25 August 2011

Vincent Cross - till the next time

Thanks to Vincent Cross, now back in New York, who reports on his too-brief (but welcome and very active) return to Ireland during August:

We had a great time in Ireland, and met many enthusiastic patrons of the Americana arts.

Firstly, a big shout must go out to Conor O’Donnell whose passionate interest in live music led us to the Greystones Americana Festival [photo above: Vincent on stage at Greystones], our first stop on our 'tourcation'. May it long continue under his stewardship. In fact, Niall Toner was kind enough to give us a plug on RTE, Roots Freeway, which certainly pleased friends and relations no end.

Our second stop was in Galway at Neachtains, a classic venue for Irish sessions and now it appears to be entertaining Americana sessions. I was joined by two close friends, Keith Horan on drums and Tom Portman on dobro: both are remarkable players with great sensitivity. Then, we took a quick spin up to Spells Bar in Ballaghaderreen, Roscommon, and played a late set into the wee hours.

The view from the back of the crowd at Whelans

Fortune brought us from the east to west in one fell swoop, and certainly a highlight of the tour was our gig in Whelans (upstairs) on the 12th. Martin McWhorter put on a wonderful night of bluegrass and old-time and just great music. The audience came to listen and the artists served up a menu of quality music, and we were delighted to be one of the choices. I was joined by Sean McKerr on base and Tom Portman on dobro. Need I mention the quality of their musicianship? We then swung across the country, and were greeted by Uri Kohen. Uri has a dream of bringing quality music to the west, and we are behind that dream. Another great night, and many new friends were made.

Plans are in the making for a return in the summer of 2013. It seems like a long way off, but believe me it ain’t!

Vincent (centre) with Tom and Sean at Geraghty's in Westport, Co. Mayo

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