Every year for the last 20 I have made a pilgrimage to the St. Patricks Day capital of the world. Not in Chicago, New York or even Savannah where my sister attends the parade there yearly. My St. Patricks Day HQ for the last 20 years has been… Kenosoha, Wisconsin. Sixteen of those years I help purvey the beef and was in charge of the slicing. This happened after I had attended the event a few years and inquired where Patrick McGuire (host of the event) had acquired the beef? He informed me that he raided every supermarket in a 15 mile radius for the best pieces he could gather. That’s a lot of gathering when your feeding 150+ people. I then volunteered to help purvey the meat knowing where to get large pieces of corned beef at much better price (Firehouse tradition is corned beef every Saturday. If you’re the cook you learn where to purchase the BIG briskets). Patrick and his wife Anna, my friends, treated this day like others treat Christmas, Hanukkah and Easter. The folks invited were an amazing collection of family, teachers, politicians, lawyers, laborers, students and whoever they or their children felt were worthy to attend. Everyone there was polite, friendly and open to conversation. When I started attending all the kids were living at home. McGuire kids always took off school for the day. As the kids grew up and attended college they would fly back home for the festivities. Many times bringing with them a group of their classmates. When folks attending got older, married and had kids their children too became part of the festivities (my kids looked forward to it every year). Here is the most amazing part. When dinner was served EVERYONE SAT DOWN TOGETHER at the many, many tables set up for the occasion. Salad, parsleyed potatoes, cabbage, carrots, Patrick’s world famous Irish Soda Bread (with or without raisins) and of course the 100+ pounds of sliced corned beef. (In the early days I sliced a lot of corned beef but as I got older the McGuire kids got older and assisted. Friends and neighbors would assist as well. In the later years I more or less supervised with a glass of Irish whiskey in hand. The corned beef slicing had become a party unto itself.) You grabbed a seat wherever there was space. Never sitting next to a stranger just someone you had not had the opportunity to meet yet. After dinner many folks would jump right in and help store the leftover food, pack up to-go bags and wash the dishes. It was another mini-party unto itself as well. If it was a school night or you had wee ones many headed home right after desert (amazing deserts brought by the guests.) Some folks (such as this writer) stayed late as there was never a hurry to leave ( As I had kids of my own we had to head home at a respectable hour) and still lots of great company and conversation to be had. Well I am sorry to say the party has ended. After 25 years of celebrating the Mcguire’s have called it quits. While sad to see the party end I am truly humbled and honored they invited me to the party to begin with. My hope is that one of his children pick up the tradition so I can go visit them, slice some corned beef and hang with some amazing people. Till then I salute the McGuire’s with a glass of Irish whiskey. Thank you for such generosity for such a long time span. Well done sir!
p.s. I can still acquire some tasty corned beef at a decent price!
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Chicago, Christmas, day, Easter, family, Hanukkah, Irish, Kenosha, New York, Savannah, St. Patrick, tradition, Whiskey
So Influenza Type A paid this lad a visit just before Christmas. Not the gift I had been looking for but thanks to some rest and recuperation (my wife was a great help!) I am back to nearly myself. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and looking forward to a Happy New Year. I shall have my year in review in a day or two. Also the other day one of our family favorite songs came on Kids Place Live. Rattling Can by Key Wilde and Mr. Clark. Its part science lesson and an Irish drinking song all wrapped up into one. What a raucus good time song it is. Trying to sing along is half the fun as the kids and I try the navigate the increasing story. It quailifies as a song I wish I had written. My only complaint is the video isn’t racous enough! Check out the video by clicking on the song title or buy it by clicking on the photo. Their latest CD Pleased to Meet You is on a lot of best of lists. Go support a kindie artist today!
Posted in CD reviews, family, Kindie, song reviews
Tagged Children's, Christmas, happy, Influenza, Key Wilde, Kids Place Live, kindie, Merry, Mr Clarke, music, New year
Christmas is less than a week away and some folks will still be looking for gifts. I highly recommend the gift of music for your kids from the kindie world. While I am always biased for the Poochamungas if your reading this your probably already a fan. Fortunately there is a lot of great kindie rock music for kids these days. Here is a link to my top ten for this year. Also recent post about Istvan and his Imaginary Band, Human Tim/Robot Tim, Songs I wish I had written and the many other artists talked about on here during the year. If you have just started reading here awhile back I posted about some CD’s to get you started on a path of excellent kindie music. Here they are with some updates
Grenadilla – Grenadilla This is a fantastic vocal journey that amazes me to this day. The whole album is full of happiness and joy. This is the hidden gem of the bunch. One of the best CD’s I have ever heard. The are re-releasing it with new CD art!
The Boogers- Let’s Go. If Punk Rock is your thing you and your kids will be rocking for hours with this one. The best at what they do…. This year they released Extractum Victoris which has my all time favorite Booger song’s Pandas are Dangerous.
Justin Roberts – Pop Fly. There’s a reason why he was Grammy nominated for Recess this year. Still Pop Fly is our fav and filled with great, tight pop songs.
The Verve Pipe – A Family Album. This is the best kindie CD ever made. Just great songs and a great band. Great stuff! Haven’t had a chance to listen to their newest CD but the few songs I have off of Are We There Yet? have been excellent,
Okee Dokee Brothers – Take it Outside. Who knew bluegrass made for such great family music? The Okee Dokee Brothers did and this CD is pure energy!… They followed this up with the Grammy winning Can You Canoe? One of the best kids CD’s ever
The Hipwaders – The Golden State. Nothing new this year but this is one the best CD’s ever released with a great California pop sound and lyrically sharp. It’s for the whole family.
So that concludes a few of the CD’s I think great music gifts for the holidays. Go support your local kindie artist and buy some today!
Posted in CD reviews, family, Kindie, song reviews
Tagged Children's, Christmas, Grammy, Grenadilla, Istvan and his Imaginary Band, Justin Roberts, kindie, music, Okee Dokee Brothers, Poochamungas, The Boogers, the hipwaders, The Verve Pipe
Art by Joe Somers
While I went ahead and named my ten best kindie album picks if I were to name my #1 it would be … Block Party! The one I sank my heart and soul and wallet into. I hope that you go buy a few as stocking stuffers for your kids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, childrens classmates, local libraries, mothers cousins nephews step child, etc. If you read the blog I hope you’ve had a chance to listen to the CD. We are really proud of the effort and results. http://cdbaby.com/poochamungas5 This is the end of my shameless Christmas plug.
We have yet to make a video for the Block Party! CD. I have some ideas but would like to ask you, the fan, what song would you like us to make into a video. Post in the comments or on our Facebook or Twitter page. All help is appreciated!
Back in 2010 I received a call from the Marina Grand Resort asking my band to play a Christmas gig at their hotel. It seems they had another band in mind and when that didn’t work out this other bands manager referred them to us (networking and kindness pay off) and we being available said yes. It’s a great hotel right on the New Buffalo Harbor. The event itself is really cool. Afternoon tea service, Santa and then the rockin’ finish with the Poochamungas. The event costs 10 dollars and a donation of one unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. All this happens on December 8th, 2013 at 1pm. It is a two hour event. So click the link below or call 269.469.9900. We hope to see you there.
My favorite Holiday of the year has arrived. Forget the fireworks, New Year Drunkeness and the over commercialization of Christmas. Thanksgiving rates #1 in my Holiday catalog. Getting together with loved ones to share a big meal and if your so inclined watch a football game or two. To be thankful for what we have and those we get to share it with is such a novel concept. So novel many big retailers have completely overlooked it and are going to be open on Thanksgiving moving straight to Christmas. Which is a shame. Because those that own those stores have so very much to be thankful for there should be no need to be open. But I digress…. For me Thanksgiving always brings memories of growing up in our house on Major in Chicago. Every year we hosted for our family and then later we’d end up by our neighbors the Ott’s. One year it was filled with snowball fights as we had 8 inches of the white stuff early that year One year Mr. Ott had canvased the neighbothood with “All You Can Eat Turkey Dinner… .50!” signs with all arrows leading to our house. He then placed BIG sign on our front lawn. Mr. Ott was a bit of a prankster. Now I hope I can give my kids the same kind of memories I grew up with. That they learn to be grateful for the blessings we already have. Speaking of which I gotta make some breakfast for them. Chocolate chip banana pancakes anyone? Happy Thanksgiving.
To all of our Poochamungas fans big and small we hope you and your family are having a special time with loved ones. May your holidays be filled with laughter and good food. Let’s remember those that have passed and look to a making 2013 a better year. The Mayans were wrong so this gives us all the opportunity to get it right. The band will be celebrating by recording at Kingsize Sound Labs December 27th the last two songs on our next CD tentatively titled Block Party! Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year!
I was going to take the time here today to castigate a certain chicago venue and their lack of professionalism thru lack of communication… But those are negative and vain thoughts that would only serve my ego. Though writing a blog is a vain practice to begin with as we the writer believe that we have something to say that you the reader would enjoy to read and learn something in the process. We think we are funny, smart, and good-looking whilst performing this act and some people when writing are clearly “better looking” than others, but I digress… I want to talk about the holiday season as it is now referred to or Christmas as it is called in my house. How my daughter handed me a written list (very proud of the writing) at 6 that is a page long.How she is looking forward to the days (we have 3 parties to go to) she gets to open her gifts so she can add that to all the STUFF she has already. But it is not only her. It’s her parents as well who have a basement full of STUFF acquired over the last 14 years of home ownership! Over the next few weeks we will acquire more STUFF and give more STUFF to our family and friends. It’s not that I’m opposed to giving gifts or receiving them. But this is why I prefer Thanksgiving over Christmas. It’s about family without the STUFF and being thankful for what you have and the loved ones in your life. Isn’t that the true spirit of Christmas. So I am going to enjoy the STUFF I acquire over the next 9 days and then I am going to start getting rid of STUFF(and try not to add new stuff). So happy Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus and whatever you celebrate and try to embrace the true nature of the holidays. Tell em’ that you love them and not worry too much about the STUFF. Of course if you were to give me an ipad this Christmas maybe I could use a little more STUFF?
Thanks to all that read this blog and fans of the Poochamungas. Good health and a safe and happy holidays to you all! Have a very Merry Christmas!