Welcome to The Celtic Sessions
The Chieftains, with very special guest Ry Cooder, present The Celtic Sessions, July 7-11, 2014 at the bucolic Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, NY. This special event is an opportunity for fans—both musicians of all levels and non-musicians—to deeply experience the rich beauty of Irish music and soak up one of modern music’s most enduring and fascinating careers.
An Invitation From Paddy Moloney
I want to invite everyone to join our Irish family for dancing, music making, and to share in my 53-year career with the Chieftains. There are so many stories I want to share with you all and I encourage a huge amount of questions!
When I was 6 years old, my mother bought me a tin whistle. To this day I carry a tin whistle everywhere I go in my coat pocket – it’s my mistress. Growing up, music was everything to me, and I was fortunate to get a lot of encouragement at home. I came from a musical family, and that grounding helped me to stay focused on the music I believed in as my career took off. It’s funny looking back now, but I remember in the early days we got big record label offers if we added drums and rock n’ roll guitars, but we held out without smokescreens and stuff. We just kept our focus on solid music.
The Chieftains have been fortunate to collaborate with so many wonderful musicians across so many different cultures. Music is a universal language so we’re calling our gathering ‘The Celtic Sessions’ because Irish music is so vast. The whole Celtic country point of view includes Welsh and Cornish styles, among many, many other regional cross-pollinations. We want to incorporate Scottish, Spanish, Bluegrass, and possibly Cuban and Galician styles as well. Most of the above mentioned themes are based on ancient Irish tunes so this wide music overview seems fitting.
During our time together, we want to demonstrate various pieces of music and offer workshops for music fans and musicians of all levels. There will be master classes on composing music, singing, dance and Irish instrumentation and technique, and we want to host a big jam session amongst people and have them join us onstage to work out a tune. We will be traveling with our extended Chieftains family, some world-class fiddlers, an absolutely brilliant harpist, a guitarist who can go from flamenco to bluegrass in a heartbeat, and dancers with unparalleled talent that can teach you the real stuff.
This will also be a special experience because it unites us again with Ry Cooder who first recorded with us in 1995 on “The Long Black Veil”. More recently in 2010 we got together and produced the album San Patricio. Some of my most enjoyable studio sessions and concerts have been with Ry as he has such a great flair for all types of music. I’m looking forward to seeing how this reunion of spirits will spark us to explore things we haven’t done before.
I’m so excited about this experience, sharing stories, delicious meals, and music with you, my new Irish family, at this absolutely breathtaking resort.