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March 15, 2014

songs of a coal miner’s son

With Gene Christy & Rod MacDow

episode twenty-one . . .

12511033-st-patrick-s-day-just-ahead-green-road-sign-with-dramatic-clouds-sun-rays-and-sky (1)

What a St Paddy’s season this year! Great craic! Just the way we like it this time of year!

Today, our band, the Dossers, will be on stage as we are booked for the second year in a row to play the annual banquet of the Berkshire County Irish-American Club!


Right now we’d like to send a loud, mighty shout-out to Tara Mulroy herself, who has officially befriended us, and is hostess to both you and us, on the beachfront in South County, RI !!—which Ms Mulroy, who hails from County Tipp, has re-named Rhode Ireland! for St Patrick’s this year. Be sure and stop in when you’re cruising the beautiful waters of the southern New England coastline or some of our gorgeous roads (mind the potholes!)—you’ll be glad you did! You can follow all the doings at Tara’s Tipperary Tavern at

Last week Paul Rice was our featured artist on our blog here at


And we have a brilliant schedule of the Berkshires’ finest live music acts coming up soon on this website, including the likes of the Malibu Bros, the Jeff King Blues Band, (not to be missed!) and singer-songwriter Robin O’Herin—the “Bonnie Raitt” of the Berkshires!

But first, it’s St Paddy’s, and so we must turn our attention to this week’s


Which is me, Gene Christy, and the rest of The Dossers, Bill Morrison and Rick Marquis—gotta give ourselves props once in a while!

As for me, myself alone, because this is our very busiest weekend of the year, I’m into sharing today—so here’s a message I sent to my partner out in Portland, OR, Rod MacDow, just this morning—effusing about—last night!

“Actually–I was quite totally thrilled and taken with playing what constitutes “the” wifi cafe here in Pittsfield, last night – – the Marketplace Cafe – –


made myself $5.53 in the tip jar!

But what really made it was just as you say Rod – – the rapt attention paid to every warbling note of my exquisite phrasing so tender and bold at the same time– by the attractive woman sitting at the back who never stopped speaking into a headset for more than 2 hours while she typed steadily on a laptop simultaneously–and still managed to give me a smile or two of recognition when she heard a song she liked!


Also, the two older guys who came in for coffee to while away an hour before the film screening of their movie at the Beacon Cinema, which is right next door–and they really liked “Solid White Hardtop Rocket Olds ’61”–in other words, Rod, I had that old feeling at the end of a gig that we used to do back in the old days with The Black Velvet Band five-piece Irish showband in Boston, at the big dance venues like the converted bowling alley of the West Roxbury Irish-American–when our drummer, Paul MacDonald used to turn and say –“Well–fooled ’em again, bub!”

cafe poster

In other words, I got treated last night like they thought I was a real singer!

And the highlight of the evening was definitely “Georgia on my Mind”–which I sang beautifully–even though I had never performed this song in my life and was reading the sheet music and the words from the page as I went along–I turned on the tenor sax shift on the Roland and out came this unbelievable sound! Jazz, man! It was the last song of the night–and I just said, “Well, I’m done–I can’t top that!” Everybody agreed it was the perfect way to end, the perfect song, to end the evening.


Well–I’ll be back there next Friday night with renewed impetus, having discovered that all my life I had missed my vocation, and should have become a cafe troubador back when I was still as young as the girls sitting there last night! If all this sounds foolish and overblown–you have to put it down to the sheer exhilaration one feels when performing at peak or rising to the moment or exceeding one’s expectation–in other words, the lure of the allure of performing music in front of people–who applaud you! It makes you feel a sensation something like–this is what I was born to do! And, you know, Rod, you can’t buy that –on the internet or anywhere else. It’s one of the unforeseen benefits of being alive–as long as we can do this, life is well worth living—

so–onward and upward from here–today, tomorrow, next day . . .

have a fun weekend–don’t worry about the blog–we are on the right track and will get there. Your friend, Gene

p.s. the manager of the cafe was named Ari and turned out to be a sax player and so afterwards when he asked me if he could try my box, because he liked the sax sound I was getting–and he recalled the very first number of the whole night–a medley of “Lullaby of Birdland” with “Moondance!”–he must have liked that!– we sat down together and communed as musicians are wont to do—

Ari & Carolina

but what a side-benefit!–I put the accordian on his lap and he pulled on the straps and tried to fumble a few runs out of the sax shift!–wow–what a blast!–he’s not a keyboard player–but he really liked the Roland!”

And now! to the main business of this fabulous weekend in the Berkshires—the Dossers! We will be performing tonight as heretofore mentioned at the annual Irish –American banquet in honor of St Patrick’s Day—and later tonight at the all-night party at Rob Dwyer’s house!—tomorrow at the Forge in Lanesboro—and Monday, St Patrick’s Day, at Portsmitt’s!

We had hoped to have video edited down for presentation on today’s blog–of our St Patrick’s TV special–


but due to technical difficulties — which we are working on – – and time restraints – – but, hey! we still have audio! Isn’t it all about the music, anyway–given that I have the perfect face for radio?

So, wishing to all an extra-special “Dossers” Happy St Paddy’s, let’s have a tune! How about one from the mighty pen of Tommy Makem? THE RAMBLES O’ SPRING!

And, of course, don’t forget our theme song–RIGHT, LADS, WE’RE THE DOSSERS!

That was written by Myself–Gene Christy–and here’s another good one I wrote–

enough cheek (2)


Now, what would At Patrick’s day ever be–without an Irish jig?–a “Traditional” Irish jig?


AND last but not least–a good old Irish drinking song ?????



From Ricky and Pat in the studio and everybody here at



During the course of the rest of the year, we shall be featuring Dublin Porter, Spurs USA, the Jeff King Blues Band, the Malibu Bros, Robin O’Herin, Patrick Gray and many more!

My band, the Dossers, with myself, Gene Christy, Bill Morrison and Rick Marquis, will be playing in Pittsfield on

Saturday Mar 15th for the Irish-American Club Annual Dinner at the Elks on Union Street 5 – 9 pm for your Irish musical listening and dancing pleasure . . .

The Dossers are, L to R, Rick Marquis on vocals, banjo, and mandolin, Gene Christy on vocals and Roland all-digital accordion, and Bill Morrison, on vocals and rhythm guitar

The Dossers are, L to R, Rick Marquis on vocals, banjo, and mandolin, Gene Christy on vocals and Roland all-digital accordion, and Bill Morrison, on vocals and rhythm guitar

And on Monday the 17th, St Paddy’s Day, we’ll be at Portsmitt’s Lakeway Restaurant, corner of Peck’s Road and Valentine Road, in Pittsfield, from 4 – 7p and beyond, as long as they can stand up!

Myself, well, you can catch me doing my solo act at The Marketplace Café, North Street in Pittsfield, Fri Mar 14th, and Fri Mar 21st, from 6.30 to 8.30 pm—

As well as in Great Barrington, on Wednesday, Mar 12th, 11a – 1p, for the Italian Club’s luncheon—and we promise to do some Irish there as well!

As they say in Italy – – Ciao! And in Ireland – – Slan!

Catch us next week, same time, same station, here at


Meanwhile, visit our friends:

Bobby Sweet at
Rakish Paddy at

Eddie Dillon at

And Jessica Roemischer at

Fair thee well, Titanic!

18723776-st-patrick-s-day-parade Titanic on her way . . .

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