Real Irish music

Real Irish musicNow back to some real Irish music.

You have your choice and all are right as being “THE” authentic Irish music.

The Bard, The Rover, The Farmer. These were the carriers of the torch, the passer ons of the tradition of Irish music. The harp, the fiddle, a squeezebox, the pipes, later on a flute or whistle these were the tools of the early player.

                          Real Irish Music

They played music to dance by, jigs, reels, hornpipes, or songs for the soul in airs and slow airs. The music was passed down father to son, mother to daughter, learned by listening and reproducing the tunes. A legacy almost lost. Thankfully organizations like Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann organized and promoted the tradition of Irish music. Their work comes to fruition each year seen and is heard at classes, regional Fleadhs, culminating with the All Ireland Fleadh Ceoil each August.

Then there are the singers. Again there are old songs passed on from generation to generation, sung in the native tongue these are the old songs these are the “Seanos songs” most who think they know Irish songs have never heard Seanos. It is a beautiful at times haunting style sung in a particular way

Add to these traditions beautiful musical arts like lilting, whistling, and storytelling, and you might get a glimpse of real irish music. I have to laugh sometimes. I’ll be at a session with fantastic musicians going at it full tilt, when some expert on Irish music will wonder when they will start playing real Irish music. You know, when Irish eyes are smiling, Mother Macree, or Danny boy. Now thats a story thats already been written (Traditional Irish songs the best Irish songs)

Readers of this humble blog well know I am a sucker for Irish folk music. The legends of the resurgent folk gender of the sixties who revived and reshaped Irish folk will forever be real Irish music to me. Luke Kelly, Jim McCann, Tommy Makem, Paddy Reilly, giants all. But I’m sure if you asked them what real Irish music was they would go back to those traditions passed down from father to son, mother to daughter. As Pete ST. John so aptly wrote “raised on songs and stories”

Cheers, and check out a session near you.


Irish Country singer Grace O’Shea.

Nice video from an up and coming country singer, Grace O’Shea. The things you find on youtube are just fascinating. You never know if you are seeing the beginnings of the next Reba, Dolly, Loretta, or Taylor, but if passion, talent, and style play a role I think this girl may have a chance. Be it superstardom or picking the guitar by a bonfire I think this Country singer with the nice Irish name will be playing good music for a really long time.


Stepping into an Irish bar for a pint

I almost didn’t write this post as the title was so tempting. There is something special about stepping into an Irish bar for a pint that’s different than any other bar.

There may not be a better feeling of well being, a more heighten level of expectation, than to drop into a good Irish pub for a properly poured pint of Guinness. Even better during a crisp afternoon when the bar is less crowded and you are left at peace with your thoughts your dreams and your pint. Now there is a fine line between a pint or two and maybe a bit too much, and a not so fine line line of the daily dozen downing, but that being said, here’s a spot or two in Boston, the South Shore, or across the Atlantic where a pleasant drink can be had.

The Corrib in Brighton, best had at the bar, and yes this is what got me thinking as I had a lovely sandwich with my daughter there Sunday last with a beautiful pint of Guinness. reasonably priced as well.

Mr. Dooleys, Boston. a bit pricey, but a good pour and great atmosphere, again though it gets crowded at nigh,t but a satisfying  pint in the afternoon, makes life worth living. Some good music there as well.

The Green Dragon, Faneuil Hall, Boston. the famous meeting place of Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty, though rebuilt after a fire razed the original building, is a great place to strike a blow for freedom, and they pour a really good pint of Guinness, I especially like going in on slow summer afternoon days when that young acoustic singer is performing, real class.

The Eire Pub Dorchester.  Made famous by the greatest president of modern times Ronald Reagan who stopped in for a sipp with the locals, the Eire is an authentic neighborhood Irish bar that serves a great pint and the best sandwiches around.

Irish bar
The Eire Pub a great Irish bar.

Then there were the times in Ireland.

Glendalough, Wicklow, Ireland I suppose the scenery or the company would make stepping into an Irish bar more special. The Hotel lounge across from St. Kevins Church and Glendalough served a nice time. My family and cousins, having a cup of soup, a toasted sandwich or two, and I and my cousin making out like bandits with our two pints of plain

The Harbour Bar, Bray, Ireland. Go along the harbour walk around the little park, look out over the harbour and the ships moored each telling there own story. Watch the Swans as big as large dogs make there way into and out of the ripples, and then venture into the best hidden gem in Ireland. In the afternoon you’ll get to soak up the pub with it’s just old feel, Now That being said, the harbor bar also promotes new music, concerts, festivals, rock and roll extravaganzas, which is cool, but as a tourist I’ll take a slow afternoon and some of that black stuff.

Dublin favorites:

O’Donahues St. Stephens Green.

Neary’s Bar.

The Stags Head.

I suppose by this time all must think me a drunkard, we are all welcome to our opinions, as my father would would say ” You are all welcome to your opinion, just keep it to yourself”. Either way, when a beautiful sunny day beckons you in nothing makes you feel more alive than a pint and a toast to freedom,


Traditional Irish songs the best Irish songs

traditional irish songsThere are Irish songs, there are American Irish songs, there are modern Irish songs and their are great Irish tunes, but in this humble authors opinion traditional Irish folk songs are the best Irish songs.

Many songs people think are traditional Irish songs are surprised when they find out their favorite is really something else.

A few examples would be:

  • When Irish eyes are smiling
  • Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra
  • My wild Irish Rose
  • Mother Machree
  • I’ll take you home again Kathleen

These songs where written for Americans with an eye for entertainment, Vaudeville shows, theater shows, and that new fangled technology- radio. In the end singers like John McCormack, Bing Crosby, and Dennis Day made the distance between Ireland and America seem very small indeed.

Many songs people think go back centuries are really modern

  • The Ould Triangle
  • A man you don’t meet every day
  • Rare old times
  • The fields of Athenry

Great song writers like Pete St. John however are responsible for these modern Irish folk music classics.

Then there are the traditional Irish folk songs passed down from Generation to generation, songs and stories passed along through the oral history awaiting that other modern wonder -the printed page. The bards, the troubadours, the seanchais responsible for the Irish culture and soul to thrive and grow.

Be it,

  • the lark in the morning
  • The Rising of the moon
  • Or the Foggy dew

The Irish folk tradition takes many forms.

Now the nice thing about being a lover of Irish music is I get to pick, play, sing, my favorite Irish Folk songs. It’s the feel that I look for. It’s the passion of the singer or the hopelessness of the lyric, or the liveliness of the tune. Heck there are even times when I’ll find an Irish song that is up beat and positive.

But be it songs about the heroes of Ireland, the victims of famine and persecution, or the resiliency of the human spirit, the best song to raise a toast to is an Irish song. And with that we’ll have a listen to an Ireland legend sing a song for Ireland.



Memorial day 2015 Thank you to all Veterans.

This Memorial day 2015, I want to give a big Thank You to those that served, Those that protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States. As time passes by many forget that we are endowed by are creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, And the pursuit of happiness. Those that serve put their lives on the line, suspend their Liberty to their commanders, and postpone their pursuit of happiness for themselves and their families for our freedom. It is important that we not forget this.


(Sung to the tune of My old friend John)


Has anyone here seen my old friend Glen

Can you tell me where he’s gone?

He saved a lot of people

probably over a video

I guess i rely don’t know.


Anybody here seen my old friend Ty

Can you tell me where he’s gone?

He saved a lot of people

probably over a video

I guess I really don’t know.


Has anyone here seen Ambassador Stephens

Can you tell me where he’s gone?

He tried to help people.

probably over a video.

I guess I really don’t know.


Didn’t you love the things that they stood for?

They stood up for freedom in Benghazi, for you and me

They would not let things be.

They saved lives for freedom, not a video you see.


Has anyone here seen their flag draped coffins.

Has anyone lied to their kin?

Bald face lies to their grieving faces,

That was our coward Hillary.


Has anyone hear seen Glen Ty or Christopher

Can you tell me why they’re gone

It seems the brave, the brave they die young

While the cowards live on and on.


Rest in Peace Glen Doherty                                          Rest in Peace Ty Woods             Rest in Peace Chris Stephens                                       Rest in Peace Sean Smith



Pubs of Dublin the oldest, longest, smallest,

pubs of DublinA friend of mine is heading over to Dublin for what turns out to be a long weekend, a Wednesday to Sunday  jaunt from Boston. First off I was jealous, but then the talk turned to my favorite part of such a trip, the pubs of Dublin.

Now the oldest pub is the Brazen Head by ChristChurch, it has a nice outside courtyard, good food, 3 bars inside, and plenty of touristy attractions. Many a Dublin bar will have a cabaret type Irish music dance show to entertain the tourists, but despite it’s long history the oldest pub in Dublin is a bit too commercial for this consumer of Arthur Guinness’ wares. Though it won’t make it on the Dublin A list of pubs, I really enjoyed O’Shea’s Merchant just across the street. The best Trad music you are apt to find, good food, and kind of a true feel you look for in a pub.

The longest of the pubs of Dublin is attributed to the “Hole in the wall” pub by Phoenix park in Dublin. Now by the name you would think it to be a small little hole in the wall place, but it turns out to be a a converted carriage house which is why it is the longest pub in Dublin. The story goes that pints were passed thru a hole inthe wall to soilders after curfew and the longer you stay and get to know the locals the more you believe it to be true.

The smallest of the pubs of I Dublin, is attributed to Dawsons lounge. When size matters I guess it’s best to market your short comings and turn it to your advantage. A cozy little bar that cramps up on the weekends as all want to say they have been to the smallest bar in Dublin.

pubs of dublin

If you are heading to Dublin I have two favorite pubs of Dublin for two completely different reasons. The first is O’Donoghue’s by Stephens Green. I think I love O’Donoghues so much because the times I have been there have been during the off peak tourist times. The music sessions attract all we lovers of Irish trad and during peak season it gets crowded. The music has always been authentic the many times I’ve dropped in to O’Donoghue’s, and a good time was always had. When people ask me what the word “craic” means I always think about nights in O’Donoghue’s.

pubs of Dublin

Nearys Pub Dublin is a favorite for an entirely different reason. There are times when you want to have a pint of plain with a friend or just enjoy some solitude and Neary’s is the best pub in Dublin to do this. Now it will crowd up on the weekends and it gets it fair share of the after work crowd as well, but that being said Neary’s is as old school, classic, just what I want to be in, type of Dublin pub. The entrance way adorned with two globes being held by statuesque arms extending  from  the exterior walls, beckon you in. There is a back entrance adjoining the Gaiety theater and the  lounge upstairs furnished with arm chairs and couches, Paintings, very comforting. This excerpt from Tom Sweeney’s travel blog might sum it up the best——

“If you want the sound of bodhrans being belted and tin whistles being tooted, there are plenty of places in the city that provide traditional music, but in Neary’s it’s all about traditional values and the sound of convivial conversation. Mind you, the sooner the one-tune, guitar-murdering busker who deafens shoppers in nearby Grafton Street gets electrocuted by his own amplifier, the better. Then he, and everyone else within half-a-mile, can rest in peace.”

So please remember use a little pub etiquette when you frequent these fine Pubs of Dublin  as the last thing you want to be is that loud tourist the locals wish ill upon,



Raised on songs and stories

There are few songs, at least in modern times that evoke as much feel for the Irish than the great Pete St John’s “Rare old times”. The line that strikes at the core is the iconic “Raised on songs and stories” I think it is what separates a true Irishman from the rest.


raised on songs and storiesThis Saturday night last I went to the local Irish Cultural Center in Canton Ma. to hear a young girl and her acoustic guitar play a few tunes. The bar was full of Rugby players fresh off the pitch and some aspiring footballers taking in some pre season practice. The songs she sang were mainly American country songs with a few pop hits thrown in. I know, I know, what does this have to do with Raised on songs and stories? Be patient I’ll get there.

When the boys are fresh off a match, or watching a match, the discussions and attentions in the pub afterwards are about the match. The music is an after thought, a nice after thought, but not the main attraction.

raised on songs and stories

The young lady did know one Irish traditional song, and with a slight introduction that it was her father’s favorite song and hoped she did it the justice it deserved she belted out her version of “Grace”. Well you know those Rugby players all stopped their banter as a really nice, passionate, version of “Grace” caught them. At the songs conclusion, a round of applause from all, a bless his soul for Jim McCann for he has recently passed, and did she know any Luke Kelly.


Raised on songs and stories, The songs about Irish heroes forever retold in music, forever appreciated by generations young and old. The telling of the story is important, the singing of the song is important, that doing the song the respect it deserves is of utmost importance. I suppose that’s what Pete ST. John instinctively knew when he wrote that line, that all Irish are held together with a thread of story and song.

Not a bad way to be raised at all, I can think of no better,



New Irish music release, Billy Treacy

New Irish Music “Head above Water” by Billy Treacy

What’s harder than learning your musical craft, gigging around the pubs of Dublin, becoming a mainstay at The Dublin Ha’Penny Bridge Inn, forging your own way in the musical world, Irish and otherwise, and going forth with a new Irish Music release?

New Irish music

Not much.

Well maybe getting the word out comes close. So thanks to a pre release copy of Billy’s CD Head above Water, this humble blog will hopefully help this talented artist’s music be heard.

How to describe Head above Water,

Let me count the ways,

  1. First off it’s a little bit of Folk Rock with songs like “Sick and tired” and “Woe” that definitely have a Dylan feel to them.
  2. Then their are some nice balladeering love songs like “Audrey” and “Days past”
  3. A few Traditional Irish folk songs 2 to be more specific, “Sam Hal” and a nice version of the “Parting Glass” paying homage to his roots no doubt.
  4. Even some trad tunes running along side his description of the Temple Bar night life on “Temple Bar”

All in all a nice tightly conceived and produced CD. This is definitely a contemporary work, these tunes would be as comfortable in The US as in Dublin. Except for the two old traditional Irish folk tunes all other of the songs were written and arranged by Billy Treacy. His commentary on the current affairs of his part of the world are universal in their meaning and strike a common chord amongst all free men.

Billy Treacy can be reached at his website

Maybe it’s time to reach out to the hardworking musicians out there as they keep the song tradition alive and contact his website and give his CD a go.

I would like to thank Billy for his reaching out to this humble blog and for letting us hear his head above water Cd just before Its launch date of April 15.

Good Luck.



Doherty not Clinton for president.

Hillary Clinton has made it official, she wants to rule America.
I wish for something else.

I propose Glen Doherty for president over Hillary Clinton. You do remember Glen Doherty?
A nice Irish name Doherty.
A nice Irish-American boy Glen Doherty.

But why would you Choose Glen Doherty over Hillary Clinton, let’s compare.

1. Glen Doherty put his life on the line for his country and faced death to free American lives in Benghazi.

Hillary Clinton lied, ignored the Threat in Benghazi, leading to the Death Of the American Ambassador Chris Stephens.

2. Glen Doherty Taught White water rafting.

Hillary tried to swindle people in The White Water Real estate deal in Arkansas.

3. Glen Doherty Loved life, loved adventure, loved his friends and his country

Hillary Clinton loves power, loves money, loves rationalizing, loves the ends she loves, by any means.
Don’t ask me, ask the people she has touched, ask Vince Foster former personal lawyer, ask Ambassador Stephens,
Ask Ty Woods, hell ask some of their friends like Ron Brown or personal body guards, but unfortunately they are like Glen Doherty, dead, and un able to answer.

4. Glen Doherty made a pact to become a Navy Seal if he had not found his calling by the age of thirty.

Hillary made a pact to cover up bimbo eruptions for her husband. Funny how the war on women folks never mention the lives of women destroyed by the dynamic Clinton duo.
Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and of course Monica. But as long as their prodigy is safe that’s all that matters.

5. Glen traveled from Tripoli to Benghazi to aid his fellow Seal Ty woods and come to the aid of Ambassador Stephens and staff at the sovereign American soil of the US Embassy.

Hillary took control of the White house travel office, fires Billy Dale, tries to frame him for embezzlement. The ends justify the means, there was money to be made in the travel office and she wanted her people in there.

Ah Money. The root of all evil? No. The Root of her greed, probably.
Cattle futures —-$1,000 turns to $100,000—Cattlegate
White water—— may never Know–because of File gate—Billing recordsgate–

Then there is current income

According to Bloomberg, Hillary Clinton has made a whopping twelve million dollars since she left the Department of State 16 months ago. This comes from three primary sources: her latest memoir, her speeches, and her appearances for companies.

Her latest memoir, Ha- How much was sales and how much was bribe, er, advance–
“Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed last night to sell Simon & Schuster a memoir of her years as first lady, for the near-record advance of about $8 million.

Then of course there are the speeches, 27 speeches that is. Can you guess how much a speech from the wife of a former president and incompetent secretary of state is worth?

if you said $100 dollars an hour you would be wrong.

if you said $1000 dollars a speech you would be wrong.

$10,000? No

$100,00? No but we are half way there

Yes 200,000 a pop, mostly to Universities and woman’s groups. So glad tuitions are increasing to pay for these inspirational verbiage. But, in the end if some one is going to pay her, God love her, she believes in good old capitalism, for herself anyways. I’m sure her appearances to the hated corporations have no strings attached.

And then there is the Clinton foundation, maybe after they investigate more about this money trail we may know more about the reason of her Benghazi lies. Lots of foreign money from that part of the world coming in to this “charitable” foundation.

But what do I know, I’m just a guy who likes Irish music, and freedom.

My advice is to use this internet thing and investigate your choices, while the internet is still allowed to give all sides to issues, and make up your own mind.

As for me I would vote for a deceased Navy Seal who loved his country over Mrs. Clinton in a heartbeat, If only Glen Doherty had the same choice.

This site will return to it’s main goal of Irish music next week.



New Irish songs and Irish artists

Now that another year has wrapped up, meaning The St. Patrick’s Day Irish music extravaganzas have subsided, it’s time to recall the new Irish songs and Irish singers who are making their mark in the music world.

New Irish songs

We’ll Start off with Billy Treacy.

Billy has a new cd on the way, which we’ll review soon, but my hats off to Mr Treacy and their friends who are gigging in Dublin and marketing like all get out. The music business is a tough one, the hardest part might be the plugging yourself and keeping your nose to the grindstone while you “wait” to be discovered. That being said Here’s Billy Treacy with his song “Woe”.

The next new Irish song was sent in from a reader of this humble blog.

James Gallagher proud Galway man.

While trying to upload this video of Mr. Gallagher I came across a Busking documentary where He is interviewed. It was reassuring to hear his opinion on Irish music. You could feel he loved the Irish folk tradition, and was proud to carry on the tradition.  It made my heart feel good to hear a true Irish folk artist who was happy to sing the Irish songs people want to hear.

The Next New Irish song or more precise new Irish singers of old Irish songs, We’ll revisit the lads from Drogheda, Robbed and Lynched


And we’ll end this little tidbit of Irish music with my favorite Irish traditional band The Ivy Leaf. to be more accurate it would be The Ivy Leaf and friends recorded at a house concert in Boston. I especially like the Flute playing in this video.

So If you are a struggling Irish artist send in a link and we’ll spread the word.

If you happen to be a lover of Irish music well checkout these new Irish artists, share, like, link. Find out where they are playing, buy some of their music, they don’t call them struggling artist for no reason.