Full of Surprises...Bluegrass at the Priory
You ever go someplace just because you couldn't come up with a reason not to? I do it all the time. Anyway, my friend Nigel (great guitar player!) calls me and asks if I want to go to the new bluegrass pick (jam session) over near Hereford at the Priory Hotel in Stretton Sugwas? It was cold and rainy and after a day out on the chilly Welsh moors then exercising my own two hound puppies I was thinking how nice it felt to be in the dry, warm bungalow, but gee, Nigel's such a nice guy and I'm not very quick on my feet so I said, "Ummm yeah, sounds fun." So Nigel and Sandy meet me down at the Crown and Andy's along, too, but he didn't bring his bass, and we all head off in the cold rain for the Priory. WELL. I admit it was pretty dark so I couldn't see much of the outside, but the Priory looks LARGE and once inside...what a lovely place!
We were meeting in the pub there and what a lovely room it is! Nice wooden floors and tasteful furnishings, a crackling warm fire and two long benches, cushy settees in red leatherette and nice drapes...plenty of straight-backed chairs for pickers...and even quite a few folks along just for a pint and a listen. Accomplished musician Martin Blake was heading up the session and he kept things rolling along from one of those red leather settees. We began picking around 8 and the last song was played about midnight. We all had a jolly good time. Sorry, I didn't take any photos, but we had quite a variety of music from about 10 or 12 pickers and singers, all within the bluegrass-country-old time vein of things.
The Priory's owners (?) were most hospitable and genuinely seemed to enjoy the music as well. Let's hope we'll be meeting there at the Priory the first Wednesday of every month for many months to come! I'm told they're open 7 nights a week for drinks and a tasteful, cozy ambiance. And while they don't do meals for a walk-in trade, they do cater special events and large parties with advance reservations. If you happen to be around Stretton Sugwas, outside of Hereford, on the first Wednesday of the month, stop in for some live bluegrass music. And if you're passing by some other time, stop in for a visit and a drink anyway. I think you'll be glad you did!
Me? I had a great time and am looking forward to the next pick. See, usually when you get yourself out of the house - even when it's because you couldn't think up an excuse - you have a great time! Do it!