The Flock, (Ma Crow & the Flock when Ma chose to come on board.),
during my time with them, consisted of Singer/Songwriter Dave Gilligan,
as our fearless leader. He would strum on his acoustic Guitar awhile,
then sing wonderful Ballads about the conflicts of Life
and Love Songs about old dogs named Blue.
As if that weren’t enough, he somehow found enough breath to keep from fainting,
as he played Harmonica on several Tunes or Songs each set.
He managed to seam together a patchwork of musical styles
reflective of his Love for traditional Irish Music, as well as,
American art forms, such as the Blues.
Our Fiddler/Violinist Laura Hasek, used to join Dave
on many of these Melodic Excursions, and was one of our a Singer/Songwriters.
We performed a few of her songs and were adding more.
She wasn’t at all our gigs, so the ones she made were Special.
When Dave and Laura launched into a Reel or Jig,
you felt like you were being lifted to another Place and Time.
Music by its very Nature is somewhat Magical or Mystical.
But when you heard these notes flying in the air, weaving in and out,
performing an aural dance, you found yourself in an invisible roller-coaster,
swaying and bobbing to the Rhythm.
If the Human Race ever had a Nobler blood-line,
Laura is one of those individuals
who still manifest some remnant of her former Heritage.
If you’ve ever seen her smile, you know what I mean.
Few bands can say they have even one good front person, let alone two.
The Flock was indeed Fortunate.
From Time to Time, when she was in town, Jen Shepherd,
brought her multiple musical talents to the fold,
including a Voice that can best be described as a Gift from God.
She has groomed her Voice to cover the sweetest of Melodies
and then turn around and knock you out with a raucous Blues number.
Her range of styles is extraordinary.
She may have picked up her Mandolin to back Dave up with a little rhythm
or run us through a few Bluegrass songs.
She could grab her Flute and join Dave and Laura
in one of those pieces I described earlier.
If you thought it was good with two instruments,
imagine three different sonic forces joining together
and creating an awesome Orchestral effect.
Amazing is a good word.
When she was away from town, I for one missed her.
What can I say about Dr. Michael Sontag ?
He has been and is an integral part of the Rhythm Section
in several of the Musical Enterprises I have found myself in.
Finding a Drummer/Percussionist who takes notes
and pays homage to a certain Genre’s needs, is rare.
Also rare, is finding one who can not only shake the house,
which he does Love to do, but can rock you in the subtler regions of your Being.
He also, was not at all the performances.
In addition to playing a full kit, he used a Bodhran, an Udu and Bones,
to transport us to foreign lands and amazing flights of the Imagination...
There are few Bass Players I enjoy playing with as much as Jay Sofranec.
And none I enjoy more.
He can create a pocket so big you have room to branch out
and bear fruit in any number of Musical Expressions.
Or when he hooks up with a Drummer, the groove can get tight enough
to keep all the delicious juices in the pot.
His sense of the Tonal Center is a treat to behold.
Tell him the key or not, he is right where he should be.
And then there was me.
I am truly grateful for my time with the Musical Extravaganza known as the Flock. Their patience with me as I made the Journey back and forth
between Bluesman and Celtic Rhythmist is worth noting.
I had always appreciated the sounds of Celtic Music from afar,
but had never been introduced to the Art Form.
It is not merely banging out a few chords,
while some simple repetitive phrase is performed over and over again.
There is the intricate weaving of Melody and Rhythm
that creates an atmosphere of Celebration,
that is often accompanied by Passionate and exhilarating dancing.
There were many instances where listeners
had been compelled to leave their seat,
come down to the front and dance a Jig.
That is powerful stuff.
Since I am a fledgling in the field of Celtic Music,
I would encourage you to contact Silver Arm
or go visit the Riley School of Irish Music,
if you are interested in finding out more about Celtic roots
and you happen to be in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.
“Being a part of so many Musical Expressions has its ups and downs.
The only real downside is loss of leisure time.
But since I enjoy the company of the Folk I play with,
it’s a downside with a silver lining.”
Riley School of Irish Music
I am involved with several Musical Projects in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Blues in the Schools (an outreach mechanism of the Cincy Blues Society),
The Voodoo Blues Band (Blues and Classic Rock),
the Flock (Celtic, Folk, Classic Rock, Country, Blues etc etc),
Midlife Crisis Ramblers (Folk, Classic Rock, Blues, Irish),
The Chuck Land Band (very Eclectic mix: R&B, Soul, Jazz, Blues, Jam Band),
the Oinks (the BrainChild of Ryan Thelen)
and the Source (the BrainChild of Michael Borack).
If you have Time and would like to see more of my Site, Click Here
and you will be transported to my Home Page,
where you will find several Doorways to my little World
with plenty of options to choose from.
Click for, "One of the reasons I play the way I do..."