The Roaring Kelly Band returns Saturday, January 21, to H.J. O’Connor’s in Delray Beach with our 4pm downbeat of raucous Irish fun. We’re counting down the days to St. Patrick’s Day with traditional tunes, rowdy songs, and excitement.
Many of our friends and fellow musicians from the cold, wintry north and from Ireland have once more gathered in sunny south Florida. The Roaring Kelly Band members have some rollicking good times getting together to play in music seisiúin (that’s the plural of ‘session’ in Gaelic) where traditional music is played to celebrate our common interest in a relaxed, informal setting. What always amazes those who are new to these events is that it is not a performance as much as a musical ‘conversation’ among like-minded musicians and that the many tunes are played from memory. This is not a magical feat or part of some mystical cultural apprenticeship although some would like to think the Celtic context deserves some credit. Toner Quinn writing in the Journal of Music explains:
Ever wonder how traditional musicians remember so many hundreds of tunes? It is not that they can in a moment summon up the melody of all these tunes. It is the single phrases and intervals, which, when hit upon in the memory, suggest a path through other phrases and intervals to ultimately form the entire tune.
Watching the musicians closely, one can often ascertain the memory ‘click’ when after just a few notes or a phrase from another player, the tune crystalizes, the fingers take claim on the instrument, and in less than a heartbeat away we fly. There’s really not much that matches that emotional coalescence where all join in the moment with a singular mix of concentration, relaxation, and pure enjoyment.
The Roaring Kelly Band expertly conveys this feeling whenever we perform and you can witness the fun for yourself on Saturday, January 21, at 4pm at HJ O’Connor’s in Delray Beach.
Excerpt: Toner Quinn, Time to kill off the Revival http://journalofmusic.com/focus/time-kill-revival