Hello one and all !
Is it spring yet !?
Certainly doesn't seem like it here in Canada, but we are heading there soon I hope. It always seems like we are going in the right direction when St Patrick's Day comes around.
This time last year we celebrated St Patricks Day in Melbourne, Australia with Head of Blues & Roots Radio Australia, Neil Mitchell and his wife Sharon, we were invited to a performance by exciting young Irish band The Young Folk at Memo Music Hall, an amazing venue and very memorable evening.
The lads were leading Sock Monkey Jack astray that night, it was all good fun !
A side part of the trip down under took place just after St Patrick's Day, my wife Anne's family are originally from Cavan, Ireland, her Mum's brothers and sisiters live all over the world and Anne discovered a couple of years ago that some lived in Melbourne and Canberra ( Bateman's Bay ). Her cousin Margaret arranged for us to meet the Flynn side of the family who moved to Australia at the same time Anne's Mother moved to Canada.
The resemblance was striking, we spent an evening on the river Yarra in downtown Melbourne going over the family history, family tree and their connection to Ireland.
We will be thinking of all our extended family down under and our wonderful memories of meeting !
The Brogue in Port Credit, Ontario
I most often than not stay local for the celebration if I'm in Canada and there's always some good craic going on. I start in the afternoon with a visit and a pint to The Brogue on Hurontario and Lakeshore in Port Credit, always the best party in town, and no wonder, the family are from Ireland !
The Brogue has been a family-run pub for the past 15 years by the Donnelly family .... Sean, Shannon, Sherry and Tommy are fantastic hosts, it's just like being back home for me with a great atmosphere.
The food is excellent, the staff are always welcoming and friendly and they have a great selection of drinks, highly recommended any day of the week.
They have live music all day and into the small hours on March 17th .......
Shore Thing at The Niblick Pub in Oakville, Ontario
I have in the past also made the trip out to Oakville, which is about 20 minutes away by car from where I live. A couple of buddies of mine have a cracking band called Shore Thing and they play regularly at The Niblick on St Patrick's Day and throughout the year too, they are both also big supporters of Blues & Roots Radio.
All the lads in the band are from the maritimes of Canada, both Lloyd Banfield, and Jim Jones are multi instrumentalists ( from Newfoundland ) and can sing a bit, Craig Hustler is rock steady on percussion and as a treat Bob Little will be joining them as a guest on fiddle all the way from Newfoundland too,
If you are looking for a guaranteed fun night with great musicians and craic, you'll not go wrong with these guys, they always deliver .... watch out for Jim Jones and his amazing party piece playing lead mandolin while strolling through the packed house.... he's been known to down a shot or two whilst doing so and never misses a beat ! ... Now that's an old soldier right there !!
I will be trying to get there in time for the last set, I am performing myself in the late afternoon at a house concert, playing some pipes and strumming a few Irish tunes on the guitar in Port Credit.
So wish me the luck of the Irish, I hope your celebrations go well, if your don't celebrate, I hope you have a relaxing weekend ahead !
It will be all back to normal by Sunday, and I'll be bringing you news of new releases and gigs coming up into April.
have a pint for me this weekend !