State Fair, Irish Fest and the perfect storm

So it's been a marathon week of performances with the amazing musicians of Paddygrass and of course our show stopping dancer James Reese. It's time to thank all the staff at Slim McGinns West for taking such great care of us and most of all giving Irish music a place to call home in Wisconsin State Fair.
For Six nights we played our heart out, had our fair share of adventures in drunk dancing, we sang about ship wrecks while the tent was swaying furiously in Friday night's storm. We drank Smithwicks and dined on rueben rolls until our arteries and livers were suitably punished, all for the love of music and great company. Thank you Costa, Anna Lisa, Brenna, Izzy, Jane and Slim for your hospitality, (and the 2 cooks who's names I can't remember) we can't wait until next year.

Irish Fest celebrated it's 35th year with a weekend of music and craic to beat any other festival senseless - including Summerfest. Yes I said it. Anyone who disagrees can meet me for fisticuffs and I'll bring my banjo if things get slant eyed and shirty. I met old friends from Riverdance - Eileen Ivers and Liz Knowles and we talked about the good times, the better times to come and the madness in between. I saw my local peers perform whenever I could and revelled in the incredible level of talented musicians Milwaukee has to offer. The community of Irish musicians in Milwaukee is a vibrant thriving scene. We help each other out, sit in on each others shows when needed and there's no competition, just a sharing of our passion for music and craic. 
Milwaukee is home to the largest and oldest Irish Festival in the world. I salute all the volunteers and the organizers that sacrifice everything to bring us 4 days filled with the magic of Ireland. Not to mention the year round events that they offer to keep the tradition strong. Milwaukee's Irish musicians are the only reason I don't miss Ireland that terribly anymore. They are my chosen family and Irish Fest brings us all together in one place to live the tradition. Long may it continue till after I'm long dead and haunting the upstairs of Paddy's Pub.

Thank you to my band Paddygrass for making me a better musician. I am hungry for learning and drunk on your influence. 

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