Only 132 Irish applicants were chosen last year mainly because so few people knew how to apply for it.The application period ends noon on Dec 1 but applicants are advised to apply now as the online system has been prone to crashes in the closing days.People who were born in Ireland and Northern Ireland are eligible to apply whereas people who were born in Britain are not eligible.Applications must be made at www.dvlottery.state.govThis is the ONLY official site. The program is free (if a website asks you for money it is not the official website.)Interested applicants can also visit their local TD, Senator or councillor’s office for help applying.
(Editors note: In the next couple of months The Celtic Connection will spotlight the bellwethers of the reels and roots music heard up and down the Rocky Mountains. These men and women donate not only their time “on air”, but also the many hours needed to prepare each show. Perpetuating traditions of excellence through their love of music they bring to you a variety of music, from dusting off a long lost golden oldie to introducing you to new contemporary sounds. The series begins with Karl Kumli who hosts the Seolta Gael show on KGNU out of Boulder, Colorado. By day Karl is an attorney at Dietze and Davis, P.C. His practice emphasizes primarily public utility law and water law. He currently is President-Elect of the Boulder County Bar Association and involved with way too many more groups and associations for a mere mortal. On top of it all he is a family man. We asked Karl if he preferred to by interviewed or he could submit his own words.People who know Karl know that he does not lack the gift of the gab. He says he is not Irish ” you be the judge…
Best, Pat M.)Alright Pat, in keeping with the political season, I”d like to make the painful disclosures first. Genetically speaking, I”m not Irish. Not Scottish either. Nor Welsh, Manx, Breton, or Galician. I was born Italian and Swiss, but raised as a very traditional Irish Catholic (my first school was Incarnate Word Academy).In 1962 my family was living in a small apartment. Jack Kennedy was at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I was attending St. Rose Elementary School. And my dad had fallen headlong into the folk music revolution that was sweeping the country. At our place, the old 33-and-a-third rpm LPs were constantly played on a scratchy phonograph. I remember four of them in particular. The first was a multi-record set called “Folk Songs and Minstrelsy,” which featured Tommy Makem singing, “The Cobbler.” Its infectious chorus was just the sort of lilting that is easily memorized by a six year old, oblivious to the ghoulish subject matter of the song. The second was the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem album “Hearty and Hellish.” I knew every song on that album by heart before I entered second grade at St. Rose.St. Rose was just about the epitome of a parochial school of the day. The pastor was Fr. Patrick Mulligan; the associate was Fr. Jerome Dooley and the nuns (Sisters of St. Joseph of Newark) were strict devotees of the penguin school of fashion design. To my six year old ears it seemed every priest or nun I”d ever met was from Ireland. And in those days the Catholic liturgy was still in Latin. I made the obvious connection at that time that people who spoke with a brogue must have done so because they were clergy and had a “Latin accent.” St. Rose had three major holidays: Christmas, Easter and St. Patrick”s Day. All the kids from first grade on learned some sort of a simple reel or set dance as part of the St. Patrick”s Day festivities, which were held in the school gym under Fr. Mulligan”s watchful eye.Fast forward to the early 1970s. We had a young priest at our parish named Simon Twomey. Fr. Simon is a big Kerryman from Killarney. And back in the day he was wicked-cool. It was Simon who turned me on to the Chieftains, the Dubliners and the Wolfe Tones. With that music ringing in my ears I left for college in 1974. And at that point I began to get more serious about my infatuation with Celtic music. I took a year of Irish Gaelic. I learned a little bit of step dancing and set dancing. I began frequenting the bars and halls where the music was played. And then I got into radio.Beginning in 1975 I was hired as a summer replacement DJ for a small network of radio stations in Washington State. There I did everything from pulling a six hour air shift, to commercial production, to reading news, to emptying the trash (as the last guy out of the station at night when we went off the air at night). I played some country, some top 40 and most of all, rock “n” roll. It was heaven.Fast forward again to St. Patrick”s Day 1982. I”d just moved to Boulder and called the local public radio station, the blessed KGNU, wondering whether they”d be playing Celtic music on March 17th. No, I was told, they didn”t have anyone who was familiar with the genre. My own Celtic record collection (this was still before CDs or MTV) had grown beyond a few dozen by this point. I offered to come in and do a show. “Probably not,” I was informed. After all, “you”d have to have a radio license [still a requirement in those days] to pull an air shift.”“But I do have a license,” I replied.And twenty-six years later, it”s still happening. The show has grown and changed right along with the station. It is now part of a World Music series on KGNU called Musica Mundi. I seldom play vinyl anymore ” though the thought of an all-vinyl show is really beginning to take shape in my head. We do lots more live music than in the old days, as KGNU”s new studios are wonderful for that kind of live on-air concert. And we have amazing live show engineers in Fergus Stone and George Figgs. We still do every show live on the air, but the program is also webcast, and is available via podcast for two weeks after it airs.The playlist? Widely varied ” or at least I want it to be. We try to play music from all over ” the Seven Nations and all their progeny ” the Celtic Diaspora (the States, Canada, Australia, Germany and beyond). We try to mix trad (both vocal and instrumental) with Celtic rock, or the rock and jazz influenced stuff. “Within the Celtic continuum, you might hear a range from the good old Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners and Clannad to Flogging Molly, The Dropkick Murphys and Black 47. “Plethyn, Robin Huw Bowen, Dervish, Lunasa, Capercaillie, Old Blind Dogs, Silly Wizard, Poor Clares, Altan, Cherish the Ladies, Great Big Sea, Natalie McMaster, The Chieftains, The Elders and many more make appearances as well. “Guests appear regularly, both via phone and in studio, where the list has ranged from The Chieftains (Paddy Moloney and Matt Molloy), Kevin Burke, to local favorites Colcannon and Skean Dubh.Pat McCullough has even gotten me to abandon my original prejudice against “Danny Boy,” which I thought had become maudlin and overplayed. Of course, the fact that Pat”s incredibly talented wife, Tanya, has taught our girls to sing may have had a little to do with that, as well. In addition to the girls who”ve danced and sung, the eldest of our boys returned last year from a semester of study in Ireland, where he took courses in both the Irish language and traditional Irish music at the University of Limerick. So the Celtic knotwork continues.
I would, however, point out that Switzerland has its own Celtic history. From about 500 B.C. to A.D. 400, several Celtic tribes, especially the Helvetians, were settled in Switzerland. So perhaps I”ve spoken unadvisedly, and am genetically Celtic after all. (Listen to Karl Kumli the first Wednesday of the month, 7-8pm, on KGNU 88.5 fm in Boulder or 1390 am Denver or online at www.kgnu.org)
Since 2000 the Denver based non-profit organization has sent over 154,000 toys to kids in 60 countries. It was that year that Marlin Dorhout and friend Ben Perri traveled to Nicaragua to work with Habitat for Humanity. The director of HH asked the two men if they would bring some toys for the kids. “We didn”t want to bring battery-operated toys,” said Dorhout, “so Ben designed these wooden cars and I had the woodworking skills and tools to make them.” When Dorhout arrived in Nicaragua he handed out 120 of his handmade wooden toys. “I became the most popular person in the village,” he said, recalling the overwhelming response that came from the happy children. “After that, I knew what I wanted to do.”Upon returning home to Denver, Dorhout officially founded the Toys for God”s Kids. He recruited a group of World War II veterans to help cut, assemble, and sand the wooden pieces and more recently has also been working with nursing homes and retirement centers to work on some of the toys. Dorhout spoke highly and often about the volunteers, “They all care about other human beings, especially children…when they see photos of those kids they feel so good about what they”re doing.”Not only is Toys for God”s Kids made up entirely of volunteers, it has no budget. Much of the wood used for the toys is scrap lumber donated by Stairs Inc. in Louisville and Masterpiece Stairs in Denver. Worldwide distribution is through relief organizations, church groups, airline pilots, soldiers ” virtually anyone or group who wants to pack a box or suitcase of the wooden treasures. Last month Dorhout was contacted by Carl Piazza of Pentagon Cargo of the Rockies who offered to ship 1260 toys to kids in the Philippines ” this month he will ship another 1800 to arrive in time for the holidays.Photos and thank-you notes are often sent to Toys for God”s Kids from around the globe by grateful social workers, children and parents – and once he even got a phone call. “The call came from Mexico – I had a hard time understanding the guy, but his daughter came home with a toy with our phone number stamped on the bottom, and he was so grateful he called to say thanks.”“The feedback illustrates how little these kids have, but also how important toys are to kids,” he added as he pointed out the more obvious comparison for the need of food, clothing and medicine, “Toys make them feel special, and they can also help kids develop planning, problem-solving, and social skills.”Toys for God”s Kids goal is “to place a toy in the hand of every needy child”, and Dorhout and Co. sends toys to all parts of the world regardless of religion or political strife or differences. He gave an example of the almost 7,000 toys sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to date.“We never hold a child responsible for some silly idea their parents or leaders have,” Dorhout said with a slight smile and twinkle in his eyes, then continued in a more serious tone. “We don”t proselytize, there are volunteers who help that are not religious at all, but they”re wonderful people.” He said that he believes in God, and that the name of the organization had brought more support than obstacles. “I”m not one of zealots that say, “If you don”t believe in God you don”t count.” I have been taught that everyone is God”s child.”Dorhout, a retiree from Gates Rubber Company, spends many hours a week working to bring joy to children whom he most likely will never meet. “This is good for me too, I”m staying too busy to get bitter,” he said with a laugh. “I”m having a lot of fun, and every one of us feels very proud to be making these toys. We call ourselves the “smile makers”.”If you are interested in Toys for God”s Kids and would like to help in some way email Toys for God’s Kids or call 303-733-2284. More information is also on the internet at Toys For God’s Kids.
by Cindy Reich
Alan spoke with Cindy Reich
from the Celtic Connection
via phone from his home in Scotland.Cindy: The last time I spoke with you Alan, was a long time ago when the band were playing in Denver. John McCusker had just joined, which will tell you how long ago THAT was, and looked about 14 years old! However, you are the last man standing, Alan, as a founder member of the band. Did you ever think, thirty plus years down the road, you would still be touring, making albums and such?Alan: Not at all, Cindy. Brian McNeill was the original founder of the band and I joined a few months later. When we decided to quit our jobs and try music for a couple of years.. that was back in 1975 and I don”t think we ever dreamed the band would endure for thirty plus years. When you”re that age, you”re not thinking of what you”re going to be like when you”re middle aged. I remember thinking in my thirties, ach; I”ll probably retire when I”m fifty. I”ve passed that particular hurdle and I”m still going strong! Cindy: That”s a great testament to the success of the band. There”s tens of thousands of bands out there that became relatively popular and were finished in a few years. Alan: There aren”t too many bands who have spanned the decades we have and I tend to think of it as a phenomenon. An achievement that the band is still thriving and producing good music regardless of who is in the band. I think when you get a band that has lasted as long as we have there”s an interesting story to tell. I can think of other bands who are older than us. The Dubliners who are in our sphere of music and the Rolling Stones in another sphere of music. I think its just amazing these “institutions” if you can call them that, can last for decades and decades.I think what we have in common with the Rolling Stones if I can be so bold as to compare ourselves in any way whatsoever, is the fact that both bands really love playing live. I”m sure none of them need the money, so why do they still go out on the road and play? I”m sure they don”t need to do it, and yet they still do it for playing to live audiences. And that is one of the reasons I think we”ll still around. We”re willing to travel and we still like to play to live audiences, and the response we get is one of the things that keep us doing what we”re doing. Cindy: Well, that is still the best way to see The Battlefield Band ” in a live situation. The recordings are all nice and lovely, but my favorite album would be “Home Ground” which is a live album. The energy, the vibe and the spark off the audience is fabulous. When the pipes, which are such a trademark sound, when those pipes come on stage, it just electrifies everybody ” visually as well as listening. And to have the pipes in such an intimate setting as Swallow Hill should be fantastic. You have had a lot of great musicians come in and out of the band over the years, but the ability of the band to be a fluid entity has also been a part of its success. You maintain a great sound and the caliber of the musicians has always been of the highest order. The Battlefield Band is always The Battlefield Band. The sum seems to always be greater than the parts. Alan: I think that is what has made us a little bit different from other bands that have gone on for a long time. Although we have had a lot of people come through our ranks over the decades, basically, our lineup has been the same in terms of instrumentation. When a piper leaves, a piper joins, when a guitarist leaves, a guitarist joins. The basic sound of the band remains the same, although there are subtle differences. Battlefield Band aficionados have come to recognize over the years that no one is irreplaceable. If someone whom they”ve admired leaves, they can be assured that whoever replaces them will be equally adept. The standard we expect our members to aspire to never changes. Cindy: It is that standard of excellence I want to address, especially as it pertains to songwriting and the original tunes. Its what keeps me coming back to the band, as yourself and many others have penned so many great new tunes and great new songs. Alan: I started writing songs about twenty-five years ago. One of the reasons I started doing that was that bands like us that were touring all seemed to be looking at the same resource books and looking to the same source singers for material. It never occurred to us to write an entirely new song instead of looking for an obscure song and putting a twist to it. It was quite a daring thing to even think of, never mind to actually do.Brian McNeill started and then I followed on and it has become something that really interests me in fact. Personally speaking, I am more interested and get more satisfaction from that than any other aspect of my musicianship. In more recent years, I”ve been writing more songs, especially about historical things in Scotland. I”m just about to bring out an album about the rise and fall of Bonnie Prince Charlie that”s going to be incorporating some quite well known traditional songs as well as five new songs I”ve written myself. Of course, I”m still writing for the band as well, so on every album that comes out, I have one or two songs on it. I”ve also got a whole album”s worth of material on the life of John Paul Jones, the hero of the American Revolution, who was born in Scotland. Cindy: You seem to be a bit of a historian, and one song of yours I really was interested in, as I knew nothing about it, was the failed colony in Panama called “Darien”. A lot of your songs are about historically significant events.Alan: I”m particularly interested in stories that are not well known. I”ve just recently written a song about the Scotsman called John Rae who was an Arcadian who went to work for the Hudson Bay Company. He ended up looking for the Lord Franklin expedition which had gone to look for the northwest passage and got lost in the north of Canada. This guy brought back the story that they had all perished and that some had even resorted to cannibalism. The establishment in England completely disregarded his information because it was based on the testimony of Inuit Indians and the English establishment said that these English gentlemen could never have succumbed to such a desperate act and they would not believe the word of savages. So this fellow was completely ostracized and ridiculed. And it was John Rae who actually did find the Northwest Passage. So when I look at that, I think, wow, that”s a great story and hardly anyone knows about it! I think I”ll make that into a song. Cindy: Ah, but see that”s a great example of the power of song. I became interested in Lord Franklin”s expedition from hearing the song, “Lord Franklin”. I just recently read a great book on it, called “The Terror” (one of Franklin”s two ships- “Terror” and “Erebus”) that was about 900 pages, but was fascinating. If it hadn”t been for hearing the song, I would never have delved into the story. Another Battlefield Band song that I truly love was written by the late Davy Steele ” “The Last Trip Home”. As a horsewoman, I really appreciated that song, and I know it was played at Davy”s funeral. I want to have it played at mine as well. It is a great example of some of the music to come out of the band. Alan: Davy was much loved by the audiences all over the world in the short time he was with the band. It was obvious when you were watching him that he was just having a ball and that he managed to transmit that joy to the audience. He had a beautiful voice as well”a great quality to it. I really enjoyed singing harmonies with him. An album came out here several years ago and every song on it was about Clydesdale horses (“Gentle Giants” Greentrax). Robin Laing compiled that album and he wanted “Last Trip Home” to be the first track on the album. I wrote a song as well, which appears on the album. It”s not just a folk album, there are some rock tracks as well, but every single song is about Clydesdale horses.Cindy: You released a new album last year, “Dookin” (Temple Records) and there”s an album and DVD out as well. What new material might you be bringing with you to Denver? Alan: The DVD was filmed a few years ago and most of the material is from the previous album, “The Road of Tears” but there are one or two tracks on it that didn”t make the album. Most of our material is still from Dookin” but we”re starting to incorporate some new tracks as well, which will appear on our next album which we will be working on soon. The Battlefield Band will be performing at Daniels Hall at Swallow Hill on Friday, November 7th. The show is at 8pm. For more information on The Battlefield Band, their website is: www.battlefieldband.co.uk
(Editors note: Last month The Celtic Connection began a series to spotlight the bellwethers of the reels and roots music heard up and down the Rocky Mountains. These men and women donate not only their time “on air”, but also the many hours needed to prepare each show. Perpetuating traditions of excellence through their love of music they bring to you a variety of music, from dusting off a long lost golden oldie to introducing you to new contemporary sounds.) In October, we introduced many of our readers to Karl Kumli who hosts the Seolta Gael show on KGNU out of Boulder, Colorado. This month we are spotlighting Cindy Reich who you can hear hosting the Long Acre show on KRFC 88.9 FM in Fort Collins or online at www.krffmc.org every Monday 1-3pm. She”s on Critter Patter on Thursdays and often on the Live at Lunch show.If Karl is King of Colorado”s Celtic airwaves then Cindy is without a doubt the Queen. Both have an impressive tenure on radio dating back to the 80″s. Like Karl, Cindy did not get her love of Celtic music genetically. Her ethnic make-up is primarily Native American, which she celebrates regularly, and German (she doesn”t drink beer or eat Wiener Schnitzel?). She contributes monthly to The Celtic Connection as reviewer of live and recorded music, as well as periodic interviewer for features. Her reviews and interviews have been printed in magazines here and abroad (Irish Music Magazine, Living Tradition, etc), and published in Irish newspapers around the country. Her paid job is working with horses ” judging, breeding, or teaching at a university. Because of her busy horse-judging schedule of late that takes her out of town, we did this interview through an exchange of emails. Best, Pat M.)CC: Cindy, it probably is safe to say that your two main loves/interests are horses and music. We will get into music ” but first tell us about you involvement with horses (background, judging, etc).I grew up on a family horse farm.” My mom raised Arabian horses and I have always been around them. I showed for over 30 years ” equitation, Western, English, etc.” I got started judging when I was 9 years old and in 4-H.” I judged sheep, cattle and pigs.” It taught me how to evaluate an animal”s structure.” I was in 4-H for 10 years and from there, judged for Colorado State University on both the horse and livestock judging teams. I really liked judging, so applied for my USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) card as soon as I was eligible at age 21.” I won”t tell you my age now, but I”ve had my card for several decades!!” Since they can”t get rid of me, they send me off to judge in exotic places like Brazil, Uruguay and Australia.” I have had no argument with that.CC: So how did you get turned-on to Celtic music? I got hooked on Celtic music when I heard Christy Moore on the radio in Colorado in the late 70′s.” It stopped me in my tracks (Ride On) and I went to the phone and called the station and asked who it was that was singing. About two weeks later I heard another song (Sonny’s Dream)”by the same guy and it was fabulous. I then started to look for music by Christy which was very hard to come by in those days.” I stumbled across Planxty because Christy was in it, which was a good way to start. Prior to that, I couldn’t have pointed out Ireland on a map, and other than the fact that they have great horses, I couldn’t have told you anything about the country.” Because of my intense interest in the music, I ended up living over there for a number of years and have been going over yearly for 21 years. CC: When/How Long/Why did you live in Ireland?In the late 80″s I quit my job, sold all my stuff and tried to go over there and live”Bad idea. There was a reason everyone was coming over HERE to get jobs!!Got smarter and went to do a Master”s in animal reproduction at University College Dublin in 1995.”I lived in Celbridge, County Kildare for a couple of years.” Also, in 1992 I was working at a horse farm and living in Belgium. My mom came over to visit. She had always wanted to visit Ireland, so off we went, after touring Scotland for a week. Well, my mom ended up with a detached retina on her first day in Dublin and had to have surgery at the Mater Hospital.” She couldn”t leave Ireland for 6 weeks because they had to inject an air bubble into her eye.” Was quite an experience for her staying in the public ward at the Mater. All the ladies in her room got her hooked on the Late Late Show. She became quite a fan of Gay Byrne!CC: You”ve made some good friends in the music business over the years ” hopefully you won”t alienate any of them with this answer ” can you list your top ten live music concerts/experiences?This was a great question ” really brought back great memories trying to decide!!” Sure I can”t do a top twenty???Christy Moore ” Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo, 1986 ” The Midas ClubFirst time I got to hear Christy Moore live. Kieran Goss was the opener. There is a great story to this night for another time. However, my first introduction to the music on Irish soil.Jimmy Mac Carthy – Mother Redcap”s, Liberties, Dublin” mid 90″s?Jimmy sat with a guitar and sang for over 2 1/2 hours. Nearly every song he sang was one he had written. One of the most extraordinary nights at a gig ever.Concert for Frankie ” various ” Olympia, DublinAn emotional night of music to celebrate the life and music of Frankie Kennedy after his death from cancer.” Over three hours of music from fellow Altan members, Christy Moore, Luka Bloom, Paul Brady, Mary Black, Donal Lunny, Clannad, Sharon Shannon, Liam O”Maonlai, and on and on.” Everyone then moved on to the Harcourt Hotel for an amazing session.” I left reluctantly at 6 am to go to school.Planxty ” Vicar St. Dublin ” 2004I never got a chance to see Planxty when they originally played, although I had every album.”The chance to see them play 30 years on was magic. Raised the hair on the back of my neck.” I have never seen anything like the ovation they received when they entered the hall and it only got better from there. St. Brigid”s Night, St. Brigid”s Cathedral Kildare town ” 1996(?)Wondrous night of music with Sinead O”Connor, Noirin Ni Rian, Luka Bloom, Christy Moore, Conor Byrne, Liam O”Maonlai, Jimmy Higgins, and many more. “Afterwards a mighty session with many of the above until about 4 am at a local down the street.Hughes” Pub ” behind the Four Courts in Dublin.Spent many an amazing evening there just listening to the musicians that showed up. Could be local, could be superstars. Just fabulous music.” Might have Kevin Glackin on fiddle, Brendan Begley on accordion, Conor Byrne on flute..Bewley”s, Grafton Street, Dublin Christy”s sister Eilish ran a folk club on the 3rd floor of Bewley”s for about a year or so in the mid-90″s. It only seated about 50 people and there was no mic. Saw one of the best gigs I”ve ever seen Christy Moore do there ” Unplugged!Ditto for Glen Hansard who did a completely acoustic gig. Leaving the crowd singing the chorus from “Revelate”, he gently laid his guitar down on the floor and walked out through the audience and out the door, while we all continued singing. Stunning.Harcourt Hotel, Dublin ” 1995-1997The Harcourt used to have great gigs every week on Mondays. They would do “Banjo Night” where it was all banjos with the likes of Gerry O”Connor and Eamonn Coyne and Barney MacKenna and others all playing banjo at the same time. Sounds disastrous, but twas brilliant!”There was “Fiddle Night” and “Flute Night”, etc.”Dunlewey, Co. Donegal ” Frankie Kennedy Winter School One year it snowed like crazy. Took me and a friend 6 hrs do drive from Dublin to Letterkenny. And then two more hours on to Dunlewy where we hiked through the snow to the Leisure Center on moonlit night.” Liam O” Maonlai entranced the hardy crowd who made it with harp, keyboard, voice, whistle and stories. The wind howled outside and the branches of the trees were bent double.” A true seanachie on the night.Armstrong Hall, Colorado Springs ” Christy Moore” 1990 Christy”s first and only appearance in Colorado.” Extraordinary gig. For all but ex-pats it was their first “Christy” experience. I had many seasoned gig goers tell me it was the greatest gig they ever heard”Tommy Peoples ” Lafayette, Colorado A very rare appearance by Tommy in Colorado. The hall was completely silent as Tommy played and the music wrapped everyone in a cloud of wonder on the night. Going-away gig ” Ferryman pub, Dublin docks After finishing my degree at UCD, I was returning to Colorado. A few friends organized a farewell session” Conor Byrne, Eilish Moore, Luka Bloom, Glen Hansard, Liam O”Maonlai and others played a magnificent session with other pub goers joining in until the wee hours of the morning. Made it very hard to get on a plane and leave such a place.Hill of Allen, County Kildar.The path up the Hill of Allen was lit by burning tapers at 6am on a cold February morning. As the sun rose, Luka Bloom and others serenaded the group of people at the top before heading out on a ten-mile famine walk.” An instance where you really understood the connection between song and place.That”s more than ten, but if I don”t stop now, it will be the top fifty!” I also want to note that while a lot of these gigs contained “names” in the industry, there were hundreds of phenomenal sessions and gigs I went to with extraordinary musicians and singers who remain nameless but were every bit as phenomenal as the better-known musicians.CC: Wow, some great memories Cindy, and we know that you have hundreds more. We”ll have to expound in future issues of The Celtic Connection ” or maybe you should just write a book!CC: You have seen many live shows ” name a few bands that you have not seen live that are on your “to do” list?For sure, Damien Dempsey, Roisin Elsafty, Karine Polwart, Lau, Beoga.CC: What has been playing on your CD of late?Stuff I have to review for a certain paper I know in Denver!” The work never stops. However, I”m really looking forward to the new Guggenheim Grotto!CC: How did you become a DJ on the radio?I sort of fell into radio by complaining!” I was living in C.Springs and they had a Celtic show on KRCC every Saturday and Sunday evening.” Obviously, some d.j. who really wanted to do a rock show got stuck with the Celtic show.” It used to make me mental, because she would announce the wrong names for tunes played and mispronounce the names of songs and groups. The one that put me over the top was when she announced a song by “Boys of the Low-ugh” (Boys of the Lough, pronounced “lock”). When I went in to pay my membership premium during fundraising, I complained about the person, because she obviously didn’t care about the music and was not doing it any favors.” “Can you do better”? was the reply.” “We have a volunteer training class coming up”.” I replied that I had never done it before, but I couldn’t possibly do worse than the person doing it at the time.” I got the job. Sure, why wouldn’t I?” It was a volunteer position. When I took a paying job on a ranch near Westcliffe, I used to drive over the mountain”every weekend to do the show and even did a number of Ft. Collins/Colorado Springs runs to do the show.”CC: So how long have you been doing the radio gig?I’ve been doing a radio show weekly on a regular basis for 11 years (Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins). Have done it off and on for another 10 ” I started in 1987 at KRCC in Colorado Springs. Did a live weather report for Radio Kerry in Killarney and did an on-air try out for a pirate station in Dublin ” they wanted to hire me, but I didn’t have a reliable way to get there when I was living in Ireland. No car and couldn’t get bus for the late night shift… I”ve been presenting “The Long Acre” show now for 5 1/2 years on KRFC (Fort Collins) That”s www.krfcfm.org at 1-3pm for everyone reading this, although I”d never use this forum to advertise my show”".CC: I detect a smiley face with a wink! You are welcome to flog your great show on KRFC anytime ” folks would be wise to check it out.CC: You”ve had a slew of special guests on your shows, can you give us a taste?Guests that have been on the shows over the years, either live or via phone ” Christy Moore, Luka Bloom, Niamh Parsons, Liam O’Maonlai, Glen Hansard, Damien Dempsey, Martin Hayes, PJ Curtis, Nicolas Carolan (curator of Irish Traditional Music archive), Susan McKeown, Phil Coulter, Tommy Peoples, Hothouse Flowers, Solas, Altan, Gerry O’Beirne, Colcannon, The Elders, Paddy Maloney and Kevin Conneff of the Chieftains.. etc., etc., etc. CC: Having heard their music, and maybe seeing them live in concert, have any of the guests surprised you when you have gotten together for a chat?Most of them have been amazingly well behaved!” No, actually, many of these people have become friends from my time in Ireland, so we enjoy a chat on or off the record!I was most surprised to get Tommy Peoples on..he is very shy and it was a big effort for him to talk on the air. I was very grateful to him for that. The wonderful thing about these musicians is that they are so willing.” I have never been turned down when I”ve asked someone.” Something that people may not know about me is that I am really shy (yes, really).” The hardest thing I do is get up the courage to ask artists I don”t know for interviews. I always feel like I”m imposing.” But to their credit they say yes.” I try to do an interview that is different from what they would usually do.” I try to come up with interesting questions and I always do my homework.CC: Are you a closet musician?” Do you sing in the shower?” I play instruments in the shower!” I used to sing in choir as kid. I love to sing to songs…just not when anyone is listening. The nice thing in Ireland and Scotland is that everyone sings at gigs, so I join in, too!” You can listen for me on Luka Bloom”s “Amsterdam” CD.” The whole thing was recorded at the Carre Theatre in Amsterdam ” audience as well.” Hmm”must add to Top Ten list ” Luka Bloom at Carre Theatre!I have been known to beat on goats and used to play hammered dulcimer before trading it for a harp that I never got”maybe it”s for the best.CC: Rumor has it that the pay on radio is not that great ” why do you do it? Cause I would hope to touch someone like I was touched when I heard Christy for the first time on my local radio station in Colorado! PM