Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March-ial music.

A new month, a new jukebox.

Well, mostly new.

In honor of March, St. Patrick's Day and the Irish (things which are always good for a pub), I have given the S&P's jukebox a bit of a green spotlight...

After all, a pub needs real pub music every so often!

Certainly, we always begin with the Great Pumpkin Waltz, our official theme song... but then we are immediately treated to an atmospheric fusion of Celtic and classical with Something Of Time, a haunting 1989 release from Nightnoise.

Next, a set of Irish reels performed by The Chief Tones: Kilmalie, The Mountain Road, and the one which got them invited to the S&P jukebox, The Star Of Munster!

Then I have decided to bring back a piece I had playing when this jukebox was first installed in the ol' place -- Near Northern, a 1986 foot stomper in the jazzy 'newgrass' tradition by the Anger-Higbie Quintet. An absolute favorite which I am happy to return to the playlist.

Hhmmm... Green, Irish, Hallowe'en... ah! Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. You didn't know she had Irish blood in her? Read the book Wicked... it's quite true.
Here, from the musical, Elphaba sings with Galinda about destiny, friendship and change, and sweeps up a turning point in both of their lives by finally, at long last, Defying Gravity.

Continuing our little tribute to the Emerald Isle, I thought some good ol' fashioned pub fiddle was in order; Jerry Holland answered the call, and has graced us with a set of three fine pieces -- The Dandy, The Black Rogue, and Lakeview Drive. Pub tunes, played brilliantly.

I have left Pumpkintime where it is, because... well, just because I did. It's part of the landscape, the wood and tombstones now.

Lastly, an odd choice, but one I am proud to offer.

Named after a fine, Irish-blooded cornetist, Pete Kelly's Blues is the titular song from the Jack Webb film from 1955. I imagine that this would be just the kind of thing we'd be hearing all the time in this pub if we were a bit more of a jazz club and we were somehow taken back to the days of the Volstead Act, Kansas City gangsters and bar room jazz bands.

And on a more personal note, the lead trumpet on this recording (mimed by Webb himself in the title role of bandleader Pete Kelly) is actually a lifelong friend of Webb's -- my father, Dick Cathcart.

I tried to find a picture of him 'wearin' the green' on the Welk bandstand but no luck... I know it exists. One of these days...

Well. There it is. Some Irish music for the Irish month. 

Heck, if it weren't for the Irish, I doubt we would have Hallowe'en the way we've known it for many generations. Being a Hallowe'en Fanatic and an 'Ulster-Scot' myself, with my ancestors having left Cathcart in Scotland to live and scatter throughout County Antrim (Northern Ireland) before coming to America, I have always felt a strong bond with things Irish. 

Just tippin' me brim to 'em fer the toime beein'.

Thank you, Ireland, for bringing to the table so much that makes our living a little more fun, sentimental, and honest. 



  1. Nice selections!
    The two traditional sets are especially nice. They reminded me of some pub sessions I witnessed on my tramp through Ireland back in '85.
    And what can I say about Pete Kelly's Blues? Your Dad--could he ever play! Pure pleasure to hear him.
    This is the time of year when everyone who isn't Irish by ancestry can be Irish by Inclination. In college, I had a roommate Tomas McCarthaigh from County Kerry (next parish west: Boston). We had a Chinese student friend, Deng Peng. One St Pat's Day--we were all about three pints of Irish car bombs (drop a shot of Jameson's or Bushmills into a pint of Guiness)into the evening. Not really inebriated--just in good fightin' trim. And yer man Tom, decides Peng needs to become an honarary Irishman. So he became known as Pungeen MacDungsa!

    To you and your pub:
    Go raimh maith agat
    (Thank you)
    Sláinte chugat!
    (Good health to you)

    and O'ZOM-Beeee!

  2. I am going to end each post this month with O'ZOM-beeee!