might be a little trickier.

- G

We played at Pipes in the Valley. It was fun.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tour blog entry - Raleigh, NC

And the video blog entry from our last day on tour! It's good to be home.

- G

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tour blog entry 18 - August 1, 2011

Two videos from Maryland and one from Virginia! We love Dear Creek!


Greg's a happy camper with Sydney.

- G

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tour blog entry 17 - July 30, 2011

We send our love to Windsor from Little Ugly today...we just found out he was in a rough car accident and is now recovering in a wheelchair. Windsor is one of the nicest people we know and we hate to see something like that happen to someone so great, but we know he's getting support from his awesome bandmates and friends while he goes through recovery.

We left David's cousin Anders' yesterday and headed over to my Uncle Mark and Aunt Kiki's house about half an hour away in Havertown, PA. We played in Bryn Mawr at the Milkboy Café Acoustic stage. It was a blast - the venue had a lot of family and friends (Our buddy Jake's family showed up! Thanks so much Judy and Scott and the crew!) and some new people to meet who stayed to listen. David Falcone opened for us and played a stellar little set on guitar and sang some songs, including one called "Buddha" that Chris LOVED.

Today we're heading down to Washington, D.C. to stay with my Aunt Sarah and cousin Mark after we play in Baltimore at Bohemian Coffee House at 7 PM. We'll get to see The Garrett and Chris Jasinski again, which is totally exciting!

I hope he takes a bass solo tonight.
Only one week left!

- G

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tour blog entry 16 - July 29, 2011

Last week, David and I looked up towns between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. We found Hammonton, New Jersey. We looked up "Coffee houses Hammonton, NJ." We found Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery. David called. They booked us for Thursday, July 28.

We can't thank them enough for booking us on such short notice, and we can't thank them enough for the wonderful time we had in Hammonton. The venue is a nice, small coffee and pastry shop right on the downtown strip of the blueberry capital of the world. The venue filled up around our second set, with djembe players standing by the pastries and a dancer/finger cymbal player standing next to the band. During our old instrumental set, the venue was filled with music and dance and energy.

Shows like that make us so glad to be touring as a band. Folk music, traditionally, is interactive, and last night's show felt like an old folk show might have felt. We got to talk to everyone in the bar in between songs and it was, I hope, as rewarding and fun for everyone else there as it was for us. We got some leads on places around New Jersey to play, so hopefully we can work out some weekend in the future when we can come down and play some shows!

Today we'll leave David's cousin's house, say goodbye to Anders, PJ, Astrid, Ellis, and Louie and head over to Bryn Mawr to stay with my Uncle Mark and Aunt Kiki and my cousins Timothy and Bennett. Tonight we'll play at Milkboy Café on the Bryn Mawr Acoustic Stage at 7:30. David Falcone will be opening for us and then we'll play our set. The show is FREE and we hope to have a nice crowd there!

- G

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Tour Blog - July 28 - Philadelphia, PA

We've gotten to hang in Philly with David's cousin Anders, his wife, PJ, and their awesome children, Astrid and Ellis. We ate Ethiopian food before our show at Triumph Brewing last night, which was a really neat venue. Thanks to Nick for running sound for us and making our lives that much easier!

Today we're playing in Hammonton, NJ, which apparently is the blueberry capital of the world! We didn't know that when we booked the show, but now we need to look up blueberry jokes. Here's one we might try.

What do you get when you mix IBM and Apple?
Blueberry Macs.

We don't get it, so we might try to find one that actually makes sense.

We'll be at Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery at 7! Hope to see you there if you're in the area!

- G

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tour blog entry 14 - July 27, 2011

It's been a blast staying in Long Island for the past two days. The Uhls were wonderful hosts and we got to see David's father play in his band at Molly Malone's on the shore. We'll be hitting the road for Philadelphia this afternoon to stay with David's cousin Anders. We've been so lucky to stay with wonderful family and friends this entire tour thus far and we're looking forward to everywhere else we'll get to stay!

Yesterday, we began actual discussion about a new record in the fall...we're mapping out what songs to put on it and how to feature singing by the most people in the band as possible. We're going to slowly work out a few new arrangements while on tour (Matty Groves, Tonawanda Too, Tell My Ma, among others) and see if we can get any of them on the record.

Hope to see you at Triumph Brewing Co. tonight in Philly...we'll start at 9:30 PM.

- G

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tour blog entry 13 - July 26, 2011

Last night at the Congregational Church of Huntington was wonderful. Check out the video to see two of the guest appearances! Annie also played accordion on "Courtin' in the Kitchen," which I'll get on Youtube soon.

This afternoon, we played a storytelling workshop at a youth center in Huntington Station. It was a really neat experience and we were glad to make that a stop on our summer tour.

We gave the kids mad libs to rewrite "Sally Brown." We got awesome verses!
See you in Philly tomorrow night! Triumph Brewing Co. is the place, 9:30 is the time.

- G

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tour blog entry 12 - July 25, 2011

Tour is fun. We replaced some equipment for tonight's show and it will be a blast. We're performing at a storytelling workshop in Huntington Station tomorrow afternoon, which will be a blast for the music educator side of the band.

Plus, David landed a job for the fall teaching infant music classes in North Haven. So give him a high five when you see him.

- G

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tour blog entry 11 - July 24, 2011

Playing at Explo at Yale tonight, then we're hitting the road to Long Island! It'll be an adventure! In one van! With a trailer!

Wave if you see a hopelessly nerdy minivan with trailer and turtle somewhere on the east coast!
- G

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


New tour date added - Thursday, July 28 at Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery in Hammonton, NJ! We'll be playing sixteen shows in seventeen days between July 21st (tomorrow) and August 6th. Hoo boy! Hope to see you at the Red Door in Watertown tomorrow night!

- G

With our friend Arielle's dad on fiddle in Schenectady! It was awesome!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tour blog entry 9 - July 9, 2011 and entry 10 - July 10, 2011

Sorry they're belated! I was away from internet for a week in the Finger Lakes. This is what I have to show from our day in Albany.

- G

Friday, July 15, 2011

D.C. venue needed - 7/30

Hello folks,

Our Washington, D.C. venue cancelled our show on Saturday, July 30 due to understaffing and lack of volunteers. It's quite unfortunate, but we're looking into other venues around D.C. and MD for that night. If anyone knows anyone in the area, or knows of a venue that might have us play on short notice, email right away! We know people were expecting to see us and we absolutely don't want to skip any of our destinations on tour.

- G

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy birthday, Dave!

The Beggars are fortunate enough to have a member can, simultaneously, present us with a rock-steady musical foundation and clear, thought-out plans for our future while also laughing at any mistakes any of us make (in rehearsal and on-stage) and provide us a wonderfully relaxed and down-to-earth presence. He's an integral part of this group and the best bass player that I've ever played with. It's safe to say that the band wouldn't be the band without any one of us, but anyone who's ever seen us perform can attest to his importance in the group's vibe, groove, musicality and stage presence.

Today is David's birthday. And we love him dearly. Happy birthday, David!

I think we played a stupid note together and it made us laugh.
- G

Monday, July 11, 2011

Heave away!

Apologies for the absence of video blogging. I know how much you all look forward to those. We haven't been around internet for a while, and the connection here by Seneca Lake, NY, is not good enough to get videos online in less than three hours. So I will get belated videos up as soon as I can.

Albany's show at Professor Java's was wonderful.
Schenectady's show at Moon and River Café was wonderful.
Hector's show at Hector Presbyterian was wonderful.

I'm going to go jump in the lake with Chris and Jeff now. David's on Long Island.

See you soon! Tour starts back up Thursday the 21st in Watertown, CT.

- G

I thought I rotated this but I guess I didn't.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tour blog entry 8 - July 8, 2011

Jeff and I spent the night in South Hadley with our buddy Chris Collins of the Nonsense Society. David and Chris made it up to Albany last night - I assume. We should probably check.

Playing in New Salem was was an awesome venue and we had a really great crowd. We had a few requests, some singing along, and a really warm response from everyone who came. Hopefully we can go back sometime - Chris really wants to come back in the fall to check out the foliage at the overview in the woods over Quabbin Reservoir. You can see all the way to Mt. Wachusett...although one of the 1794 employees told us that we could see Mt. Monadnock, which I mentioned during the show and elicited a meek "I...don't think so..." At any rate, you can see a pretty mountain and lots of beautiful trees.

Tonight we're playing with David Fey at Professor Java's in Albany starting at 7:30, and then we head up to Schenectady to play the Moon and River Cafe on Saturday night.

- G

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tour blog entry 7 - July 7, 2011

Getting set up to play the 1794 Meetinghouse in the lovely town of New Salem! The room is filling up and we're looking forward to a wonderful show. Jeff and I are staying in South Hadley with the wonderful Chris Collins while David and Chris head up to Albany. Tomorrow night is a show at Professor Java's in Albany with Olivia Quillio! Woo!

- G

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tour blog entry 6 - July 6, 2011

Maine is a blast! Evan and Sasha are our wonderful hosts in Portland and we met some awesome folks at the Lobster Cooker last night. Jeff's co-worker, Matt, came to see us with his fiánce, Kanae, and we met a wonderful group of people from Louisiana. We later got to meet Sophia and Isabella, two wonderful dancers who we hope to see again later on tour! Check out our Facebook page to see the picture we got with them! Our Facebook page also has photos that we've taken on our journey...I uploaded them this morning. Check them out!

We'll be back at the Lobster Cooker tonight from 4-7 and then we'll make our way down to New Salem, MA for our show at the 1794 Meetinghouse on the town common.

We love you! Tour has been wonderful and we're so glad that we get to travel and share our music so many new people.

- G

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tour blog entry 5 - July 5, 2011

Playing shows as a performing musician is an interesting experience, to say the least. It may seem, theoretically, as simple as driving to a place, playing a bunch of songs, and going home afterwards. I remember learning quickly that that was not the case as a high school pianist - hearing that a venue has a piano (usually "recently tuned!") is never comforting, as a lot of venues offer pianos that pre-date the Van Buren administration and are missing important keys.

Obviously, The Jolly Beggars don't run into that issue, but playing different venues every night presents different issues every time. Some venues are simple set-ups but the staff or bookers don't understand why music is important to their venue and treat their performing musicians as such. Some nights, we play for nice people who have no stage, no equipment, no crowd, and no reason to come back beyond "that guy was nice." 

Last night, we pulled up to O'Shea's Olde Inne in West Dennis, MA, after a beautiful day of swimming, walking, and enjoying the Cape. We parked our cars and were greeted by a guy in a huge beard, driving his old pickup truck out of the lot. He greeted us enthusiastically, told us that he expected a great crowd, talked to us about the venue, and let us know that we'd be having a great night no matter what happened.

He hit the nail on the head. The room at O'Shea's was an absolute privilege to play in - it's a wooden restaurant with a short ceiling, but the sound in that room couldn't be beat. Rooms like that are like playing freshly-tuned, well-maintained 100 year old Steinways - they basically play themselves, and the performers just get to enjoy it.

We played from 7-8:30 and had a wonderfully receptive crowd that ended up insisting that we play a quick set during their open mic before we left. O'Shea's offers a crowd that enjoys our type of music on an entirely different level than a lot of our shows, being along the shore and largely of Irish origin.

The bearded man who greeted us in the parking lot was Joe O'Shea, and he is one of those venue owners that makes being a performing musician a joy. He made sure we had everything we needed all night, chatted with us down the restaurant, and then invited us up to the lounge above the kitchen and talked to us about all of the old jazz musicians he saw live when he was younger (Ahmad Jamal on his first date with a girl in the 1960's, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, etc.). 

One of the comments we often receive from older listeners is that they are overjoyed that young people are still performing traditional music and having fun doing it. We appreciate that, and we're probably just as overjoyed to talk to folks who actually lived the tradition and the stories that we would have loved to experience ourselves.

Joe O'Shea, the bar crew and the waitstaff at O'Shea's treated us to one of the most fun shows we've played as a band. They treated us not as one-time entertainment who only need to be tended to so they know we're only taking one drink each on the house. They treated us like friends that they expect to come back and hang out really soon - and we sincerely hope we can come back soon!

But we have to finish our summer tour first. We'll be driving up to the Lobster Cooker in Freeport, ME for a two night stay.

- G

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tour blog entry 4 - July 4, 2011

We're at the DesRosier's house on Cape Cod for our gig tonight at O'Shea's in West Dennis at 7 PM! Tomorrow we'll drive up to Freeport, ME for a two night stay at the Lobster Cooker.

Explo last night was a blast...we had to move indoors because of the weather but we had a great crowd, including one of my former students and one of my former residents. We'll be coming back to Yale in three weeks.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

- G

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tour blog entry 3 - July 3, 2011

Tonight's event in New Haven is a closed event for Exploration Summer Programs - my old summer job. Looks like we'll be indoors because of the weather. We're going to drive up to the DesRosier's house on Cape Cod tonight after the gig to beat 4th of July traffic and play at O'Shea's in South Dennis tomorrow evening at 7! See you later, Massachusetts - we had a blast!

- G

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tour blog entry 2 - July 2, 2011

Framingham was a blast last night. We met lots of awesome people and they seemed to appreciate our performance. Debut of "In the Fairy Mound, Out the Fairy Mound" (or "Mount," I can never tell which) was last night to open our second set...rehearsal footage is in the video above.

Come out to The Blue Plate Lounge on Main Street in Holden, MA tonight at 8 PM! We'll be playing for three hours and we'd love to see you!

- G

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What can YOU do in a Jolly Beggars t-shirt?

Play the trumpet in a giant sombrero!

Cook up some eggs for breakfast!

Sweep the floor!

Watch your favorite TV shows!

Bike indoors!

Brush your teeth!

Enjoy your favorite books!

Enjoy "Sunshine and Shadow" on your iPod more fully!

Also great for a night on the town!

So they're $10 if you see us live, $15 with shipping if you order online. Tour starts the day after tomorrow!

- G

Friday, June 24, 2011


Cool, right?
Jeff's dad designed the knot in the middle and the letters, and the Greenoughs, good family friends of the DesRosiers, printed these up for us. We keep getting things that make it seem like we're a real band and I like it.

We've also booked one more tour gig...July 27th in Philadelphia at Triumph Brewery. We have three unbooked dates still on tour, and we're looking to fill them, even though I honestly think we might need a night not going "a-yu-dn-di-dn-dee-dn-di-dn-diddly-i-dn-da," but if we can play somewhere, we're not going to say no.

- G

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where the fields are fresh and green

Eight days until our tour begins! Holy cow!

We've ordered posters, bookmarks, t-shirts, more copies of "Sunshine and Shadow," and I think that's it. We're looking like we'll be in good shape! We'll be starting off in Massachusetts, then making our way back to Connecticut, up to Maine, and westward through New York. If we still like each other after that, we'll probably start on our second leg two weeks later.

It feels like we're official.
A few new songs will be making their way into the rotation...Patriot Game will make its full band debut on our radio on WICN most likely (David's going to use his bow!), and our Bonnie Ship the Diamond/P Stands for Paddy song will probably get its legs soon. I'm also working on a simple arrangement of "Eli the Barrow Boy," by The Decemberists for myself, David and Chris, as well as a song by The Dady Brothers entitled, "Tonawanda, Too." It's from a record they put out for the Erie Canal's 175th anniversary, and I've gained an appreciation for the canal having biked over 1/3 of it with my girlfriend, Sydney, last week.

That's it I suppose. Rehearsing tomorrow. We love you! See you on tour! More info here.

- G

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Eye Toonz

That's all there is to say about that. Wish David a happy flight to Jamaica, Chris J a happy drive to Virginia, and myself a happy bike trip along the Erie Canal! See you in a little bit!

- G

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tour updates and mini-golf

Hey folks!

We've gotten a lot accomplished this weekend - bought/reserved most of the gear we'll need for our tour, including a U-Haul trailer, started setting up stuff to get on iTunes (at long last!), ordering tour merch (shirts, bookmarks, posters), and we're still trying to book 7/27 and 7/28 in New Jersey and 8/2 and 8/3 in Virginia. We've sent out emails and calls to about seven billion places. Let us know if you know anywhere! We'd really like to fill those dates.

David is taking off for Jamaica later this week to teach little children music for ten days. Chris Jasinski is off to Virginia to begin his internship with NASA later this week as well. I'll be starting a bike trip of the Erie Canal with my girlfriend, Sydney, next Monday. So this week will be most of the finishing preparation for the first leg of tour.

We reached our Kickstarter fundraiser goal! Thank you all so much to everyone who donated. We'll still be accepting donations for another week, so consider donating if you haven't already.

All of these things are wonderful and important, but none as exciting and important as...


Jeff approves of David dating his sister. We think.
A gripping, testy battle between man and woman, Beggar and Beggarette, and a true test of all of our relationships. From hole 1 to hole 18, Safari Golf brought us all to our knees with joy and frustration. Every misguided roll past the cup, every directionless ricochet off of the low, brick barriers, and every hop and skip over the not-quite-flat putting surface pushed our sanities to their limits. With nowhere else to go but forward, The Beggars and Significant Others persevered through the wild safari past giraffes, hippos, elephants, plant-eating tigers, and foamy watery depths with nothing but bent-out-of-whack putters, colored golf balls, and the instrumental at the end of "Lark in the Morning" stuck in our heads.

We all emerged, but not the same as when we had entered. We had all grown and left our child-like innocence behind in the safari of Meriden. To call us The Jolly Beggars after our experience is almost impossible - we are entirely different individuals, and therefore must form a different entity. What this new group is, we cannot yet say. Only time will solidify the impact of haunting, wild safari mini-golf experience.

I shot a 42 and won. Woo!


- G

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tour updates + new songs

Hey folks!

The fundraiser is going really well, as you can see - we've reached almost $800 and we still have a week and a half to go. This fundraiser will go a long way to helping us out on our tour and we're thankful for all of your support. I wrote a note about this and another fundraiser on Facebook a few weeks ago and I thought I'd share it here as well.
I, as much as anyone, hate the fact that so much of our world is dictated by money. It's a crazy system that has our society in a stranglehold and the only resistance I've found in my own life is to spend as little of it as possible, regardless of how much is coming in. That doesn't really affect the problem at large, but at this point, there isn't much more I can do to change it.

That said, there are two projects happening right now that have succeeded largely on the backs of friends, fans, families, and the help of strangers. I am very proud to say that The Jolly Beggars have been able to do so much because of people who genuinely care about us and not people who care more about making money than about our success as musicians. The Nonsense Society, a project created largely by our good friend Chris Collins, has been an incredibly successful network of artists of all types and has raised all of its funds through donations and a close network of friends.

The Jolly Beggars and The Nonsense Society are both holding fundraising drives right now for individual causes, and both ask for your support. We want your donations to be out of your desire to see these two projects succeed, and hope you'll hold that in mind as you consider helping out our causes. Neither The Jolly Beggars nor The Nonsense Society were created to get rich and famous (if they were, we'd all be failing terribly right now), but we do need funding to help us reach a broader audience and spread our art and music and messages.

The Nonsense Society has big plans for this year - a project connecting up-and-coming artists with celebrities, a documentary series featuring work from around the world, a royalty-free music library for use by artists and musicians, and much more.

The Jolly Beggars are planning their summer tour and need funds for merchandise, a trailer/camper so we can reduce the amount of gas we use, printing of a live EP, and more. Donations to our Kickstarter project have rewards from the band, including thank you notes/videos, signed CDs, live gig material, and even dinner with one of (or all of) the Beggars!

Links are included below to more information about donating to each project. Thanks so much for all of your help! We love you!

Help The Jolly Beggars Fund Their Summer Tour

Donate to the Nonsense Society (Watch the video...The Beggars act like morons at the end)

- G
 Tour dates are still being filled...we're still looking to fill dates between Long Island and Philadelphia (namely in NYC and NJ) on July 26-28, and dates in Maryland/Virginia between August 1-3. If you know of any place we should check out, please let us know!

Jake, David, Matt, and I all graduated on Sunday the 15th...we played a few songs back at the house for friends and family, and a room full of people of all ages were singing "Gypsy Rover." It was one of the coolest, if not THE coolest, moment we've had as a band. The power and joy of folk music is something we love sharing with others, and this band has been an incredible opportunity for us to spread that with lots of people.

Last night, I went to South Norwalk, CT, to see Allison Weiss, one of my favorite singer/songwriters. She's an independent musician originally from Athens, GA, and I basically stole every promotional idea I've used with the Beggars from her - The Sixty One, keeping a blog, Kickstarter, and even the basic confidence to know that it's possible to make a lot happen with a lot of hard work. I got absurdly nervous when I met her afterwards briefly but was incredibly glad I made the journey down to support a musician who has given more to myself and the Beggars than she knows.

We're still adding songs to our rep for summer...Jeff and I will be premiering a new song tonight, "The Patriot Game" - a beautiful patriotic ballad that will eventually feature more of the band, but David was down in Atlantic City and Long Island with his band, Nonsense Syllables and Chris had a surprise concert in Hartford, so Jeff and I began arranging stuff on our own. Also coming - a combination of "Bonnie Ship the Diamond," an old sea shanty, and "P Stands for Paddy," which are essentially the same song.

We'll be off to Duxbury tonight to play at Pilgrim Congregational Church at 7:30. Hope to see you there!

- G

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fundraising project on Kickstarter!

Click to find out more!

We appreciate any donations. We love you. Hope to see you in North Haven on the 21st or Duxbury, MA on the 27th!

- G

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How are we to get there without a motor car?

I lied. Wordpress is confusing and I don't feel like devoting that much energy to something that unnecessary.

We'll be at La Paloma Coffee House this Saturday with Ladyhips ( We've been trying to get a show together with them for a while, so I'm glad we'll finally get to do it. The show will start around 7:30 PM.

We'll have a Kickstarter project ( up and running in the near future. We're doing our best to map our summer tour plans, and it looks like we'll need some help with the financial burdens of touring. We've arranged everything ourselves (much like we've done everything as a band) and it's been an exhausting - though rewarding - process. We'll be publicizing that a ton as soon as it's settled - there's money and business stuff to deal with first and that's weird and scary.

Last summer, the Chrises, David, and myself took a road trip to New Smyrna Beach, Florida. We all decided it was one of the best weeks of our lives, and we recorded ourselves playing on the beach one night. We sound terrible, but it's still hilarious to us and I'll probably get that footage on the website sometime soon. Because we know how much everyone wants to hear us being stupid. Otherwise, you wouldn't ever come see us at a show.

I've been playing "Molly Malone" off of our record to the elementary schoolers at my student teaching placement this week. They all think the penny whistle is great, and it's really neat to talk to kids about what I do and how much I've accomplished. They all think it's really neat and ask if we're on iTunes, if I'm famous, if we're rich, etc. The answer to all three of those questions is no. iTunes is the most realistic...we just haven't gotten around to making that happen yet. It's hard trying to be a big, widespread gigging band and teach music full time.

We love you! David, Matt and I will be graduating in eleven days. Best of luck to all of our fans who are in the midst of finals week and/or will soon be graduating!

- G

We <3 Mike Turek

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I'll be migrating over to Wordpress this week. Nobody uses Blogger. Not that it really will make that much of a difference in our lives or anyone else's lives.

We're playing at the Brandeis University Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts this Sunday - we're on the Shapiro Stage from 2:30-2:45. Come if you're in the Boston area! Game plan is Lark in the Morning (new song), Laverne's Wedding (both of those songs will feature Jeff's fancy, shiny new Celtic instruments), Gypsy Rover and Johnson's Motor Car. Wooo!

We love Chris Collins at the Nonsense Society.

- G

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Heave Away! Summer Tour 2011

That's right.

We're stoked to announce our plans for the summer of 2011! For those who are in close contact with us, this isn't really news, but the band is embarking on a Northeast summer tour starting at the end of June! Our percussionists will be working at music programs or NASA programs (Yeah, ask Chris Jasinski about that the next time you see him!), so Jeff, David, Chris V and myself are going to load up two minivans with our stuff and we'll be going through Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina - at least. As you can see, our tour poster is a work in progress, and we are halfway booked for the entire summer. We will be taking a break in the middle of the tour - otherwise, we might kill each other. Actually, David has commitments on Long Island, Chris V has to move in with his girlfriend, Jeff's best friend is getting married, and I'm going to hang out with my mommy and daddy.

If you can believe it, booking a tour yourself is a really difficult process. We have really embraced the DIY mentality and work ethic that has been an attitude of a lot of our favorite musicians, and we've been emailing and calling venues, family, and friends for months lining these gigs up. Seeing it all together is really exciting, and we're still confident that we can fill the vacant spots in our schedule.

That said, if you know anyone in the areas not yet filled, or any places you think we'd be a good fit, LET US KNOW! We're using all of our connections to make this tour a reality and we'd appreciate any help anyone has to offer. We're currently still looking for venues between 7/4 and 7/6 in New England and 8/1-8/3 in Virginia.

We had the pleasure of playing a show with AOI from Brooklyn and Dr. Caterwaul's Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps at The Outer Space in Hamden, CT on April 10. It was a wonderfully weird bill of folk music - Traditional Celtic folk, Miscellaneous folk (Fiddle, cello, banjo, accordion, percussion), and Spanish Medieval Music. It was a trip to play with them, and I hope AOI takes it as a compliment when I say that they are legitimate, crazy, smelly Brooklyn musicians who put on a wonderful and entertaining show. Hopefully we'll get a chance to play with those bands again.

University of Hartford's Spring Fling hosted us last Thursday, where we blared across the Village Lawn. I did not sing "Little Beggarman."

The four of us sans percussionists also just came back from a road trip to Potsdam, NY, where we played a house party for our Crane School of Music/SUNY Potsdam friends. It was an absolute blast and easily the most insane gig we've ever played. None of us were singing by the end - we were only shouting. And we did "I Saw Three Ships" as an encore. It was wonderful.

Jeff and I are currently on April vacation from our schools - Jeff is taking the time to buy more stringed instruments, I'm trying to get more tour things organized and our publicity up to date. More updates on our progress to follow.

Come see us play at Brandeis University in Waltham on Sunday, May 1 at the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts! We'll be playing at the Shapiro Campus Center Theater at their Folkfest from 2:30-2:45. We'll be displaying our best original arrangements...probably Lark in the Morning (new tune), Rising of the Moon, Next Market Day, and maybe an instrumental set or Johnson's Motor Car. We'll figure it out. Maybe the day of the event.

Happy April! We love you!

- G

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thy songs were made for the pure and free

It's been a wild March!

We played on the radio in Worcester, bars in East Hartford, Simsbury, Hartford, Wethersfield, Avon, a house party in West Hartford, venues in Middletown, the University of Hartford campus (twice), and we'll wrap up our March in Somers for a benefit concert at Somers Congregational Church.

We've gotten to play for a huge variety of audiences who have enjoyed a good drink, heard us talk about our lives, sat through our awkward stage presence, and I've mostly noticed how far we've come as a band in the past year and a half.

The other night, David and Chris V and I sat together in our living room and listened to the very first recordings we did together. We set up my Macbook in a room on the fourth floor of Hartt and recorded our rehearsal. We played "When Can We Get Married," which actually doesn't sound that different from when we do it now (Except Chris doesn't play whistle up the octave and I can strum a little quieter), "Finnegan's Wake," "Cunla," "Carlow," "Lukey's Boat" (with Jeff fudging the melody as an intro, then David coming in, then myself coming in) and "Rocky Road to Dublin," with a painfully long and clunky guitar intro.

We've come a long way. We've all grown musically, individually and as an ensemble, and we keep finding ourselves mentioned around the northeast.

Thanks a lot to everyone who comes out and supports us. It's been a fantastic musical experience for all of us and we're excited to see how far it takes us.

- G
Next year, we're buying David a new shirt.

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Season Plans!

Happy St. Patrick's week, everyone! Come see us - we're playing all over Connecticut!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
La Paloma Coffee House, Hartford CT - 7 PM - $5 suggested donation

Thursday, March 17, 2011
St. Patrick's Day Show
Catcher's Sports Bar, Wethersfield CT - 8-11 PM - $5

Friday, March 18, 2011
Hessian Lion Bar, Avon CT - 10 PM-1 AM - No cover

Sunday, March 20, 2011
The Buttonwood Tree, Middletown CT - 7:30 PM

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Hawk's Nest at the University of Hartford - 9-10:30 PM

Friday, March 25th, 2011
Sigma Alpha Iota Benefit for Life Concert (Headlining) - 7:30 PM
Hartt School of Music, West Hartford CT

Sunday, March 27th, 2011
Somers Congregational Church, Somers CT - 4 PM - $10

We had a great time up in Massachusetts for our live show on WICN with Nick Noble, and we played at the Prospect Café in East Hartford on Saturday and the Old Well Tavern in Simsbury last night. We're having a blast, playing some new stuff, and we'll be rocking out all week! 

Special thanks to everyone who tuned into our webcast a few weeks back - it was a really neat experiment and we were really pleased! Definitely something we'll try again in the future for our fans who don't live in the northeast.

- G

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Webcast concert this Friday!

This Friday! We'll have a small in-house audience and (hopefully) a large internet audience! There will be a chat room, so please watch and drop us a line and chat with us! We'll be playing some old favorites, some tracks off of "Sunshine and Shadow," and a couple of new tunes that we'll be playing a lot in the coming month!

The members of the band have been referring to the second week of March as "the beginning of the end"...of course this isn't serious, but we will be gigging once every three days in March, and Matt and I will be starting our second student teaching placements and Chris V and Jeff will be continuing their full time teaching placements and Chris J and David will be playing and preparing for recitals and concerts. But it'll be a blast.

Collage was a blast...lots of positive feedback from faculty, fellow students, audience members. Definitely an incredibly silly and positive opportunity for us to spread our music!

Other future plans include video recordings (we'll probably be recording the webcast concert to put online), a gig in Albany at the beginning of March, possible entrance into the Folgers' Jingle Contest, and a ridiculously crazy March calendar. Check out our list of upcoming events HERE to see when we'll be playing closest to you!

- G

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jolly Twitter

We're now on Twitter! I don't really know how to work it! But if you're on, follow us and I'll be updating it when we have something worth updating ("Matt is now eating a sandwich," "Jeff doesn't know where his keys are, LOL!" etc.).

Our Twitter page!

David is officially back from Jamaica and won't shut up about how life-changing it was. We'll be rehearsing Wednesday...working on "The Next Market Day," "Johnson's Motor Car," "Frog Went A-Courtin'," and more.

- G

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Online sales up and running!

Congratulations to Hannah Cross from Brandeis for being our first online customer! Plenty of records sitting in our houses waiting to be sold...head over to our WEBSITE to grab your copy! If you order one online, you'll get your CD soon with a little note from the band!

Come see us this Saturday at La Paloma Coffee House on Capitol Ave in Hartford, opening up for Little Ugly!

- G

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Sunshine and Shadow" now available for online purchase!

The record is now available for purchase on! Click here to go to the online store and buy your copy if you haven't already!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Never lead your single life astray or into bad company

Slàinte! Happy new year from The Jolly Beggars!

The band will be getting back together soon after our winter break hiatus. Christopher and Jeff have been rehearsing a bit, and I will join them this weekend to start playing some more new songs.

We'll be opening for Little Ugly on Saturday, Jan. 15th, at La Paloma Coffee House in Hartford. We'll be in reduced form for that night (Jeff, Christopher and I), but we'll be playing a jolly set of our regular rep. 

David and Chris are still in different countries, and once they get back, the band will get back into the swing of things. 

Over the break, I've been pushing our presence sales of "Sunshine and Shadow" should start within the next week, and we now have a functioning profile on you can check it out here. There are previews of all of the songs on the record, a few full-length previews, and "Paddy Murphy" and "Gypsy Rover" available for free download! The video section still features videos by other bands of the same or similar name (Bob Hay and the Jolly Beggars from Athens, GA, for example), but we'll just have to up our hits on our Youtube videos to change that!

Hope you're all having a lovely 2011. Shouldn't we be gigging on the moon by now?

- G

A little blast from the past - recording the demo, Jan. 2010