Archive for Savannah

Murphie’s Law, Savannah, GA

Posted in USA Tour 2008 with tags , , on March 20, 2008 by craigherbertson

As the music festival begins in earnest the Savannah Morning News reveals that Murphies Law, scene of our musical endevours was tipped as the bar of the week.It’s pleasant to think we contributed to that atmosphere and will again on Friday as we play our last gig.

Next morning its up for a last visit to Randy Wood’s place to ogle at the guitars. I can’t touch any of them as they kind of itch at the soul for years afterwards. Then its goodbye Savannah. …

The word oggle is probably related to the German word äugeln, which means ‘to eye,’ from Auge or ‘eye’

Storm in a Beer Glass

Posted in USA Tour 2008 with tags , , , on March 17, 2008 by craigherbertson

Murphy’s Law 5-00 o’ clock; we arrived with some Martin guitars and a dobro. Shelley is outside chatting to the customers about the storm. 

The storm occured late on in the evening when everyone was in bed. On Wilmington Island we heard its effects, at first advertised by a siren. Miles got up and we headed off in the car to both pick up the radio news and see if they intended to evacuate. The automated news reader revealed that the eye of the storm was ten miles off and that it would be over in about 20 minutes. Thank God for beer which can get you through most national disasters.

The stage in Murphy’s is large enough to accomodate two flea circuses (is it circi, circuminem?) Fortunately, three musicians are used to making do and to be fair, Chris had left us with a good mixer and some in house speakers, which saved a lot of back breaking work. When first looking at a stage, it always appears larger than you need. That’s because the mind can’t visualise the leads, wires monitor boxes, microphone stands, drunks and pint glasses that are going to be up there with you.

Americans are keen about music. They offer a lot of encouragement and will wait for you to start playing  before they request ’The Unicorn’ written by Shel Silverstein and popularised by the Irish Rovers n the 1960’s. Although the song doesn’t mention leprechauns, or Ireland, or indeed Guinness, it does have a unicorn, which is both a magical creation and ends in the sound,’ orn’. It also has references to God, and the band has ’Irish’ in the name of the band.

I have come through these somewhat bewildering perambulations to explain why Americans will confront a band playing traditional music on Pat’s Night, with the request ‘can you play ’The Unicorn?’

We managed to avoid it last night. Instead we stuck to a set from ’Bonnie Ship the Diamond’ to ‘The Irish Rover’ (Any irony there?)

The evening was progressing nicely. Shelley would have been pleased to see the place fill up. Perhaps more pleased when a bunch of Irish men came in and turned out to be the nicest fellows. They sang loudly and in tune, drank several beer wagons and generally enjoyed and created the craic.

At one point we persuaded Donal from Galway (the kind of man who buys you a drink before being persuaded to get on stage) to sing Caledonia by Dougie Mclean. This was a fair exchange, an Irish man singing a Scots song in opposition to two Americans and a Scot singing Galway Shawl for him.

Sand Gnats. Evidence, perhaps not of God but certainly the Devil.

Posted in USA Tour 2008 with tags , , , on March 15, 2008 by craigherbertson

Mosquitoes or Midges. Evidence, perhaps not of God but certainly the Devil.

Many Scotsmen came to Savannah. Life must have been very different for them except in one respect. The local sand gnat is the only thing that comes close to approaching the terror induced, like stories of the bogeyman to children: The terror of the midge.

For a creature not much bigger than a pinhead, the midge’s sheer contribution to the volume of humanity’s suffering would exceed a couple of eternities in Dante’s inferno. In small Scottish pubs, large muscular men will stare darkly at their pints and shake their heads before embarking on harrowing descriptions of ‘the night they camped out and found a hole in the tent’ or ‘The time I walked shirtless by the burn.’

As one American remarked ‘come prepared to do battle’

Once, on the isle of South Uist, I asked a local man if the islanders had an effective remedy for midges. He replied. ‘Yes, we stay indoors’. Savannah is the only place where I would consider applying the same remedy