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BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA ! 28

June 17, 2014

BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA No.28
songs of a coal miner’s son
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A BLOG FOR MUSIC-LOVERS

With Gene Christy & Rod MacDow

episode twenty-eight . . .

IN THE TUNNEL

That was Patrick Gray, Sr. – – words and music by Patrick Gray, Sr.

Born and raised in Williamstown, as a young man, Patrick Gray resided for quite a significant time, in Springfield, the largest city in Western Massachusetts—known the world over as the place where Dr Naismith invented basketball, and today the home of the national basketball Hall of Fame—

but I believe that Patrick Gray, Sr, himself,

PATRICK GRAY, SR

is one of the institutions of the Berkshires, in his own right–a native son that the hills have produced—as a folk performer, a storyteller, historian, singer/songwriter, chronicler of Celtic music, on many fine cds—and certainly one of the most fascinating and multi-talented individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting—and so, today’s

BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA !
Located on your online dial at genechristy.com.

is proud to present as our Featured Artist of the Week,

Patrick Gray, Sr

L TO R PAT JR & SR

seen here as part of his trio, the band called J.P. Murphy, alongside his son, Patrick Gray, Jr—the trio also includes

MICHAEL BURDICK ON PERCUSSION

Michael Burdick on percussion.

As an introduction to our listeners, readers and viewers out there, I cannot do better than to let Patrick speak for himself—and so, when I had a chance to interview him—I grabbed it!

You know, I said once, recently, that it’s truly a joy to spend your time traveling the Berkshires USA, listening to all the local bands—and never ceasing to be amazed that there is yet more out there!—waiting to be discovered.

And, last week or so—on a Wednesday, I think it was, Pat Gray and I met for lunch and told stories from the illustrious past to one another and shared our mutual love of song and story, and here’s the recorded-live interview that resulted—

INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK GRAY, SR__duration 9.56

Berkshire County USA – – blessed with bands you can dance to!—and!—our own home-grown historian-vocalist, Patrick Gray!

Let’s listen to him and his son, the other Patrick Gray, as well as their sidekick, Michael Burdick, on their rendition of
FINNEGAN’S WAKE

J.P. Murphy was formed in early 1991. Pat, Sr, sings lead and plays rhythm guitar or banjo, as well as an occasional harmonica. His love for his Irish heritage—his mother came from County Longford—the words and music he grew up with—made it a natural choice for him to form a traditional Irish group. Originally formed as a duo with son Patrick on guitar or mandolin and vocal harmonies, they performed in Orlando, Florida at Finnegan’s Pub in Universal Studios and various other pubs in the Orlando area until moving back to the Berkshires in 1993—where they soon turned into a three-man-band by adding drums, percussion and acoustic bass performed by life-long friend and relative, Michael Burdick.

DIRTY OLD TOWN by Ewan McColl

The group performs the traditional Irish music that reflects the struggle as well as the triumph of an enduring, fun-loving people—the drinking songs and the battle hymns, arranged and performed to get your foot stomping and your heart pounding while the hands keep clapping and the drink keeps flowing.

KELLY THE BOY FROM KILLANE

That being said, or sung, as the case may be, the Berskhires ain’t nothin’ if it ain’t the history written in the rocky faces of the hills and mountains, scoured by the falls and rapids and streams of the county, reflected in the weathered visages of the farmers and the townspeople—the sort who gave their lives and fortunes to the country all during the trying times of the 19th and 20th centuries, and still do today—so let’s sit back and let our storyteller, Patrick Gray, Sr, our local historian,

PAT GRAY SR PROFILE SHOT

our own chronicler of the past, with his own composition, words and music—

FORBIDDEN MOUNTAIN

The next time you have the chance to visit North Adams, Massachusetts, drop into the local library, or the campus of Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts, or the MassMOCA museum, and learn more about the authentic story of the Mohawk Trail—and catch Patrick Gray, father and son, with Michael Burdick, the J.P. Murphy group, playing their songs and stories from both sides of the Atlantic, at the Freightyard Pub, where good food, good beer and good times are to be had by all.

Meanwhile, visit the boys at their own website at

http://www.jpmurphymusic.com/

Thanks for being with us here at

BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA !

It’s the place to be! AT https://genechristy.com/

Coming up NEXT WEEK — next week! – – DUFFY & ERIN !

COMING SOON—Cory Zink’s band, COUNTY LINE! Don’t miss it!

. . . and remember, upcoming features will include such outstanding, notable, listenable performers as Tom Gardner, Dave Healey, and the Gypsy Jazz Ambassadors—as well as return visits from The Malibu Bros, this time with lovely lady lead vocalist Jeanne Laurin, Bill McElaney, currently touring his home-base of Ireland—and of course—the summer season at Tanglewood, which this year, we will cover here at

BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA !

@ genechristy.com

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

EDDIE DILLON WILL BE COMING TO THE BERSKHIRES THIS FALL! THAT’S IN THE AUTUMN OF THE YEAR! ALL YOU DEVOTEES OF THE CELTIC SCENE OUT THERE – WHO KNOW EDDIE AS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL TOURING CAST OF THE CLANCYS -STAY TUNED FOR FURTHER DETAILS, TO BE ANNOUNCED AS SOON AS AVAILABLE, HERE ON

BERKSHIRES MUSIC BEAT USA !

And don’t forget
Jessica Roemischer at http://pianobeautiful.com/
And

Robin O’Herin at http://www.robinoherin.com/

And

champagnejam.org

You can also follow all the doings at Tara’s Tipperary Tavern at

http://www.tarasfamilypub.com/

titanic-at sunset Fare thee well, Titanic!

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