Doctor Eclectic

Doctor Eclectic
Doctor Eclectic

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fifty Years of The Chieftains

The other night I was fortunate enough to see and hear what was almost an indescribable evening of music.  The venue was the newly completed Soka University Theater in Aliso Viejo, California, a truly spectacular building both inside and out, with not a bad seat in the house.

The featured performers were The Chieftains, and originally I had thought it would be a nice prelude to a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.  We asked a couple we are friendly with to join us for a light supper and the show and, with the single exception that our seats were within eyesight but not within earshot from each other, all could not have gone better.
Paddy Molone and The Chieftains

If you aren’t familiar with The Chieftains, let me share with you the view from 30,000 feet.

One of the original founding members still fronts the group, makes the travel arrangements, attracts the dozens of celebrated artists, who have collaborated with them including: Sting, Ry Cooder, Van Morrison, Ziggy Marley, Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, Mick Jagger, Luciano Pavarotti, Lyle Lovett, and Madonna, and arranges literally all the music.  That would of course be Paddy Moloney, who shared with us that he started his career at the age of nine, when his mother gifted him with a Penny Whistle, which he still plays to this day.

To hear The Chieftains would have been enough of a treat, but as the evening passed we found more and more artists who joined the musicians, singers, and frighteningly energetic dancers on the stage.  The first and most accomplished were Los Cenlontles (the Mockingbirds), with their own dancers and a variety of Mexican-influenced music. But there was also a group of six kilted Musicians with their bagpipes and another group of young Irish dancers, who were local to the Orange County area.

We hardly stopped to take a breath from the time the concert started to the conclusion, when several members of the audience joined with the dancers in a line that snaked through the several levels of the auditorium and finished by taking a bow at the edge of the stage.

Most of the music was from their newest album which became available on MP3 only a few days after our concert.  The title is “Voiceof Ages”, and is a tribute to the variety of music they have dabbled in since Paddy Moloney founded the group in 1962.  I would not be surprised if it generates a Grammy this year to join the six previous on their collective mantle.

It is almost impossible to put into words, the experience of absorbing all the high energy generated by this non-stop performance.  I left the theater wondering, “What have we just experienced?”

Speaking of experiences, on my next post I’ll share with you my experiences with the fantastic assistants in the Apple Store and why I think Apple’s stock may stay at $500 a share for some time.

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