Sadly, my first exposure to “Celtic” music was Joe Feeney singing “Danny Boy” on the Lawrence Welk show; mandatory listening in our household because of my musical mother. She was born and reared in Wheeling, WV and had aspirations of becoming a country singer. She taught me the basics of playing guitar and we always had some musical gathering happening at our house or at church.
I accidentally discovered Celtic music in the mid-seventies when I attended a “Boys of the Lough” concert with a friend in Salem OR. After that I just couldn’t get enough of it. I started collecting it where ever I could find it.
It wasn’t until I’d moved around a bit that I discovered Irish séisuns in pubs across America and in foreign lands and began to soak up the culture from the Irish emigrants in various places. A very fortunate turn of events began to take shape when I moved to Seattle in 1990 and volunteered for Victory Music hosting and doing sound for concerts and open mics. I met more musicians, many of whom we’re in love with playing Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Scandinavian, French Canadian and American roots music.
As luck would have it, the first year I attended Fiddletunes was the year that Dale Russ and Finn MacGinty were instructors. I soaked up all the Irish music they could teach me and soon began attending musical gatherings where Celtic music was being learned and played. That let to the band “Idle Road” for a few years and finally to the opportunity to host Sunday’s Hornpipe on KBCS.
It’s been a joy to be a “Hornpiper” at KBCS and I anticipate many more years at a gig with our really great listeners.