Rain, Wiz-War Cards, and Celtic Music

No metal detecting today.  Drove a half hour back to my site of recent luck, and literally the moment I started swinging, it started to snow.  Are you kidding me?  Got thru one rank of building on the grid, and called it a day.  The snow was melting on my machine, and when it gets wet, it weirds it out bigtime.  I worry about permanent damage.  I need to get me one of those waterproof 3030s (except I hear they are not as good on silver as the E-Trac, who knows if that’s true?  I don’t have 2 grand to do that experiment.).

And, I guess my silver streak is broken for detecting for 15 minutes.  I don’t really track them anymore, but if I had a monster one going, I probably wouldn’t count it as broken.  I think I’m in the ballpark of 10 or so now.

So now we’ve got some steady rain, so I took the time to get some tasks off my list; one being putting set 5 of my Wiz-War cards up.  These were actually done in December, but who has the time? — (especially when loading 1500 songs onto someone’s iPod poke poke :-) )  Some of these cards are a bit experimental, and may be removed or modified, we’ll see.

I guess I should spend some time writing about the awesome Celtic music fest from Saturday, but I’m horrible writing about music.  (Yeah a music festival in February — sort of a weird venue — a windowless floor below the Valley Forge Casino, but what are you going to do in the dead of winter?  While we all prefer street festivals or other outdoor venues, didn’t really detract from it much at all).

All I can say is that Albannach, Brother, and Barleyjuice were awesome.  Saw two sets by the first two.  The highlight for me was when Shelley from Barleyjuice played fiddle during Albannach’s set (for those who don’t know, and I’m sure that’s most everyone reading this), Albannach is 4 percussionists and bagpipes.  Quite an awesome sound in its own right, but the added fiddle really worked, especially when it is someone you know from another band you like.

Yeah, I’m not gonna be able to spend 10 paragraphs writing about this concert.  You can’t get the sound from a lame blog anyway (at least not this one), and it could not do it justice.  Maybe I need to get a phone (although the phone vids I’ve seen don’t do it justice either).  Gotta go to these things live, I’m afraid.  (BTW, Albannach, at least, and probably Barleyjuice will be at the Celtic Fling they have every summer in Lebanon County.  Set your calendars, there are always a ton of great bands there).


Well, I haven’t detected since Friday, and with rain today (not much, but too much for the E-Trac), and extended rain in the forecast, it might be a while, so I figured I’d post something unrelated to detecting.

And that’s Barleyjuice, a celtic/rock fusion band from Philly my wife and I follow, who we saw again at a street festival in Phoenixville on Friday.  If you can see a band this good live, especially for free, you rearrange your schedule to do it, so we spent all day there.

I’m temped to write a Friday afternoon album piece (and that feature will likely move from FB to here, if it is revived), and if I did so, it would start like this

Celtic rock fusion, think a harder, more rock-oriented Pogues or less serious Waterboys over a Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly; not afraid to drop into traditional jigs, Celtic covers of classic rock songs, or traditional Irish bar tunes seamlessly and with ease, and we haven’t even mentioned the bagpipes and mandolins yet.  While the Murphys’ will always rule the genre in my mind, one advantage Barleyjiuce has over a live DM show (of which I’ve also been to a few) — the mix really lets the Celtic instruments shine thru, as opposed to the Murphy’s live mix, which is more rock instrument focused.  And what’s not to like about dual bagpipes, drum and bass anyway, and Shelley Weiss’ fiddling is fantastic.

But I’m not going to write it, especially not loving the recall of the Waterboys, who seemed so dour (despite their technical competence and great songwriting), compared to the more upbeat pub or party friendly Barleyjuice (and why do we need to write these comparisons anyway; like all good bands, they have their own sound (but, if you like any of the bands mentioned above, you will love ‘em, check em out), so I’ll just take it from their website instead –

Barleyjuice was born out of Rock and Roll, reared on British Invasion, Country Western and Progressive Rock, and landed somewhere in the North Channel with a penchant for all things Celtic. [...] Kilts may be the preferred dress, but bagpipes, fiddle, accordion, mandolin, bouzouki, whistle, piano, harmonica, bass and drums cover them nicely even when they turn up naked.

So, like most bands, the best place to see them is at a small venue or street festival, but I would also highly recommend The Celtic Fling in Lebanon County; this is an awesome festival, and they will be there again this year.

And, back to detecting, I guess I should mention my ex being a moderator at American Detectorist.  I had been with that forum almost since its founding, and always thought it was the best, but it just wasn’t meant to be in the end.  I wish them all the best, but I wish they would be a little less serious and a little more compromising.  Think Barleyjuice over Waterboys, tho both are technically and artistically competent, and both have their audience and place in the grand scheme of things.  I still play my Waterboys albums now and then, but I’ll be following Barleyjuice to live shows whenever I can.

Well, I accomplished my real goals of this post, which were to pass the time while I can’t detect, get over the depression of leaving AD, and learn the blockquote feature.  Hopefully another link and positive bone thrown for Barleyjuice will be a Good Thing also. (But, we don’t want too many fans, then they will be as hard to see as the Murphys).