Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kyteler's Inn Bodhran Session and Traditional Irish Music

On our trip to Ireland, we had a lovely time listening to traditional Irish music. One of the things that makes Irish music so enjoyable is that they encourage audience participation. At Kyteler's Inn in the charming city of Kilkenny, not only is there traditional music, but they also have free sessions where visitors can learn to play the bodhran, a frame drum.  My husband has been learning the bodhran with our Celtic Band, Dal Riata, so we were eager to see the bodhran sessions at Kyteler's.

The session we attended was lead by an energetic and friendly guy named Damien Walsh, who plays bodhran in the Irish band Na Fianna. I was impressed that Damien so quickly engaged all the would-be bodhran players; he had us playing along with real melodies in what felt like no time at all.  I had never played bodhran before, and I enjoyed the class so much that we came back to watch the second session after our class was over.  We played through many different songs, including "The Gael" from the Last of the Mohicans, a beautiful song to play.

After the bodhran sessions, we listened to a few songs by the Raglan Rogues.  I'm afraid that we were so exhausted from the intense first few days of our trip that we didn't stay for the whole show, but I enjoyed the songs that we heard.

In addition to its lively music and fun bodhran sessions, Kyteler's Inn also had excellent food.  I had an appetizer of deep-fried rounds of brie with raspberry coulis.  The raspberry sauce perfectly complimented the delicious brie, adding just the right amount of sweetness and acidity to the rich cheese.  My husband loved their Irish stew, which had large chunks of lamb and a rich earthy taste.  

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