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Here's one of my songs, "Oasis of Love".
Honored to have "the Flock" add a pinch of their unique aural spice.
It is a good idea to turn the volume halfway down.

the Flock

The Flock ("Ma Crow & the Flock" when Ma chose to come on board) during my time with them, consisted of singer/songwriter, Dave Gilligan, as our fearless leader. He would strum on his acoustic guitar awhile, then sing wonderful ballads about the conflicts of life & love songs about old dogs named Blue. As if that weren’t enough, he somehow found enough breath to keep from fainting, as he played harmonica on several tunes or songs each set. He managed to seam together a patchwork of musical styles reflective of his love for traditional Irish music, as well as, American art forms, such as Classic Rock, diverse Americana & the Blues.


Our fiddler/violinist, Laura Hasek, used to join Dave on many of these melodic excursions & was one of our singer/songwriters. We performed a few of her songs & were adding more. She wasn’t at all our gigs, so the ones she made were special. When Dave & Laura launched into a reel or jig, you felt like you were being lifted to another place & time. Music by its very nature is somewhat magical or mystical. But when you heard these notes flying in the air, weaving in & out, performing an aural dance, you found yourself in an invisible roller-coaster, swaying & bobbing to the rhythm. If the human race ever had a nobler blood-line, Laura is one of those individuals who still manifest some remnant of her former heritage. If you’ve ever seen her smile, you know what I mean. Few bands can say they have even one good front person, let alone two. The Flock was indeed fortunate.


From time to time, when she was in town, Jen Shepherd brought her multiple musical talents to the fold, including a voice that can best be described as a gift from God. She has groomed her voice to cover the sweetest of melodies & then turn around & knock you out with a raucous Blues number. Her range of styles is extraordinary. She may have picked up her mandolin to back Dave up with a little rhythm or run us through a few Bluegrass songs. She could grab her flute & join Dave & Laura in one of those pieces I described earlier. If you thought it was good with two instruments, imagine three different sonic forces joining together & creating an awesome orchestral effect. Amazing is a good word. When she was away, I for one missed her.


What can I say about Dr. Michael Sontag ? He has been an integral part of the rhythm section in several of the musical enterprises I have found myself in. Finding a drummer/percussionist who takes notes & pays homage to a certain genre’s needs, is rare. Also rare, is finding one who can not only shake the house, which he does love to do, but can stir you in the subtler regions of your being. He also, was not at all the performances. In addition to playing a full kit, he used a bodhran, an udu & bones, to transport us to foreign lands & amazing flights of the imagination...


There are few bass players I enjoy playing with as much as Jay Sofranec. And none I enjoy more. He can create a pocket so big you have room to branch out & bear fruit in any number of musical expressions. Or when he hooks up with a drummer, the groove gets tight enough to seal all the delicious juices in the pot. His sense of the tonal center is a treat to behold. Tell him the key or not, he is right where he should be.


And then there was me. I am truly grateful for my time with the musical extravaganza known as "the Flock". Their patience with me as I made the journey back & forth between Bluesman & Celtic rhythmist is worth noting. I had always appreciated the sounds of Celtic music from afar, but had never been introduced to the art form. It is not merely banging out a few chords, while some repetitive phrase is repeated over & over again. There is the intricate weaving of melody & rhythm that creates an atmosphere of celebration, often accompanied by passionate & exhilarating dancing. There were many instances when listeners had been compelled to leave their seat, come down to the front & dance a jig. That is powerful stuff.


Since I am a fledgling in the field of Irish/Celtic music, I would encourage you to contact or visit the Riley School of Irish Music if you are interested in finding out more about Irish roots or Celtic flair in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.

Peace & wellbeing...

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