So here we are just two days away from April and we have ten inches of snow in the forecast for Friday into Saturday. It just doesn't seem right, but hey, it's New England. As Yogi Berra would say, "It is what it is".
Life is like that sometimes. No matter what you do I guess there will always be things that do not go as planned. I've been dealing with that a lot lately but hopefully persistence will eventually overcome resistance.
A huge THANK YOU to everyone that came out to our St.Patrick's Day Party at Angela's in Tyngsboro. A special thanks to Kayla and the dancing Leprechauns that joined us on stage for "Sweet Caroline" and "When Irish Eyes are Smiling". You were awesome!
We've added a couple of new show dates to the calendar . We have shows in June at the Country Tavern in Nashua and the 110 Grill in Chelmsford. We are also looking at a couple of new venues in Massachusetts and NH and we will We'll keep you posted on additional dates as they come in. Check the Upcoming Appearances page on the website at HughMcQueen.com. And don't forget, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month we'll be hosting the Open Mic Night at the Hearing Room in Lowell.
It's a great Venue to hear some up and coming local artists and typically I open the shows with a few choice tunes to get the evening started, so check it out at 119 Chelmsford St. in Historic Lowell Ma.
I've been trying to do more song writing lately, Every once in a while ideas will come out of left field that are less than lyrical but still have to be said. Today I thought I would share a sample of such a work in progress. I don't really know if this will ever turn into a song but if it ever does I can pretty much guarantee it will be in a minor key. I welcome your comments in the comment section of the blog or you can message me directly. YOUR FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED .
( no title yet, so this is about a child at the funeral)
I remember the day,
the organ music, the burning incense,
and sermons making little to no sense,
and wishing that I had a better view.
Grey skies at the cemetery
the coldest day in February
thinking to myself that
some sunshine’s long overdue.
Then back at home
I’m coming down the stairs
and all these extra folding chairs
a sea of legs I had to weave on through.
A pile of coats up on my bed
and awkward pats upon my head
from all these strangers
that I barely knew.
As if afraid they’d wake the dead
they mumbled underneath their breath
the awkward, “Sorry for your loss” and
the obligatory, “If there’s anything we can do”.
The smells of whiskey, beer, and cigarettes
lilies, roses and white carnations
And following all condolences and invocations
we passed around the trays of finger sandwiches
I recall the day so well
The sight the sound
the taste the smell
But it’s hard to remember you.
Tomorrow evening we take the stage at Angela's CFP in Tyngsboro for our St.Patrick's Night Party. Our 1st set starts at 6:00 and we will be playing until they throw us out, so come on down to Angela's for a pint and a few slices. We will be featuring about a baker's dozen or so Irish tunes in addition to our ever growing set list of your favorite classics. It promises to be a great evening and we are really looking forward to seeing you all there.
And now todays' ramble ;
Some of you may be curious as to what an "Irishman" (Actually Scottish/Irish, which I consider all Celtic), is doing spending St.Patrick's Day playing in an Italian Pizza Joint. Much of it has to do with growing up as one of the only Irish/Scottish families in a mostly Italian neighborhood, which in turn led to what I refer to as "Pizza Envy".
For the record, let me first state that my Mother, God rest her soul, was a great woman.She was a salt of the earth, Irish Girl. She was loyal, humble, hard working, brutally honest, and, as they say, she had a heart of gold. She was also capable of being stubborn, opinionated, somewhat bigoted , and she possessed the ability to hold a grudge like no other( see Irish Alzheimers). She believed the old adage of spare the rod and spoil the child, only in her case it was usually this really hard plastic, long handled thing she referred to as her "rattail comb". Yes, she was a good mother, a protector of her young, a defender of her faith,(Irish Catholic as they come), but the one thing she was not was a great cook.
Don't get me wrong, I genuinely appreciated the food that was put on the table, but I have to be honest. Ma overcooked everything. Meat, always well done, veggies boiled to death, and you could tell the day of the week by what was on the table for dinner. The schedule rarely ever changed. Monday was always Meatloaf, Tuesday thin cut pork chops, Wednesday was always "Prince Spaghetti" with sauce from a jar, Friday was fish and Saturday was always Essem #8 Skinless Hot Dogs with Friends Baked Beans and that brown bread from a can. When I went away to college I swear I did not eat another baked bean or even look at a hot dog for maybe ten years.
Meanwhile at my next door neighbors, dinner was on the stove all day. And the aroma was intoxicating. The huge pot of "gravy" was homemade, never from a jar. When my friend's mother was cooking she used these things called spices and seasonings. They cooked with garlic, and all of the food was not boiled, except maybe the pasta, and that was el dente'. For lunch my friends always had these exotic meats like Salami, Prosciutto,Pepperoni,Soppresata, with pungent Provolone cheese with fresh cut Roma tomatoes on a crusty chewy hunk of fresh Italian Bread drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil. I had Boiled Ham on Wonder Bread.
So I had "Pizza envy", which is why when I was out on my own I learned how to cook, and to this day, for a old Mick, I make a pretty mean Chicken and Veal Parm. Anyway, my genuine love of Italian food spilled over into a genuine love of great pizza which is one of the reasons I am spending our St.Patrick's Day at Angela's. Besides, St.Patrick was actually from Wales, which back in 360 AD was still part of the Roman Empire, so wouldn't that make St.Patrick technically an Italian?
Daylight Savings Time is here and let me say for the record that I am not a fan.
I changed all clocks in the house, including the the one on the coffee maker. I advanced the hands of my watch ahead by an hour, and I even unnecessarily rebooted my cell phone and my computer to make sure the time automatically updated. Still my body clock remains in denial. It knows it's being lied to.
Sure it's nice that we have extra daylight in the early evening but when I am getting up in the morning and it is still dark my body and mind are not fooled. This time of year it starts staying lighter later by about three minutes a day anyway. I resent being rousted by an alarm clock going off an hour earlier than it used to before we changed over from Eastern Standard to the ridiculousness of Daylight Savings.
Let's be honest. There is absolutely no advantage to continuing to practice this outdated custom. Farmers don't even like it because the dairy cows do not tell time by a clock, and their milking schedule gets thrown out of whack. Contrary to what we have been told, there is zero evidence that it saves energy, and, based on our electric bill for the first month of DST we actually use more energy, not less.
So here's the deal. This is the last year I am participating in DST. Effective Spring of 2018, I will no longer "spring ahead". So if you make any plans with me and you are one of those people that will choose conformity, know this; I am not an hour late, you're an hour early.
Happy March 1st,
The official start of Spring is only a couple of weeks away and what better way to start the spring season than a pint and a slice at Angela's Coal Fired Pizza in Tyngsboro on St.Patrick's Night, March 17th.
We will be kicking off the evening about 6:00 o'clock and we have added a ton of new songs to the set lists, including some great Irish Sing-a-longs to hoist a few rounds to, so save the date on your calendar and come join us for the party. It promises to be a great night.
This evening I'll be heading up to the North side of Nashua NH to the Country Tavern on Amherst St. for an open mic starting at 6:30. Hopefully tonight's set will lead to an actual booking there. I have heard the place is haunted so maybe if the ghosts like what they hear tonight they will invite me back for a full evening. If you happen to be in the Nashua area early this evening stop in and say hello.
Following my set there at the Country Tavern and time permitting, we'll be heading down to the Hearing Room in Lowell for the Songwriter's Contest. They are actually beginning at seven but with a little luck they'll let me in. Rumor has it that our friend Mike Birch will be one of tonight's judges and maybe we can bribe him by purchasing a copy of the new CD he just released.
Thanks to everyone that came out last night to the Hearing Room for the weekly open mic there. Don't forget that next Tuesday night our good friend Rick Cande will be back hosting so we hope to see you there.