The band took a few months off in late spring/summer, while Kathy did her Bluegrass camps all over the country (Tennessee and Canada, among other places), Bo visited his family, and Chris and I tried to survive after I got laid off from my day job in June. Luckily I got another job, but then was laid off again in early August!! I've been on "the dole" since then, but things are working out ok. I've got a few students again, we've gotten a few gigs (a couple weddings, always great gigs with decent pay), and a few exciting band shows!
First of all, we were invited to Jackson, Mississippi for their CelticFest in early September. At first we were reluctant, because though we took the gig as the band Nine-8ths Irish, it was really just Chris and I. Luckily we convinced our good friend Justin
Murphy (from the band Legacy) sitting in on guitar - and he lives in Florida!! Now keep in mind we are used to playing with Kathy and Bo, and that comfort level is tough to do without! But we communicated with Justin via email and MP3s, and once we got to Mississippi, we ran through everything a few times, then had a TOTAL BLAST performing at the Festival!! Special thanks to Don Penzien, Valerie Plested and especially to Justin Murphy for helping us do what we thought might be impossible!!
We got a great response from everyone, and were asked to come back again next year, which, of course, we are HAPPY to do!!
More excitement came after we had been told we were not selected to perform at our favorite local festival, the KVMR Celtic Fest in Grass Valley. Kathy had planned on taking a trip with her husband once we knew we were not selected. But not long after receiving that news, we were asked to play for a Sponsors' Picnic during the Festival, which would get us passes into the Festival for the weekend!! Hell YEAH we'd take that!! This year's scheduled acts included Leahy, Niamh Parsons, Brian Finnegan, John Doyle, and last but not least, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas!! We were very excited to be able to see all these great acts!
Then we were asked if we would be interested in a time slot on the "Main Side Stage", which is typically regional acts that entertain while the Main Stage is changed out between headliners. We checked it out, and turned out we would have the chance to perform between two of the best musicians of the entire weekend: John Doyle and Alasdair Fraser, the final show on Sunday evening!! Of course we jumped at that chance, and were able to get Pierce Marines to fill in for Kathy on guitar. And we had Dave Cory sit in with us on a few tunes as well. It was a great opportunity for some good exposure, and we got the chance to hear John Doyle and Alasdair both backstage before they went on, which for musicians like us is almost more fun than the actual stage performances!! Thanks to Amy, Izzy and everyone else for a fabulous time once again in Grass Valley!!
We've had a great Summer 2010, and an exciting Fall so far, with our next few weeks filled with anticipation of first being on the radio, playing again at the Palms Playhouse (10/23), my birthday (10/24), then in November sharing a night with Quin and Culann's Hounds for our very first chance to perform at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA on 11/24/2010!!!
We'll try to be more diligent about posting updates - we'd love to hear from you!! Visit our website at www.nine8thsirish.com, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nine8thsirish and drop us a line!!