The Asheville Irish Session
It’s held at a bar downtown called the Jack of the Wood where Clandestine would play again if we came to the area. I go every Sunday when I’m in town and the last couple of times there has been a local celebrity playing fiddle or octave mandolin along with the regular folks who are all good at holding a tune as well. As I sat in with the group holding my flute and waiting for a tune I know to come up I had a little time to think and observe a master at work. I realized he’s as much better at transforming the air of the room than me as I am compared to someone who doesn’t play music at all. The last two sessions have given me a good reminder as to why I play music at all, because there’s a chance we’re all beautiful and good. That’s how great music, especially celtic music makes me feel when it’s done right. I remember hearing Solas in 1996 when I needed to see something beautiful or I was going to give up playing. To see them and hear them at the North Texas Irish Festival against the background of the other bands was such a shock that I could really say it transformed me. I quit smoking two days later having lost my taste for slow suicide after that and anyone who knew me then had never seen me without a cigarette.
So being at the Irish session last week gave me a little reminder of how beautiful music can be and how I need to try harder to do it well. Waiting for a familiar tune to come up, completely rapt by the beautiful tunes I was listening to, I heard a little voice ask “why is he so much better at this than you? It’s amazing!” and then the answering voice right away knowing “It’s because he loves it more”. The love. That’s it.