Category Archives: play

Merry Christmas from the Champagne Céili Band!

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Tom Stoeffler and I loved playing for the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance‘s Christmas Céili 2017.

Awesome job, dancers! Thanks for including us.

December 16 Christmas Ceili

As a proud returning member of the Champagne Ceili Band, I warmly invite you to join us on Saturday, December 16 at 2 pm at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.

Christmas Ceili 2017: Christmas in Killlarney will be an afternoon of dance, music, fun, food and community.

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From the Facebook event page:

Watch your favorite Irish dancers perform both traditional and contemporary Irish dance along with some seasonal favorites! Then join in for a jig yourself!
Performance
Ceili (social dance)
Pot luck
Tickets sold at the door: $16
3 and younger free (on lap please)

Family Folk Machine; Calling Me Home

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Participating in the band of the Family Folk Machine is one of the great joys of my life and my husband Joe equally loves being a member of the intrepid bass section.

I will only be able to participate in the Sunday concert but my fellow fiddlers Caleigh Stanier and Ben Sauder will have the fiddle situation well in hand at the Friday concert also.

If you’re not yet familiar with the Family Folk Machine, we are a non-auditioned, multi-generational community folk choir directed by Jean Littlejohn. We are all devoted to and in awe of our wonderful director. She brings unmatched musical integrity as well as boundless joy with her to every rehearsal and performance.

The art for this poster is by one of our fellow choir members, Susan Stamnes. I love it so  much.

Please join us!

Friday, November 17, 7:00 pm at the Iowa City Senior Center
Sunday, November 19, 3:00 pm at the Old Capital Senate Chamber

Little Village Magazine Review

Many thanks to Little Village Magazine and to Kent Williams for his kind review of Folk Songs You Never Sang In Grade School.

Some of the best musicians in Iowa City and environs are not chasing a career in music. Keith Reins, for example, is a player and collector of folk songs who also works as a professor of English at Kirkwood Community College. After hours, you’re likely to find him at folk music sessions around Iowa City: at Hilltop Tap, Mickey’s or Uptown Bill’s Coffee House.

Reins is the guitarist at the session who slips jazzy passing chords into traditional Irish and Scottish tunes — verging on folk heresy — but always in ways that deepen and add texture. Reins approaches the depth of virtuosity and artistry of performers as revered as Bert Jansch and Nic Jones. There’s a nonchalance and ease to his playing that comes from countless hours sitting in a circle, playing with others just for the joy of it.

Click to read more…

Collaboration

This is me at my happiest onstage.

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Collaboration is where it’s at for me. I write these words as I listen to some tracks from a project in the works with my bandmate Keith Reins and our friend, piper Jon Cooper. The final recording session is scheduled for early next year but I can’t keep to myself how proud and grateful I am to be part of this project and to soon(ish) be able to share it with the world.

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To all my friends who are as fascinated by (okay, obsessed with) folk music as I am: go read Keith’s essays about this project. They are insightful, hilarious, and thought provoking.

Special thanks to Ginger Joslin VeDepo for taking these photos at the 2015 St. Louis Tionol.

 

Date Night

Most of the time that we have a babysitter booked, we’re working. It might look like a night out on the town but it’s really a night out for everyone else. We’re on the job playing music. I mean, it’s really fun, sure. And yes, Joe and I are in the same band so we have the illusion that we go out a lot but really we don’t. Almost ever.

Paying for a babysitter is not cheap and I don’t begrudge that. What could be more important that the safety and happiness of your kid? The problem is that by the time you’ve set that money aside, there’s not much left.

Enter our new favorite place, Filmscene:

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We’re members because we can’t think of a better fit for Iowa City than

“…a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the cultural vitality of the Iowa City area through film that challenges, inspires, educates and entertains.”

With the initial (extremely reasonable) membership fee out of the way at the beginning of the year when we’re determining our charitable contributions, going to a movie is just $10 for the two of us. If we really want to splash out, we can get a beer and a burrito or some popcorn that is nicely discounted by virtue of our membership.

Date night, we thought we’d killed you. You’re aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!!

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Here’s hoping that 2014 proceeds as it began

Here’s to a year of slow going, of taking time to putter, taking time to breathe, of “walking up the mountain rather than running up the hill” –Debbie Rosas

Here's hoping that 2014 proceeds as it began

Atticus and I up at the cabin before the polar vortex shoved us inside

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Nothing entrances like flame

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After only 11 short years and multiple rejections, Sam has found a dog bed which he will deign to sleep upon

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A robot costume made of the insert of the rice cooker and a cardboard box elicits more joy than the closet full of costumes can provide

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Dinosaurs need their tea time too, you know.