Scottish & Irish folk songs combined with Lord of the Rings music and Celtic music fun at Renaissance Faires

Brobdingnagian Bards Tales

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Unbee-lievable Time at Louisiana Renaissance Festival

The Louisiana Renaissance Festival, what a wonderful faire!

I had a grand time this past week in Louisiana. It was a pleasant glance at what's to come in seven months and seven days when I turning music into my full-time profession.

We left a nice cool fun weekend at the Texas Renaissance Festival and drove out on Monday to Louisiana. We stayed with our friend Jamie and her family. She put us up with a number of other entertainers. Tuesday through Thursday we played their School Days and on Saturday and Sunday, we did our one weekend at the festival.

The site looks better than ever. Picture a small English village surrounding a small lake, and you have one of the most picturesque faires I've seen.

For School Days, I finally got to see Craig O'Farrington on the Lute. He did a fun History of the Lute (sa'lute) performance for the kids.

Saturday looked to be bad day due to an 80% chance of rain, and rain it did. But like I always say, rainy days are often some of my favorite days at faire. That's when you get to be up close and personal with folks.

I started off the day hanging out at the inn and jamming with hammer dulcimer player, Vince Conaway. We first met Vince at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. He's an extremely talented street performer, chatting with folks as taps away Celtic tunes on his hammer dulcimer. Meanwhile, Andrew, jammed with the Bedlam Bards up at the faire pub.

After a while, I walked up the lane to Jamie's cottage. I sat and played music for her and a growing number of folks until Andrew arrived, and we turned our rained out stage shows into impromptu street performances at the cottage. It was a lovely venue. Perfect for watching the rain fall down on the lake in the heart of the faire. That's a time I'll treasure always.

The rain did slow up a bit by the afternoon and while everyone dreaded a horrible day, Saturday turned into one of the best overall for everyone I talked to.

Not to say Sunday was any less fun though. The chance of rain dropped to 30%, but after a short shower in the morning, the day was overcast with not a bit o'rain. Heck, the sun even peeked out at sunset.

Our stage shows were moved permanently to Jamie's Cottage. The three shows turned into four-ish with frequent jamming, occasionally disrupted by a few bees that seemed to be buzzing around quite a bit. It sure made for an interesting official first show. "Ducats" was all bee related. Fortunately, there were no stings during our shows, though I heard a couple other folks at faire were not quite so bee-lessed.

I thought the weekend couldn't get better, but it did when the faire ended. We all headed back to Jamie's where the faire musicians had a jam session. Now THAT was a major treat. I love Celtic music, but when you get with a bunch o'faire musicians, you get more than just traditional music. We played everything from 60s to blues, comic folk to punk on autoharp, stand-up bass, mandolin, recorder, flute, guitar, hammer dulcimer, and fiddle. It was too much fun. I wish we coulda gone all night. Maybe next time.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, November 23, 2004


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