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Paddy & the Pale Boys

Posted by bj on Sunday, August 17, 2008

Suze and I went to a free concert tonight in Oxford NJ. The band called Paddy and the Pale Boys gave a great show to a hundred or so people on the lawn of the beautiful Shippen Manor. And there was some fabulous fiddling by none other than my teacher, Steve Miller.

I guess I've gotten used to him just being my teacher and not quite realizing that he has a life and presence away from our circumscribed usual circumstances of fiddle lessons. Even though I realize he's incredibly talented, this was an eye opener for me since it's the first time I've seen him play on stage. And not just fiddle. He switched back and forth between the fiddle, mandolin, clawhammer banjo, accordion, and even a pennywhistle. I know at least one of those instruments (the banjo) was handmade by him, and all of the others have been modified by him as well (well, except the pennywhistle maybe) since he's a leftie.

And I have to admit this is the first time I have ever heard the lead part of the Jimi Hendrix song Purple Haze done on a fiddle. And done well, too!

A good time was had by all. Especially the kids. Especially when Steve, who is cordless on all his many instruments, sat down in the middle of their dance circle like the pied piper (or is that Pied Fiddler? Pied Mandoliner?) he resembles, and played directly to them at their level. A showman indeed. The cameras were snapping like fireflies.

He came over during the break to say hi, and it turns out they played down at the Jersey Shore last night and didn't get home until the wee hours, and he said they were incredibly burnt out and not nearly as high energy as normal. If that's not as high energy as normal I'd hate to think how they'd burn up the stage in normal times!

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