Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Not singing the Blues!

I'm anything but a holy Joe, although I do have my own spirituality, and a practising, but not perfect Catholic. My main interest in life outside of politics and sport however, is music. I've long had an interest in black music or afro-American as we're supposed to call it now. When it comes to Gospel music, which is at the root of the Blues, jazz and rock and roll, there's nobody better out there than the Harlem Gospel Choir, celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. They've recorded with the best in world music, particularly their memorable appearance with U2 singing 'I Still Haven't Found what I'm looking for' on the Rattle and Hum tour.

I brought three kids, Fionn, Caoilfhionn and cousin Philip to the Watergate Theatre, our local pride and joy to hear an uplifting performance by the Harlemers. Their founder Allen Bailey keeps the group moving with a mixture of preaching and craic, and the singers have magic voices, ably accompanied by a great drummer and keyboard player. The songs are a mixture of the gospel classics like 'Wade in the Water' and 'Amazing Grace', along with some great soul and R&B classics from people like Stevie Wonder to whom this tour is dedicated.

Here's a picture of Caoilfhionn and I with Allen Bailey, and a pic of the group on stage. These are mobile phone pics so the quality may not be as good as the singing was on the night. Well done too to the local singers from Kilkenny Gospel Choir whop got great praise from Allen, and the other local choir, Tokoulo (hope I got the spelling right Kay!)who sang and danced the night away on and off stage.

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