Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tommy Doyle's, 12/9/10

Tommy Doyle's

It's difficult to explain what, exactly, this music means to me, though I could probably sum it up in one word: homecoming. Yes, my involvement with Irish Traditional Music is a coming home of sorts; the gatherings I find myself in in various Boston pubs being so very reminiscent of the kitchen table of my childhood, when many evenings would find my mother, my brother, and me - and often an assortment of neighbors, friends, and relatives - gathered,  mother playing her Silvertone baritone uke, my brother, John, on guitar; all of us joining our voices in the folk and civil rights songs that were popular in the '50s and '60s. It was at this table that I learned to play guitar - beginning with my mother's little uke, at age 8 - and it was at this table that we were united in heart and spirit as a family, through music. Indeed, those kitchen hootenannies, as they were called then, remain as the happiest memories from my childhood. While the music we played and sang at our table was not specifically Irish, though some of it certainly was, it is the music that I now play around the table in the Irish pub that has reconnected me with my musical roots, with a sense of family, and with joy - after being away for far too long.

(I'm still sussing out the G12, trying to reconcile it with the very dim lighting in Tommy Doyle's.)

Floating Crowbar, Bag of Spuds, O'Connell's Trip to Parliament

(Above) Liam Hart, accompanied by friends (Sean Connor, Alex, Rosanne, Wynter), sings his arrangement of Fill a Ruin, "Come back, dear, come back." This song is on Liam's album, Far From Home.

I'm sure these tunes (above) have names - somebody help me out -  but I will always think of this set as Wynter's Set. Brilliant. Can't wait to learn them. Okay, got 'em (thanks, Rosanne, for these as well as for video #1): College Groves, Jenny's Wedding, Cregg's Pipes.


  1. Loved the video performances and the music. It is really wonderful to see you having so much fun. I envy how you can throw yourself, heart and soul, into an endeavor.

    May the wind be at your back, Fran

  2. Thanks, Fran. Yes, I find that life goes much better with a passion for something.

    The videos are kind of dark, but they help me learn the tunes, and are fun to look at, remembering friends and good times.

  3. PS - I also know, you've got to make time for joy, because it ain't necessarily gonna come lookin' for ya.

  4. Love that session - unfortunately, people at work keep organising things on Thursdays, very frustrating