It’s a big day for Seamie O’Dowd today.
This evening he launches his latest album – ‘Live at the Hawk’s Well’ – live, at the Hawk’s Well.
I could write for hours about Seamie – he is one of my musical heroes and embodies so much that is good about music and musicians.
However today I’m going to limit my ramblings to two stories, both from our Monday night gigs in Connolly’s, both concerning times we had untried guest musicians ask to perform with us actually.
The first one happened a few months ago, and was possibly the only time I ever saw Seamie stressed.
A lady had been asking me all night if she could play the piano for one song. I didn’t know if she could play or not and so it’s hard to know what to say in a situation like that. She was quite persistent though so eventually I gave in, left her in the capable hands of Seamie and our other guests for the night and went down to the other end of the bar briefly to chat to a friend.
A few minutes later Seamie landed down and told me in no uncertain terms to get back to up to play – that this lady wasn’t perhaps as accomplished as she let on to be and was losing the crowd. Seamie’s concern was for the gig – that it was on us now to go and save it, and so he launched into some Rory Gallagher song at a ferocious rate and won the crowd back in no uncertain terms.
The second one happened a couple of weeks ago, when a man I vaguely knew asked me if an American man beside him at the bar could get up and sing some Billy Joel with me. This man knew his music, I trusted his opinion, and so up came this gentleman, who hit me with an intriguing choice of song. However within 10 seconds, I knew he wasn’t necessarily having his best night vocally, the song wasn’t going to work as I hoped it would and that I needed to somehow cut short what was a 7mins 30 song.
I loved Seamie’s reaction though – ‘I know it wasn’t great, but I still love the fact that we attempted Scenes From an Italian Restaurant on a Monday night in Connolly’s’.
Respect for the gig, incredible musicality, generosity to other musicians, and a spirit of trying things, sums Seamie up really.
And if any readers of this blog has any of their own stories about him, I’m sure he’d love to read them so feel free to leave them as comments under this blog either on this blog page or on the platform on which you read it.
Oh and buy his album and/or come see the gig tonight – you won’t be disappointed.