Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 1, 2014 The Merry Ploughboys at Gaelic Park - Concert #2

Due to various excuses (bad weather, working too much, old, fat and tired), I have fallen behind my pace of a show a week so I can see 50 concerts this year. So when our dinner plans changed due to bad weather, I decided to met up with some friends at Gaelic Park to see The Merry Ploughboys. They are a Dublin band that own a pub with the same name. So if you are ever in Dublin, look them up.
 The all day snow storm did not dampen the spirits of the very Irish crowd at Gaelic Park tonight and The Merry Ploughboys did their best to warm up a cold night with traditional Irish music. They mixed in bar sing-a-long songs with ballads and drinking songs that had everyone singing and clapping along all night. The band traded off lead vocals which always adds a different sound to each song. 
 The band was definitely having fun on stage which usually means the crowd is doing the same. Tonight was no exception. I had a great time enjoying a few Harp beers with my friend Mike. I also want to thank Kim, Molly, Brian, Sheila and John for including me in their group. Sheila is friends with members of the Merry Ploughboys. The band even wrote a song called Chicago Town about her father. I think this is how Molly got picked to come onstage and seductively put on one of the band's t-shirts. 
 Here Gareth explains that in 25 years of doing this, they have never had a man up on stage to do this...

...and Molly was a good sport about it and got a free t-shirt and CD from the band.
After the show, I had a chance to talk music with Gareth Campbell, the mandolin player in the band. I also talked with Molly about music therapy, which is her job at a local hospital. It was interesting to talk about how music is used in such different ways...the band plays it to entertain people drinking in a bar, Molly plays it to soothe or distract little kids from the reason they are in a hospital. It really made me think just how amazing and powerful music can be. I'm also glad I went out tonight to enjoy it with a few beers. Maybe tomorrow I will use it to soothe a medical condition commonly known as a hangover. Two shows down, forty-eight to go.

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