“That man sit down.”

Nick loves music, especially when it is performed live.  We noticed from our first trip to Ireland that the musicians here are very talented.  Nick has a special place in his heart for a local singer/songwriter, Shunie Crampsey.  Just after the concert with Phil Coulter this past week, Nick said to us, “Now Shunie.”  Meaning that we now needed to find a way for him to see Shunie play.

Typically musicians start their sets in the local pubs after 10 pm, so since for the past 3 years, Nick has to be in bed before 10, it has been a long time since he has seen Shunie perform live.  We are grateful for YouTube as well as the CD’s that we have because when Nick is insisting that he can watch Shunie, we can turn on the video on YouTube and he has seemed satisfied.  Not this time.

Nick wanted to see him play.  The CD’s and YouTube were not good enough.  We asked Shunie if he was playing locally and lucky for Nick, (and us) he was starting up a new venture in the area on Sunday afternoons.  It was perfect.

So yesterday afternoon, we joined over 100 other dancers and music enthusiasts at a Country Barn dance held at the Red Roof Barn on the Isle of Doagh.  Shunie was headlining the entertainment with guest performer, the famous, Brian Coll.  Brians glittering career had started in Omagh, but included, Carnegie Hall in NYC and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.  He has shared the stage with legends such as Johnny Cash, Charlie Pride and George Jones.  Shunie had toured with Brian’s showband “the Buckaroos” over 30 years ago and it was wonderful to see them both enjoy the reunion on stage.

Nick always sits up close to the stage.  He doesn’t want anyone getting in his direct view of Shunie playing.  He loved it.  Shunie playing and singing, people dancing and having a great time.  Often when musicians are playing in the pubs, they will call up other singers to join them on the stage to sing one or two numbers.  Nick didn’t know who Brian Coll was.  Once he had sung two songs, Nick turned to me and said, “Shunie sing now, that man sit down?”  I had to explain that Brian Coll was the guest with Shunie and all of these other people had come to hear both of them.  He wasn’t really satisfied, he said, “Shunie sing again, that man sit down?”  I reassured him that Shunie would play again and that man would sit down.  After all Brian is in his mid 70’s and had officially retired from performing two years ago.

It was a wonderful afternoon, and the two hours flew by.  The show is planned to run through the summer with various guest performers joining Shunie, so Nick is looking forward to Sunday afternoons on the Isle of Doagh during July.

We are grateful again to have something so important to Nick work out in a simple yet incredible way.

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