I just added another show on the site and chanced a look up to the counter. 500 past shows. It's hard to put that into perspective. When I went solo after my first band Eidir, I felt like I never wanted to be a part of a band again. I needed some time to find my sound and build a concept. It was a daunting task. As I started to perform solo I noticed there were other musicians in the audience. It felt good that people I admired and respected as players took time to come see me.
Then it struck me. They were probably coming from another gig and still had their instrument nearby. Why not ask them up? Slowly but surely a rumor was spread that if you brought an instrument to my show, you would end up on stage. That is how the band was made. One day halfway through a show, Dennis Devoy, Will Sebern and I were all sitting in Paddy's pub on the patio and thinking, what do we call this band?
I must explain, Dennis and Will were not playing in the band, but they were there at the beginning. They came to all the early shows from Eidir to my first solo show and beyond. To all intents and purposes, they were in the band before anyone else. So there we were thinking, well there's Irish and there's bluegrass and there's our most common venue, Paddy's Pub. Then in unison we all shouted "Paddygrass"
So now when I look back on 10 years and over 500 shows, it seems incredible. We've performed in bars, houses, back yards, boats, churches, restaurants, tents, patios, civil war reenactments, pig roasts, hay rides, highland games and festivals. Through it all, there have been no normal shows. Every gig had it's own brand of crazy and we laughed and played through them all. Now we have bookings well into a year in advance and there seems no end to this wild adventure.
When I look out past the monitor and see a familiar face, I feel they are in the band too. They are every bit as invested in the moment as we are. They came back, they brought friends, they shared a pint and a song.
So thank you. All of you -The hosts that book us, the friends that come back again and again, the musicians that put up with me, the dancers that steal the show.
Thank you for making us what we are. Paddygrass is here and will always be here, because you came.