As a child, I wanted more than anything to be on the Hardy Boys TV show with singer, Shaun Cassady. As I got older I wanted to marry Rick Springfield. And I was completely star-struck when I actually got to meet rock and roll star, Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, while buying a coke at a convenience store in Boston.
I can now admit that it was unlikely that Sean Cassidy would ever invite me to be on his TV show, Rick Springfield would consider marrying me or Aerosmith would think of inviting me on stage to play a tune with the band. This is one of the many reasons why I love Irish music – great musicians are not so far out of reach.
Each week I get to play with some of Vermont’s finest traditional Irish musicians. And every now and again one of the greats passes through town to share their music.
Just this past weekend, Patrick Ourceau, visited our quaint little capital city for a concert and a workshop on Irish music. During his short stint here, he shared tunes with us at the session at Bagitos and at a post-concert session at the school-house where he performed. As I was sitting near him at the session, I realized how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to play with so many of my fiddle heroes including Patrick and others such as Liz Carroll, Tony DeMarco, and the late Jerry Holland, to name a few.
I guess I just I wanted to take a moment to appreciate that in the traditional Irish music community, it’s all about sharing tunes, passing the music forward and carrying the tradition on. Great musicians are close by and ready and willing to share their music and have tune or two.
Though admittedly, I still dream about marrying Rick Springfield, playing with Aerosmith and acting with The Hardy Boys, I do recognize that there is a huge difference between Irish music and Rock-n-Roll other than the music. In this tradition, it’s about a respect for the music itself and the importance of sharing it so that it keeps passing from generation to generation.