I love St. Patrick’s Day. I love the wearin’ of the green. I love to spend part of St. Patrick’s Day in an Irish pub listening to Irish music. Last year, Mr. R. and I were in one of our favorite places, Ybor City, the old historic Cuban district of Tampa.
I know what you’re thinking. Spending this, the most Irish of holidays, in the Cuban district of Tampa? To which I would say, yes. There’s the nicest bar there called the James Joyce Irish Pub where Mr. R. and I snagged a table and were there for about six hours, no exaggeration. The atmosphere was friendly, the food outstanding, and well, the tiny little green shots, of which I had several, did not suck. They had live music the entire time we were there and while I cannot recall the name of the band, they were terrific.
I love Irish bands. I’m a huge fan of Dropkick Murphys, and I know, technically, they’re from Boston and not Ireland, however, they play great Irish punk. Another of my all-time favorite jig-punk bands is The Prodigals. I first saw them when they came to Irish Fest in West Palm Beach and after that, I made sure we saw them every year. I even scheduled our March wedding around Irish Fest, but alas, they no longer make their annual appearance.
I did, however, have the amazing opportunity to see them play at their home pub, Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar on the lower east side of Manhattan. If they’re in town, they play late Friday nights, 11:00 or later. Paddy’s is a tiny hole in the wall pub on 2nd Ave. and 29th, and it’s everything you’d expect to see in an Irish pub. It’s narrow with a big bar down the left side and narrow seating on the right side. Just past the bar is a tiny stage and beyond that is a back room with billiards. And when The Prodigals play there, they don’t turn down the sound just because it’s a small room.
I’m including this video of The Prodigal’s Open Reel. It’s long, nearly eleven minutes, and the drum solo at the beginning is exceedingly long, but if you hang in there, it will be worthwhile.
And so I give you this little Valentine to St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, I’m mixing my February and March holidays. So sue me.
And when I see some of you little buggers limping…I’ll know.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!