THAT crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore…
From traditional folk music to hard bitten rock anthems, Ireland is a country immersed in their music heritage and the rich tradition of live performance. We began our musical journey on a Musical Pub Crawl in Dublin, our guides explained the different styles, traditional instruments and taught us all to play the boot (stomping the beat). They encouraged us to bring our music to the evening, and Suzanne took up the challenge to share a song from her heart. The pub crawl is aimed at the tourists but it is a great introduction to the Irish folk traditions and the music you will encounter in every pub in Ireland.
In Kinsale, we headed to the local pubs and joined the locals as the belted out the gritty sometimes bawdy songs. While the tourists still outnumbered the locals (at least early in the evening), they played to their passions with strong voices and instrumental skills beyond their amateur status. Grab a Murphy’s (the preferred stout in County Cork), play the boot and if the mood takes you chime in to share a song from your home.
In Dingle, we visited Siopa Ceoil for an introduction to the Irish language from the music shop’s enthusiastic owner Michael Herlihy. Michael’s encyclopaedic knowledge and passion for Irish music is infectious, and he hosts intimate concerts in his shop featuring some of Ireland’s best musicians and dancers. We had the pleasure of seeing Niamh Varian-Barry from the acclaimed Irish-American band Solas play with her husband Peter Staunton, fresh from their honeymoon the interplay between them made the music simply magical. Throw in World Champion Irish dancer David Geaney, and you have the full evening of Irish entertainment.
Music is everywhere in Ireland, walking down Grafton St (Dublin) on our last tour day we stopped to listen to Mutefish a reggae folk ‘n punk band that started as a busking project on the streets of Dublin in 2007. Although the Irish folk music influence is unmistakable, the original band members all hail from Eastern Europe with Daithi (flute/tin whistle) joining them in 2010 to add some Irish authenticity to their unique sound. The only souvenir we brought home was a copy of Mutefish’s CD On Draught, a great accompaniment to our Irish photo memories.