The 2014 Milwaukee Irish Fest is now in the books.
And this year's fest was one for the books! The lineup
of entertainers was astounding as usual, especially with
my favorite band The High Kings playing there! All
the way from Ireland, The High Kings are Brian Dunphy,
Darren Holden, Martin Furrey, and Finbarr Clancy.
Finbarr happens to be my cousin!
Fine musicians and singers, The High Kings perform many
great Irish favorites, including "Fields of Athenry",
"Boulevogue", "I'll Tell Me Ma", "The Irish Rover",
and "Step It Out Mary" along with their own songs
which they themselves have written and recorded.
And with great gusto! Some of the songs they play at a
rollicking pace, such as "The Irish Rover" while those that
require a gentler touch certainly get that from the High Kings.
Finbarr, who is the son of Bobby Clancy (of the Clancy
Brothers and Tommy Makem fame), invited me to a grand
party after the fest with many of the performers in attendance
along with the executive director of Irish Fest, many coordi-
nators, a few rank-and-file volunteers like myself, and family
members of same. Held at the Hyatt Regency a few blocks
from the festival, I brought along a friend and fellow member
of the Chuck Ward Celtic Song Circle which I founded in
2010 and have mentioned on this blog some time ago, and
we felt as if we died and ascended to heaven! We met
Dougie MacLean, a grand Scottish folk singer and composer;
Seamus Kennedy, a wonderful singer, songwriter and musician
who writes and sings wonderfully humorous songs that can
cause you to fall on the floor laughing; Gaelic Storm, a world-
renown band that shot to fame when appearing in the movie
The Titanic as the steerage band aboard the ill-fated ship;
and so many other luminaries of Irish and Celtic music.
Finbarr sat down with us at a table in the Hyatt's lobby bar
where we were congregated in joyful revel and we chatted about
many things: Irish music, The Beatles (we all are fans), Finbarr's
and your partially green Peasant's common ancestry, The High
Kings' life on the road, politics (Finbarr is a fellow
conservative! He is worried for our country with Obama
at the helm, and stated that Obamacare is a lousy program!
A kinsman AND a kindred spirit! Heavenly joy!), and we
even sang a song together! Finbarr, my song circle mate
and your musical Peasant sang a chorus of "Fields of
Athenry" there in the lobby bar, to the delight of those
close by. At least one of them took pictures of us with an
iPod! And Finbarr wants to join our humble song circle
for a session when he returns to town! What an event that
will be! Meanwhile, my friend and I were enjoying our
visit with my cousin Finbarr.
A fabulous festival and a fabulous time! Your beloved Peasant's
cup overflows with heaven's blessings! I am grateful for my
illustrious cousin being in my family and clan, for his friendship
and hospitality, for my town's Irish Fest, my song circle, and
for you, my fantastic readers! If ever you are in Milwaukee
in mid-August, come to our Irish Fest for a unique and magical
good time. There's no telling what will happen, but all will be
such great fun!