Dublin musicians

Dublin musicians

Damien Dempsey the next Irish warrior poet, rocker, folk singer. Image c/o Damiendempsey.com

Dublin Musicians highlighted in this post

  1. Billy Treacy
  2. George Murphy
  3. Janet Grogan
  4. Damien Dempsey

Dublin musician Billy Treacy has come out with a new cd and has sent yours truly a nice video of a new track. I thought it would be nice to showcase Billy and some of the new Dublin musicians that are trying to make it in the rough and tumble world of music. Here goes.

Dublin musicians… let’s hear from Billy Treacy and Temple bar.

A nice catchy tune, a lot of good advice included, keep an eye on your phone. Billy has been hard at work  at his chosen craft, gigin in the Ha’penny Bridge Inn Dublin producing Cd’s and promoting like the devil. It’s not easy being an over night success, it usually happens after years of hard work. We’ll add another video from Billy and then check out some more Dublin musicians.

Billy Treacy Spancill Hill a nice Irish Folk Song

Checkout Billy Treacy at his website billytreacy.com

Another Ireland favorites favorite Dublin musician George Murphy

We’ll start of with a powerful original song really class. Something out of nothing George Murphy

Hard to find any updates on George short of a Dublin show at the Royal theater Dublin on September 11, we did a little story and bio on irelandfavorites.com/georgemurphy so check it out or just listen to a classic Irish folk song by Mr. Murphy, School days over

One of the great voices to emerge from the Dublin streets and one of the finest Dublin musicians we highlighted on irelandfavorites.com and apparently taking the X factor by storm, Janet Grogan

A little background can be found on Janet Grogan new irish voices irelandfavorites

Is writing a post on new Irish stars before they make it big on X Factor patting myself on the back..you bet.

Damien Dempsey might be the most well known of the Dublin Musicians on the scene today. Powerful emotional blend of Irish traditional folk songs, contemporary soul artist, full of conflict and resolution. Saw Damien at the Brighton Music Hall and he was pure energy, fun, and emotion. Great show.

I hope you enjoyed this little summation of some of the current Dublin musicians, They all have their own unique talents, they have their own unique musical style, and they all have Irish musical roots that keep them well grounded.

Cheers.

Ireland’s favorite potato recipes

Ireland's favorite potatoesWhile perusing Irish websites I like I happened upon potato.ie which had their favorite potato recipes. To be more accurate “Ireland’s favourite” recipes with the Irish spelling as opposed to yours trulys Ireland’s favorite Americanized spelling, but I digress. It got me thinking “What are my favorite potato recipes and would they be Ireland’s favorite also?”

Lets find out.

According to Potato.ie Ireland’s favorite potato recipes are.

 

shutterstock_148360283(1)

1. Rich & Hearty Beef & Potato Stew

 

cheesy potato bites

    2. Potato Bites with Egg & Cheese

 

patata revolcanas

     3. Patatas Revolconas

 

chickenchasseur

    4. Chicken Chasseur & Mashed Potatoes

 

batata harra

     5. Batata Harra

potatopakora

     6. Potato & Onion Pakora

 

potatoturnipgratin

     7. Potato & Turnip Gratin

All great choices but the potato is such a versatile tuber there must be more.

So here are a few of Irelandfavorites favorite potato recipes which really are my favorite potato recipes Irish or not.

Re-mashed potato crunchies.

Mashed potatoes are great on their own but thrown in a frying pan, either nonstick or well seasoned cast iron, add a nice hunk of butter to brown and scrape and fold potatoes until you have a nice amount of crunchy bits. The resulting potato mashed is heaven on a fork.

Fried baked potato.

Take your favorite left over cooked baking potato and slice into 1/4 inch or so slices and reheat in a frying pan over medium high heat with a tablespoon of oil and a bit of butter, add herbs of your choice be they dill, parsley, chives, and you have one crispy potato treat.

Potato salad.

I’ll have to confess that as potato salads go Claire O’Shea’s version is the best by far, that would be my mothers.

Boil a waxy type potato (I like PEI or Maine) until a knife goes through without resistance drain peel cut into chunks and pour 1/4 cup of caesar salad dressing over warm potatoes. grate 1/4 small onion and add, grate 1 clove of garlic and add, 1 teaspoon mustard, dash of celery salt, dash of onion powder, dash of fresh ground pepper, 1/2 to 1 cup of good mayonnaise to just cover the potatoes, a tablespoon of good vinegar optional. cover refrigerate.

Hash browns.

roughly grate 2 large floury potatoes, chop 1 onion, combine onion and potato and use your method of choice to drain as much moisture from them as possible, either wrap in cheese cloth and squeeze moisture out. Use a potato ricer to squeeze moisture out but not so much potatoes go through ricer or spread out on paper towels several times. The point is to get as much moisture out of the spuds as possible. heat up your skillet add tablespoon of veg oil and hunk of butter and add a layer 1/2 inch of potato to pan, turn when sides are browning and remove soon after, I like them with just a little salt and pepper but any herbs are up to you.

Potato and egg.

I know pretty simple but there might not be a better meal when there is nothing left in the fridge. First off you need pre cooked potatoes, either boiled, baked, or microwaved. Heat up your skillet add a bit of butter and oil, add potato and chopped onion. Take 3 eggs scrambled wait for potatoes to brown a bit. Pour eggs over potatoes, turn over once trying to keep large pieces of egg intact. Feel free to add butter around sides of skillet to help from sticking, scrape contents onto plate with plenty of pepper and a bit of salt. a bottle of hot sauce is great as are any of the chile verde sauces.

If you have a favorite potato recipe be it your favorite Irish potato recipe or your favorite American potato recipe or your favorite peruvian potato recipe let me know and we’ll add it to the list. Now that I think of it  Ireland’s favorite potato recipe would be a nice boiled Queenie with a side of chips and maybe a baked twice Kerr.

Cheers.

Potato and leek soup courtesy of Mairead at irishamericanmom.com

Irish country music.

Irish country musicI’m a lucky man, I have talented children and friends that surround me with beautiful music. If you have read this humble blog before you would know I love traditional Irish tunes, I love Irish folk music, I love Irish rock. There is however an Irish music tradition that I have been negligent of. Irish country music and Irish country songs are the unknown genre of Irish music. I think it took my youngest child’s love of American country music to open up my mind to the possibilities of Irish country.

We can go old school Irish country music  with a classic of Irish country Big Tom.

Big Tom and the Mainliners story has a familiar ring, their big break came by accident. The band played the B side of a “vinyl” record that was being promoted on TV when they needed to fill time. The “B” side featuring Big Tom singing Gentle Mother was played and an Irish country legend was born.

I used to have Irish country music fans asking me if i could get ahold of some Big Tom recordings in my shop. There were no wifi, mp3s, no iPhones, no youtube, and record companies didn’t think there was a market for Irish country so Big Tom’s fans had to import there own music.

Big Tom’s story included working for an ice cream factory, family farming, and picking tomatoes abroad, checkout this link for an in depth Biography for Big Tom and the Mainliners one  of the great Irish show bands

 We can go a little more modern Irish country music with Declan  Nerney

Declan Nerney was born in Drumlish County Longford, growing up on the family farm Declan always dreamed of playing music, good Irish country music. the best Bio might be Declan’s song “The Marquee in Drumlish”, so here goes.

This video shows the fun and energy from the country Irish fans along with Big Tom and the boys along with Declan.

John Brophy used to sell me Christmas trees and before he left he would always buy 2 Crunchies and a Declan Nerney cassette. Check out the goings on with Declan Nerney at his website declannerney.com

 we can go full boat modern Irish country with Derek Ryan

Derek Ryan  grew up in Garyhill near Carlow town, Derek was born into  Irish traditional music, attending The All Ireland Fleadh Ceoils on a regular basis with his father. Derek achieved  two all-Ireland titles in both bodhran and ceili drumming, himself. Quite an accomplishment. Derek has found his niche, his love, Irish country and look for him to be an international hit.

So here’s just a small sample of Irish country music, just another side of the musical island across the Atlantic.

Cheers.

I miss Philip Lynott

January 4, 1986, the night the music died. Phiipl Lynott lead singer, song writer, rocker, produced some of the best music this planet will ever know. Most Know these Irish rockers for songs from their Jailbreak album and that’s a good thing. For the songs are monumental. The Boys are back in town, Jailbreak, The Warrior, The Cowboy song, all classics.

Philip Lynott.

Phil Lynott not a statue but a visionary

 

But now as I grow older, I appreciate the versions of Irish classic folk songs that Phil and the boys played to perfection.

What makes a night complete?

What makes you stay in your car at the end of the day to listen to the song on the radio?

What validates all the folk songs you love and all the rock songs you yearn for?

Is it as simple as an Irish folk classic?

Is it as simple as adding a good riff?

No.

As I’ve always said, it is the feel, the emotion, the righteous knowing how a song should be.

Whiskey in the Jar by Phil Lynott and the Thin Lizzy group does all of the above, I feel so bad that I love this song so much.

An after thought, spurred on by their record label to do a “traditional song” Thin Lizzy takes the bumpers off and has one hell of a rocking Irish folk song. The kind of song that keeps you in the car even at the end of a long night because you want to hear it finish.

I think sometimes the Irish fellas don’t realize how much emotion can be translated into we descendants of emigrants past. We are of different histories, but of the same blood, never knowing, but empathetic all the same. When I hear Phil Lynott sing whiskey in the Jar I truly believe it is the best version of this Irish classic, and I miss Philip Lynott  with the heart of a true music  purist. I think the devil created heroin to steal music makers from this world.

So with humble appreciation, and non humble adoration I implore any who have withstood reading my drivel to pay homage to the late great Philip Lynott and his version of an Irish folk classic Whiskey in the Jar.

I miss Philip Lynott, I miss his music, I miss his vision, I miss snowy white’s riffs on a warm summers day. I know the hands of time can not go back and pluck poor Phil from his fate. But I want all to know the greatness of the  man, and I for one miss him dearly.

In Memoriam irelandfavorites salute Philip Lynott.

 

 

Irish music at the Dorchester Irish festival

Irish festival

Mark the date October 12 2014 for the Dorchester Irish festival.

This Irish festival has grown into one good heck of a time. the best part is the different styles of Irish music you will be able to hear.

There’ll be Folk bands;

Silver Spears

Fenian sons

Pauline wells

There’ll be folk country bands

Devry

Erin’s melody

There’ll be traditional players

Joey Abarta master Uilleann pipe player

Jaclyn O’Reilly

Mairin Ui Cheida

Caroline O’Shea flutes and whistles

Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann

There’ll be Irish Rockers

The Gobshites

Noggin

Throw on top of the great Irish music, dance exhibitions, dog shows, street vendors, Guinness, laughs, fun, chats, and more.

A Seanos Dance exhibition will be performed by Brian Cunningham and company.

So throw the kids and grandma into the wagon and head on down to the Dorchester Irish festival down on Hallet street by Florian Hall and the Mckeon post on Sunday the twelfth of October and prepare for an Irish celebration of Mammoth proportions.

Cheers.

 

Rules for American tourists in Ireland.

Rules for American tourists in Ireland .

A recent sign in a Kerry cafe sparked some controversy but I say more power to them.

American tourists in Ireland

Causing offence: Peter’s Place cafe in Waterville, County Kerry, has banned ‘loud Americans’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the sign says Loud Americans, So the key would be to be a normal American, so here are some hints to help you get along with the Irish locals.

  • Please remember you are visiting a different country than the US.                        We sometimes forget that because we have a deep appreciation for our Irish American heritage, We are raised in different cultures. Sometimes our excitement of coming to the land of our emigrant ancestors prevents us from the interaction we seek.  The Irish for the most part are a friendly welcoming people, take your time and let the conversations and chats evolve naturally. Fight the urge to force yourself into conversations.

 

  • Embrace the differences in the way things are done.                                             Nothing turns people off more than a complainer, especially when it is your customs and culture that is being dissed. Little things like- They drive on the wrong side of the road-That accent was impossible to understand-Their was a child in the bar-why would I want tea?-No Irish music tonight, that’s ridiculous-The showers had a motor?-weird light switches-. I was waiting on a flight and had a conversation with two older ladies who had just come back from a trip to Ireland. Though they thought the country was lovely they were a bit disappointed. The conversation went something like this,

Myself—“How did you enjoy Ireland”

Herself—“Beautiful country but the service was horrible, I sat at a table and didn’t receive a menu and had to wait, when some one did come they spoke in a weird accent and was no help at all”.

Myself–“Really”

Herself—“And you know they drive on the wrong side of the road, very confusing”

Myself-“hahhaha” hopefully muffled, but in the end they said they would go back. Can you imagine the patience it must have taken any Irish local to deal with their naiveté.

 

  • Know something nice or important about the town you are in. My cousin an American expat living in Wicklow joined me in Tullamore during one of their Fleadhs. Whenever we were engaged in conversation with a Tullamore resident he would always remark about the width of the streets in town. There was a reason and history for the wide streets and a sort of pride also, and it showed a bit of respect from the visitor to know a bit about the mans town.

 

  • Listen. It seems simple enough but may be the hardest rule for busy tourists to follow. These days with tour books, ibooks, itineraries, many tourists are rushing to some attraction or another. They stop for directions or ask for an opinion but are too busy to listen. Sometimes when a resident tells you that a particular site is too far away or the hours are limited, or suggest something closer you might do yourself a favor and listen. This is also where my Pub etiquette comes in if you happen to want to frequent a pub for a bit of sustenance.

 

  • Don’t cram too much site seeing into too little time.  This can be hard to make yourself do but try to limit the amount of travel to what can be enjoyed. 1day in Dublin, drive to Skibbereen, then down To Baltimore, and up to the Beara, around the ring of Kerry, out to Dingle, onto Clare, out to Connemara, stop over in Galway City, then on to Donegal. I’ve heard it done, and I’m sure you see some great scenery out the window as you drive through, but do you really want to just see Ireland through the window of your car? I think the much better way to enjoy Ireland is to pick a section you want to explore. Dublin Wicklow Bray maybe Kilkenny. Head out to the wild west coast Cork or Kerry or Clare. Head up to Connemara Galway City and Donegal. Frankly each county has their own personality and it would take months not weeks certainly not days to fully appreciate

 

  • Most Irish don’t wear Irish knit sweaters with their patch caps. This isn’t to say they never wear an Irish knit sweater but more often than not if they are it would be a modern version or a designer color. The bit of fun had by locals watching the Donegal tweed patch cap donned tourist, in the off white banin Aran Knit, and Nikes, is priceless. Just think of any tourist spot near you and you’ll understand, Mickey mouse ears, Lobstahh tee shirt, statue of liberty pointy foam hat, etc. If you do get a bit of slagging be of good cheer and know you are a tourist, and join in the fun. A little self deprecating humor goes along way.

So enjoy your trip to Ireland and I hope these rules for American tourist in Ireland help you a bit, and just so you know, I learned the hard way as an over zealous American tourist myself.

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

Tipping in Ireland? Yes, No, sometimes.

tipping in Ireland

Do I leave a tip?

What to tip when you are traveling to Ireland is a question I get a lot from either people who are going on their first trip to Ireland, or just coming back from their first trip to Ireland. And the answer is ………it depends. So we’ll break it down into the three groups most confusing for we tourist to the fair Isle

Tipping in Ireland.

What to tip in the pub?

tipping in IrelandIt seems strange for those of us raised in the US to not tip on each drink or round purchased, (except for two of my comrades who will remain nameless, the cheap %#$&##s). In Ireland and many European vacation spots tipping is not the norm. Bartenders do not expect a tip, they are normally compensated well and do not rely on tips and gratuities for their income. If you wish to leave a tip for good service it will be gladly accepted. Many times a person may leave the price of a pint and tell the barkeep to have a drink on me. While we’re at it this may be a good time to review your pub etiquette.

If you are at table and have waitstaff service you for rounds and such, a gratuity is appropriate, and expected. 5 to 10%.

What to tip in the restaurant?

Tipping in ireland

Fast food and such no tip.

Sit down service casual, the tip is optional, but if you are waited on, plates served, drinks served, a tip is appropriate. 5 to 10%.

Formal dining 10 to 15% but with a huge caveat, check for a service charge. If a service charge is included, that serves as the tip. If your waiter was exceptional and you wish to leave additional that is fine, but always check for the service charge. 

What to tip your B&B establishment in Ireland?

There is no expectation of a tip by the proprietor of a B&B, if you wish to leave a bit for great service you may but you certainly do not have to feel you must. So you don’t have to feel like you have to avoid the proprietor of the B&B on your way to your taxi out of town. As for that taxi driver? No real tip is expected, but a rounding up of the charge is always a nice thing, maybe the price of a pint wouldn’t hurt.

tipping in Ireland

I once was at an event where we were shuttled from Jurys Hotel in Dublin to an Embassy Ireland dinner event. When the event ended I rode a double decker bus back to Jurys and ask the bus driver where the taxi stand was? He ask me where I needed to go, which was the other side of Dublin. He tells me his shift was over and have a seat, as he chauffeured me across the busy Dublin streets to my cousins flat, a really nice thing for him to do. I tried to give him a tip, and he said “No there’s no need for that, we had a nice conversation, and I’m just heading to the pub anyways”. So as I am leaving the bus I do ask him if he’ll let me buy the first pint, and with a smile he relents.

So tipping in Ireland is a little different than the US, but in the end do what you feel best just know what’s expected.

Cheers.

The Led Farmers, Irish folk fusion band .

the Led Farmers

The Led Farmers Ireland folk and trad and more.

What do you get when you take some All Ireland music champions, some classical musical degree holders, masters in music theory, and add a love for experimentation and tradition? Well you’d get the Led Farmers.

As I’ve said over and over again, the best part about writing this humble blog is the opportunity to discover the next generation of Irish music. I found out about these fellas from a comment Pat Shortall left on the story about Irish folk band Robbed and Lynched.

The Led Farmers

Brendan ‘Dog’ Walsh: Banjos
Ross O’Farrell: Guitar & Bouzouki
Glenn Malone: Percussion
Patrick Shortall: Bass

I’m waiting on the boys to elaborate on their massive skills but apparently they are busy trying to take over the world of Irish folk music somewhere in Switzerland, Germany and parts unknown.  What I can tell you is they have a high energy love of the tradition that is Irish folk, influenced by legendary groups as the Pogues, Planxty, and The Dubliners.

To those who believe Irish folk music is learning the words to Danny Boy or the Irish rover and slapping a few chords together you’d be well served listening to a few of the Led’s trad tracks, and realize the expertise that’s required, no demanded, to give the music it’s due.

So while I hope to update this post with a little more Bio information of the Led Farmers I think it’s time to strike a note or two, Here goes;

The Led Farmers in their own words and chords etc.

From this compilation snippets video straight into a nice pogues cover.

And in case you think they are all ballads and rebel songs I managed to find this tidbit of them playing a little bit of a trad tune. They have more trad tracks on their website The Led Farmers.com do yourself a favor and check them out.

So I hope you enjoyed your introduction to the Led Farmers, as the tradition continues and grows. In a year or two when these fellas are the next Irish folk music legends you can say you heard them way back in September of 2014.

Cheers, and good luck to the Led Farmers.

 

Irish phrases I like.

I was walking down to church on a bright sunny morning when I hear in a loud clear Irish voice, “GLORY BE TO GOD IT’S A BEAUUUTIFUL DAY’. I wish I could accent the syllables correctly in print as nothing sounded as glorious as hearing this woman pronounce the glory of this particular day. It made me feel good, it made me appreciate the beautifulness of this day, it made me jealous of her spirit which she couldn’t contain, just pure joy. I often remember this solitary woman’s outburst when I need a little inspiration, she still makes me smile. I thought it would be fun to list some Irish phrases, some need explaining and others….well let’s see how it goes.

Irish phrase

More Irish phrases

“Your man”- I use to run a flower shop back in the day and I still remember Kevin Doherty tell his comrades that “if your in a jam he’s your man for flowers”. Which was a good recommendation. Sometimes it can mean your friend, though the friend may or may not be your friend-“Ah I saw your man down at the mill.”

“He’s a kip”. or “This room is a kip”- Means its a total disaster or in complete disarray, I remember I ask a jewelry rep friend of mine about another retailer I had met and he said “oh he’s a real kip” doesn’t have a clue”.

“you are some man for one man”- Meaning we appreciate your effort or help,

Irish phrase

“Slagging” good natured ribbing of one’s friends and or a way to see if someone can take a joke. Sometimes humorous, sometimes demeaning, sometimes offensive, but always done with a purpose. I think an American version is give and take, those that can take a joke would really like a bit of Slagging, most times slagging is a badge of honor or a pat on the back. Read more about Slagging

Anybody have an Irish phrase or two they’d like to add? please leave a comment,

Cheers.

 

 

September 11 2014, a rudderless ship.

I sit here today thinking of the overlooked heroes and victims of September 11.

I sit here today on as crisp and beautiful a day as that day in 2001 that was forever soiled by islamic terrorists, captured by the cult of jihad. September 11 never forget, always remember. Sometimes it’s good to put a name to the event or a face to a name, or to at least read the list of names of everyday people who’s crime it was to be in America in the World trade Center on Septerber 11 2001.

List of Names of victims of September 11 2001

This list took me 15 minutes to read. I must confess I scanned more than I read, the names trying to roll into one long mass of names, each however special to their own friends and family. Each having a story, each loved, each missed, each murdered, by the proclaimers of peace.

This Resident of the Boston area, your humble author of this humble blog remembers a famous name from the list of Victims, Ace Bailey.

Ace Bailey. September 11 2015

Garnet Edward “Ace” Bailey- passenger on Flight 175 United Airlines, Former Boston Bruins Hockey Player, Former Pro Scout, always known as a generous nice guy, off the ice of course. I can remember  watching Ace play with abandonment on the ice and in retirement was known as ” the nicest guy in the world” – Rest in Peace.

 

 

To those that sympathize with the terrorists, thinking that America deserved it, that in Reverend Wrights word’s “America’s chickens have come home to roost” (You do remember Reverend Wright don’t you? ) Here’s a list of victims of the September attacks of Muslim background-

Muslim Victims of 9/11

Here’s a list of people from foreign countries killed by the purveyors of peace.

United Kingdom 67 2001
Japan 23 2001
Colombia 17 2001
Jamaica 16 2001
Philippines 15 2001
Mexico 15 2001
Germany 6 2001
Peru 5 2001
Canada 5 2001
Australia 4 2001
Italy 4 2001
Portugal 3 2001
Ecuador 3 2001
Lebanon 3 2001
Brazil 3 2001
Guyana 3 2001
China 2 2001
Israel 2 2001
Haiti 2 2001
Democratic Republic of the Congo 2 2001
Ghana 2 2001
Bermuda 1 2001
Cote d’Ivoire 1 2001
Ireland 1 2001
Nigeria 1 2001
Sweden 1 2001
Russia 1 2001
Honduras 1 2001
Uzbekistan 1 2001
Taiwan 1 2001
El Salvador 1 2001
Venezuela 1 2001
Belgium 1 2001
Lithuania 1 2001
Moldova 1 2001
Ukraine 1 2001
France 1 2001
Dominican Republic 1 2001
India 1 2001
Indonesia 1 2001

Today as we approach September 11 2014 we expect something to happen. The rudderless ship captained by a member of Reverend Wright’s Church seems sure to find itself on some reef or outcropping. Today we wait to hear if the current resident of the white house is going to attack the enemy of Syrian President Assad, the ISIS rebels. Yes the ISIS rebels who have beheaded two American Journalists very publicly. Yes  the ISIS rebels he wanted to arm and help overthrow the Assad regime just one year ago. Yes the same head of state that abandoned The US Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi. Yes the same “leader” of the free world who left Ty woods, Glen Doherty, and Sean Smith behind to die in Benghazi, it is a very tangled web.

Each day however is a new day. Today I voted in my States primaries. I dropped my daughter off to school, and look forward to a visit from my older children tonight for dinner. In my heart I know that “We The People” can and will overcome. We have been given a roadmap contained in the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. It is time to start following the rules and demand Congress to follow the law.  The lessons of 911 are still fresh in my memory, never be docile again.

In conclusion I’ll end with a famous quote from a father who just wanted to see his kids a little sooner,

We remember Todd Beamer, 

“Are you guys ready?, Let’s Roll.”

Rest in Peace.