Three Gigs in Two Days and One Night in Denver

Friday June 16th, 2023


Alarm bells at 3am. Mental note. Do not ignore alarm. Roll out of bed. Mental note do not wake family. Mental Note, 1 guitar, 1 bag. I take the q53 bus, the one like to take, late night right across Queens and connect with the 70 Bus to LaGuardai airport. The buses deliver me to the airport at the exact time that google maps had predicted. Good job buses. 


LaGuardai is recently refurbished/rebuilt and shiny and clean. I am momentarily unsure of where I am. It feels like many places and times. None of them The LaGuardia of My Past. 


There’s a woman with t-shirt that reads ‘Will Offer Dental Advice For Beer’. I approve of this shirt. 


In Denver there will be David Rynhart who I have not seen in possibly ten years. How ever long it is, it feels like a very long time. I think the last time I saw him was in NYC. The Path Cafe was still open, he was on tour with Chimney Choir and wondering how anyone could live in New York. Prior to that even,  David and I shared thousands of miles of train jounrneys and probably well over a hundred gigs together over the years. I have fond memories of singing with him from Galway to Budapest. I remember we were stuck in train carriage with a Baptist preacher and got roaring drunk to deal with it. At least I did. I remember we were on night train from Prague to Krakow when someone attempted to rob our friend the poet Stephen Murray in the neighbouring compartment.

What followed was two pacifist musicians and two sleep deprived poets chasing up and down the train looking for the the would be assailants. I remember hoping we would not find them. I remember him once giving away his very cool hat to a young Romanian man who kept shouting ‘Michael Jackson’ at us. I think because MJ was the only musician’s name he knew. On that same trip I remember our gig being interupted by Hungarian separatists who wanted to talk about the IRA. I remember David later playing Beatles songs on an old piano while said separatists sang along and Neil and I talked about Yeats with a stunning Romanian professor and a man who looked like he ate coal and human bones for breakfast. We stayed in Hotel Transylvania that night. Another time  I was with David when my bag got lost on the train in Brussels. I was also with when we got word it had been found a few days later. We played the Prague Fringe Festival together as part of the Voice and Verse. We walked the streets all day and sang and partied all night. But David never made excuses not to go to the castles and the museums. I remember he was working on a play about Van Gogh. I remember him coming to E.W.’s tiny studio in Brooklyn in 2010 and contributing a guitar part to ‘Be There If I Have to Swim’ a song we’d already played together a hundred times. All to say, it will be good to see David Rynhart. 


Saturday June 17th, 2023


I can confirm it was indeed good to see David Rynhart. ( Pictured above in the Green Room at Enigma Bazaar). I played 3 shows in 26 hours in Denver. Only one of them was advertised. The other two were sort of backgound things to help pay my way. I was very grateful to have all three. I can confirm that i did find it a little hard to sing Friday night. I truly think it may have been the altitude. I mean it may also have been the journey and fact it was my second gig of the day. Still I found myself much more exhasusted from the phyiscal effort of singing. When I got home from the gig I saw I had a missed call from promoter/ friend Art Heffron telling me “ Take deep breath it’s harder to breathe in Colorado”.


Enigma Bazaar is a lovely spot. Zach did a great job on sound. David joined me on guitar and vocals for ‘Skin and Bones’ and ‘Be There If I Have to Swim’ on piano and vocals on ‘It’s a Beautiful Life”. There was a  Live Psychic doing readings in the back room. My friend Lori Snyder came and brought us baked almond, whites chocolate and raspberry treats. David has just moved house and his new place in Western Denver is very cool. It reminded me of Beacon, New York. 


Now I’m back at the airport. I was three hours early and my flight is delayed three hours. You know what though, I’ve had a lot of very smooth flight times in a row so I was due one delay. And i dont have a gig or any urgent family commitments tomorrow morning, so if one in ten flights has to be delayed, I’d pick this one. 


David and I shared many more stories. I forgot the one where we were sitting in someone’s row boat in the Rio Grande after a gig in New Mexico. An otter swam up to us. I warned David that otters can break your legs and that fishermen would have seashells in their boots so the otter would hear the crack of the shell and unclench their grip  thinking the crack of the seashells was the breaking of the fisherman’s shin bone. It only now occurs to me  that I’ve no idea if any of that is true. But it was told to me as a child. Or at least remembered by me now as having been told to me then. On that particular tour I was opening for a friend of David’s , GAbrielle Lousie. At the time she and her then bf Chris had a veggie oil van. It smelled like you were about to get chips without ever getting the chips. Otherwise it was a very cool van.We went to a bunch of places in Colorado and New Mexico. We stayed with an indigenous American man somewhere in New Mexico. He fed us steak and eggs for breakfast and called me “Ireland”. I liked that guy. We went to White Sands. It was like being on the moon. 


I have a million others stories from that tour but some of them can’t be written down till we’re all dead.


David also reminded me how he’d spent a Christmas with my family once. And we all went to a very crowded Christmas mass hungover. I had somehow completely forgotten this but now I remember, David Rynhart up at the Riverstown Inn with myself and the lads on Christmas Eve. 

We both remembered the Romanian episode. And a  time we nearly caused a diplomatic incident at the British Embassy in Prague. We agreed they were great experiences but not necessarily ones we would want to repeat. Forty something year old me needs more sleep than 20 and 30 something year old me. Christ, we had a lot of laughs though. When we played those songs together last night I felt like I was time travelling through all those memories. Like my consciousness was simultaneously within those places and moments, and very grounded on the stage in Enigma Bazaar. 


I chose not to see the psychic. 


‘The Patience of Trees’ available everywhere now


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