Gaelic Storm


I have a sizeable autograph collection. So many that you’d think I’d be a pro at getting them in person without getting nervous or hysterical deafness. I guess just because of my naturally shy and quiet persona, whether I’m nervous or very calm, I just can’t seem to get it together when I’m standing in front of a famous person. So many things are running through my head and I can’t get them to connect to my mouth- and another opportunity is always lost.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to meet my 2nd favorite music group, Gaelic Storm. (yea 2nd….sorry guys, but no one goes in front of The Monkees). They were performing all weekend at Milwaukee’s Irish Fest. I look forward to this weekend all year. Milwaukee has a lot of popular and fun ethnic festivals along the shore of Lake Michigan during the summer that I enjoy, but there’s something about being around “your people” that makes it more fun.   I’m 49% Irish with 1% French from one side of my family and the other is 49% Polish, 0.5% Russian, and 0.5% German. I love to hear all the bagpipes and tapping and seeing my favorite color green, eating the stereotypical potatoes and stew, tossing Wellies down the yard and dressing like Leprechauns.   All that being said, it’s not what drew me to Gaelic Storm.

Several years ago, I had purchased a new MP3 player and their song Scalliwag was pre-loaded on to it as sample music. I liked the song and decided to investigate the band some more and I’ve been hooked ever since. Gaelic Storm is Patrick Murphy, Steve Twigger, Peter Purvis, Ryan Lacey and Kiana Weber.

Last year, they came out with a new CD called “The Boathouse.” All of the songs are arrangements of traditional songs, except Watery Grave, which was written by Steven Twigger.  Available for purchase at live concerts and on, this CD is part of their small batch sessions. The Boathouse was reportedly recorded in only a week in close to 14 hour sessions and was done in a makeshift studio on a friend’s boathouse in Maryland. Wonderful place for inspiration for this group of songs! Kiana writes more about the production of the CD here.  

I truly like all of Gaelic Storm’s albums with their comedic lyrics and energetic instrumentals, but so far the Boathouse CD is my favorite. I have an inclination to pick out the songs they have about boats and sailing and pirates as my favorites.  (I love being by the water, so much so I’m even a submarine tour guide.)  Scattered throughout the band’s CD catalog, you can find similar songs that feel like they would fit in to that old time seafaring genre such as, Devil Down Below, Lover’s Wreck, Turn This Ship Around, Whichever Way The Wind Blows, and the afore mentioned Scalliwag just to name a few.

I was inspired by The Boathouse CD insert to put together a collage in a frame to get autographed. I worked hard the past two weeks on coming up with the perfect design, knowing that I had a deadline of this Saturday. I used my nautical rubber stamp collection and distressing techniques to create pieces that would complement the mounted CD insert. I chose a grey wood frame that reminded me of an old rotting boat. Also working on a time crunch I had to figure out which photographs I had taken from the concert the night before that I would print in sepia tone and also integrate into the collage. Being that I was not very close to the stage last night I spent the entire concert trying to get at least one photo of each of the band members that wasn’t blurry. (Hard task to complete when everyone is jumping around next to you)

With barely an hour to spare, I completed the collage and headed off to Irish Fest to get it autographed. When it was my turn in line and was standing in front of them, I wanted to tell them some of what I have said here, but I was just too nervous. I couldn’t even tell Steve how I had sort of made this with him in mind and had hoped he would like it. I think they did. It’s one of my favorite autographs, and I will always treasure it.  

Here are some close-up photos of the finished, autographed frame.

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