The Trouble Notes – Live on the Streets of Dublin

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Blog | 2 comments

The Trouble Notes

The Trouble Notes

When the music starts playing, then I know for sure that I am back in Ireland. On my recent trip to Dublin, I was greeted with a most unique street performance by The Trouble Notes that, frankly, kept me coming back for more. Having just arrived from an overnight flight, I was tired and hadn’t planned on wandering far from my hotel. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to do so as I was located right smack dab in the thick of things. Literally right outside my hotel door, I not only found a tantalizing restaurant specializing in Mongolian barbecue, but I also stumbled upon an amazing three-man band featuring a violinist that knocked my American sport’s sox right off my tired feet. Soon I was sitting at a table with a group of tourists from Uruguay and Mexico while sipping a Guinness (what else?) and enjoying the fusion mix of some unusually original pieces. Think part Django Reinhardt, part Irish jig mixed with a few flamenco rhythms and a touch of klezmer and you might be able to imagine the flavor of  The Trouble Notes. Yet, that’s not a perfect description, because you gotta be there to really appreciate the pizzazz that these three guys bring to their original performance.

International Group

The fact that this group is an eclectic mix of musicians from various parts of the world adds a bit of interest to their collaborative effort. Bennet Cerven, the violinist, is from the United States while the percussionist,  Oliver Maguire, hails from the UK. The third member of the band, the guitarist, is Sylvain Caillard  from France. It has been my experience that music has a way of breaking down barriers, making the artificial boundaries of nations of little importance. That is always evident in the cross-cultural gathering of people sitting at tables or standing street-side while thoroughly enjoying the stirring rhythms and haunting melodies of a group like The Trouble Notes.

The Trouble Notes

The Trouble Notes

Original Music

Bennet not only plays the violin but manages to put on quite a little show. Adding fun percussion accents to each piece with his bow against the body of the violin, such tactical moves make him appear more like a magician at times. His sheer joy in response to the audience is contagious. I was able to catch him at the end of a set. I wanted to find out where on earth he came from and where he would go next. Turned out that he is an American, but the fun part of his story is that these guys are musical vagabonds. They are literally busking their way through Europe.  After a few more days in Dublin, they would be on the road again, next stop Prague. (Listen to recordings)

When I first caught the group performing, it was Arthur Guinness Day. Yes, Arthur gets a day of his own. According to Bennet, they had been performing on the streets when the manager of Gogarty’s Bar, a lively establishment, stopped by and asked them to perform for a couple of nights during the Guinness celebration. Getting hired on the spot is pretty cool, and I’m glad they accepted the offer because, otherwise, I might have missed meeting them altogether. (My YouTube video of performance) (Someone else’s video on YouTube)

Oliver St. John Gogarty, Temple Bar, Ireland

Oliver St. John Gogarty, Temple Bar, Ireland

The Trouble Notes outside Gogarty's Bar

The Trouble Notes outside Gogarty’s Bar

 Visit The Trouble Notes on Facebook

After I got back home, I managed to get in touch with Bennet on Facebook. Here’s his update on their musical adventures from the amazing city of Prague.

We have been busking in Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, and Charles Bridge for the past 3 weeks… It has been incredible and we have reached a lot of people! Now we are headed to Berlin on Monday, where we look forward to plugging into the vibrant art community and nightlife.

Charles Bridge in Prague taken By Teresa Roberts

Charles Bridge in Prague taken By Teresa Roberts

Music may very well be a universal language. We respond to it on a spiritual level. It has the power to open our hearts and minds. Bottom line? Music makes us feel good, plain and simple. It can catch us by surprise when in a foreign land. Suddenly, we find ourselves surrounded by people who are smiling, tapping their feet and celebrating life together. It doesn’t get much better than that!

If you’d like to see more photos of Prague by Teresa Roberts, click the link.

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  1. Cool post. Dublin is always excellent for street music but I was never aware that some of the bands didn’t actually have any Irish members
    Ross recently posted…History from a naked man on a RockMy Profile

    • yep, Ross, lots of people like to do a little busking in Ireland.

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