It is fascinating how our Irish blood washes away the remnants of our remaining family tree on this day. There is sentimentality to this aspect of our heritage that swells with the imagery of shamrocks and leprechauns, Guinness and whiskey. And there is a yearning to warm oneself with the songs and landscape of this lush piece of Earth.
Paddy’s Day festivities pose a new set of challenges for us this year. The dining room is larger, and it’s L-shape makes it hard to sing and tell stories to the entire room. And it arrives on a Friday. So we have decided to host the singing and storytelling in the early part of the evening and leave the later diners to celebrate with Shepherd’s Pie and Irish whiskey. Click on reservations (above) or call us at 503.614.0267 to make sure you don’t miss out. And feel free to bring the whole family… you don’t want the littl’ns to miss out on this rich cultural experience!
This year we again invited our friend David Ingerson back to regale us with his stories and songs of Ireland. For David, when he heard his first old style Irish song 35 years ago, he found footing on a path that carried him all the way to Bethany’s Table. Until he discovered this music he had always been “music bum” — learning a new instrument every other year, performing in many styles, including jazz sax, classical clarinet, and on the opera stage as a soloist. Then he found his home, old style Irish singing. He spent five summers in Ireland during the mid-eighties attending music festivals, chasing songs, and studying under, listening to, and learning songs from some of the biggest names in Irish traditional song: Paddy Tunny, Seamus MacMathuna, Frank Harte, Tom Lenihan, and Tom Munnelly, among many others. Then he got married and spent most of a couple of decades rearing a family, a delightful, inspiring, and fulfilling experience. He kept up the singing but was unable to continue traveling to Ireland. About seven years ago he reinstated nearly annual pilgrimages to Ireland, attending Irish music festivals and taking Irish language classes. This is a man who has found his calling, and it shows (and sounds) like it. Irish singing has enriched his life tremendously and he lives for those late night singing sessions in Ireland! Join us on Paddy’s Day for something really special!