Here’s the third report from Boston’s Mile Twelve as they travel through Ireland sharing their contemporary bluegrass sound. The band is Evan Murphy on guitar, Nate Sabat on bass, BB Bowness on banjo, and Bronwyn Keith‐Hynes on fiddle.
We had a fantastic time at the Mountain Roots Festival in Cahersiveen, County Kerry last weekend. Sitting on the sprawling west coast of Ireland, it was one of the most beautiful places we saw on our whole trip. The roads around it provide intense views of the ocean and the rocky, mountainous shores. It was a weekend of playing music for great people, and a chance to stay in one place and recharge a bit.
On our day off, we used the little time we had to explore Dublin. BB’s childhood friend Alex Borwick stepped in as our impromptu tour guide for the day. Originally from New Zealand, Alex is now making it as a professional tenor banjoist and trombonist in Ireland’s capital city. Heading to Dublin also gave us the chance to meet up with our good friends Reuben, Tabitha, and Ben Agnew from Cup O’Joe, a great Northern Irish band. It was great to cut loose for a night, have a few beers, and catch a traditional Irish session with all those folks.
As a Boston band, it was a real honor to play in the Thomas Fitzgerald Center in Bruff. The center is designed as a small heritage space that pays tribute to the great Kennedy and Fitzgerald families from whom JFK came. Growing up in Boston, Evan thought of the Kennedys much like a royal family, so it was pretty special to play in a room dedicated to their legacy.
Much of Bronwyn’s extended family lives down the road from Bruff, so they all came out to the show, and afterwards were nice enough to invite us to spend a night on their farm. Our last show of the tour was at the Rory Gallagher Music Library in the heart of Cork City. There must have been fifty people or so crowded into a small room in the library, many of which were friends who we’d made along the way. The room felt really electric that day. All of us felt it on stage, and afterwards people who had seen us play multiple times told us there was something different about how we played that afternoon. I think we all felt the trip ending, which affected our performance in a really special way.
We are certainly looking forward to returning to Ireland in the future. Huge thanks once again to John Nyhan, who made the whole thing happen. He really is the man who brings bluegrass to Ireland. Thanks to all who have read this and followed our trip, and hopefully we’ll see you at a show sometime soon!