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My Favorite Moments of Summer 2011

My Favorite Moments of Summer 2011

By Ryan Lacey


I think this was probably my favorite summer being a part of Gaelic Storm. We had a blast playing two big festivals in Europe, we started Shamboozle Fest, which is fast becoming one of the most amazing nights of music that you can attend in America, and we were lucky enough to be a part of some of the biggest music festivals in the world.  Oh yeah, and on a personal note, on July 20th my wife Bridget and I welcomed an amazing beautiful baby boy, Emmett.  

So..... as you can see it's been a great last few months, but before I start to tell you about my favorite moments of the summer festivals let me gush a little bit about the Rombello cruise that we just finished since it’s fresh in my mind...


Favorite Moments on Rombello

One thing that typifies how great our summer has been going is something that happened only four days ago aboard the Rombello Cruise.  Picture this:  we were on stage, the boat is swaying from left to right, there are about 500 beach balls flying around the room, we are in the middle of our version of Cecilia, and all of a sudden Michael Franti jumps on stage and joins us.  I mean, I almost lost my mind!  I have been a huge fan since I saw him in my hometown of Bakersfield when I was 14 and here he is on stage with us.  His guitar player Jay Bowman also came up and jammed with us on our song “Just Ran Out of Whiskey”.  I swear, the whole band agrees, those dudes have the rock star look down.  They put us all to shame.  

Another cool thing that happened was I got to meet one of my drumming heroes, Jeffery Clemmons (the drummer of G Love and Special Sauce).  So you could imagine I was super stoked to get to hang out with him.  This guy couldn’t have been nicer and about 20 minutes into our conversation, he asked me who my drumming influences are, and I actually got to look at him and say, YOU.  How cool is that?

Lastly, I can speak for everyone in our band by saying that having Brian Twigger (Steve’s Dad) and Noel Murphy (Pat’s Dad) on the cruise was an honor.  We actually got the two of them on stage for “What’s the Rumpus?” to play the cymbals.  I haven’t seen two beaming smiles that big for a long time. 

Favorite Festival Moments of Summer 2011 (Apart From Rombello)

1. The first ever Shamboozle Fest in Asheville, NC. 

We started and hosted a festival this year and IT WAS FANTASTIC!  Everything was spot on, the bands killed it, the volunteers were top notch, the Pisgah brewery that it was held on was great and the overall vibe was everything we had hoped for.  We can’t wait to hold it again next year, so watch out for it. 

2.  The night we finally got to play at Summer Fest in Milwaukee, WI. 

This is a 12-day music festival and the Goo Goo Dolls, Jason Aldean, the Crash Kings, and Dropkick Murphy’s were also playing the night we played… need I say more? 

3.  Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL.

This was a crazy night.  I mean, this festival really knows how to mix it up.  There were 8 stages of music going on all day.  Check out the lineup on our stage:

Rebirth Brass Band (New Orleans Style Jazz)
Gaelic Storm
Wiz Khalifa (Hip-hop star)
Girl Talk (DJ extraordinaire)
Umphrey’s McGee (Jam Rock Band)

4.  The night we played at the Festival Chant Du Marine in Paimpol France.

This was Gaelic Storm’s first venture back into France since 2002 so we were really excited.  This is one of the biggest Celtic music festivals in Europe.  We got a chance to share the stage with the Chieftains, Sinead O’Connor, Kila, the Waterboys and Carlos Nunez, just to name a few. 

5.  The weekend of Milwaukee Irish Fest.

We tried a few theme nights this year.  First was Hawaiian Friday, which turned out great.  Tons of fans dressed up for it, we brought a tiki bar on stage, wore Hawaiian shirts and brought out beach balls and leis for the audience.  During the day on Saturday the guys did an impromptu show under the name of “Pat and Steve”.  This was my first time watching the guys from the other side of the drums, and I have to say, they are way funny.  I get it now!  And Saturday night rolled around and our “black and white” theme night was super fantastic.  Purvis even wore a naughty schoolboy outfit on stage - we think he was channeling his inner Angus Young of AC/DC.

6.  The Old Settlers Festival in Austin, TX.

What better place to have a festival than on the grounds of one of the most popular BBQ spots in TX, The Saltlick?  The lineup was stunning and we actually got to play before Richard Thompson, Sam Bush and one of Jessie’s favorites, Tim O’Brian.

7.  Jamming with Carbon Leaf

It was awesome to be able to hang out with one of our favorite bands.  We brought Carter up to jam at Irish 2000 in Ballston Spa, and then we had the whole band on stage on Saturday night at Pittsburgh Irish Fest.   Apparently though, sadly they still are afraid to play poker with us.  





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