Now, apparently, there was a mighty session in Tarmonbarry, Co Roscommon last Friday. . .

(Photo by Michael Lennon of Tom McElvogue, Noel Sweeney and Patsy Hanly)

. . .and will be continuing every 3rd Friday of the month from 9.30pm, so if you are ever passing. . . or on a Wednesday in the Camlin Bar, Clondra, Co Longford or Thursdays in Carthy’s, Roscommon town or Fridays in the Longford Arms. . .

First of all, may I sincerely apologise for mis spelling the author of the beautiful funeral poem on the last natter.

It should have read ‘from Sonnets to Orpheus’ by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Thank you to Claude Grenacher for alerting me and also saying that Maria Rilke wrote 55 of these sonnets on 22nd February 1922.


Now then, this week was quite an historic one. . .the jury‘s decision regarding the Hillsborough disaster after 27 years and the young GPs’ strike action in England, amongst other things.

I tend to keep my thoughts on politics and so on, to myself or friends unless really moved and this week, while driving from Rutland to Northamptonshire, I listened to BBC Radio 4 interviewing Jeremy Hunt about the strike action.

And today, on googling Jeremy Hunt, this is what came up. . . ‘ ?

I have a deep and ever growing mistrust of politicians and feel, more and more that politics world wide, is just a form of lying and honouring ones’ own pockets and careers. . . as we have seen so recently. Tax fraud, stories of BHS hierachy expecting bonuses or pensions of £14 million or selling the company to get rid of the responsibility of the unbelievable deficit which could ruin so many jobs, retirements and lives.

Yes, lives.

Jeremy Hunt only talked about money yesterday, which is what he is trying to say that all junior doctors worry about. In demoralising an already demoralised NHS, it encourages the young doctors to leave.

I live in Ireland so I am seeing things from afar. Ireland has all but dismantled it’s NHS system. Some of you may know that I had an operation for a para ovarian twisted cyst 3 years ago, on the Isle of Wight. Following a difficult recovery, I moved to Ireland to recuperate.

So. . .this is how life is without the NHS, a glimpse into Jermey Hunt’s future. . .

Seeing a doctor costs a minimum of 45 euros a throw. My medication of 2 tablets a day was 90 euros a month. I waited 51 weeks for a gynae referral to come through on the Irish version of the NHS (I was told I wouldn‘t wait longer than 52 weeks but that they couldn’t be more specific). My MRI cost me 195euros and the ultrasound scan the same.

Oh and yes, you can get medical insurance but, like flood damage and car insurance, the premiums are sky high or unobtainable if you are seeking insurance for anything related to what you have already had.

And the Irish government put in place a high % increase on all premiums for those over 50, last May, to encourage under 50 to get private medical insurance. I am 53 this month.

Yes, they did give 3 months warning (or was it 2) by which time, most of the insurance companies had beaten them to it. 

This is not a Pity Me bleat. It is an illustration of what will happen once the NHS goes, which it will, if the current government have anything to do with it. 

Surely it is about discussion and reviewing bad management practice? None of us are angels and I too, have an addiction to complaining and actually doing very little.

Historic times. We are watching our towns fall apart with shops unable to compete with the internet and supermarket chains. . .all of us stressed to the hilt and companies that demand more and reward less.

We see a growth in the medical drug industry and large companies complaining that several million pounds of profit is not enough. We are seeing more obesity, more chronic disease and the ‘not enough time’ illness everywhere.

And what really makes me laugh is all this ‘craft’ anything. Craft and handmade used to be normal, as in skill and pride in our work. Now we pay extra for it as it is a dying phenomenon. So does that mean rubbish is normal and skill is a dinosaur, only available to the monied or elite?

It seems to me that the heirachy of each country are trained in smokescreens, deflecting and lying. It IS great that a verdict for the Hillsborough families has finally come right so while it has taken 27 years, it means, more than ever, we need to educate our yoof to question everything, always.

Perhaps it is really time to apply that ancient idea of

‘Treat others as you, yourself would like to be treated’?

. . .and that a great change or journey starts with one small step and commitment. . .

I dream that one day, politicians will stop arguing about who is right and work for what is right and good for the long term sustainability of our beautiful communities.

OK. Lecture over.

The edited version is this. . .

(Many thanks to Helen Garson for sending me this wonderful cartoon)

And  DO have a look at this this fantastic clip sent to me from Steve Evans of Norfolk. Now that is something I would like to lead a workshop on (or go to myself)!!!

And talking of workshops. . .I have had a few enquiries about my workshops that are now in full flow and so far have been a lot of fun. If you are interested in taking part (some are accordion only while others are for multi instrumental ensemble), email me on for more details


if you are wanting to confirm a place, email me about the availability of a place (as some are nearly sold out) and I will let you know how to pay and will send you a confirmation and reservation number.

I will also let you know when the notation and mp3s of the melodies will be emailed out.

Regarding the multi instrumental workshops, such as the one I am hosting in York this month, I am happy to provide transposed music for instruments such as brass, woodwind etc

The arrangements will take place on the day, so do bring notepaper, a pencil and a recording device too.

(Many thanks to Donna McCann for sending me this hilarious image!)

The BBC has been broadcasting some fine programmes recently and thanks to J from Norwich, I listened again to the programme on Ageing. . .the process and the research on the relationship between stress and brain cells.

Brain astrocytes. Amazing.. .

I was also reading recently about the Whistling Orchestra which has just been to Nottingham. I was hoping that it would be an ensemble full of people whistling but, sadly, no. . .altho the initiative to get people to play and be creative with whistles is good. I had similar ideas re a melodica orchestra, but in that case, thought better of it. . a Ladies Accordion Orchestra was bonkers enough for one lifetime!.

However, it did remind me of a fabulous ensemble I heard many years ago now, Finland’s Shouting Orchestra. read on. . .

And I just couldn’t resist sharing this smashing cartoon, sent to me by Ursula Wools. If there were a ‘Desert Island Shop’, hers would be it, for me.

Do check it out. It is called ‘Phenomenal’ and is in Nailsworth on the A46. Thank you so much, Ursula!

Well, I am off to Somerset shortly with Lovely Lorraine and hopefully spending most of tomorrow drawing sheep. One of my desert island books has to be Henry Moore’s Sketchbook of Sheep, now sadly, out of print.

If anyone spots a copy, please let me know!


My tunes books are going rather well and many thanks to all of you who have been ordering them. Did I mention that Timo’s wonderful solo piano CD (above) has a score to go with it?

Have a tinkly day, especially as it is Duke Ellington’s Birthday. Time for Stevie Wonder’s song, ‘Sir Duke,’ I reckon. . .


Fri 29th April : Karen Tweed: Solo SOMERSET
Venue : Roxy Cinema, 36 High Street, Axbridge, Somerset BS26 2AF
Concert 8
Tickets : £10 / £7 unwaged

Info and tickets :
01749 870078


Sun 1st May : 
Karen Tweed SOMERSET Accordion Day : MUSIC from SCOTLAND, IRELAND and FRANCE
10am – 4.30pm
Venue : Priddy Village Hall, Somerset BA5 3BE
Tickets : £40 
Bring and share lunch
Info and contact :
01749 870078

Sat 7th May : Karen Tweed: Solo SWEDEN
Venue : Private House Concert, KARLSTAD

Info and tickets :

Sun 8th May : Karen Tweed: Solo SWEDEN
Venue : Private House Concert, GULLSMEDDSHYTTAN

Info and tickets :

Tues 17th May : Karen Tweed Teaching at Worcester
To book your slot, see :

Thurs 19th May : Karen Tweed Teaching at Worcester
To book your slot, see :

Sat 21st  May : Karen Tweed: Solo YORK
Venue : The Wolfe Room, The Black Swan Inn, 23 Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PR
Tickets : £10 advance / £12 on the door

Info and tickets :
07522 606871 /

Sun 22nd  May : 
Karen Tweed YORK Mixed Ensemble Day
10am – 5pm
Venue : The Wolfe Room, The Black Swan Inn, 23 Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PR
Tickets : £25

Info and contact :
07522 606871 /

Mon 23rd  May : Karen Tweed: Solo CROYDON
Venue : Croydon Folk Club, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road
Croydon CR0 1BD
Tel: 020 8660 5919
Ticket URL:
Tickets: £8 (£6 members)

Fri 27th May : Karen Tweed & Friends Birthday-Concert-Party, BRISTOL – free event
To commemorate my 27th year as a professional musician, I’m having a bit of a do. . .Guests include Roger Wilson, Karen Street, Richard Hughes, John Neilson, Kirsten Hellier, Ivan Miletitch, Johnny Coppin and Andy Tweed.
Venue : The Hen & Chicken, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 1JF
Tickets : Free by reservation – email : or tel / text : 07522 606871
Donations on the night welcomed towards Alzheimers UK and The Samaritans.

Mon 30th  May : Karen Tweed: Solo (& with Karen Street) The New Horrington Fair, WELLS
Venue : Wells Cricket Club, New Horrington, Wells, Someset BS26 2AF
12 noon – 4pm
FREE event

Residents of South Horrington are resurrecting the Family Fun Day that took place every summer on the old Mendip Hospital site.
Throughout the 1960s to 80s the Mendip Hospital Summer Fete, run by the League of Friends, evolved to become one of the biggest events of the summer, opened by a local celebrity and with attractions such as The Red Devils, police display teams, the Somerset Light Infantry, maypole dancing, an antiques market, a donkey derby, skittles, children’s fancy dress and a pig roast.
The new Horrington Fair will take place at South Horrington at Wells Cricket Club on Mayday Bank Holiday Monday, May 30, from noon to 4pm.
There is music all day with L’esprit du jazz and Karen Tweed and others tbc.
There will also be a dog training demonstration and games for children, and various stalls including a plant sale.
Refreshments will include BBQ, a licensed bar, tea and cakes and Mendip Moments ice cream.

Fri 17th June : Karen Tweed & Nick Wiseman Ellis CONCERT
Venue: Kombüse 53° Nord
Address: Hauptstraße 28, 21787 Oberndorf
Time: 19:00
Tickets: 11€ adv./13€ on the door.
Tel: +49 4772 8608913

Mon 27th June – Fri 1st July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila teaching and in concert, FINLAND
Venue : Haapavesi Summer school 
Dates : 27th June – 1st July

Information :

Saturday 2nd July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila in concert FINLAND
Venue : Haapavesi Festival

Info and tickets :

Sat 9th July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila in concert FINLAND

Venue : Rääkkylä Kihaus Festival

Info and tickets :

Mon 11th – Tues 12th July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila at KAUSTINEN FESTIVAL, FINLAND

Tickets and info :

Mon 8th – Fri 12th August : Karen Tweed teaching BATH
Venue : Bath Folk Festival Summer School, The Edge, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY 

Info :

SEPTEMBERSat 24th September : Karen Tweed Karen Tweed & Nick Wiseman Ellis NORWICH in CONCERT

Venue: Silver Road Community Centre
Address: 34 Silver Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 4TB

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: £10 adv./£12 on the door.

Info : or tel: +44 7522 606871



Sun 25th September : Karen Tweed Karen Tweed & Nick Wiseman Ellis NORWICH WORKSHOP

Venue: Silver Road Community Centre
Address: 34 Silver Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 4TB

Time: 9.45am – 5pm

Tickets: £25

Bring and share lunch

Info : or tel: +44 7522 606871


Fri 14th  October : Karen Tweed : SOLO BANGOR
Cafe Caban Caffi, Brynrefall LL55 3NR
Tickets, Info and contact : 01286 685500

Sun 16TH  October : Karen Tweed BANGOR Accordion Day
10am – 4.30pm
Tickets : £40
 Bring and share lunch
Info and contact : Annie 01286 673696 /

Sat 29th  Oct : Karen Tweed: LLANDINAM, MID-WALES The Severn Suite (with John Kirkpatrick) 10 Years On
Venue : Llandinam Vllage Hall, Llandinam


Round and about. . .


‘Eve’s Bonie Squad’ is the latest album from Tim Dalling, songwriter, performer and kilted fall-guy in the phenomenon that was The New Rope String Band. His songs are a rich mix ‘ full of vivid imagery made tangible through Tim’s whisky-warm vocals and joyous, dancing accordeon playing.’ (fRoots)

‘Walk Me Round’ is a debut album from Tim’s daughter, Rhona Dalling. Although a qualified textile artist, she is most inspired at the moment by music-making. Growing up playing fiddle at home and with Kathryn Tickell’s Folkestra, then singing close harmonies with Northumbrian quartet Beckleberry she became excited about American oldtime, grabbed a banjo and a bunch of her own ‘devastatingly effective’(fRoots) songs tumbled out.

For years, there’s been many a night in the Bonie Dalling Squad’s end terrace in Newcastle upon Tyne, when the kitchen has been glowing till dawn with tunes, songs and carry-on. The time has come to share the fun and joyful music. Come along to see and hear Tim and Rhona Dalling and prepare to laugh, cry, sing along and have a total out-of-body experience.

other Gigs at

29th April Caban Café, nr Llanberis, North Wales £10 Caban Cyf
Yr Hen Ysgol
nr Llanberis
LL55 3NR

Sat 7th May at The Friendship Inn. High Street, Borth. SY24 5JA
Entry free but donations encouraged

Tues 10th May Cellar bar, Cardigan 25/26 Quay St, Cardigan, Ceredigion SA43 1HU 7.30pm £5
Wed 11th Burnett’s Hill Chapel, Martletwy, Pembrokeshire SA67 8AX

Fri 13th May House Concert nr Lutterworth, Leics. £6 enquiries Matt 07967506416

2. Ian Storror’s Jazz at the Albert
JAZZ at the Albert GIG-UPDATE
3. Ian Storror The Finest ‘LIVE ‘ ~ Jazz & Acoustic Music in
Bristol since 1989
The Hen & Chicken, 210 North St, Bristol, BS3 1JF


JAZZ at the Albert GIG-UPDATE
** *EBA*   = Early Booking Advised

Upcoming Events
Sunday 8 May
Sirkis-Bialas International Quartet

Friday 13 May
<Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet
feat; David Kikoski *EBA*
In association with The Be Bop Club & sponsored by Bath Ales

Full details at

3. The No 1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra are out again. . . 

The No.1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra

will be performing at

The Old Church, Stoke Newington, N16 9ES


Saturday 7th May 8.00pm


Sunday May 8th 2.30pm

Tickets £10 on the door or in advance from the venue

Do come and join us for an eclectic evening (or afternoon) of music from all round the world; a chance to meet the Ladies and maybe even try out an accordion or two! And there will be cake in the interval at the Sunday afternoon concert! Hope to see you there.


4. Leighton House ‘Pre-Raphaelites on Paper’ Exhibition of Drawings by the PRB from the Lanigan collection

5. Johnny Coppin Tour dates!


Thu 28  EVESHAM Arts Centre  – “Folk in the Foyer”- with support from singer/songwriter Colin Pitts
Prince Henry’s School, Victoria Avenue  WR11 4QH  7.30pm

Tickets   Box office 01386 446944

6. Royal Portrait Society’s Annual Exhibition in the Mall Galleries, central London from May 5th to May 26th 2016. Includes a portrait by David Eyres.

7. HARP ON WIGHT 2016 6TH – 10TH OCTOBER 2016

8. HIBERNIA – Irish Music Classes in BRISTOL
Venue : St Andrew’s Church Hall and Avonmouth Community Centre, Avonmouth Road, Avonmouth Village BS11 9EN


Karen Tweed is represented worldwide by

Lorraine Carpenter at Different Strings Agency


+44 117 904 1870 / +44 7929 135744

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