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Dan McFeeley
03-04-2006, 11:41 AM
Yesterday I had the great pleasure of taking my eight year old daughter, Rachel, to see the Chieftains live, in concert at the Chicago Symphony Center. Rachel has become quite a fan of Irish traditional music, mostly through listening to the Chieftains. This all started during the summer with horse riding lessons. Rachel took to it right away, and thinking she might enjoy the Chieftains soundtrack album to "Ballad of the Irish Horse," I picked up a copy. She absolutely loved it. Hence, the concert last night.

The Chieftains have justly earned their status as a living cultural treasure. They've been playing for fourty four years now, earned 6 Grammys, an Oscar, many other awards. Seeing them live is an experience. The bandmembers are mostly in their 60's now, but they maintain a busy touring schedule, and on stage they show the vigor of men half their age. As many years as they've been playing the music, as tough as the tour schedule is, on stage they continually show the joy and passion for traditional music that keeps them going year after year.

I'd brought a few bottles of mead with me, thinking the Chieftains would appreciate the gift. From the message we got back from the stage people, they certainly did. They told us that as soon as the band members heard that someone was bringing them mead, they all got excited. Unfortunately, the band was still working hard to get the stage set up for the concert, so we weren't able to present the meads in person. Paddy Moloney, leader of the Chieftains, was kind enough to thank us on stage, giving Rachel a thrill. "Dan and Rachel McFeeley are with us, and they brought us four lovely bottles of mead! We're going to have a good time tonight."

The meads I brought were a Chipotle mead, a smoked chile pepper mead that is quite good, but quite hot. The Chieftains enjoy Thai cuisine, so I thought they'd appreciate it. There was also a Cranberry melomel, a traditional mead and last of all . . . drummmm rollllll {symbol CLASH!} Ancient Orange!

You heard it folks! Ancient Orange goes Irish!

It was a wonderful concert.

Miriam
03-04-2006, 05:01 PM
Dan,

What a brilliant idea, to take mead to the Chieftains! I am green with envy. Wish they would perform here...the Cranberries have.

Miriam

Dan McFeeley
03-04-2006, 05:06 PM
What a brilliant idea, to take mead to the Chieftains! I am green with envy. Wish they would perform here...the Cranberries have.

Well, at least in regards to the Chieftains or anything Irish, green is the right choice of color. ;D ;D ;D

It seemed a natural idea -- I'd heard the band enjoys making connections with the people at the cities they visit, and it's not unusual for local musicians to join them on stage. For last night's Chicago concert, there were students in Irish dance, and also in Irish music, who got to perform solo spots. It's almost a traveling Irish session.

Strange they haven't been to Israel -- they've been to so many places in the world. Maybe no one has invited them?

Miriam
03-04-2006, 06:25 PM
That could be, although there is a firm audience for Irish music here. There are at least two Irish pubs, too - Molly Bloom's and er, what was her husband's name...Leonard Bloom? No, I'm thinking of Leonard Woolfe. Oh help, it's been too long since I've read Ulysses. Anyway, both pubs are in Tel Aviv, and from the ads I see in the "Jerusalem Post," you can eat a bangers and mash, get sloshed on Guinness, and/or watch rugger on the tvs there...not to mention joining in the singing.

Miriam

NeadMead
03-04-2006, 10:30 PM
You and your daughter are lucky. You got to see The Chieftains live and give them mead. The closest to live I got to see of them was a live recording. They had Roger Daltrey and a female country singer among others. I would loved o have seen that one. And yes GREEN IS GREAT. May the gods grant you great brews.

Dan McFeeley
03-05-2006, 12:34 PM
You and your daughter are lucky. You got to see The Chieftains live and give them mead. The closest to live I got to see of them was a live recording. They had Roger Daltrey and a female country singer among others. I would loved o have seen that one. And yes GREEN IS GREAT. May the gods grant you great brews.


I have that one too -- "The Chieftains: An Irish Evening" (live at the Grand Opera House, Belfast). I agree, it's great.

That one was recorded a few years back. To get an idea of what they're doing on stage these days, pick up "The Chieftains: Live from Dublin." This was released in 2005 and was nominated for a Grammy. Really great album, recorded at the Gaiety theater in Dublin, and was a memorial concert in honor of bandmember Derek Bell, who passed away unexpectedly about three years ago.

The Chieftains current tour includes a lot of music from the Dublin Live album. Lot of extra stuff, and a lot of Irish step dancing.

One really nice touch they did at the Chicago concert was for the encore -- they finished up with a Breton folk tune, and had snake lines of audience members dancing a simple Breton dance. Really livened everything up.

I almost joined in, but my daughter got an attack of stage fright and wouldn't go. "No Daddy, I'm too shy!" :-\

Miriam
03-05-2006, 03:26 PM
A lucky little girl, with a fond Daddy. :)

Miriam

David Baldwin
03-06-2006, 05:48 PM
Chicago... Cincinnati... They got right by me, and I never knew... :'(


Very cool though Dan,

I expect to meet Owain Phyfe at the Oklahome Medieval Fair the first weekend in April, and I have a bottle of... yep, Ancient Orange ;D I'm planning to give him.


David