I often tell the story of how I’ve long had a passion for Irish music even though I didn’t know our family had Irish blood. My mother was a genealogist and loved researching our family’s history. She had just found out a month before she passed in August of 2015 about an ancestor, William Bell, who came directly from Ireland. She corresponded with a woman who was researching common branches of our family tree and had found details of his life from Ireland and a picture of his headstone in Potton, Quebec, Canada, dated 1739-1816. I helped my mom process the picture so we could read the dates (the headstone was mossy and indistinct after 200 years.) My mother and I were so excited to find out we had Irish roots on my her side of the family in addition to our Welsh and German roots. We hope to do more research on him and others in our tree to follow in her footsteps. So when you see me reveling in an Irish ballad or pub song and proudly walking in the morning with my blackthorn shillelagh walking stick you’ll know I’m celebrating my heritage and feeling the Irish blood in my veins. It burns with passion!
What have I been up to?
Last Saturday I played a 100th birthday party that was an absolute blast! The birthday girl was full of spunk and fire, and the feeling was infectious. Happy Birthday, Elnola!
Sunday was Cuchara Chapel and all the wonderful folks of the beautiful valley up there. I couldn’t find a song to fit the message, so I wrote another expressing unity called “Part of All.” Here is the Chorus to get a sense of it:
And if I am part of all, I understand
I forgive myself, and let go demands
I am here to love, I am here to live
I even got a little choked up when I sang it. I’m a bit of a softy as I grow older, but the song expresses some very personal truths for me as well. Big surprise, huh?
What am I up to this week?
Saturday 7-9 I’m playing a concert in Florence at the Bell Tower Cultural Center. This is a St. Patrick's Day event featuring Celtic dancers for the first hour and me doing Irish music for the second hour. The dancers are fantastic young folks who really stomp the rhythm out, and for my part I do a mix of well-known and obscure tunes you can sing along to or tap your toes. It’s a wonderful show I’ve gotten to participate in for several years now. I’d love to have you if you want to come out and celebrate your inner Irish!
Sunday I’m heading up to Denver to play for a birthday party for a good friend I haven’t seen in several years. It promises to be a fun time, and my sister will even be there!
That’s it for this week. I’m busily trying to finish my taxes and getting ready for my show with Ken Saydak in April and my shows with Dennis Mills at the Royal Gorge Bridge this summer. Be good to each other, and as the Irish say, “Slainte!” (To your health!)
Details this week:
Who: Tom Munch
What: playing for St. Patrick’s Day in Florence, CO
Where: Bell Tower Cultural Center, 201 East Second Street, 719-784-2038
When: Saturday, March 16, 7-9 pm