Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quarter-Millennial Burns Supper Upcoming

We've nearly done it! The day is nearing when humankind will have survived 250 years past the birth of that bard of bards, that poetical scratcher of glass, our Auld Acquaintance from Ayrshire, Mister Rabbie Burns. And many have speculated -- (or, at least, this one has) -- that the very fact that we've made it this far is due in no small part to the beauty, truth, and wit we've gleaned over the years from Burns's own writings.

So please make plans to join us on Sunday evening, January 25, 2009, when Riggity Jig will with due solemnity mark the 250th anniversary of the Bard's birth with a traditional-ish Burns Supper at our usual haunt, Little Prague Bohemian Restaurant (rechristened for the occasion as "Wee Praggie") in Davis. Call ahead to reserve a table for dinner, or just stop by to toast the Bard with a traditional beverage and share in a sma' slice of Scotland's national dish or one of Wee Praggie's phenomenal desserts. We'll have recitations of the Bard's poems, possibly a piper, and of course Riggity Jig's music to cheer you on. Last year the band even had some requests from the audience -- but we shook our heads and said, no, we'll keep playing anyway.

Keep in mind that not many of us will be around to celebrate Burns's 500th anniversary, so make a point of doing the holiday up right this time! We'll see ye there!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Two Bobbies

Now, who could be surprised to hear Bob Dylan say that the lyric that's inspired him most was penned 214 years ago by our own dear Rabbie Burns? You can read about it in The Guardian (thanks to Tom McKeith for the tip) and read the poem itself right here:

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang try.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare-the-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!

So I guess we'll be adding a few tunes from this latter-day Rabbie to our set list for Burns Supper 2009! And you can join Mr. Dylan right now, and fill your own heart with the words of the Bard at www.robertburns.org/works/. Have yourself a glorious day!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

'Arf Pat's, September 19

So me and Fiddlin' Dave are in this pub, and a fellow walks up to the bar and says, "Two dogs, please." A minute later he's stepping away with a glass in his hand. A puzzled Dave scratches his furrowed brow with a rosin-dusted finger and asks him, "Two dogs?" The guy points at his pint glass, a mix of ale and stout, and says "Yeah -- It's 'arf and 'arf." (Groans all around.)

And here it is, almost 'arf-way to St. Patrick's, and we of Riggity Jig are inviting you to a fine night of music and good cheer at Little Prague Bohemian Restaurant, local gathering place and cultural center for the Czeltic czommunity of greater Yolo County. We'll be playing at 6 pm (til ???) on Friday, September 19, and we'd love to see you there! To make your dinner reservation now, call 530-756-1107. Besides the main dining room, Little Prague has tables on the patio and in the bar, so make sure to ask for a spot close to the band. We're hoping fair weather will put us out on the patio this time around.

See you there!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Meet Me at the Fair!

Riggity Jig will be playing on stage at the Yolo County Fair again this year. Friday, August 15, we'll be on the East Stage from 4 to 5:30, squinting into the setting sun. We'd love to see you there! 

At last year's fair, we ended up playing backup for Dave Bender's Channel 13 weather report, broadcast live from the fairgrounds. Who knows what could happen this year?

The best way to find out is to be there! Tell your friends! Get some recycled paper and print out a dozen flyers (type or photo version) to pass out on the street. We're always passing out on the street -- It's fun!

See your at the fair! 

Monday, July 7, 2008

To Market, to Market . . .

Our flash jam turned out to be on a very smoky day, so we shifted indoors to Fiddlin' Dave Riggs's house about a block from Pioneer Park. Three fiddlers from the Scottish Games fiddlers' jam managed to find us there, and we had a fun evening swapping tunes. We'll plan another jam soon, and hope to keep it outdoors on a clear . . . and cool . . . evening then.

Next gig: Catch us Saturday morning, July 12, at the Woodland Farmer's Market in Freeman Park (between Main and Court Streets, a few blocks west of East Street). The market runs from 9 am til noon. Besides great music and fresh produce, the July 12 market will feature a classic car show and kids' science activities from Explorit Science Center.

We're also booked to play the Yolo County Fair again this year, starting at 4 pm on Friday, August 15. Watch for details. Last year we ended up playing backup for a live TV weather report from the fair!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flash Jam!

What do you get when a tree that's full of ripe plums gets struck by lightning?

That's right: It's a Flash Jam!

That's also what you get if you use electronic means to announce a drop-in music session on short notice. Which is what we're doing here!

Friday, June 27, starting 6:30-ish, Riggity Jig will be hosting a jam session at Pioneer Park, corner of Branigan and Farnham in Woodland, California. All are welcome to sit in with the band, sing along, hum, bang your handtools in time, or just listen while your kids play on the playground.

So make time in your schedule! It's literally the last Friday in June, 2008, ever! Maybe the smoky haze will let up! Maybe they'll turn the sprinklers on! But you may never know if you don't drop by.

We'll be watching for you!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Almost Famous!

The local, beta version of Riggity Jig's global media blitz continued Monday with a write-up and some great photos -- one on the front page straddling the fold -- in the Davis Enterprise! Take a look at the the pix at the Enterprise website. No, that's no 'zouk I'm holding, but it sounds a lot more interesting that a mandolin -- or maybe it's easier to spell for the caption?

The reporter waxed rhapsodic and he spelled our names right, too. He also included our URL, and properly captured the lilt of Lee's pennywhistle, "like it's rolling over green hills." Ahhh.

In contrast to Saturday night's cold and rain, Monday night we played outdoors in pleasant weather on Little Prague's patio, and once again to a fine, appreciative crowd. Thanks to Vaclav and Eva for making us feel so welcome and so well fed.

Now it's back to our day jobs as we plan the next step in our plan for global domination. See you then!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Fine Night, & More to Come!

Thanks to all who came to listen to Riggity Jig on March 15 and cheered us on. If you missed us Saturday night, all is not lost: We'll be back at Little Prague for the genuine St. Patrick's day, Monday night March 17 from 6 to 9 pm. Once again, reservations are advised.

Thanks also to our generous tippers, all of whose tips are going straight to St. Baldrick's to fund childhood cancer research. Riggity Jig's shaving team (see photo) has raised around $700 so far, with a goal of $1,000. Visit our team page if you'd like to make a donation, too. This year's preliminary total for all St. Baldrick's Day contributions worldwide is in excess of $8 million. That's a lot of pipettes and Petri dishes, but every extra penny will help.

It's still a little bit of a shock every time I look in the mirror and see that hairless scalp. But I know it will grow back, and I'm grateful that I when I lost my hair it was by choice. All of those kids and adults who lose their hair to chemotherapy have a choice, too, I suppose, but it's a much tougher one than I've ever had to face. Thanks to the good folks at St. Baldrick's Foundation for raising so much money to help these folks and for raising my own consciousness about one little bit of what they face each day, too.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ides nor 'air?

More than just a close shave for Caesar, here. Wouldn't St. Baldrick have liked to take a razor to those marble locks? Speaking of which, we're still looking for sponsors for the Riggity Jig shaving team at St. Baldrick's this Friday in Sacramento. If you haven't signed up yet, go have a look and pitch in if you can.

I suppose Julius could have done with a bit of the luck o' the Irish that day back in the Senate, on the Ides of March these many years ago. Had it only been a year like this one, with St. Paddy's day falling in Holy Week, he might have spent the day of March 15th in a pub toasting St. Pat's name a few days early (by order of the Bishop of Rome, no less!) instead of famously uttering his last words to his betrayer from that cold, marble floor.

Don't you make that same mistake. Let this be a lesson to us all! Beware serious undertakings this year on the Ides of March! Instead, join Riggity Jig at Little Prague Restaurant in Davis as we honor the Crook-Bearer of Erin, that Chaser of Snakes, the man who blessed the very water of Waterford -- in short, isn't it St. Patrick himself that we'll be toasting this Saturday?

So grab the phone and call the folks at Little Prague to make sure they have a table set aside for you. Then set yourself apart from the toga-and-dagger set this Ides of March, and have yourself a proper Irish feast, complete with fine music and of course a suitable beverage.

Erin Go Bragh!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hair Today . . .

Hey kids! Here's a new official Riggity Jig band picture that you add to your collection! We'll be playing at Little Prague again on March 15, but several of us will also make a musical appearance and tonsorial sacrifice March 14 at the UC Davis Cancer Center in Sacramento for this year's St. Baldrick's benefit.

Founded in 2000, St. Baldrick's has raised over 34 million dollars worldwide to support research on the prevention and treatment of childhood cancers. The money comes courtesy of thousands of volunteers -- this year including a few of our own -- who set aside both vanity and sanity for the few minutes necessary to have their heads shaven clean of hair. Yes. Exactly how that translates into money is not entirely clear to me, but friends assure me that it does work somehow. It seems to have something to do with other people (you, for instance?) making pledges to St. Baldrick's in support of a shavee.

What do you say? Make a donation to the cause and we may well dedicate a song to you at our next gig! Wow! You'll certainly have our gratitude, as well as the gratitude of children and their families who find themselves coping with cancer every day. Sometimes it feels awfully lonely when you're facing such a serious problem as this, but it's gratifying to know that other people care enough to support the research that can reduce cancer and the suffering that comes with it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

St. Paddy's, Two Days Early?

Riggity Jig reverently joins in with our pious brethren by celebrating St. Patrick's Day a few days early this year: we're playing our customary St. Pat's gig at Little Prague Restaurant this year on Saturday, March 15. Why's that? Well, Easter is what the Catholics call a moveable feast, see -- and that doesn't mean it's a picnic (though a lot of people DO have Easter picnics), it means it doesn't fall on the same calendar date from year to year. In Easter's case, it brings the entire Holy Week with it wherever it goes, and you just can't have special Saint's Day masses during Holy Week. It wouldn't be the thing to do. Likewise, the Church frowns on loud, colorful, and festive parties and parades so close before Easter. Parades on Easter? Maybe. Just before? Nope.

In addition, band members noted that a Saturday night might get us a better audience than a Monday night. Maybe better tips. And then there would be the matter of getting up for work Tuesday morning.

Let's just say the forces of organized religion, the movement of the planets and moons, and plain common sense have prevailed on us this year to play the gig a few days early. It's a good thing! Come out and hear us play! As ever, you may want to get reservations in advance. The food will be great, and the place may well be packed. One hopes.

By some stroke of Irish luck, St. Pat's hasn't fallen in Holy Week since 1940, so you can bet there was a lot of rummaging through rule books when folks realized that this year was the odd exception. So don't be late for the celebration this year -- make it two days early, and join us for a fine evening of food and entertainment at Little Prague on Saturday, March 15, starting at 6 pm!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Right Guid-Willie Waught

Thanks from the band to all who came to see us play at Little Prague on January 25 and at the private party the next night, and even to those who would've come but stayed home on account of the rain. We saw lots of familiar faces along with plenty of new, and the kilts were in evidence as were some authentic Scottish burrs. In case you missed the festivities, there's always next year!

But don't deprive yourself of the Bard just on account of a little rain or a small streams advisory. Remember, you can find Burns online, and he's always well worth the reading. Take a look at "To a Mouse" or "A Red, Red Rose" and you'll see, once you've looked up one or two unfamiliar words, that the man had a wonderful gift for words and remarkable insight into the way we live, and feel, and love, how we stumble, and how we go gracefully on.

Happy reading til next year, and maybe then you'll want to read out a poem or two with us!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Burns Night Update -- The Pipes Are Coming!

Late word comes that we will indeed have a piper joining us (at least for part of the night) during our Burns Supper performance at Little Prague Restaurant in Davis, Friday night, January 25. World-class piper Cameron Scott has made time in his schedule to come by and share the joy for awhile; then he's off to another Burns Night event. Busy time of year for pipers.

So whether it's for the mellifluous skirl of the Highland pipes or the mysterious contents of the proud, enigmatic haggis -- or you're just ready for a nice night out -- do come by and join the fun! Note that dinner reservations are advised (and the dinners are always delicious). See you there!

Also, thanks to the Davis Enterprise for including us in their entertainment calendar!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Robert Burns Supper? Czeck It Out!

Join us January 25th for good music, good food, grrreat poetry, and all-around good "crack" as we honor Scotland's national bard with a Rabbie Burns Supper at Little Prague Restaurant in Davis, California. You may not know Robert Burns as anything more than a revered national hero and cultural icon, but you almost certainly know at least three words of his poetry, set to music every New Year's Eve as "Auld Lang Syne." And there's lots more where that came from!

This is Riggity Jig's third annual Burns Supper at Little Prague, and we've always had a good crowd. One time a group of step dancers showed up and took to the floor; last year we had a tableful of local knitters. Go figure! And every year, a few more kilts are in evidence.

So come on out, have your first taste of haggis, and to wash it down you can raise a glass to the Bard. Become one of our once-a-year regulars! Do it for yourself; Do it for Scotland; Do it for auld lang syne! And we'll see you there, lads and lassies!