Here’s the second 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’re reaching the halfway point in our Irish tour, and we’ve been having an incredible time so far. Playing our music for such appreciative and excited audiences has been so rewarding. On Saturday, we played in a very cool music bar called Tigh an Cheoil in Ring, Co. Waterford, where the first ever recording of traditional Irish music was made in 1905. Ring is truly beautiful; a quiet coastal town where Irish is still spoken as the main language. Luckily the folks there were kind enough to speak some English to us Americans (and one Kiwi). After our sets, Bronwyn couldn’t resist jumping into the trad Irish session that broke out. It was great to watch her dive into the old Irish tunes she grew up playing. Music is definitely a way of life here.
It’s hard to believe, but our trip to Ireland lines up perfectly with the 100 year anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, the remembrance of the Irish uprising against the British on Easter Sunday. The emotion is still very real for the people of Ireland. At no point was this clearer than at the Lahairn Cultural Center on Sunday night. We were invited to play for a gathering of locals in this beautiful hilly town, surrounded by grazing sheep. After we played we were treated with performances by the people who had come to see us. We sat and heard them sing one at a time, unaccompanied, in the old wooden hall. They sang songs about the uprising, about young men going to their death to win Ireland’s freedom. It was incredibly powerful. These are the kind of experiences that are impossible to manufacture, and hard to recreate. We even got to meet the Mayor of Cork and play a few songs for him.
Last night we played another fantastic venue, the beautiful Village Arts Center in Kilworth. About 70 people took their seats in a towering, old grey church, surrounded by gravestones. It was a powerful place to play music.
We have to give an enormous thanks to John Nyhan. John has been working tirelessly to book and promote all of our Irish shows along with arranging accommodations, sound equipment and everything else that’s involved in an extensive three week tour. John is one of the truest lovers of bluegrass we’ve ever met. He has made it his mission to bring bands over from the states and introduce them to his fellow music fans. We all feel very lucky that he’s chosen to have us in Ireland.
We have another week and a half here and we are excited to perform next at the Cahersiveen Roots Festival in County Kerry. We’ll be playing on multiple days at the festival and doing some more educational outreach at a nearby school.