Happy New Year, folks! Hope you all made it through the holidays in a happy way, and are ready for a great 2016 full of music and stories. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at some point in my travels around the country – you can next find me at the Wine and Song Concert Series in South Pasadena, California at the Arroyo Club this Wednesday, January 6th. And I’ll be heading to the International Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City next month. You can find all the details on the shows page of my website.
As most of you know, I lead a wonderful musical tour of Ireland every year. This year, as in every year, we will go to Cork, Kerry and Clare for ten glorious days. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a cultural tour too… but the emphasis is on the music. My Irish partner knows all the TOP, TOP Irish musicians and singers and we have music every night. Either we have a private concert for our little group in our hotel or we are the special invited guests at a local pub where we have the front row seats…. it’s magic. We’ll be going this year June 26 through July 5 and it will sell out very quickly… if any of you might be interested click on the Ireland tab on my website and all the info is there. Only a few seats are left, and I think you’ll find it to be the trip of a lifetime!
I want to tell a little story about one of my trips. During the famine in the 1840’s Ireland lost half of it’s population… one quarter to starvation and one quarter to migration. There is a “famine” graveyard in Skibbereen, County Cork, one of the hardest hit areas during the “hunger”. In this graveyard there is a mass grave where nearly 10,000 people are buried under a reverent expanse of the greenest grass.
The most prominent clan in Skibbereen at the time were the McCarthy’s. A few years ago I had a young man from Memphis who was visiting Ireland for the first time along on my tour. His name was Sean McCarthy. He had known very little of his heritage before the trip, but soon discovered his ancestors had migrated from Skibbereen. The day we visited the graveyard, he stood at the site of this mass grave, gob-smacked. I wrote the song below for him…
Wishing you all a wonderful 2016.
Your friend in songs and stories,
- Sean McCarthy Ronny Cox 3:46