Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Tinker's Son, Norwell, 1/5/11

I had been wanting to get down to Laura and Stuart's session in Norwell for a while, so a nudge from Laura, coupled with my diminished travel schedule this week, was enough to divert me from my usual Wednesdays at Tommy Doyle's routine. A rumor that David might be in attendance was also a motivating factor.

I don't mind driving, and actually enjoy the adventure of looking for new places. I had certainly heard of Norwell, and have driven past the Norwell/Hanover exit on Rt. 3 many times, but had never actually been there, so I was not sure what to expect. As far as I knew, Norwell was some small town, of no particular note, tucked into the hinterlands south of Boston. I was pleasantly surprised to find the exit (15/Rt. 53) come up much more quickly than I had anticipated, and figured the rest of the drive would be a piece of cake - which turned out to be not exactly the truth. Most people in 2011 would have Google-mapped the directions prior to leaving home, but I guess I'm stuck back in the twentieth-century because my style is more along the lines of: 1. Drive until I get to a sign for Norwell; 2. Keep driving until I come to Main Street; 3. Continue on until I see something that looks like there might be Irish music going on inside.

Okay, it didn't turn out to be exactly that easy - the center of Norwell was not immediately obvious and did require some searching and patience and trust on my part: searching that involved one wrong turn and a little back-tracking, patience to just keep driving down what seemed like a road to nowhere with a dearth of signage, and trust that I would eventually end up in Norwell and that its Main Street would figure prominently in the geography - which all did happen, eventually (yeah, yeah, yeah - I've got a couple of maps in the front pocket of my car, but that would have taken all the fun out). The fact that there were no numbers displayed on the buildings did not make my search any easier (I just love the small-town mentality that assumes you live there and know where you are), but when something - my inner GPS that is often right-on - told me to pull over at the Dunkin' Donuts to inquire as to what number Main Street we were at and the young lady at the counter said, "707," it was definitely one of those "bingo" moments, as that was the exact number I was looking for (I tried this method for finding my d-i-l's apartment in the East Village once, figuring I'd just turn left off of Rt. 95 someplace. It didn't work so well that time, however.).

Lovely session with some of my favorite people - Laura, Stuart, Eric, and David - and made a few new friends as well, including Paul, Peter, Judy, Jack, Stephen, and a banjo player whose name I missed.

As I have come to expect from the Irish pub, The Tinker's Son was quite dark (and why, oh why, do all sessions seem to be relegated to that cold corner next to the door?), so the photography was challenging, to say the least. The G12's Low-Light setting did come through for me (though I so much prefer being able to shoot in RAW/manual - I definitely see either a 5D MarkII or 7D in my future) - though these over-processed JPGs do leave a bit to be desired. But who knows, maybe this style will be the Polaroids (now collector's items) of the future.

Anyway, this was a sweet little pub - great music and treasured friends in a homey atmosphere - let's just call it craic, shall we - and now I know where Norwell is. Hey, I've even been there.

Boys of Ballysdore/Swallowtail/Trim the Velvet (reels).

Pipe on the Hob/Rose in the Heather/Sixpenny Money (jigs).

Ivory Flute/Humours of Ballyloughlin/Choice Wife (a/k/a An Phis Fhliuch)(jigs/slip jig).
Ran out of memory on this one - damn!

The Tinker's Son
Eric, David, and Laura.

The Tinker's Son

The Tinker's Son
Eric and David.

The Tinker's Son
Eric, David, Laura, Stuart, and Peter.

The Tinker's Son
Judy, Jack, and Eric.

The Tinker's Son 
Kevin and Eric.

The Tinker's Son
Laura and Stuart.

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