Week before last we took in another of the ocassional Scottish fiddle sessions at the Duke of Perth in Chicago’s Lakeview East Neighborhood (2913 N Clark St). The session runs from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, so with peak hour traffic we usually head down early and have a little something to eat and drink before the music starts.
The sessions are ably led by Tim MacDonald who is Chicago’s resident authority and leading exponent of Hebridean melodies. If you know anything about the Celtic music scene in Chicago you know that Irish music is king. You can’t swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a flute or box player. So kudos to Tim for showing folks that there is more to Celtic music than that which emanates from the Emerald Isle.
Tim often uses a baroque bow and sometimes a baroque fiddle, as well, a nod the origins of Scottish music in the 18th Century.
The sessions are open to newcomers. To aid newbies Tim has a provided a PDF on his website with some common Scottish tunes that might get played. Don’t bring music though, if you don’t know the tune just play along quietly with your best session ettiquette. More info is available at: http://tsmacdonald.com/jamming/
The food at “The Duke” is great pub fare. They have a “haggis” burger with their own haggis concontion made with sirloin. Sorry, no lamb lobes. Fish & chips are great as are the chicken tenders. My only complaint is that the whisky pricing is a bit dear. Even my go to Glenfiddich 12 y/o is too rich for my blood. Not to fear though as they have a great selection of delicious Scottish ales by the half or full pint to slake your powerful thirst. The campaign for real ale is in full force!
Hope to see you at a session in the future. Check Tim’s page for upcoming dates. If you don’t play just and be an enthusiastic spectator.