I’ve joined a new band: we’re called Tobermore, we’re mostly Dutch (our uillean piper is half Irish, half Flemish, and makes great chocolates), and we play Irish traditional music with the occasional Americana song.
Although I joined them only a few months ago, this actually started somewhere in 2009-2010 when I stood in for the guitarist of another group, Harmony Glen. I got along quite well with their then box player, Vincent, and Vincent and I formed a duo playing Dutch music, Hete Bliksem (yes I know the link is broken – the website is still under construction – as is the band). After a couple of years, Vincent left Harmony Glen, and joined Tobermore; when they asked me to join them as fiddler I did not need long to consider their invitation. They’re great musicians and, most importantly, great company.
My interest in folk music started with, as for so many people, The Pogues. There was a time when I would go to Ireland every year, first with my guitar, then with my bódhran, then with my mandolin. Visiting the Saint Chartier Festival in 2000 changed many things in my life, not least of all my musical focus: I bought a fiddle and immersed myself in bal folk music. I still play bal folk, mostly with old Dutch tunes, but I’m also happy to be back in Irish music again.