Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall 2010

I've been extremely remiss about posting anything here recently, so I thought I'd try to catch up a bit.

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!!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spring 2010 - Traumatic Easter

We had a simply AMAZING month of March: the band played as part of the deVere's St. Patrick's Day Block Party (check out the YouTube video), as well as at McCormick & Schmick's, and ended up at Brew It Up! After that we performed at SS Peter & Paul for this St. Paddy's Day Dinner, had a BIG show at The Palms Playhouse in Winters, CA (got some video of that too, HERE).
April wasn't bad, started out great with a Contra Dance in Sacramento, then a really nice show at Evangeline's Cafe in Colfax. After that, Chris and I headed home, giddy from the great turnout and wonderful people we met.

We got home to our little apartment in Sacramento, whereupon we were robbed at gunpoint by three young black men. They jumped the fence (yes, it was a gated community), one had a mask, two had handguns, and they demanded our debit cards and PIN numbers, which of course we promptly provided. They took both our iPhones, and my entire purse, which among other things had about 10 CDs in it!! All in all, we were lucky, and we're able to get inside, call the cops and start that whole process.
To make a long story short, we spent Easter Sunday holed up in our apartment trying to start to deal with the trauma, and decide what to do. We then found a new place to live (thanks to Craigslist!), and were completely moved out by about a week after the robbery!! We're now in a much better place (a duplex, with a yard!!), and though we're anxious to be getting back to playing, being able to basically rest and recharge for the latter half of April and the entire month of May has been helpful!!

We'll be back to a few shows in July, some exciting shows coming up down the road, and look forward to seeing y'all out there!!

18 June, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The N8i St. Patrick's Day Marathon, 3.17.10

It all started at a fairly civilized hour, when Chris and I arrived at McCormick & Schmick's at (11th and J) to set up the sound system. We had plenty of time to get set up, do a quick check to make sure it was all functional, and even have a quick nip to get the blood flowing. That was around noon....

We left on foot to head toGig #1 at deVere's Pub, about 5 blocks away on L Street between 15th and 16th, for their 2nd Annual St. Paddy's Day Block Party. They had been setting up since 4am, and had closed off the street, installed portapotties and police cars, and the Block Party officially started around 8am that day, so when we arrived the stage was already set up, beer was being served, food was cooking and people were starting to stream in, all being recorded for several different local news broadcasts. Kenneally Dancers were everywhere with their curly hair and colorful outfits, gate lists checked, wristbands applied, cold beers gotten, and sound check completed, then we played from 1:30pm until 3:30pm. It was a decent crowd, and we were able to escape before the really REALLY crazy revelers arrived. (Did see one guy puke right in front of the stage, he was escorted out, but STILL HAD A BEER IN HIS HAND!!!!)

Then we walked BACK to McCormick & Schmick's for Gig #2, where we played from 4:30pm to 6:30pm for an Irish Happy Hour!! This restaurant is at the corner of 11th and J Streets, and is absolutely gorgeous! They have a fabulous bar, stocked with just about every Scotch you could imagine (OK maybe not EVERY one...), great food, and one of the best Happy Hour menus around! The crowd was appreciative, and starting to get a bit rowdy, so it seemed everyone had fun.

After Mc&S, we packed up the sound system and headed over to Gig #3, to BREW IT UP! This great brew-pub is located at 14th and H, and they had set up an outdoor seating area, plus they had menu specials throughout the day. We had sore feet, sore fingers and we're starting to get a bit cranky, but once we started playing, it was a blast!! For the third time that day!! Mike and the gang took good care of us, getting us past the crowds to set up, and then we played from 8:30pm to 10:30pm to a very enthusiastic fun crowd!! We only had one close call when a, shall we say MATURE woman was twirling around dancing, and almost took a stage dive over the monitors into the mic stands, but Brady was there and successfully caught her before any damage was done!!

All in all it was an exhausting but fabulous day, and we can only hope that the multitudes who saw/heard us has just a fraction of the fun we had!! We'll do it again next year, though we may decide that two gigs will be enough.
Irish and a wee bit more!!!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sonora Celtic Faire, what a weekend!

Wow, what a week!! It would seem I have been lax in my blogging duties having not put one up about last weekend, but come on, we have been a bit busy hahaha. Well our St. Patrick's week started in Sonora, CA. at the Sonora Celtic Faire. We got to play alongside Golden Bough, those folks are great fun. We met up with some great NEW friends, and fellow Clan Inebriated members (more on that in a bit), and got to hang out with our old friends from Dallas, Needfire! Somewhere out there is video of them letting me sit in with my drum on a tune, that I must say was the highlight of the weekend, or at least the one I can tell you about Muahhaaha. What does that mean? It means you should have been there!

So about the whole Clan Inebriated membership LOL! I found a clan, or perhaps they found me, on the first night we were there, and it would seem I was living via their motto (to drink, to friends, to fun!) , so much so I was told I HAD to come to the clan tent the next morning! I'm surprised I even remembered that truth be told. What I do know is between the C.I. folks and the Kilt Lassies (<-- see photo!) from MacKinnon's Kilts we had a great time that night, and they made it a wonderful weekend that we won't soon forget. Thanks Ladies!

Here is the short video of Needfire with Chris sitting in on the bodhran...he and Mike (the fiddler) totally ROCKED it!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sound check done? Check! Players ready? Check! Audience? BIG CHECK! WHAT A NIGHT!!

FRIDAY, February 19th, 2010: The day started like so many others on a gig day, lots of packing of gear, essentials, and what-nots, followed by a bit of a drive and lots of coffee, but today was a bit different: it was The Center for The Arts.
We arrived a bit early, and it was a good thing too, it gave us time to get sound check done, kinda get some food, and get ourselves ready for the coming few hours. I have to admit I was a bit nervous in the beginning, but once we got the sound check done and had some beers in the green room, I was REALLY anxious, and I don't think I was alone.
All those thoughts and feelings just disappeared once the "curtain" went up so to speak and we all sat/stood at our respective places on stage and started doing what we love to do, play music - Irish music - for people who love to hear it.
The nervous energy we had was turned into drive and rhythm that was then fueled in turn by the energy of a crowd in the throws of dancing and clapping and foot stomping. I felt like I was being given 220v of pure electricity every time I looked at my friends on stage and we were all smiling, swinging, swaying, and having a very good time. We had over 90 in attendance last night, some of them we knew, some we know now. They all worked together to make themselves my pick for audience of the year!

Thanks to Mikail and Marny from TCFTA for the fabulous sound and the star treatment, and Annie O'Dea Hestbeck from KVMR for the great introduction, and everyone else at KVMR for welcoming us to their station - you guys are great!!

In short, the crowd was great, the music was smoking, the night was a huge success, and if you weren't there, you have no idea what you missed. I sure hope you make the next show....lots coming up in March!!!


(Note from Linda: Special thanks to everyone from Center for the Arts for giving us the chance to play at their wonderful venue; to everyone who came out to support and hear us; to Jon Hartley Fox for his Way With Words, and both Jon and Jacky for help selling CDs, we love you both; and to Kathy, Brady, Bo and especially Chris for helping convince me to get out there on stage when I'm supposed to!! I love you guys!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SPRING: Busiest Time of the Year!!

Our new CD, "Out on the Ocean", was delivered on December 11th, but we are just getting the word out on this great CD! We had a great initial CD Release Party at The Fifth String in mid-December; thanks to all who came to see us, and to those who helped out! Then we headed up the hill for a New Year's Eve show at our favorite pub in Reno, Ceol Irish Pub. A great time was had by all, there were no casualties and we didn't even have to use our chains!

We all survived the holiday season, which means we lived through all the visits with family, the stress and extra pounds from those wonderful meals and desserts (love my mom's lemon meringue pie!) We pretty much took the month of January off, and played a Contra Dance on Friday, February 5th, and now we're already ramping up to March....but we've got a few other exciting things coming up before that:

We've got a Fox & Goose show on Feb. 11th, but our big one will be on February 19th at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley!!
We'll have Annie O'Dea and Laurie DesJardin from KVMR Radio helping us out that night, and we're really excited about this one!! Tickets are only $15.00, and can be purchased from The Center for the Arts (in person or online), as well as from Briarpatch Market and Yabobo in Nevada City, and from Cherry Records in Auburn.

We'll post another blog after we are done with that show...we'll have a few days to decompress before heading into March, which is of course the busiest time of year for any self-respecting Irish band!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Already WINTER?!?!?!?!?

Yup, it is, and Fall was passed here in Sacramento with N8i mostly spending time in the recording studio. Paradise Studios, to be exact...and Craig at Paradise got to know us all probably better than he wanted to!! We did the final recording in September, then spent most of October listening, fixing, relistening, adjusting, changing track order, adjusting levels, and we finally got it all to our liking just after Halloween!! The CD artwork was done, we sent it off for duplication and printing...in the mean time we traveled up to Reno for a gig up there, played on a Friday night at Revolution Wines tasting room (try their wines, they are FABULOUS!! www.revolution-wines.com) and now it's the middle of December.....December 12th to be exact, and we just got the CDs delivered YESTERDAY!!!

"Out on the Ocean" turned out better than we had hoped, and Kathy and I (Linda) were on KVMR radio to help announce the arrival of the CD, and to help promote our initial CD release party, which is taking place at The Fifth String, at 930 Alhambra @ J Street, in Sacramento, on Sunday December 13, at 4pm.

We're also heading back to Ceol Irish Pub in Reno for New Year's Eve, though it will be a more ad hoc group, with Kathy and Brady being replaced for the evening by our friend Frank Frizell, and we'll be doing lots of pub sing-alongs. We plan to have lots of fun, though, and it's a great way to ring in the new year!!

In 2010, we have a big night planned for February 19th, when we'll be playing in Grass Valley at the Center for the Arts, and some great shows coming up for March as well!! In the mean time, happy holidays everyone, and you can always get a copy of the CD for a Christmas gift - just visit the official Nine-8ths Irish website at www.nine8thsirish.com. See y'all soon!!