Dispatches from the road from our wayfaring travelers.
Wow! We saw and played so much music yesterday! We began our day with a train ride from Stocksfield to Newcastle.
We sat in the lobby of the Sage Gateshead and played some tunes and made some new friends. After lunch we headed downstairs to some classrooms.
The Sage Gateshead is host to classes for a folk degree program for Newcastle University Students. We saw a recital of 2nd year folk degree music students. Each band had it’s own flavor and style, it was really neat to see them play traditional folk tunes, mixed with contemporary music, mixed with original compositions.
We headed over to the the Free Trade Inn afterwards where the students could let out a deep breathe. They are so nice to us and really welcoming showing us around! Some folks started playing Gypsy Jazz tunes, neat! I had a little exchange with our new friend Natalie who is a vocal major. I played her an Old Time tune and sang her a song from Mexico and she sang me a beautiful Odetta tune, her voice was so deep and soulful, what a treat!
JMac discovered everyone new a bunch of Old Time tunes and gathered a list of tunes everyone knows here so that we can bring back a few!
We headed over to the Sage Gateshead for the evening Adult classes. From 7-8pm have beginning classes for fiddle, guitar, whistle, and accordian. Later in the evening they also have choir and Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Ensembles. I saw that Ruth Ball was teaching fiddle. She’s a musician I met several years ago. I was fun to have the opportunity to see her teach! I followed her over to the Beginning Ensemble, and we played from French dance tunes! A group of folks grabbed my hands to dance to the tune first, they had to be sure I new the dance, I loved it!
Here’s a recording of the French Set:
I went to the choir group and sang a song in Zulu called Wajikele. I sat next to woman from Poland and we had great fun! Next we sang Wild Mountain Thyme, pretty awesome!
After class, our friend Matt led us to some fish and chips and then we headed to Bob Trollop’s for a super jam of fiddles, electric bass, whistle, guitar, cello, clogging, dancing and energy! It was so exciting to sit and play tunes from England, Ireland, Scotland, the U.S. and Mexico. The group was very welcoming to us really up for swapping some tunes!
More fun adventures to come, the Hexham Gathering begins tonight!