2017 was already off to a flying start for us with its’ relatively mild winter, its’ optimistic posture and its’ positive outlook for all things Bob and Carl.
While we are always hopeful that our St. Paddy’s experience goes well; we are never really sure until the day unfolds to reveal itself. Sometimes it takes a while, but most times, not. Playing thirty years worth of them helps sort them out as well. While they are all different, there are many similarities.
Around here, people see Saint Patricks’ Day as a true, new beginning. A rite of spring, so to speak. The day when our cold, dank world around us shakes off the dismal mantle of winter and steps dramatically into the sunshine.
That’s how it seems, most years; even if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
This year, the day began timidly enough, mind you, and never really strayed from that. There were a few moments when some looked outside and decided to not venture into the snowstorm that eventually erupted. Too bad for them. The snow didn’t last long, to our delight. And, as usually happens, the day presented itself with the usual amount of Irish wonder.
From the eight O’clock hour of the morning, right through the afternoon and eventually into the evening, it was not too cold to dissuade the heartiest of holiday revelers. In fact, for most of the day, the spring sun displayed its’ hand at warming the body if not the Irish soul. It was by all accounts a perfect day to drink.
And, drink we did. Not a lot, just a wee shot ur two per hour. Or so. . .
So we began our Day at Clancy’s Irish Pub, bright and early. Eight O’ Clock had us playing the Whistlin’ Gypsy to an enthusiastic crowd of Macomb County’s‘ finest health care workers. It was a warm start to what would eventually turn out to be a very pleasant day.
Set one went down so well, that Carl and I followed it with another set of the best Irish music anyone around these parts has heard in a long while. (Since last year at about this same time, I should think).
The medical patrons went home for the day, and gave their tables up to another entire crew of green-clad, beer-swilling revelers. All part of the circle of life, I would imagine.
NASH FM joined us at Clancy’s this year. An entire crew of tech people and on-air talent that had us smiling and singing alone as they bent over backwards to accommodate us during their breaks as well as some cordial air-time.
Our thanks to Renee Vitale and her crew for putting us not the air and allowing us to work so easily with their station.
The morning rushed by us, as it usually does. Most Paddy’s Days run full speed right out of the gate. It is up to us to hold on for dear life.
Helping us on our day’s journey is our third band member, Jerry. He is an honorary member of the Bob and Carl band. He keeps us focused, on point and laughing when we need it most.
Jerry has many years of experience from the mosh-pit, as he runs with the Drop Kick Murphy’s whenever they are in town. So, he knows his mayhem when he sees it.
Finishing up at Clancy’s, we got a moment or two to reflect on our time there with Vince, the owner. He has taken great care of us for many years now at this time of year.
After a mere six hours of playing, it was time to tear down the gear and set it back up at our next celebration destination: The Green Lantern in Clinton Township.
The Green Lantern has had a rough year, as it’s located adjacent to the now, “world famous”, Fraser sinkhole.
Business has suffered as the way in out and around has been mostly lined with cones, barriers and pipe-fitters.
Ignoring all that, as we mostly always do, we shouldered on and right into the breach of the next phase of our wonderful day.
Easy access to the restaurant is worth its’ weight in green-gold, and before anyone knew it, we were up and playing by 4:00.
Another person worth their weight in gold and even more, is our longtime friend, Jewels. She was running Rosy O’Grady’s back when Vince first owned it in the nineties. We began playing there, and then followed her to The Limelight in Rochester for a time.
Wanting to hire the best person in the business, The Green Lantern folks reached out and grabbed her away, and us along with her, about four years ago.
Now, it has become another great Bob and Carl tradition.
Word must have gotten out, because no sooner did we finish our first set, then the restaurant did fill up with all kinds of happy green faces.
Every song was new again, and green alligators, kilts and whistling gypsies filled the hearts and minds of each and every contented patron.
The food was wonderful, the smiles were endearing and the sound of voices engaged in Irish song warmed everyone’s soul. Even a mere Michigan snow-shower couldn’t do anything to damper the festive mood on this of all days.
Soon, St. Paddy’s 2017 was complete. All the music was played, all the songs were sung and all the green beer was soaked up.
Nothing left for us to do than to officially thank everyone who made it so memorable.
From Bob and Carl, we shall leave you with this timeless Celtic prayer:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the hollow of His hand.