Music from dusk to dawn, and the sun is SHINING!

For any of you who have yet to visit the Emerald Isle, let me impart to you that the sun in Ireland is a rare and treasured event. The reason Ireland is so green is due to the fact that the damp, the clouds and the rain are constant all year round, aside from the few windows of sunlight that come occasionally and can be counted annually on your own 2 hands. So “sun is SHINING” is literally a headline, and the truth is that we have only had 2 days of proper rain since we arrived a week ago. We must have brought the sun from California, and it makes for a truly enjoyable experience of Ireland at its best!

We had a blast in the magical countryside of West Cork, where we featured as the headline band at Future Forests, a nursery nestled into the remote rolling hills and misty forests of one of the most picturesque parts of Ireland. The sun doesn’t set here til almost 10pm, so it doesn’t feel like night until nearly midnight really, which is about the time we began to play. Our opening band was a 70’s cover band that played all the best motown and 70’s dance tunes sped up, so it was like KC and the Sunshine took a dose of speed. Perfect introduction to our mix of world music that sped everyone around the world in a couple hours ; ).

We had the whole place, about 100 folks, dancing for nearly the whole set, they even got down to the rhythms in 10, 9 and 7, though their favorite happened to be the jigs and the reels, old Irish ho-down style, and we took great pride that we could bring the Irish (and a few English) onto their feet, and jumping a half meter off the ground, with our rendition of traditional melodies. Everyone there had a great time, we got so much positive feedback and they wouldn’t let us stop playing, so those of us that could keep on, like Sean, Will and Aharon, we played til dawn indeed. In the candlelit tavern of the creatively handmade barn-like complex that was the venue, fire place blazing, crepes cooking all night, and good folk letting the music take them on a journey, it was nothing less than epic. It was great for me too, to bring the band to this place where I have enjoyed many an all night concert with some of Cork’s finest musicians, though this time, I was the featured artist!

Spent the next 2 days in West Cork, enjoying the gorgeousness of the landscape and the weather combined. I fell a bit sick, as I taught singing classes all day in Bantry Bay on Saturday before the show, so I was wrecked from giving, giving, and partying, partying since we arrived here. But after a couple days of rest, I am back on my feet and ready for our big Cork city show tonight with the Polskadots – the band I co-founded here in 2005.

Another highlight was this past Tuesday when we seized the good weather and took up the invitation to bus out to a small town called Crosshaven, just south of Cork on the coast, where my dear friend from years ago, Clive, works on his father’s farm. Clive was the one to initiate me into Cork in 2001 when I first visited Ireland, and then again, to help me on my feet when I came to school here in 2005. He also was part of my Burning Man team in 2002 when he came to visit California. Anyway, we go way back and I have been to his farm loads by now, but not with the band, and not on such a glorious sunny day. So we had the full tour of an Irish dairy farm, complete with horses, cows, hedges, stunning views, and remains of old stone circles and faery paths from times past. Clive knows the land like the back of his hand, and is a water wizard, as well as a drummer in a rock band. So we visited the local holy well in honor of St Brigid, got to experience his killer drum kit in the farm house and see his new tatoos as he got topless to tend a sick calf who was fighting to stay alive after his mother had died during birth. Part indigenous Irish farmboy druid and part bad ass rock and roll, he is a gemini at its best!!! It is great to be back in Cork!

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