Nashville's Station Inn (J.T.Gray, Prop.) recently hosted some terrific performers from Ireland. On April 23, 2009, the Inn was the scene of a special benefit show for the KIPP Academy. KIPP is the Knowledge Is Power Program for youngsters who show great promise (despite difficult situations) for doing well in high school and beyond. KIPP is in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Miss Bridgewater, a Nashville KIPP student spoke eloquently about the purposes of the program and its influence on her life.
Opening the show was MARTIN STAUNTON, from Galway, who is a fine singer and guitarist. Martin performed The Immigrant, My Luck Is About to Change, and The Way Through.
MAURA O'CONNELL (originally from County Clare, now a Nashvillian and an American citizen!) is well known for her astounding musical ability, and she is a staunch advocate for education. She and some of her friends dedicated the evening to raising funds for the KIPP Academy. Maura brought along JOHN MOCK (guitar), DON JOHNSON (bass), and CONNIE ELLISOR (violin), to add to the magic of the evening. Heavy hitters, these!
Maura began her portion of the show with To Be the One, followed by Trip Around the Sun, Blue Chalk, Helpless Heart, Blue Train, Summer Fly, The Poor Man's House, Phoenix Falling, and Shades of Gloria (by O'Beirne).
GERRY O'BEIRNE (also a native of County Clare) dropped by the Station Inn to add to the wonder of the evening with his songs, his guitar, and his Irish ukulele. Yes, you read that right--Irish uke! O'Beirne's songs provide a good portion of Maura O'Connell's songlist. Working beautifully separately and together, Gerry and Maura performed Half Moon Bay, The Glass Boat, Galileo, I Love You in the Middle, Western Highway, and Blessings.
This writer was fortunate enough to see Gerry O'Beirne perform again three days later at a house concert in Cordova, TN (near Memphis). How good is this!
Special thanks go out to Martin Staunton, Maura O'Connell, Gerry O'Beirne, John Mock, Don Johnson, Connie Ellisor, Miss Bridgewater, J.T. Gray and the staff of the Station Inn, for a wonderful night of music to benefit the KIPP Academy. Support that effort whenever you can!
Additional Information: www.stationinn.com