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Celtic Irish Symbols And Their Meanings – Gifts of Ireland

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Fox Theater, Oakland, CA. 2/29/2024

Review by Uncle John

One patron summarizes this show this way: It´s the showmanship of  "a kid growing up in Belfast in the 1950´s yearning for American records."

As soon as we get to the Fox Theater, Kaela wants to play musical chairs and engages an usher in a conversation that got our three seats moved. We were in the balcony. I am moved up closer in direct center. Kaela and her friend Jessica move to the front Mezzanine where Kaela gets to dance all night. When I was here for Bob Dylan´s show I was able to dance in the aisle while almost everyone else sat. I stayed seated for this show since I am in the middle, directly facing Van Morrison. A perfect seat for listening in this aesthetic venue!

It is a night for big band jazzy blues country rock Irish sounds covering songs from the 50´s and 60´s whose magic comes alive in the here and now of these shows .

Sir Van and his band open with Jimmie Davis´ “You Are My Sunshine”. When he does “The Shape I´m In”, he stands as a picture perfect model, appears half his age.   Little Richard´s “Lucille”, Jimmy Kennedy´s “Red Sails In The Sunset”, and Chuck Berry´s “Bye Bye Johnny” stand out. As well as his own songs, “Days Like This” and “Bright Side Of The Road”. I get his viewpoint on “Enlightenment” and why he doesn´t understand it in the song. When my spiritual mentor Steve chanted on my spine before a Grateful Dead show, it opened my chakras. When Steve introduces me to a Zen Master, I didn´t understand him or the one hand clapping at all.

 “Cleaning Windows”, Van´s song from “Beautiful Visions”, I´m very familiar with, and pleasing to hear it live with some Be-Bop-A-Lula added in.  Songs by Steve Gibson & The Red Caps, the Everly Brothers, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, Don Gibson, Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner & His Blues Kings, Harry “Sweets” Edison,  The Vipers, Sonny Boy Williamson show Van Morrison´s great range and ability utilizing all his professional skills showcasing his talent on vocals, saxophone, guitar and harmonica.

Van Morrison closes the show with “Gloria”, a song from the R&B band he started in 1964, THEM, segued with a "Moondance" medley by his band.

IRISH TREE - Artist, Jerry Garcia

Phil Lesh & Friends

Valentine´s Day 2024

FILLMORE, San Francisco

Moondance > Uncle John´s Band

Video Here




LYRICS http://web.archive.org/web/20141228103334im_/https:/specialpermission.com/feedback.htm_files/image022.gif

Van Morrison


Performed by Bob Dylan 6-15-23

Alicante, Spain

Bob Dylan´s World Wide Tour



@ Rancho Nicasio    

June 2, 2023

Shana Morrison performs

Van Morrison songs





                                    Uncle John & Shana Morrison

True Stories

David Nelson & Robert Hunter

Van Morrison

Shana Morrison

Jason Crosby

I am sitting at the bar in Corte Madera, California, after a New Riders of the Purple Sage show and David Nelson, the musician, sits down on the stool next to me. He whispers in my ear cryptically, "Vitamin B-7". We talk about Robert Hunter.

David Nelson met Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia in the 1960´s music coffeehouses and bookstores where folks gather to play music, sit and read and discuss the Irish situation.

David Nelson´s band, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, hired a road manager from Dublin, Ireland, Chesley Millikin, who once was a member of the Royal Irish Jumping Team. He later became Robert Hunter´s manager. He was talented with a unique personality, funny and fun to be around.

The first time I meet Robert Hunter, he appears like a guardian angel to a girl in distress. It is 3 AM Christmas eve morning under a full moon in Berkeley. I am driving down an alley with Trey and Irish photographer Kim McCarthy. A girl stands in the road with her car hood up and we stop to see if we can help. She asks if we have jumper cables. "No, sorry" I said, and suddenly in the shadows, from behind a tree, steps out a man in a long Irish coat, with jumper cables in his hands. It´s Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter! He hands the cables to the girl and says "Take a hit off of him," and gestures to me, and asks, "Got any booze?"

He has a genuine love for Irish poet W.B. Yeats work, and is a direct descendant of poet Robert Burns, who wrote the New Year´s eve anthem "Auld Lang Syne". The Grateful Dead always hold that special time of year with their own traditional celebration, starting almost every New Year with their song "Sugar Magnolia".

I spent one New Year´s eve with David Nelson and his band at a small bar in western Sebastopol, California, the home of the world´s best apples, the Gravensteins. It is a memorable night. Barry Sless and Mookie Siegel play in this band and Pete Sears shows up with an accordion to help on a song. They perform Grateful Dead tunes Box Of Rain, Cumberland Blues, The Wheel, Peggy-o, Iko-Iko, and Van Morrison´s Into The Mystic, and New Rider of The Purple Sage songs, but the most amazing moment of the evening is at the stroke of midnight when we look back to say farewell and welcome the New Year. David sang this song, the one sung more than any other song in the world that night:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquantaince be forgot

And days of auld land syne?

For auld lang syne my dear

For auld lang syne

We´ll take a cup o´ kindness yet

For days of auld lang syne

For auld lang syne my dear

For auld lang syne

We´ll take a cup o´ kindness yet

For auld lang syne

STORIES by Uncle John to continue



All Ages

SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2023

  Sweetwater Music Hall



There´s no wedding like an Irish wedding,

the smiles, the laughter, the dancing, the drinking, and celebration!

My Uncle Ernie & Aunt Maureen from Ireland,

and my first Irish wedding.



Watch SUSAN TEDESCHI sing in an Irish Pub in Dublin (on INSTAGRAM)



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