Read what the Equinox band has to say

What a Crow Night!

Thanks to all who came to the Crow last Saturday night!  You all filled the place and then some!   It was a real pinnacle performance for us - having such an enthusiastic and energetic full-house audience.......sharing our new CD release with you.....our first show out with the amazing Ryan Fitzgerald on bass fiddle and electric bass (and the wonder bar!).......the talented Dennis Lowe (and lucky newlywed that he is!) on pipes.....Liz dancing with her beloved teacher Carolanne Kilmer......and her last dancing with us in Saginaw......it was an emotion-filled, highly energetic and memorable evening.  Thank you from each one of us!   We are still enjoying the "afterglow" of the Crow!   Cheers to you all.

 

Alpena Library Concert was exciting!

The band had a great time in Alpena with the wonderful people that came out in the heat to listen to us and also dance. We enjoyed our time playing there and downing plenty of water bottles in the process. :P

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Missing Links

Jean Marie,  I read your Foxhunter's blog.  Pilib An Cheoil was originally the opener for the Kesh Jig/Ten Penny Bit set.  I remember the first time I attempted to play it in public at the annual Otto Roeser Park fund raiser at the First Presbyterian Church.  It was pretty rough going.  I got the 2nd tune, A Dubh An Gleana, from an Altan CD.

I started smiling when I began to read because I was aware of just how the set evolved.  A long and twisted path for sure.  I think you got it prrtty close with only a few embellishments to add along the way.

   

Evolution of the Fox Hunt!

Work on our new CD is progressing!   W're working our way through the recording and mixing process.  I shared one of thre first cuts of the box with my firend, Kate - we call it the Fox Hunter's Set.  It starts with a light skippy tune called Pilebachial (it's not spelled like that - I'm just guessing) - then rolls into a fun march with a long Gaelic name that I can never remember - much less pronouce (Vern can) - and finishes with a lively slip jig called The Foxhunters. 

Kate loved it!  She's a classical musician and started questioning me about how in the world we put tunes together and arrange a set like this.  It was fun to think back and try to recall how it all came together.   Every arrangement has a story - and an evolution.  Here's what I remember about how this set of tunes came about:

Years ago, I'm talking ten or eleven years ago, I remember Vern bringing the first tune to our attention (we weren't even all part of EQUINOX at that time).   He and I learned the whistle part - but it's a tricky one - got those C naturals all over the place and lots of jumps in the intervals.  We were both fairly "young" whistle players - and the fingering was difficult.  So we played it very slowly and paired it up with other tunes (I think we put it ahead of My Match It Was Made and Dunmore Lassie which ended up on our Wake the DEAD CD - without the tricky tune).   At some point we dropped it, but Vern never forgot about it.

The march in the middle, Vern also brought to us - he'd heard it on some other CD from some other band - and liked it enough to look it up and learn it.  But it didn't used to be in the middle!   It was the end of the set  when we first started playing it.    We tried out a number of other tunes to go with these two before we settled on Foxhunter's.   Leslie had played it before, I had heard it from my sweetie's pipe band, and we all just liked its energy. 

So we started learning the tunes - and deciding how we wanted to play them.   I remember a lovely summer evening rehearsal that started on my back patio with just Leslie and I on fiddle and high whistle- and my sweetie, Dennis, listening - playing it over and over while we waited for the rest of the band to arrive.  One by one they joined in as they got there - adding guitar (Kath), low whistle (Vern), and bodhran and bass (both Bobbie).  They were just fun to play!

That year we added it to our set lists at the Renaissance Festival and our fall concerts - still not in the order we use now.   But what we noticed is that audiences were so into the 2nd tune (which was then Foxhunter's) that they would break into applause spontaneously when we finished that and not realize that we had one more to go.  Our fiddler friend, Judy from the Faire, listened to it and immediately suggested that we switch the march into 2nd and save the rousing slip jig for last.   We did and the arrangement was cemented.  After that, it's just fine tuning and polishing - deciding on the stops in the march, the change in dynamics in the slip jib, the right tempo for the first one.  

Then it takes on a life of its own every time we share it with an audience - lately, for me.....I hear the whole set as "the foxhunt".    I can see the happy-go-lucky fox trotting through the forest and meadows during the skippy first tune.  The march makes me think of the hunters on horses making their way in a line to through the trees, dogs out front sniffing eagerly.  Then the call of the horn signifying that the fox has been spotted - and then it's on.  The baying of the dogs, the panic of the fox, and the chase ensues.   And since it's my story in my head, I have to tell you that the fox always gets away to run another day!

And soon we'll be able to share it with you on our new CD, AUTUMNAL EQUINOX....Or at one of our upcoming concerts!   It'll be on the set list.  Sure hope you like it!

   

Happy Thanksgiving Family & Friends!

Happy Thanksgiving from Equinox!........We will be in studio this Sunday cooking up our fourth CD!

Love ya, Equinox!

   

Great Time in Jackson

A return visit to the beautiful Cascades Park in Jackson......last summer we were there in a pouring rain - and still the crowds came out - as did the umbrellas! No need for umbrellas this year. It was a gorgeous August day. We especially enjoyed the sight of the audience dancing on the hill.....a couple waltzing, several Irish dancers jigging, and several brave polka fans on the pavement in front of the stage. Our most loyal biker fan, Laura, was there for her last concert before hitting the road for California. And Jean Marie's family came, but this year without her dear sister-inlaw, Evelyn who we lost in July. Singing Here's a Health took on special meaning as we realized that we really never know if we'll ever meet each other again. Happy trails to Laura. It'd be great to look out someday and see your beautiful blond hair and black leather above the crowd! JM
   

Reflections on our Shiawassee County Fair Venue

Me and my mates had a blast this summer on a mini-tour of various venues.  I especially found delight in the Shiawassee County Fair.  It felt as if I were going back in time as I viewed the Midway all lit up with the lights of the twirling rides. 
I especially liked strolling through the 4H livestock barns with all of those carefully groomed prize winning animals.  Cows, pigs goats, dogs rabbits and Chickens!  I found the Roosters especially fascinating with their colorful plumage.  I had never seen a turquoise chicken before!  I didn't know that was even possible.
And of course the patrons gathered under the big tent with all of those John Deeres in the distance.  The audience seemed very appreciative of their fair and the entertainment provided.  We loved playing there and seeing all of those folks turning out for a day of fun at the County Fair.  I hope we get invited to perform at more fairs next summer. Vo'

   

What others say ...

"They will make you want to dance, clap your hands, sing with them, and keep your feet tapping."

Gary Benchley | Friend of EQUINOX

 

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