Music seen at Blue, August 20, 2008
At 9 pm on Wednesday, two chairs and instrument cases sat empty on Blue’s postage-stamp stage. This signified that the feature portion of the weekly Irish Music Night had ended. Thankfully, the music was just getting started.
Blue is comfortable, inviting, and accommodating, but is not large by any means. The room, the stage, and the menu are all quite small. In contrast, the audience was large in number, and in enthusiasm. At one moment, by some sort of unspoken understanding, members of the audience broke from their conversations, took up their instruments and became part of the show. As the band formed, it became clear it would not come close to fitting on the stage.
The impromptu session is hosted by Tom Rota, who also books the feature performers for the 7:30 pm concerts on Wednesdays. The unusually diverse instrumentation boasted uilleann pipes, a banjo, two bodhrans, and no fewer than six fiddles. As the music rose, they were joined by a guitarist and concertina, collectively taking up the entire center of the room. Players traded nods and gestures, signaling segues into new tunes.
As the evening wore on, members of this pick-up group left, one by one. But when I made my exit, the music was still alive and showed no signs of stopping.
: Live Reviews
, Todd Richard, Tom Rota