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February 6, 2014


songs of a coal miner’s son


              A BLOG FOR MUSIC-LOVERS      

With Gene Christy & Rod MacDow 

episode sixteen . . . 


We are re-branding the brand, folks! 

Without further ado, and also without prior notice, in our fast-paced universe, and in our ever-expanding quest for new readers, listeners and viewers, we are taking it up a notch and re-inventing ourselves as!–


                            BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA!


       Well, we just had to do it—in the interest of all the fine music, and more precisely musicians, featured lately on our blog—and looking ahead to the delights of exploring throughout the Berkshires USA the rest of this year 2014, on the hunt for bands, tunes, performances—and yes, Tanglewood will be back this summer!—because we’re now in a position to look forward to increasing delights of live music within plain view of our glorious hills and valleys–! 

          In fact, let’s listen right now to Jack Waldheim live at Portsmitt’s: 



 words & music by Bruce Springsteen

performed live by Jack Waldheim at Portsmitt’s  Oct 2013 


What a snow-blanketed morning full of sunshine, here in the Berkshires USA,  to invite Jessica Roemischer to visit with us!  (We had one of our traditional February blizzards yesterday!) 


It’s hard to describe in words, what Jessica does with a piano, but, as she plays most Saturday afternoons at the Chocolate Springs Café, here in Lenox, we are privileged to have her “in our midst,” so to speak—and I recommend heartily to you that next time you’re up our way, don’t fail to treat yourself to chocolates, latte and Jessica, and make your weekend complete. 

In fact, I must say, Jessica is one of the reasons we are re-branding!   More people should know about her and be able to hear her!  So, after intense skype-consultation with our West Coast partner, Rod MacDow, out in Portland, OR, and with our man in New York City, Jorge Hernandez, at, on this, our 16th edition, I’m proud to present, right here on our blog,







LET IT BE               Words and music by Lennon and McCartney 

performed by Jessica Roemsicher on her cd “Haven”— 

          Needless to say we selected this track by Jessica in honor of the 50th anniversary, this month, of the Beatles landing in New York! 

And if you would like a copy of “Haven” for yourself,


just visit Jessica at her website

where you will find all her cds available for purchase, including her most recent, just out a week ago, the “Light Born of Light” album. 

                   This Friday evening in Pittsfield, Feb 7th, will feature the return engagement of good friend, Norm Schaffer, at the American Legion, on Wendell Avenue, in Pittsfield, 7-10 pm.



 Norm, at Portsmitt’s, Tuesday night! 

Yes! Norm came down, and it was just like at Cheers!  The room erupted when Norm walked through that door!  What a BLAST! we had! We almost tore the roof off the place!  Those who were there—well, you know what I mean!  Norm Schaffer joining in for a totally off-the-cuff, completely unrehearsed jam session with the Dossers, myself, Gene Christy, that’s me! on squeezebox, Bill Morrison on 6-string, and Rick Marquis on banjo and tender ballads.  Well, it just goes to show—because we didn’t have the recorder going—you had to be there!  

Let’s hear from Norm right now, on a previous live recording: 

RAMBLIN’ MAN          Words and music by Dicky Betts of the Allman Bros  

Next up!—Cam Collins! 

BROKE-DOWN ENGINE                  Words and music by Blind Willie McTell

Performed solo by Cam Collins at O’Loughlin’s in Pittsfield last Ocotber—or November—one of them months! 


Now what happens when you add squeezebox to the same tune?  Yes, that’s me, Gene Christy, on my old, now-retired, acoustic accordion, my 1956 Excelsior, backing up Cam Collins—  

BROKE-DOWN ENGINE                 Words and music by Blind Willie McTell 

Performed by Collins and Christy at the Olde Heritage in Lenox, July, 2013. 

Any Johnny Cash fans out there?  I know you are!  I’m one, too!  As well as my friends!  Here we are on a memorable night up in Killington, Vermont, away back in 2007 or 8, at McGrath’s Irish Pub, at the Inn at the Long Trail—on an evening when the Dossers, from Pittsfield, with Gene Christy on the old Excelsior acoustic squeezebox, Bill Morrison on 6-string, and Johnny McManus on banjo, joinng forces on stage with Billy Mac’s group, Revel’s Glen, out of Boston, with a line-up of County Donegal’s own Bill McElaney on rhythm guitar and vocals, Jeff Roman on fiddle, and Tommy Joyce on bass guitar, from the Joyce Family Pub, in Matunuck Beach, Rhode Island, just inches from Narragansett Bay, of which it was said by a visitor from California: 

Cheap booze, guitar player, local old drunks at the bar, greasy food. I’ll be back! 

So, we’re all assembled up on stage in Killington, that nice, warm September evening, in 2007 or 8 or whatever, and Billy Mac’s getting a little sentimental, and remembering the old days on the Cape when he and Tom Neville and I used to play Falmouth in the hot weather for the bikini brigade from Boston, out and about, and desperate for a wild summer!—and Billy starts reminiscing about how we met!  I left it all in—but don’t be surprised when he calls me “Chris”—which is one of my names—in Dublin, I was known as “Christy”—and in London, as “John Doyle”—but that’s another story!  Anyway, here’s the 


Of Johnny Cash’s “Long Black Veil”— 


images (1)  

Don’t forget, folks, as we tour the Berkshires, USA, this year, in 2014, we’ll be hunting up the best of our local artists on the musical bandwagons of the County, north and south, and so, in the coming weeks we’ll be featuring Anthony Luchi, Mary Verdi, Patrick Gray, Rakish Paddy, Bobby Sweet, Jack Waldheim, the Malibu Brothers, Norm Schaffer, Erin and Duffy, and hopefully many more— 

 along with our regular Dossers and Gene Christy selections— 


          We will have plenty of new, original Gene Christy tunes, recorded here at Christy Studios, some from last year and yet-to-be-recorded, some yet-to-be-written, on the road to 99 good tunes— 

I just wrote one today called “Solid White Hardtop Rocket Olds ’61.”

It’s about my way-back-when original car which I purchased for 50 bucks !!!!  on a long-ago day in South County, RI !!  Wait’ll ya hear that one! 

Because, you see– 

The Berkshires is not home solely to James Taylor and Arlo Guthrie!  We are fortunate, indeed, here in the Berkshires USA because

                                       WE HAVE THE BEST, and WE HAVE THE REST! 

So stay tuned, every Thursday, same time, same station, for 







Meanwhile, visit our friends: 

Bobby Sweet        at

Rakish Paddy at         

Eddie Dillon at  

And Jessica Roemischer at   


Fair thee well, Titanic! 



titanic-at sunset   Titanic in the sunset . . . 

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