Collin County Songwriters Association

Think globally, rock locally

As some know, I'm very partial to playin' traditional Celtic music on the diatonic harp. ... Well. ... To be more accurate, I try to play tunes on the diatonic harp that are in the traditions of Celtic music. There's a big difference according to the dyed-in-wool traditionalist musicians, and in some Celtic music sessions (sessiuns), I can see a lot of wincing going on when I bring out my harmonicas. They figure I'm a kid that has never gotten out of kindergarten, I guess.

Like Sean O Riada, I try to jazz them up a bit, and the diatonic harp is a great little instrument to do that, and that really irks some folk for some reason. Hope they can get over it, 'cause I'm a little too old to worry about it so much. The reason they get upset I think is that I have to "fake" some of the incidentals and accidentals that frequently occur in Celtic tunes. ... Some people think I'm an accident, but that's a whole 'nuther story. And, I sorta jump out of the "normal" fiddle and piper modes. In short, I try to jazz them up.

As some have noticed on my page in the CCSA, I will take take traditional sheet music and rearrange the music slightly to fit the little diatonic harps. Obviously "trills" are out of the question with the harps, at least for me. I know that some actually modify their harps to play chromatically to match the sheet music note for note, and while that's really neat, I just sorta like to stick with the Richter Scaled ones out of the box. Lazy I surpose, and ... I'm just too scared to destroy my perfectly good harps, especially when I get my hands on them. I play mostly G, Low D, and maybe an A from time to time. I still keep a C ... just in case.

While playin' tunes is fun, it's even more fun playing with others, and I was wondering if some folk would be interested in having a Celtic-folk "jam" sessiun from time to time. Wouldn't have to play the harp at all. I'd be happy to provide some starter tunes/songs, and it'd be for the fun of it, if anyone is interested. Could be the start of a whole new "folk" tradition in Collin County.

Let me know.

Best regards, Shaun of the Keltic Dead

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