I was invited to a St. Patty’s party on Saturday night, and was promise there would be live music. I played recently a 65th birthday for a friend, and discovered some deep roots with his extended family, including Fred Gilmartin, fellow mandoist and player.

It is an annual family party, complete with too much food, Guinness and babies, kids, grandfolk, great grandfolk and more. I looked forward to playing with Fred and Terry. I delight in trying to decipher the chords to these Irish tunes, and rivals the thrill I get from crossword puzzles. I’m just trying to figure it out.

What I got to enjoy beyond the music is the vast family connections that these folk celebrate. I am envious but glad I get to be part of the connections across generations. Fred’s granddaughter is young Irish dancer (1st grade, sheesh) and she just danced all night in front of us and the elders. The music filtered through the house, appreciated from afar as the sound track for the evening. I had, again, a great seat to observe it all.

Real family music.