"Craic Music" - Doolin, Ireland

It was 9:30 pm on a Sunday night in Doolin. The day tripping tourists had already fled back to the city on their crowded buses. Gus O'Conner's pub was dimly lit as three musicians strummed their instruments to the delight of the locals and the straggling visitors who were staying in town. Most of us had already consumed our fill of mussels, lamb, bangers and Guinness. A satisfied din had settled over the pub, when a disheveled, elderly, white bearded man inconspicuously limped in on crutches and propped himself against the bar. After a few songs, he had edged his way over to lean against a wall by the musicians, who had taken over a booth in the center of the room. The next song was his. As soon as his voice rang out, the entire pub went silent. There were no TVs blaring, no people yelling, just generations of classic Irish music being communicated to all of us by this elderly gentlemen.

I'll never forget this night. It is one of my favorite Irish experiences because I felt completely immersed in Ireland. I can't carry a tune and don't have a proper appreciation for music, but it was obvious to me that this was authentic music being performed by someone who loved his craft...as well as his culture.

Slainte to the old man with a white beard and crutches...