Banish Misfortune

Banish Misfortune (key of D) is one of my favorite jigs. I love the tune, but even if I didn’t love the tune so much, the name just can’t be beat! KGB plays this tune as the 2nd in a fun jig set starting with Tripping Up the Stairs (D) and wrapping up with Gillian’s Apples (G). The recording link below is by Willie Clancy, namesake of the famous Willie Clancy week. The version is a bit different from the sheet music (where I learned it, also shown below), but couldn’t resist a Willie Clancy recording 🙂 Enjoy!

Listen to Banish Misfortune played by Willie Clancy

Noon Whistle

Last night I had the pleasure of being invited to the home of one of my former students to play some tunes and sing some songs with him, his wife and their two border collies. John and Holly have a wonderful little shop in Standardsville, Virginia called Noon Whistle Pottery where they offer their own pottery, but also the art of over 100 other artists from around the country including pottery, sculpture, jewelry, glass, woodwork, and paintings. They are a delightful couple and I very much enjoyed their hospitality. I instantly took a liking to John in my class as someone who dabbles in lots of interesting stuff. Be sure to check out the “after hours” section to their website for pictures of the making of his hand crafted guitar, Holly’s beekeeping, and on-going construction on a cottage in Ireland that John and his brother have been working on in recent summers. On the way out the door, John showed me his latest project that was lying in the back of his van – two curved pieces of cherry that will soon become a table. So more to explore with him next time when we discuss sawmills and handmade tables. Hope he makes it over to Ireland this summer as I’d love to see the cottage he’s working on in person!

Ireland and Sleep

I couldn’t resist re-posting this link on sleeping habits mixed with the writer’s trip to Ireland. In our family, we have an extreme mix of late-nighters and early birds, so it struck a familiar chord. Who knows, maybe in Ireland all clocks reset. No doubt the Guinness and disconnect from our electronic tethers allows us all to leave what keeps us up at night or wakes us early back in the states. Can’t wait!

Long Night’s Journey into Sleep (NYT Article)

I’ve been working on some new tunes recently and will record and share them next week!


As part of our fundraising efforts for our upcoming trip to Ireland, BRIMS delighted a crowd of folks at Fridays after Five on the downtown mall in Charlottesville. Fast paced tunes and dancing by our students created a family-fun atmosphere for all who came by. Here (hear?) is just a snapshot of part of our group in action. (Thanks to Sara for the picture!)

Come see us this Friday, May 21st at 7pm. It will be a slightly different group of folks, but still loads of fun! Look for us around the fountain / Paramount. And, if you enjoy the music, please donate to help us defray the costs of our trip!


Well, our class did a bang-up job at the recital! Such a fun group. There were over 100 people who came out to hear all the various student classes… a fabulous turnout. Hard to say bye to Mimi, but excited for her new adventures and look forward to hearing about life in Turkey. Many thanks to all our BRIMS teachers – Mimi, Alex, Marina and Lori. Here’s a picture from our fiddle class… yes, apparently we like to sleep while playing (or maybe concentrate).

Next stop on the BRIMS tour will be busking on the downtown mall on Friday 5/7 at 7pm to raise funds for our upcoming trip to Ireland and then our annual fundraiser and silent auction 5/14 at C’ville Coffee. Hope to see you all there!

First of May

In honor of Alex’s May Day party, we learned the hornpipe, “First of May” last week in our combined class finale. I’m sure it was a wonderful party again this year, sorry our family had to miss it. I wasn’t able to track down the sheet music for the tune, but will look some more when I get the chance. If anyone has a transcription of it, please send it on.

Thanks for another wonderful 12 weeks of class, Alex!

Listen to The First of May