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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