(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 Club First 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, Dublin An 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 ” 2004 I 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 ” 1995-1997 The 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

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