Unexpected Delights

Jack’s guest post is a bit late this week –

It’s always a particular pleasure when something unexpected and enjoyable happens along, and such was our experience on Sunday evening.

A local friend who is a fine performer of the mountain music of this region messaged us last Thursday to ask if he could bring a group of folk to meet us. He explained that they included some Scots and they were interested in the migration of Scots and Scottish culture to this part of the US.

That’s about all we knew so we didn’t have much idea what to expect, how long they intended to stay or really what they wanted to know.

Even when the group of eight arrived we still weren’t clear what was expected of us and I don’t they did either. But as we went round the room and introduced ourselves it became clearer. They were a joint project involving actors from a New York company and members of the National Theatre of Scotland and were working on a piece to be performed at this year’s Edinburgh Festival.

Once the introductions were past and some fortifying drinks doled out the evening turned into a good old fashioned house ceilidh with everyone in turn contributing a story, joke or song as well as more insights to the piece they were working on.

Half way through it turned out that they hadn’t anything else planned for that night so food was hastily organized and more fortifying beverages produced; and on we continued with more excellent entertainment.

One of the Scots turned out to be a first class singer and guitarist with a wide ranging repertoire all the way from Billie Holliday to Jeannie Robertson and one of the New Yorkers, an African-American lass, was an equally exceptional singer and fiddle player.

To be honest this was the third late night in a row for us after a Friday night St Patrick’s Day dance and Saturday night dinner with friends, so we could have been forgiven for being somewhat ‘switched off’! However the company was such that all tiredness was completely forgotten.

Here’s a small taste of our unexpected enjoyment –

Davey Anderson with the Scottish ballad ‘The Forester’

As our old friend Duncan Williamson used to say on these occasions “Tell us a story or sing us a sang, show us yer bum or oot ye gang” – this time no bums were shown or needed to be!

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