Columbus Day 2016 Weekend CIAW Fall Series | 2017 COMING SOON
AT THE TAILTEANN HOUSE
|MY STORY … as told by Peter McKiernan
September 1st 2016I was raised and educated in Brooklyn, N.Y. My father was from Leitrim and my mother June from Pelham Bay. 1957 was my first year in the Catskills and the beginning of my life long love affair. Our neighbors the Carvers would take us to see Tom Fitz in McKennas or Vinny Brown at Kelly’s Brookside. It wasn’t until the 70’s that I discovered Irish Trad music one night in the Brookside, thanks to Billy McComiskey and The Irish Tradition. I had heard the music before, but not nearly as beautiful as that. WOW!!!. It was an epiphany.I worked as a coctail waiter in Mullans and I got my first music gig in O’Neill’s in 1979. Joe Cunningham got me my first few gigs in the ” Irish circuit” and I played with Dom Lavin my teacher, who insisted I take some guitar lessons from Tommy Mulvihill.
In 1982/3 I played with John Nolan, Pat Keogh and Jimmy Kelly in Erin’s Melody. I found myself immersed in Trad music without the proper training and despite that, we made it work. When we played in Erin’s , the crowd was the fifth member of the Band. Step dancers, musicians and their families made up our crowd called “Rent a Crowd”. In 1982 John won the All Ireland and that Labor day was something special.
I wound up with the Tommy Doyle Band in the late 80’s playing in Gavin’s , The Shamrock House and The Weldon. I went on my own for a House for a few years, playing in Furlong’s.
In the early 90’s I got together with Buddy Connolly and young Jimmy Kelly and formed the Peter Street Band, playing the late night sessions in Kelly’s Brookside, the best music venue of all time. A lot of successes with the Band…weddings, festivals etc.
On my own again by the millenium, playing at Darby’s and Erin’s Melody. LOTS OF FUN.
I then found myself a home and family at the Blackthorne, playing mostly solos. I may play solo but I’m never alone enjoying the embrace of the Handel family.
Through all these years I played the “Irish circuit” in the metropolitan area in the off season but it was always just a warm up until I got back to the Catskills where the music always sounds better.
The Catskills to me was always about personal relationships and life long friendships that transcend even the music, dancing and the natural beauty of the area.
PS. My act began with mostly Irish melodies, folksongs, ballads and quicksteps. As the time went on I added some pop songs (top 10’s) and popular country songs and now I blend it all together.