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Birth of the Irish Firesiders

July 26, 2007
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corey says…Today I went up to Roscrea for another music lesson with Theresa. We’re doing a trade…music for computer assistance, so she fired her computer questions at me, and we finished up with a music lesson.

Tony then stopped by for his music lesson. I just stayed on the computer and enjoyed Theresa broadband hookup. I’ve been suffering through dial-up and computer store hook-ups for months now, so it was nice to have unlimited access.

Now, back on Sunday, Theresa asked Tony and I if we wanted to be on the radio. Well, knowing Theresa, we figured it was one of her pranks, so we just said, “Suuuuure, we’ll go on the radio with you.”

At the end of Tony’s lesson, Theresa told him they should rehearse their tunes for the radio. For an hour they kept going over the same songs, and we were both wondering when she was going to reveal the joke.

She was quite convincing as she told us she was getting a bit nervous about how they’d sound. The joke carried on when our friend Kathleen arrived and then through dinner…she was riding this one out.

After dinner, it was back to Theresa’s for one last run-through with Kathleen. Then it was off to the Highway Inn where this radio show was supposed to be recorded. There was a Midlands Radio car and trailer outside, but there were no other cars, and it was possible the car was always parked there. But…could Theresa be telling the truth???

When we walked inside, there were four men standing near the door. Nothing about them said anything “radio,” so Tony and I were both thinking, “Okay, these guys are probably in on the joke.” Each of the men did have suspicious grins on them.

It wasn’t until a woman with a clipboard arrived, that Tony and I were both certain that there really was a radio show. We had a good laugh letting Theresa know that we were completely prepared for her to tell us it was joke.

The woman with the clipboard asked the name of our group.

“We really don’t have a name.”

“Could you come up with one just for tonight.”

“The Irish Firesiders.”

“Oh, that’s a lovely name,” she said back to us. She wrote it on her clipboard and had us all sign a release form.

The host of the show came over and talked to us for a bit. When he heard I lived in Milwaukee, he began singing “What made Milwaukee famous.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was too young to know the rest of that song and didn’t even know the rest of the words. He asked about IrishFireside.com and told me he’d be talking to me later.

Oh boy, now I’M on the radio. Oh, and the show was LIVE.

It was quite a production. It’s a continuous run of musicians and guests with only a few commercial breaks. It’s recorded in a regular bar, so the patrons are constantly being reminded to hush, and the performers are being whisked in and out of the chairs near the microphone. For as frenetic as it all looks, it was all very organized.

There were some young tin whistle players, then a woman sang, then two sisters played some instruments, then a young girl did some traditional lilting. Then it was time for the Irish Firesiders. The host, chatted with me a bit…then it was time for Kathleen, Tony and Theresa to play. They brought down the house with their set, and then the host chatted with me a bit more.

It was great fun, and the show had a great variety of talent and topics. Midlands Radio is working on posting the show, so we can share it with our listeners.

We all walked out high as kites…and we knew Liam would be very jealous of our experience. Later, we found out he went to Jim O’ the Mills with his guests and a television crew was there…they were on TV, but they didn’t get to perform.

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