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Country music - Doolin (Any) Request a Song
Requested by: Sicame74 on 1/23/2018
Also requested by: Sicame74

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Ireland -- We knew we had found the heartbeat of Irish music when the fellow behind the counter of the Traditional Music Shop interrupted his discourse on local venues to introduce the man coming through the door: "The singing postman, has his own band, plays at McDermott's."

You don't have to be a Clancy Brother or a Chieftain to play in Doolin, a fishing town on the wild west coast of Ireland that has become a living museum of traditional Irish music. True, the best come here to play, but so do the aspirants, and not just from Ireland. They play for appreciative and knowledgeable fans--local and far-flung, like my wife and me--in packed pubs. If no one shows up, they play for one another.

Laurel and I had arrived in Ireland four days before, pay for essay
, and we had been pub-hopping in search of this music, with mixed success. Back in the States, we had listened to the Chieftains and Cherish the Ladies, so we had some idea what we were looking for: the lively jigs and reels ("tunes," we would learn to call them) that set feet to tapping and the often somber ballads ("songs") that tell much of Ireland's story--a story that has a lot to do with want and stoicism, plus emigration, especially to America, and repression, especially by the British.

Our quest last spring had started unsteadily on the south coast in County Waterford, where we had booked two nights at Buggy's Glencairn Inn, which a guidebook had accurately described as the quintessential Irish bed-and-breakfast. We had chosen Buggy's for the promise of charm and food, not proximity to good music, but we had heard there might be something doing at Madden's Pub in Lismore, a sleepy town a few miles away. When we arrived a little after 9, Madden's was quiet, and we were directed to try the Lismore Hotel.

The hotel bar was filling up for a 9:45 show, so we settled into a banquette with pints of Smithwick's ale. Everyone around us was smoking, most aggressively the four teenage girls who sat at our table. (There was a good deal of smoking in all the pubs we visited but never again anything like this.) Eventually a musician showed up, uncovered a keyboard and began to bang out some nondescr i pt if highly amplified folk-rock. Above his head a muted television played on, showing young men hurtling through some gymnastic bicycle competition.

"This is like a psychedelic experience," Laurel said. "The TV, the loud music, the louder crowd, the smoke."

"Let's go," I said, and we did, but not before our clothes had absorbed enough smoke to permeate our rental car and the wardrobe at our B&B.
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