When I first started playing Irish music, someone gave me a Martin Hayes CD to listen to. I have to admit his playing didn’t really touch me at that time. I thought his music was a bit slow for my taste. I wanted to play fast, hoppy tunes because that’s what my beginner ear thought Irish music was. All I knew at the time was Danu, Lunasa and Solas. And I wanted to play like just like them. So I put his music on the back burner in case there was a tune or two I might want to learn later.
Many years later, I was at Celtic Connections, a Celtic music festival in Scotland, where I not only got to see Martin play, I also took a master class with him to find out just what makes him tick musically. It wasn’t until then that I fully realized just how talented this man was. There is nothing like seeing a musician perform live and listening to the them tell you what these tunes mean to them. The experience was one I’ll never forget.
Watching him play reminded me that it’s not about the notes, it’s about that feeling the notes bring out in us. He plays with such passion, it’s hard not to take your eyes off him and it’s even harder not to get lost in his music. It literally transforms you to a different time and place.
As I continue to develop my ear and my craft, I realized how blessed I am to have these magical moments with some of the worlds greatest musicians. And this weekend, is no different.
This weekend Martin Hayes will be sharing the stage with my favorite Irish guitarist and folk singer, John Doyle and one of the greatest Irish flute players, Kevin Crawford. They call themselves The Teetotalers and their show is going to rock.
As if enjoying their music wasn’t enough, each of them is giving a workshop prior to the concert. Visit The Summit School to sign up for the workshop.
The teetotallers on May 4:
Hope to see you there.