It’s been a long, strange journey. I mean, sure, we’ve been playing together for maybe 7 months now. That’s not a long time, really. But our story doesn’t really start there, seven months ago. To get to the beginning, the real beginning, you’d have to go back about 15 years. Paul was playing in this new band called the Clare Voyants. Brian was drifting into the Irish music scene in Phoenix, mainly as a spectator, but wanting to be more. Erin? Near as we can tell, she came in on a warm West wind, in a boat made from dandelion fluff and Midsummer dreams. Or perhaps a scholarship to ASU; reports vary. Paul and one of his bandmates started (or re-started, depending on who you ask) a seisiun at a brew pub in Tempe called The Bandersnatch. (Gone now, but never forgotten.) Brian became a regular there, learning the bodhran by guess and by God, with some helpful hints from Paul. Erin was the hot (in every sense of the word) fiddler who could just wail on that thing…
It’s interesting to look back, and retrace our footsteps in and out of each other’s lives. Brian guested with the Clare Voyants a couple of times, then got picked up by another group, and finally formed one of his own. Made some mighty fine music, too, merrily mugging Irish music and going through its pockets for loose tunes. Paul and the ‘Voyants became one of the hottest bands in town, and stayed that way for a few years. He also started a side project or two, Erin fiddling away with him. She’s jammed with most of the Irish bands in a 200 mile radius; versatile and talented, she is.
And then, life happened. People got married. People had kids. Band split up and reorganized. People found day jobs. We adjusted, each in our own way. Paul kept playing as a solo act. Erin continued to sit in with whoever was smart enough to recognize how amazing she really is. Brian took up karaoke; he is not a clever man, sometimes.
And then there was this seisiun, to bring our tale full circle ’round, a seisiun back in September last year. Paul and Brian were hosting it, testing the waters, kicking a little rust off and reliving the good old days. And Erin comes strolling in, and uncases her fiddle. And her bow slid across the strings like a lover’s caress, and Paul’s pick raked across a G-chord like a hymn you remember from your first time in church, and Brian whispered to his drum and the thunder whispered back. And it was grand, grand indeed. We looked at each other and the scales fell from our eyes, and we wondered how we could have forgotten all we so dearly loved.
We’ve been playing together for the past few months, tuning up, remembering forgotten lore and lyrics, finding our sound. Making the music ours, so we can give it to you, if you see what I mean. We made magic last night. And we’re going to keep doing it. It’d be a fine thing indeed, were you to join us.
“And now, if you’ll excuse me, my comrades and I are going to go and…talk a little treason.”