Full disclosure: I know Mike Blair and Steve Carrigan well, having played many a gig and concert with them as a part of Portsmouth’s Maritime/Celtic Folk ensemble Great Bay Sailor. Great fun it was to blast through some of the songs we love on this new collection entitled O Chroi. Thanks, Mike for giving me free rein to do all the instrumental work. Beautiful singing, lads!
Out of the blue, while waiting for a plane at the Nashville airport, I got a call from Cathy. She had found the Mill Pond Music Studio website on line, had seen all the Celtic Tribute Series CDs I’d produced and had read about all the wonderful Celtic acts that have found their way to my workspace, but had just realized I was no longer based in Nashville near her hometown 90 miles away. No problem! A couple of weeks ago, while on one of my regular trips to Nashville, John Mock, Bill Verdier and I had the great pleasure of tracking a few of her beautiful songs, framing her sweet voice with fiddle, tin whistle, Irish drum, mandolin, DADGAD guitar and a few other things. Listen to one of the tracks, which I mixed back up here. Thanks, Cathy, for the opportunity to do what we love to do!
John is one of the first musicians I met when I started exploring the idea of moving back to New England from Nashville. I think it was in 2005, just after spending a wonderful week in upstate NY accompanying world-renowned fiddler Craig Duncan, a long-time colleague who was being inducted into the Northeast Fiddler’s Hall of Fame. I stepped into a Portsmouth Irish Pub, Quigley’s (Tony Giblin was the proprietor) and landed in my very first Irish music session. John was gracious and welcoming and it’s been a delight to work with him on this collection of well chosen, delicately and movingly performed songs. Boston’s pre-eminent Irish fiddler Laurel Martin, multi-instrumentalist Mark Roberts, Chris ‘Junior’ Stevens are among the fine players gracing the project.