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BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA! 18

February 21, 2014

BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA! 18
songs of a coal miner’s son
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A BLOG FOR MUSIC-LOVERS

With Gene Christy & Rod MacDow

episode eighteen . . .

Just shows to go ya . . . true friends will always turn up, alive and kickin,’ BECAUSE THEY CAN FIND U ON FACEBOOK!

This time, my long-lost bosom buddy and co-religionist of Irish music, none other than Billy Mac, aka as “Himself,” aka as Bill McElaney, from the noble-sounding town of Clonmany in the ancient regions of Tullagh Bay in County Donegal!

BILL McELANEY BILL McELANEY

And fortunately for Billy Mac, he turned up in Florida, USA!

Because this is what it looks like on my outdoor deck in the Berkshires USA, this week!

ICY RIVER Ice on the Housatonic

And so, in honor of old pal o’ mine Bill, we are going to make him our

FEATURED ARTIST OF THE WEEK

here at

BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA!

On behalf of your hosts, Gene Christy and Rod MacDow, welcome! We’re gonna party it up from coast to coast, from Portland in the west to the Berkshires in the east, with Billy Mac, featuring his tunes, videos, and songs—and let you know where you can catch his act, from here to Spain and back again, as we motor on through the snow and ice of 2014!

So, you see, folks, we’re gonna put new definition into the words “Winter Carnival”—we’ll provide the winter, and Billy Mac will provide the carnival!

Naturally, we need an “Overture” to kick off this kind of thing, so here’s a taste of Dvorak–

the Overture “Karneval,” Op. 92, opening 19.087 sec!

Back in the day – – in our case, three brilliant summers we spent on Cape Cod, grouped around 1988 in the middle–Bill McElaney, Tom Neville and myself, Gene Christy, did our thing as the Ramblin’ Rovers—and–check this out!—here’s the song we were named after, performed by Bill and Tom without musical accompaniment (they turned down my mike!) . .

RAMBLIN’ ROVER

Words and music by Andy Stewart, singer/songwriter of the Scottish band, Silly Wizard (not the other Andy Stewart!)

Ah, those were the days!—we were young and the girls were good-lookin’! And when they did let me sing, here’s what came out:

THE CRAIC WAS 90

Yeah! That’s me, Gene Christy, doing “The Craic was Ninety in the Isle o’ Man!”

(Dublin locals will recognize the expression, and others will figure it out–the fun was fast and furious!)

BILLY MAC AGAIN BILLY MAC

Right now we’re gonna interrupt ourselves for a live recorded interview by Billy Mac, on remote location on his own personal island–as you know, no man is an island–except Billy Mac, who has the whole of Donegal for his–

______________ Bill McElaney, right now, is appearing in Ft Lauderdale, FL, where he can be found daily for Happy Hour at 3 pm at Mrs Murphy’s Chowdah (The Hurricane Bar!) aka the Pub n’ Grubb, or the Pun n’ Run!—you can check Bill’s timetables and appearance-dates at his ____Facebook page???? Bill, don’t U have a Website, like an honest, self-respecting musician?

Well, folks, we just had to do it—in honor of

Our Featured Artist of the Week ! Bill McElaney!

aka “Billy Mac”

here at

BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA!

And now let’s go back once more to the days of old—when I think of it, it’s almost 30 years ago, already! and listen to the Ramblin’ Rovers in their prime, all-together-now! on the Irish rave-up—

THE WILD COLONIAL BOY

That’s with Billy Mac singing lead, playing rhythm on six-string acoustic, Tom Neville and me backing up the vocals, Tom on his electric guitar, myself, playing “Christy on the Box,” with my old 1956 Excelsior squeezebox! (just retired last summer, after too many miles and so many smiles!) (the keyboard has a set of 41 teeth!)

Recorded 1988 at Tom McGann’s “Irish Embassy” on Rte 28 in Falmouth, MA, on analog cassette-tape recorder, transferred to digital cd by Mike Reagan around 2006, and converted into mp3 format by myself this week using Audacity free-ware, downloadable online—the magic of 21st C technology!

Seems like every seven years or so, Billy Mac gets the itch to get back in touch with me! Seems that way, because the last time we actually played together was back around ’07 and ’08, up in Killington, VT! That was a weekend spent playing, singing, eating and sleeping at the Inn at the Long Trail, both years, when we assembled on stage Billy’s band, Revel’s Glen, from Boston, with himself, on vocals and six-string, Jeff Roman on fiddle, Rhode Island’s Tommy Joyce on bass guitar, and my band from Pittsfield, the other end of Massachusetts, the Dossers, with myself on the box and vocals, Bill Morrison on 6-string, and Johnny McManus on banjo. What a time we had at Murray McGrath’s Irish Pub! It was a memorable occasion as it was just before Billy Mac was making his long-awaited return to his hometown and birthplace of Clonmanny in Donegal—and he was feeling sentimental at leaving so many good times and good friends back here in the States—and now, seven years later, he’s back again!

Talk about a bad penny from Clonmany!

Just coddin’ ye, Bill!

Well, before we leave our listeners for today, we just have to re-visit once again that weekend in Vermont—for a little–

WHISKY IN THE JAR!

AND even though it may be so many years ago—so many jobs, so many relationships, so many grimy grins and gritty tears and passing years ago—never will I forget, as long as I live, this song, sung on that golden day, in the summer twilight, with the sun going down out over the ocean peeking through the curtains at the back wall, Tom Neville

TOM NEVILLE TOM NEVILLE

harmonizing with his electric guitar on

Liam Reilly’s “Summer in Dublin,” a huge hit for Bagatelle! (Liam also wrote the words and music for “Streets of New York!”)

SUMMER IN DUBLIN

___ . . . goodnight, good people . . and may we all meet again!

__________________________________________________________________

Stay tuned, every Thursday, same time, same station, for

BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA

Meanwhile, visit our friends:

Bobby Sweet at http://bobbysweet.com/
Rakish Paddy at http://www.rakishpaddyband.com/
Eddie Dillon at http://clancybrothersandtommymakem.com/ed_01.htm

And Jessica Roemischer at http://pianobeautiful.com/

Fair thee well, Titanic!

Titanic_with stormclouds_by_amadscientist Titanic on her way . . .

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