A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Young Dubliners

Another Thursday, another block party. This week was the Young Dubliners, apparently a bit less popular with the bikers than some of the other offerings. It took them a while to get the crowd interested, but by the time they "ended" their set and came back for five or six encores, they had everyone standing, clapping, singing along, cheering, etc.

I quite liked them. But they weren't really young, and they weren't even Dubliners. Not all of them, anyway. The fiddler, Charles Waltz, who really gives the Celtic flavor to the band, is from Kansas City. The founders, current vocalist and another member who's since left, were the Dublin natives. They've been together since the mid-nineties...so even when they formed, they wouldn't have been exactly babies.

But never mind all that. They're a hard-rocking band, and the addition of Waltz, who plays as though he's possessed, really makes the band. Almost everything they played was their own. An absolutely distinctive sound. I've no doubt if they come back next year, it'll be to a bigger crowd.

Sometimes it takes awhile for these things to build. This area has a huge Irish-American population...neighboring Holyoke has arguably the #1 St. Patrick's Day parade in the world, drawing a quarter of a million spectators. Irish super-group The Saw Doctors come frequently and regularly sell out here. We're home to the John Boyle O'Reilly Club, the Brian Boru Bar, Donovan's Pub, O'Driscoll's Pub, O'Brien's Pub, etc., etc., etc.

Next week will be the British Invasion, with The Yardbirds. That should bring the bikers out!