A bright New York Friday morning March 18 th . We load up the van and point it to Detroit Michigan . The GPS says it 9 hrs 48 mins . The lads are in good sprits after a marathon gig yesterday over 7 hours of playing to people who numbered in their thousands . There were people at the show from back home Kildare Dublin Galway the usual Mayo crew and two young girls from Kilanick Wexford who broke my heart looking for Dancing at the cross roads . Others in the crowd came from Spain , Brazil , Boston , Glasgow, Queens and the list goes on . Flippy was our sound man and has been for the five paddys days . He has all the musicians jokes . But he's good and get us to where we want to be fast . St Patrick's Day is an interesting one for us as we celabrate irishness every show we play , we are part of its culture , we respect it's history and its developments . There was a lot of drink consumed yesterday . Many people crashed and burned while many others didn't . There is a great respect for the Irish in New York our taxi driver last night told us how here loves Irish fares . They tip well and are good fun . We are now two hours outside of New York as we cross New Jersey .
One of the lads is asleep while our minds think of food . Paddy likes to push on he would drive all day and night . Been in a band is all about understanding each other . Give and take . I think we do that well. Patrick Johnson has brought us to Detoirt he believes in us he sees our conviction and our commitment . His love of our culture shines through . It's amazing where music has brought us from working class council estates in both wexford and kildare to crossing multi states to play a show . The Druids started out as an idea which at best we would play a few gigs locally . How wrong could I have been . There has been tough days for sure .days when people turned their back on us days when our future looked bad . Some how or other we struggled on. Now as we drive route 80 and the GPS reads 7 hrs 49 mins to Detroit it all feels worth it . Because we stuck to what we feel is right . Worth it because expressions of culture should not be confided to what the establishment wants it to be . Worth it because it feels right .
At this point we are fed and watered. The music on is Makem and Clancy live in Dublin on I tunes so it's lashing out in the van . Tommy and Liam are class I'm a big fan this album in particular is outstanding it captures the live contcert great . my understanding is that Tommy never drank in his life just like paddy . Laim stopped drinking and died sober . Laim is now singing the band played waltzing Matilda , what a great story teller he is . Did they ever think when they recorded that concert in Dublin in the late 70 s that 40 years later that group of shams would be listening to them as they crossed the states
The GPS reads 6 hrs 26 mins to Detroit . Place names like Danvile and Sunbury flash as we belt it down the I 80 at 80 miles an hr. The landscape is changing , open spaces dotted with traditional shaped barns and water towers . Eagles fly at tree level looking for their dinner. so yeah more Makem and Clancy .
GPS reads 4 hrs 59 mins to Detroit half way there . The lorry convoys are getting longer . I counted 19 trucks in a row .they bomb it down the highway 75 miles per hour . we are now looking for another Wal-Mart. The road kill is made up of raccoons and small deer. The road signs read Penfeild exit 11 . The Furyes are now playing on the van . Eddie and Geogre two of the most underrated Irish singer . They are just class .
GPS reading 3 hrs 40 mins to Detroit . Another Wal-Mart stop . I got a mp 3 player for $20 . The chat in a he van about Slim Shady , Paddy is thinking about looking him up for a mug of Tae. Brier are on the I pod a band from the 80 s not to bad at all .
GPS reading 2hrs 35 mins to Detroit . Paddy back in the driving seat . As the light gives way to the dark the Ohio sky looks majestic . For those who know . I'm very aware that my friend Bill W set up camp in these parts and I'm very glad he did . The time now reads 20 .09 hrs we left NYC at 10. 30 this morning . The spirts are good . Detroit is in reach and the bed is calling . The trucks roll on the cars rush to and from work and we are going to sing some ballads . Just got word from Patrick Johnston our man in Detroit the gig is sold out . That's a great feeling it's a far cry from when we came to the states first. Are we doing ok . I think so
GPS reading 1 hr 16 to Detroit .just made another stop at a highway services . Hundreds of trucks line the car park they have a tough life those truckers . The cops Hoover around the car park . Are we kindred sprits truckers cops musicians . We live at night move from place to place . We are now listening to Semuse McGroary a singer from Donegal now living in Philadelphia. He played at the after party of our gig in Ardmore Music Venue earleir this week . I like his version of home to my Donegal great song . The boys have just now turned on a local radio station it's called Outlaw Country . I'm not a country fan . The chat now is as follows , is there a time difference in Detroit we don't have an answer . The lads seems to think there is . I don't think so .
GPS reading 31 mins to Detroit . As we roll into Detroit I'm thinking about how many other Irish bands have made this same trip in . The Clancys , The Wolfe Tones , The Furyes, Paddy Reilly or Brendan Grace . How many Irish people made their way here to build a new life . How many failed . How many made it . The lights of Detoirt burn the skyline as the sign posts read Rockwood . We are live at the AOH Hall tomorrow night Saturday March 19 th .
Hope you enjoyed the read .