An Irish Meal & Irish Music

From the March 9 edition. To read all of our articles and columns, subscribe today.

Come join the Pilot Rock Ramblers for a night of songs and supper on St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Westhaven Center for the Arts.
An “endless plate” of traditional corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and soda bread will be served from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Price of admission is $5, dinner $15. The meal does require reservations, so please call WCA, 677-9493, by Monday, March 14, to reserve your Irish supper.
In addition, The Pilot “Rockettes” will entertain with dancing specifically choreographed to the mostly Irish music of the Ramblers. A surprise dessert will be served to all and Guinness Stout will be available to purchase. As they say in Ireland, “Guinness is good for you!”
The Ramblers will be dusting off their Irish tunes as well as playing a few other favorites for two sets of music that will begin at 7 p.m. Over the last four years the band has developed a repertoire of bluegrass, honky tonk, old timey, hurtin’ cheatin’ love songs, and murder ballads, with a nice stock of Irish medleys.
Hailing from Trinidad, Bryce Kenny practices law by day and his hot guitar licks by night. He has played guitar and bass in Humboldt for many years in various bands, most notably with fiddler Tom Pexton in a group called Ragged but Right. Tim Harkins plays rhythm guitar in the band and is also a member of the McKinleyville Choir. Tim formerly lived in Trinidad and you may, from time to time, see him at the helm of the Trinidad school bus. Tim will be our “Irish tenor” that night performing two classic solos, not to be missed.
Pete Needham, on the dobro, is a crab and salmon fisherman. Pete owns the oldest fishing boat of the fleet in Eureka, The Albatross. Most recent Rambler, Patrick Cleary, plays mandolin, banjo, uke, and occasionally the bass. Patrick is president and general manager of KHUM and most recently made a bid for 5th District Supervisor. He also plays in bands with his wife, Cat Koshkin. Maria Bartlett, on bass and harmony, has morphed from her former life as an HSU professor. On St. Patty’s watch her pass the bass to Patrick and join the “Rockettes” on a number …
The band’s name comes from its significant attachment to the ocean and the large rock that can be seen beyond Trinidad Head. Three of the Ramblers surf and fish here, and three of the band members live, or have lived, in the tiny seaside town.
Bryce always wanted to name a band after Pilot Rock and it all came together over four years ago. Strangely enough, on one of his winter surf trips to Mexico, Bryce met Pete, a fellow surfer and musician. They vowed to unite back home in Humboldt to play more music. This they did, and there you have the band’s beginnings. Tim was invited to play rhythm guitar and Maria to keep the beat on the bass. Patrick adds the authentic bluegrass sound with the mandolin and banjo.
All the band members have legitimate Irish roots, although as they say, “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!” Maria notes, “When we were trying to nail down the actual date for the event, Thursday? Friday? Saturday? Patrick said, ‘St. Patrick’s Day is considered a holiday in all the Irish capitals of the world!’ And that includes Chicago, by the way.
Jim and Ginny Waters have been working for over a month coordinating choreography to suit the music as part of the Trinidad Line Dancers, a group that’s been together over 5 years. They dance every Monday and Thursday morning in Trinidad Town Hall. Jim and Ginny will be joined on the 17th by a number of line dancers from the weekly group who have been dutifully rehearsing with a tape of the Ramblers. Westhaven Center is one of the band’s favorite venues for its unbeatable setting among the redwoods, the terrific acoustics of the room, and for its beauty as a local art gallery. Debbie Dew and Janine Volkmar, WCA’s kitchen magicians, will be serving up the traditional Irish meal.
Wear your green and come for the “endless plate” dinner at 5:30, served till 7:00, or come for the music, 7-9 pm, or come for both! Please join us for a festive, fun evening. Westhaven Center for the Arts, 501 South Westhaven Drive. Remember to make your dinner reservations by Monday, March 14, 677-9493!


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