Like a limerick, an ‘Eoin’s Poem’ is a type of poem with it’s own distinct structure – in this case 4 stanzas of 4 lines with AAAA rhyming structure. The basic nature of this structure means that they’re difficult to take entirely seriously and it’s possibly for that reason that I have found myself strangely drawn to writing them. Credit for them goes to Eoin McDevitt of the Second Captains podcast. Anyway here’s my Eoin’s Poem for you all on the last day of 2018. Happy New Year.
In October, Michael Rooney, Niamh Crowley and I finally played a gig together after talking about it for years. Playing Michael’s music in this context was a real highlight for me this year – he encouraged us to put our own stamp on it, and that made it all the more enjoyable. Here’s Muinera from that gig.
September brought Theme Night #21 – Duets. It was fun from start to finish – watching many new singing partners coming to terms with each other and working out how best to make the most of each others strengths. Yvonne Cunningham and Emily Meades had never met before coming together for this performance – indeed they are of different generations and had very different musical influences I’m sure. However it was amazing to watch them work each other out slowly but surely, to the point where they delivered a show-stopping performance of Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves, full of chemistry and attitude!
Year in Review: Day 3. May brought out end of year Teenage Theme Showcase. Emcee Ollie White chose Fiesta by The Pogues for our best of Irish theme and the energy from the ensemble he put together on the stage was electric. Jan 2019 will bring Teenage Theme Night #16 – Musicals.
April brought Theme Night #20 – The Eagles. Dean isn’t always available for theme nights, but when he is he usually blows it out of the water. No exception here…here is his take on Don Henley’s Wasted Time. https://youtu.be/-cf5a5rxBXw Dean will be performing at Vicar St with us on Feb 7.
As promised…my blog will look at some of the musical highlights of the year over the next 6 days. This video was recorded in March. The tune is a Seamie O’Dowd original, and is one of my favorites from our joint 2017 release Melodic Reflection. This year we added John Joe Kelly (bodhran) and Cathal Roche (clarinet, saxophones) to our group and we were both delighted with what the lads bring to the ensemble. We haven’t recorded with Cathal yet, but hope to in 2019.
3 years ago, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock wrote an open letter to the next generation of artists. There are some real nuggets contained within – not just for artists but for everyone. Read it here.
Introducing Roisin, Erin and Shona…with a version of Verse 2 of Silent Night we put together for the recent Coolera Dramatic Society production of Rumplestiltskin. For the night that’s in it. Happy Christmas to all.
Just like the sign, many people are now on holidays. This blog is going to take a short holiday from writing and over the next week instead will share a series of musical highlights from 2018. Thanks to everyone who engaged with this blog over the last 6 months. I like to think I would be still blogging even if no-one read it, but it does make it easier when I know people are getting something from them, even if it’s only the odd one. A Happy Christmas to you all, and if you are lucky enough to be on holidays, use them wisely.
It’s easier to lose fitness than to gain it. It’s the same with your chops when it comes to music. Whatever your level of playing is, you need to do it regularly to maintain a standard. Otherwise it will disappear. Every Monday night my fingers go to the gym. This particular gym might be in a pub, but it works for them. Above is a pic of the crew of musicians from our last Monday gig of 2018 – along with the man who makes it all possible – Paul O’Donnell. For any musician looking ahead to next year, it’s worth trying to build in something into your week when you get to just play.