Celtic Corner
By Decimus Rock

Limerick Parade Revival

After some eighty years, Louisville's St. Patrick's Day parade is returning to the historic Limerick neighborhood. A mainstay of this heavily Irish enclave of Louisville, the forces of successful integration into mainstream society and the unpopularity of Irish neutrality combined to stifle this unique expression of Irish heritage in America. Kathy and Harvey Sloane revived it in the Seventies. The parade left for a more supportive administration in Jeffersontown but has been wooed back by "Mayor for Life" Abramson's new eventmeister, Carol Butler.

And a fine thing it is, too. The details of the celebration are being formulated as you read this article. This much Rock does know:Saturday, March 14 is the day; the line of march begins at St. Louis Bertrand Church on 6th Street and will pass in review on 4th Avenue in front of Spalding University. There will be the customaryhooley featuring local Celtic bands and musicians afterwards and on into the night at theRudyard Kipling, which, as you know, is there on the very fringe of Limerick.

There will no doubt be strong contingents from the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Sons and Daughters of Erin, the Greater Louisville Irish Cultural Society, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Louisville Pipe Band, the Scottish Society of Louisville, and who knows, maybe even the famed Blarney Boys will strut their stuff. Much fun is assured.

Watch this space!!!

Session Etiquette

Rock has been asked to opine on this subject from a number of sources so,YOU ASKED FOR IT!

Common sense, common courtesy and a genuine affection for the music are the fundamental ingredients for successfully participating in Irish music sessions. While the following maxims may seem rigid to some, note that there is some leeway. A session in New York or Chicago will have more rigid standards than those found here in the "provinces."

Some hold these truths to be self-evident. Some don't have a clue.

Thus, in no particular order:

Have big "ears" -That is to say, listen ye gobscheidt! If you are playing rhythm or strumming along to accompany, let the melody instruments be heard! Allow the lead instrument to set the tempo before crashing in with your own notion of how the tune ought to be played.

Give everyone (assuming a modicum of competence) a chance to play. Perhaps you can do it better. Relax, you will have your chance. Acknowledge your commitment to the music by encouraging fledglings to participate. You were there once, remember? You don't have to play on every tune. Sarah McQuaid, Irish musician and writer goes so far to say that, if you don't know the tune, don't play (even accompaniment). Rock would temper that a bit by saying, if you don't know the tune, then at least noodle quietly.

If someone offers a song, shut up. It's hard enough to command the attention of a room full of people who came to drink without paying a cover charge much less competing with fellow musicians jabbering their newest joke, gossip or sports scores.

Respect other's instruments. Always seek permission to play another's instrument. If you break a string (or worse), pay for it.

Don't show up with a tambourine or spoons and expect to play much, if at all. Sessions are for fiddles, tin whistles, guitars, banjos, etc.

One bodhran at a time, please!!! Some traditional musicians believe they should be played with a pen knife.

This is Rock's damn opinion. If you don't like it, sue Carl Brown.

Louisville-Belfast Connections

Kathleen Hoye has recently returned to River City after spending over a year in Belfast, northern Ireland. She played in trad sessions there and even made an album of original songs while in Ulster's capitol. She feels that although the songs are not strictly traditional Irish, the chord choices and progressions have "an Irish feel." Her primary mission was as a part of the Atlantic Fellowship for Public Policy to work with the northern Ireland Economic Research Center devising and evaluating strategies to revive communities scarred by sectarian conflict. You can hear her music atKiwi's (on Bardstown Road next to Bobby J's) on the 6 and 7th of February.

Welcome home, Kathleen.

Celtic Hearts

Galloglas will perform in concert at the Rudyard Kipling on Valentine's Day, Saturday, February 14 at 8 p.m. Their lastseven shows have sold out, so get your reservations now. Call 636-1311.

As usual they will feature guest artists TBA.

World Record

The second annualGuinness Toast is scheduled for Saturday, February 28. This is the world's largest simultaneous toast ("slainte" - pronounced SLAWN-cha - is "cheers" in Irish) .The Irish Rover is once again celebrating the occasion with a tent and live bands: Galloglas from 6 to 9 p.m. andThe Rashers from 9 to midnight.

Speaking of the Rashers, they will be performing on Febuary 6 & 7 at R. P. McMurphy's in Cincinnati and on February 21 at the Thomas Winery in Madison.

Calling All Celts

If you know of a Celtic music event or anything you might think would be of interest to Celtic Corner readers,please give old Rock a call here at LMN. Slan!