Thursday, June 17, 2010

I ♥ Festivals and Irish ♫

Last weekend, Matt and I picked up my Aunt S & my Mom to head on out to Worcester for the Irish Music Festival. We found out about it because my Aunt E & Uncle D were going, and so we met up with them there. What a great day!

Now I know what you people who grew up in Massachusetts with a decent lay of the land are probably thinking -- there’s that big an Irish population in Worcester that it could warrant an entire festival? Well judging from the fact that the tent was packed I’d have to say, yeah, there is.

It was down pouring which probably kept a few hundred away but we didn’t care, there was a tent overhead, Guinness to be imbibed (Smithwick’s for me though, no Guinness touches this Lass’ tongue) and incredible music to enjoy!

We got there in time to catch the end of The Granitemen but unfortunately didn’t really get to listen as we were paying our admission, getting beer, food and a seat. I’ll have to make a point to track them down someday. They didn’t just have any food at the festival either, and no, there was no boiled dinner (much to my chagrin, although there was no vinegar so how could I have eaten cabbage anyway?). They had Irish potato wedges, not French fries, corned beef and ‘kraut, not a Reuben…you get the idea.

During the break we checked out the vendors and my Aunt E bought a gorgeous shawl with a brooch, Aunt S picked up a crest pin from County Waterford, where part of our clan originated from. (I’m a mutt, from 3 different and very distinct counties on the west coast but that’s a story for another day).

Cunla Dear were excellent musicians and took the stage next; a group made up of three guys and a gal. After they were finished, and from what I read during just about every other break as well, a troupe of Irish step dancers from The McInerney School, ranging in age from preschool up through teens, took the stage. They were insane!

I have actually been to see Riverdance, laugh if you like but that is some intense energy those mofos exert every night. These girls were really, really amazing, a couple in particular really had the gift for the dance steps and they were a lot of fun to watch.

Who we were all really excited to see, was Solas. My Mom expressed her crush on one of the members and I could see why, these people sure are talented. It was my first time seeing them live and was quite impressed. Sadly their fiddler had a medical issue and couldn’t be there but there was accordion, flute, other flue-like instruments, guitar and of course the voice. In Irish music sometimes the voice is the most prominent instrument of all.

They were great and then we stayed to hear a couple songs by the headliner, Makem & Spain, but we were all a little cold with soaked feet by this point and decided to hit the road during a break in the rain. I will also have to make a point to catch them again, they were really quite good.

Despite the weather…actually, check that. Because of the weather, it truly was an Irish day -- mid 60’s, humid and raining. All the better for beer drinking and sing-alongs!


pastrywitch said...

Would that be Tommy Makem who used to play with the Clancy Brothers?
Feel no shame; I too have seen Riverdance and Lord of the Dance (not live though). That is a major workout; the effortless look is achieved by wearing practice shoes that weigh twice as much as the performance shoes. I keep thinking about lessons, but my knees aren't thrilled with the idea.

Rosebud Collection said...

One of our son-in-laws is pure Irish,from the Portland area..many relatives still in Ireland. We always get a kick out of his humor..Like you, I am a mutt..
Would love to see the Riverdance group..lucky you..Don't care what anyone thinks about them..I think they are great..Guess I could use a little Riverdance to get in shape..probably would kill me at my age..Sounds like you all have a wonderful time..Always fun to enjoy family/ it..
Have a good weekend my good friend..xoxoRosebud.

Suldog said...

It's fun to explore one's roots, eh? Especially when your roots involve beer!

Almost Precious said...

Hey, the blog has had a make over since my last visit! Nice.

Never saw Riverdance live but have watched it on TV several times and always in total awe and amazement. How feet can move that quickly is beyond my comprehension.

Surprised that the Irish fete didn't have potatoes in at least 20 different ways of preparation. When my hubby was there he said you had potatoes with every meal and not just cooked one way but in various fashion; fried, baked, boiled, broiled, mashed, spiced, pickled and poached. LOL

Joan said...

Fun! And I would love to see Riverdance.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Honestly Kate I'm not sure. I'm not well versed in Irish music yet but now I will have to look it up and see!

Carolyn does he have a brogue? I'd never speak, just listen lol. My favorite accent :-)

You know it Jim! Beer and 'ba-day-das (or for those who aren't Boston Irish -- potatos).

Now I can't say I've ever tried a pickled potato Anna but yup, they're pretty much a staple of the diet. We fair folk enjoy our starch ;-)

I highly recommend it Joan, a jaw dropping experience to say the least!

Maggie May said...

my husband is Irish Catholic...drinkin!

Judi FitzPatrick said...

To answer the Tommy Makem question, the Makem of this group is/are Tommy's offspring.

Love the new look of the blog, not sure when you changed it as I usually read you on FB.

Great post, fun day!

Rosebud Collection said...

I had to check you out again and I see the note..My son-in-law doesn't have a brogue..but he does when he wants to..He gets us all laughing..Wonderful sense of humor..
Have a great weekend..xoxoRosebud.