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Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'm with the Hounds

Two Irish pubs, two glasses of cider, same night.

First, at the Blackthorn Tavern to watch the presidential debate (more on that later) with my new blog friend Greg of the famous N-Judah Chronicles, accompanied by his brother and brain buddy "Mason Powell." (If you live in San Francisco, you'd already know why that is an awesome pseudonym.)

And then to The Plough and Stars to see Culann's Hounds play, known as San Francisco's "Hardrocking Acoustic Irish Band." And that they are.

My beautiful friend Red Shoes (also my sister in tango) has been friends with the members of the band for years and takes guitar lessons from Fiddler, aka Steve Gardner. I'm so glad she invited me to join her...I'm totally hooked and groupie-fied on each and every one of them now.

See, I even have my own t-shirt.


Here's some info about the band: The inspiration for the group’s name, Cuchullainn, or Culann, was an epic warrior in Irish legend. Steve, who plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin and also sings, explains: “We embody a certain brash, perhaps over enthusiastic quality that might be attributed to Cuchullainn." He says, “I like the connection because deep inside me, I still love the hero tales and the faerie stories. I believe they are hidden wellsprings of cultural wisdom. We try to reframe these ideas in ancient tribal urban folk rock.”


I was so stoked that Mike was cool with me taking pictures. I was nervous about it, one--because I still feel very shy about photographing people and two--because the lighting there wasn't ideal (well, it was ideal for a band playing, but not enough light for me). The pressure was on--I had to earn my t-shirt.

I think I did okay in some of these. What do you think?

I couldn't have had a better time. The band is energetic, sexy and uber-talented. Every song makes you want to jump up and dance, and the room quickly became a sauna from the heat generated.

The band played a waltz so Mike could get off stage and dance with lovely Red Shoes.

For the most part, and no small thanks to my new Lightroom software, I think some of these photos turned out pretty well, considering the lighting conditions I had to deal with. I like that these photos capture the magnetism and energy of the group.

But don't take it from me. Go to their website, get a CD, and if you're local, find the Hounds and see for yourself.


And if you don't think a girl playing the accordion is one of the sexiest things you've ever seen in your life, think again. Renee makes me want to take up lessons. Or just have a big ol' crush on her.


paris parfait September 27, 2008 at 9:56 AM  

I am not a fan of the accordion, no matter who's playing it. But the photos of the musicians are great and it's obvious you had a fantastic evening (Mason Powell - love that!). xoxox

willow September 27, 2008 at 10:58 AM  

I, on the other hand, I love the accordion! And I would have to say that these are fabulous, oh-so-professional looking shots!!

Relyn September 27, 2008 at 11:34 AM  

Oh! Excellent photos!

Red Shoes September 27, 2008 at 5:36 PM  

Oh my, TB. These are lovely...nicely done!

robin bird September 27, 2008 at 7:53 PM  

i learned to play the accordion and even had lesson s for 2 years.... but that was in the second grade so maybe you wouldn't have wanted to hear us ply claire de lune with no cords....
fab photos yes! i cannot believe you were able to get anything usable little lone as interesting and clear as you did. good job! i just got my recent issue of JPG today and it is a big issue on On Stage. just like what you were doing! good work you!

namastenancy September 28, 2008 at 12:22 AM  

Looks like you had a fabulous evening - a new blogger friend, Celtic music and beer. A combo that's hard to beat.

Anonymous September 29, 2008 at 5:33 AM  

These are awesome photos... you've managed to add a really great 'atmosphere' to them :-)

Anonymous September 29, 2008 at 6:59 AM  

wow, i agree with the sexy accordian lady factor; definetly intoxicating.

those shots you took were absolutely fabulous. i love the motion in them and the you really captured deep souls very well.

i will definetly be checking out their website (when it is not 5am and i could get away with turning up some tunes).

this was an awesome post tangobaby, you've outdone yourself.

My Castle in Spain September 29, 2008 at 12:16 PM  

this sounds such great fun !!
your pics are fabulous, you know...Very much "in the ambiance" as we say in French
i do love the accordeon and bandoneon. Now, to say it's sexy for a woman..am not entirely convinced !

Christina September 29, 2008 at 2:36 PM  

These are wonderful, edgy pictures. I love them!

dutchbaby September 29, 2008 at 10:01 PM  

The last shot of the accordion is fabulous. My father played the accordion; it's an amazing instrument.

Red Shoes September 30, 2008 at 12:43 AM  

Okay, here's the proof that it's possible for a woman to be sexy playing accordion...judge for yourself!

tangobaby September 30, 2008 at 12:50 PM  

Hi paris parfait,

I hope that you will visit the Hound's website and listen to some of their tunes before you decide. We're not talking polka here.

Mason Powell and his brother are two very enjoyable fellows. I just love that name...so San Franciscan!

Hi willow,

I'm so glad you like the shots...what are my chances to get on the cover of Rolling Stone? (hey, isn't that a song?!)

Hi relyn,

You should see the rest of them!

Hi red shoes,

Don't you just love the one of you and Mike dancing? That one totally grabbed me and made me smile. You look like you are floating together. Thank you SO much for including me.

Hi robin bird,

The accordion has so many things going on at the same time. I would think you'd have to be very coordinated to even make a sound, let alone play a tune.

Thank you for the reminder to get back to JPG. I've fallen off the wagon with that one...so many photos to play with, so little time!

Hi namastenancy,

Yep, certainly a fun time!

Hi carol,

Because of the lighting, the actual color shots did not work as well. I love the sepia and other filters because they really bring out the feelings of the photos, whereas the color shots are almost distracting.

Hi sarah,

I especially thought of you when I took these because I know you are such a music baby. We would have had fun here together. I hope you do check out their music. You'll like it.

Hi lala,

Trust me, she's a hottie. And the bandoneon...why do you think some of us get so hooked on tango music!?! I tell you, it's not just about the shoes.

Hi christina,

Since you took those wonderful wedding photos, I knew I had to get out there and get some more people shots, too. You're an inspiration, lady.

Hi dutchbaby,

Wow! That's cool. Do you have his accordion? Renee's is apparently very custom and the only one like it on the planet. You should see it closeup...it's so pretty.

Hi red shoes,

Thanks for sharing your link (and you know you don't have to prove it to me!). I can't wait to see more of Renee. And you!

Red Shoes September 30, 2008 at 1:48 PM  

TB, Mike had some awfully sweet things to say regarding that pic of us dancing. :)

They want to see more of you, too!