PUB SONGS & STORIESAuthor: Marc Gunn
23 May 2022

PUB SONGS & STORIES

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Pub Songs & Stories is a Virtual Public House for musicians to share the stories and inspiration behind their music. Grab a drink. Kick back. Listen to fun songs. Sing along. Step behind the scenes to develop a deeper understanding of musicians and the music they create.

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    Wherever I May Roam

    Are you like Bilbo Baggins? Do you love a good adventure? Will shaking up your life help you to find happiness?

    Subscribe to Pub Songs & Stories #254 to find out.

    WHO'S PLAYING IN THE PUB TODAY

    Welcome to Pub Songs & Stories. This is the Virtual Public House to share stories and inspiration behind my music.

    0:24 -  WHAT’S NEW?

    Let me start by reminding you that Pub Songs & Stories is a podcast brought to you by my Gunn Runners on Patreon. The public version of his show will be released on the first Monday of each month starting in August. However, there will be a private version. It will come out every other week, exclusively on Patreon.

    If you’re looking for Stories from other Celtic bands, then be sure to subscribe to the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast.

    If you enjoy my music or this podcast, please sign up on Patreon. You’ll get this podcast, and be able to downloads songs featured in this show. You also get Stories from the Road, sheet music, and get access to the Coffee with The Celtfather concerts which happen on Wednesdays at 11 AM eastern. You get all of that for as little as $5 per month. And you can get a discount with an annual membership.

    Thanks to my newest Gunn Runners on Patreon: Ivan MacKillop

    I’m still putting together my next Kickstarter. The album is called Come Adventure With Me. It features that title track, and some of my newest music. Several songs are already recorded. And if I haven’t given them away on Patreon yet, they will be available there.

    That’s because Streaming music gives you a quick and easy way to sample all of my music. Digital sales keep my business running. Tips and CD sales allow me to tour. Patreon funds my songwriting!

    Kickstarter funds physical products like CDs, shirts, album pins and other merch. The plan is to officially release the album next year. But in what format?

    I have quite a few people who ask that I keep releasing CDs. I also started releasing Album Pins, which are lapel pins associated with each album.

    That is what this new Kickstarter will fund. Yes. Some of the music will go to pay musicians for their time in helping me create the music. But most of it will go into producing physical merch for this album. Although I’m also raising money for album lapel pins of a couple past albums.

    If you’re interested in supporting this album, please follow the link to my Kickstarter page and make a pledge.

    3:15 - UPCOMING SHOWS

    3:30 - STORY OF WHEREVER I MAY ROAM

    I’m like Bilbo Baggins. I love a good adventure. I think it all started when my parents divorced. My dad would drive us to Texas each summer to stay with our grandparents. My brother and I would fly home a few weeks later. I loved air travel.

    Then my mom moved to Italy in 1985. My brother and I flew, just the two of us, across the big blue ocean, to Italy. This was the height of my Dungeons & Dragons days. So going to Italy was like stepping inside one of my D&D campaigns. It was magical. I relished it.

    My mom had a small home in Isola Montagne. It was a few miles from the Vicenza military base. I moved to Italy in 1989 to live with my mom. I visited Rome, Venice, the alps, Florence, Verona, just… everywhere. It was incredible. Life was an adventure.

    But I also knew that I didn’t want to adventure alone. Sure I had fun in 2003. I sprained my ankle. But I had already booked a flight to Germany where I would take a train to Italy. It was fun. But also lonely.

    I wanted a family. In 2009, I met my wife, Gwen, at a house concert in Virginia. It was one of the few actual tours I ever made as a professional musician. We clicked instantly. We solidified our kindred spirits a couple months later when we met up in London. Our first big date was in Cambridge.

    I was living in New Orleans at the time. It turned out that New Orleans was where she called home before she swam out of it during Hurricane Katrina. We are connected in part by our love of travel.

    That’s something we’ve made a big part of our lives, and that of our children too. We took Kenzie to Galway, Ireland when she was 1 ½ years old. It was cold, wet and rainy that April of 2012. But an adventure!

    Since then, we’ve gone back to Cambridge. We’ve traveled around the US. This summer, we’re heading to Scotland and Europe as a family.

    This is what “Wherever I May Roam” is all about. It’s finding happiness and love wherever we are. One of my first epiphanies back in the 80s was that if things aren’t working out how you want them to, shake things up. Do something radical.

    That’s why I moved to New Orleans. It’s why I split up the success of the Brobdingnagian Bards to move to New Orleans. Travel is a great way to open your mind and spirit to great possibilities.

    7:50 - Marc GunnWherever I May Roam” from Selcouth

    You can download “Wherever I May Roam” as an MP3 when you join my Gunn Runners on Patreon.

    Hey if you want to join me on an adventure, every year I host Celtic Invasion Vacations. These are small group trips to Ireland or Scotland. This year we’re going to Invade the Banks of Loch Lomond. The trip is already filled up. I don’t know where we are going next year. But you can subscribe at celticinvasion.com to be the first to find out.

    Thanks for listening to Pub Stories. The show was produced by Marc Gunn, edited by Mitchell Petersen with graphics by Miranda Nelson Designs. You can subscribe and listen wherever you find podcasts. You can also subscribe to my mailing list. You will get regular updates of new music, podcasts, special offers, and you’ll get an album for free. Welcome to the pub at www.pubsong.com!

    #pubstories #whereverimayroam #kickstarter


  • Posted on 03 May 2022

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    Serenity Valley Waltz #253

    Living literally or metaphorically in a war is a terrible way to live. How do you keep going forward when your friends are dying all around you? Come Adventure with me and my new Kickstarter. Find out how you can keep listening to more Pub Stories on Pub Songs & Stories #253.

    WHO'S PLAYING IN THE PUB TODAY

    Welcome to Pub Stories. This is the Virtual Public House to share stories and inspiration behind my music.

    0:30 - WHAT’S NEW?

    First, let me tell you that I am getting ready to Kickstart a new album. If you’re not yet subscribed to my mailing list, please sign up so you don’t miss the Kickstarter. It’s for an album called Come Adventure With Me. It has some more amazing songs. I hope to announce the release of the Kickstarter on the next episode.

    Second, you’ll note that this episode is quite a bit shorter than past shows. After much debate, I decided to once again retire the format I’ve been working on for the past year. There was a LOT that I loved about that format. I’ve actually been pretty giddy about it. But the pros just didn’t outweigh the cons. You can read about my decision in my blog on my website.

    That said, the Pub Stories are not exactly going away. If you want to keep listening to my Pub Stories, then join my Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. I plan to release two episodes per month in the Spring and Fall season. However, they will be shorter episodes like this and they will focus almost exclusively on my music. You can get that with any pledge on Patreon, for just five buck a month.

    And I also plan to post at least one episode per month in the PubSong.com feed. At least through the end of the Spring season.

    So what happens to the stories I still have left to publish? Because I do have a few. Those will move to the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. I’ll add them to every 2-3 episodes.

    So again, thank you for all of your support. I truly appreciate everyone who became an actual fan of THIS show.

    A special Thanks to my newest Gunn Runners on Patreon: Robert Eby, Mikey Mason, Nowisthewinterofourdiscord, Sue DeSimone, Bill Shields

    3:13 - UPCOMING SHOWS

    I was gonna do a story about Tough Times in this show. But I realized I already highlighted it in show #217. It’s even called Tough Times.

    3:51 - STORY OF SERENITY VALLEY WALTZ

    “Serenity Valley Waltz” changed everything for me. I was not confident I could write a song on command. Heck, I’m still not. But I am MORE confident.

    Mikey Mason and I met at a sports bar in Chicago for FuMPFest a few years back. Mikey asked if I’d be interested in starting a podcast where we wrote a song for each episode of Firefly. I didn’t think I could do it. I was nervous as hell, but I wanted to try. I wanted to flex my songwriting muscles and get better. What better way!

    So the first episode we watched was “Serenity”. It’s the two-hour introduction to the characters. I remember when I first watched it, I was left in a kind of daze. I didn’t know what to think about the episode.

    When I rewatched it, one of the things that stuck out to me was the introductory scene. It’s a flashback to one of the most-important battles of the Unification War. The Battle of Serenity Valley is when the Alliance finally beat back the Browncoats. ⅔ of the Independents died fighting in that battle.

    The look of dejection on Malcolm Reynold’s face when the Angels retreat is just incredible. It’s also very appropriate. And then later in the episode when he talks and the season when he talks about Serenity Valley, you can tell there was trauma. The type that must be SO hard to get over.

    I mean, imagine fighting in a battle where ⅔ of your family and friends that you’re fighting with end up dead. Hm. ⅔ is such a weird number. Imagine you’re standing with 9 of your best friends and family. At the end of the battle, six of those people are no longer there.

    This is the type of stuff that I think about with the War in Ukraine. They’re fighting hard. But the Russians are ruthless and evil. It’s not just fellow soldiers there. It’s family and friends. Imagine that. It makes me want to cry.

    That’s where I was when I was writing “Serenity Valley Waltz”. Music is such a great healer. I wanted to write a song for the survivors. How did they do it?

    I imagine Mal, Zoe, Tracey and others sitting around the campfire singing this song, raising a glass to the fallen.

    The second verse is extra important to me too. Because it’s a realization of the damage we can cause to one another when we don’t believe. It was inspired a bit by the Me Too movement. But also by a couple friends who are very dear to me.

    It’s also a universal truth. Sometimes we hurt those around us. Sometimes we just don’t want to believe it. Either from their own ignorance or because they just don’t trust you. Maybe because we’re a bit dramatic at times or because they’re in their own colored-glasses world.

    What’s made a huge difference is my family. When I’m sad or hurting, I turn to them. But I learned the Serenity Prayer from my mom, who was drug and alcohol counselor.

    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

    The courage to change the things I can,

    And the wisdom to know the difference.”

    That’s what that last verse is for me. I’m not sure Mal found that peace in the show. But he definitely built a family around him. That too is his Serenity.

    You can download the Campfire version of “Serenity Valley Waltz” as an MP3 when join my Gunn Runners on Patreon.

    7:43 - “Serenity Valley Waltz” by Marc Gunn from

    Thanks for listening to Pub Stories. If you want more behind-the-scene Pub Stories, please join the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. This is how I make a living and support this show.

    The show was produced by Marc Gunn, edited by Mitchell Petersen with graphics by Miranda Nelson Designs. You can subscribe and listen wherever you find podcasts. You will love  subscribing to my mailing list. You will get regular updates of new music, podcasts, special offers, and you’ll get a free album. Welcome to the pub at www.pubsong.com!

    #pubstories #serenityvalleywaltz #serenityvalley


  • Posted on 19 Apr 2022

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    Funny Irish Stories

    The rock walls of Ireland make for a harrowing driving experience. Is it calamity or comedy? Do musicians love song requests or not? How to stand out with good food. The Lost Druid Brewery tells their tale. Why do musicians forget lyrics during shows? I can’t speak for most musicians. But I will share my reasons.

    This is Pub Songs & Stories #252.

    WHO'S PLAYING IN THE PUB TODAY

    Welcome to Pub Songs & Stories. This is the Virtual Public House to share stories and inspiration behind music with your host Marc Gunn. Subscribe to the podcast and download free music at PubSong.com.

    0:27 - WHAT’S NEW?

    • If you're new to the Pub Songs & Stories, please subscribe and post a comment on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.
    • Today’s show is brought to you by my Gunn Runners on Patreon. Special thanks to mine Robert, Mikey Mason, Jacob and Sue
    • Background sounds from The Pocket in North Georgia
    • Check out the new Mont St-Michel Video.
    • What are you doing while listening to Pub Songs & Stories? I’d love your thoughts and feedback. Take a picture of where you are. Post it on social media. Use the hashtag #pubstories so I can find it and share your story.

    5:05 - CONCERNED FOR AIR, NOT CLIMATE CHANGE

    One of my big goals with mentioning the Climate Almanac in the last show was to start a discussion. Someone emailed me last week. They responded “my concern about air and water (not climate change) are more health related than political.”

    I know I didn’t make myself clear. My fight against climate change is not political either. I don’t care about your politics. Sure 95% of all Climate scientists say human-made climate change is real. And so yes, I trust the science. If you wanna call that political, that’s up to you.

    But I’ve been passively supporting the environment long before the climate change discussion began, back when I was a member of the Surfrider Foundation in college, when I was actually studying to be a marine biologist.

    But I’m not talking about climate change for the science I can’t see, but rather for the empirical evidence that I can see. And you can see.

    We both see and feel the repercussions of pollution. I remember picking up a Budweiser beer can that someone left on the bank of a lake in Alabama. That’s something you can see. Or have you seen the oil film left on the water of a lake?

    My friend pointed out the public health effects on asthma. In Texas, they frequently have air quality warnings. I didn’t need the warnings. Every time one of those days came about, I used my inhaler BEFORE I heard the warning. For those of us who live with asthma. That is something to fight against. And it will get worse.

    Taking care of the planet is an everyone issue. Remember that the human population on earth grows exponentially. It might not affect you… right now. But it will one day. Because more people means more pollution. Whether that’s air pollution, water pollution, whatever.

    You, your kids and other people will feel the effects. We are a community. So we should take care of one another.

    So even if you don’t believe scientists who warn about human-made Climate Change. There is no harm done in supporting the Climate Change movement. Even small changes can make a big difference over time. Because if each of us makes a small change, that means BIG change. That’s what the Climate Almanac is about.

    7:34 - Old Blind Dogs “Bonnie Earl” from Four on the Floor

    12:16 - NEW TO IRISH & CELTIC MUSIC: BEST OF 2022 PLAYLIST

    There’s a lot of great new music added to our Best of 2022 playlist on Spotify and Amazon Music.

    • Wolf & Clover
    • Lissa Schneckenburger
    • Jenna Monynihan
    • Heather Dale
    • Marc Gunn “Breathing”
    • Old Blind Dogs
    • Kathy Barwick
    • Marys Lane

    Listen to the playlists on Spotify or Amazon Music.

    12:54 - UPCOMING SHOWS

    • APR 2-3: Sherwood Forest Faire, Paige, TX
    • APR 9-10: Sherwood Forest Faire, Paige, TX
    • One show daily with Brobdingnagian Bards. Others with Jamie Haeuser
    • APR 16: : Ironshield Brewing in Lawrenceville, GA @ 7:00 – 10:00 PM.
    • APR 22-24: JordanCon, Atlanta, GA

    13:37 - Kathy Barwick “My Native Home” from In My Life

    18:45 - STORY OF JOUSTING WITH JALOPIES

    Have you ever driven in Ireland? The roads were not made for our modern automobiles. They’re kind of narrow. It comes with its own challenges.

    Dublin Abbey is a band out of Seattle. They share their story of driving the narrow rural roads of Ireland.

    21:50 - “Jousting With Jalopies” by Dublin Abbey from Single

    It is always interesting driving in Ireland. Those narrow roads are just crazy. It’s actually very fine art to drive in them. While also doing it on the wrong side of the road. Sometimes even with a stick shift. I can definitely appreciate Dublin Abbey’s comedy

    24:04 - HOW THE LOST DRUID BREWERY STANDS OUT WITH FOOD

    I love good, creative, interesting food. I’m happy to say The Lost Druid Brewery stands out on that front. And there’s a reason as Rob and Stacia will tell you about.

    29:17 - Beyond the Pale “Mooney (The Donegal Fiddler)” from Queen of Skye

    35:03 - SUPPORT WHAT YOU LOVE

    The musicians on this podcast are happy to share their music freely with you. However, if you hear something you love, these artists need your financial support. Please visit their website, sign up to their mailing list and buy something. Your purchase allows them to keep making music. And if you’re not into the physical stuff, many artists accept tips or are on Patreon like I am. So please support the arts.

    If this show made you happy, then you can also join the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. Your support pays for the production and promotion of my music and this podcast. If you have questions or comments, drop me an email.

    - The War Doctor (Podcast)
    - Donald MacGillavry (Music)
    - Breathing in Mont-Saint-Michel (Video)
    - Battle of Aughrim/Star of Munster (Music)
    - St Patrick's Day Irish Music & Dance (Podcast)
    - Dunvegan Castle & Gardens (Video)

    36:20 - Wolf & Clover “The Columbus Set” from Twelvemonth and a Day

    40:31 - STORY OF TORTURING MUSICIANS WITH SONG REQUESTS

    I love song requests. Heck, I think most indie musicians do. It saves me from having to think about what song to play next. Some musicians are even great asking for a tip to go with the song request. I’m not so great at that. But I still love getting and fulfilling the requests.

    The one problem I have is that I have 24 solo albums. I do not know the lyrics for all of the songs on those CDs.

    Did you ever see Middleman? I loved that TV show. They had this “stump the band” game. Someone would ask the musician if he could play a song. Andrew does that sometimes. He’s a whiz when it comes to playing melodies on the recorder. I, on the other hand, am not. I can barely remember many of the songs I’ve recorded. And that’s sort of how the story of “Why Do You Torture Me?” got started.

    For about two years, I had a monthly residency in Marietta, Georgia at Johnnie MacCracken’s Irish Pub. I was living in Birmingham at the time. I drove there once a month to play for a small group of fans.

    Almost every month, Chris would request the song “Christmastime in Texas”. This is a song I wrote early on in the Brobdingnagian Bards career. Andrew helped me refine it. It’s a satirical song about how they celebrate Christmas in Texas. Chris loves that song.

    I loved it when I wrote. But I’ll be honest. Sometimes I write a song. I love it. And a while later, I realize it’s not as good as I thought it was or I hoped it was. That was certainly the case with “Christmastime in Texas”.

    It was after midnight one evening. Chris requested the song. On a whim, I replied with that first line of the chorus: “Why do you toruture me? Why do you request a song that I can’t sing.”

    Happily, my digital recorder was running while I improvised a new song. In fact, it wasn’t very different from the one you can hear on the latest CD, Selcouth. I definitely tightened up the verses. But it wasn’t too different.

    The song captures the quirky things about writing and recording songs. Like the fact that I have written song lyrics in front of me while recording. I play the song over and over again, until I get it right.

    But I think my favorite verse is the last one. Because it visually captures that moment when you’re singing a song and you forget the lyrics. It used to be a running joke with me. Because I forgot the lyrics so often during shows. Fortunately, I realized if I actually had a set list, I’d spend more time focusing on the song I’m performing and less on what the next song would be. So I remember more lyrics these days.

    44:43 - Marc GunnWhy Do You Torture Me?” from Selcouth

    47:21 - NEXT TIME - Arbor Day and Ellen Gibling

    Pub Songs & Stories was produced by Marc Gunn. The show is edited by Mitchell Petersen with graphics by Miranda Nelson Designs. You can subscribe and listen wherever you find podcasts. You can also subscribe to my mailing list. You will get regular updates of new music, podcasts, special offers, and you’ll get 21 songs for free. Welcome to the pub at www.pubsong.com!

    #pubstories #dublinabbey #aprilfoolsday


  • Posted on 29 Mar 2022

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    St. Patrick's Day Irish Music & Dance #251

    Happy St Patrick’s Day with an extra long episode. Jon Pilatzke shares some stories about the late Paddy Maloney of The Chieftains. The Muckers wrote a song on a Flogging Molly cruise. Guilty pleasures come in many shapes. What’s mine? I’ll give you a hint. It comes in plaid. The Lost Druid Brewery will tell you why they have so many beers to choose from. Climate change is real. But is it too late? Atlanta Irish Dance by Burke & Connolly will tell you about the different types of Irish dance.

    It’s on Pub Songs & Stories #251.

    WHO'S PLAYING IN THE PUB TODAY

    Welcome to Pub Songs & Stories. This is the Virtual Public House to share stories and inspiration behind music with your host Marc Gunn. Subscribe to the podcast and download free music at PubSong.com.

    0:47 - WHAT’S NEW?

    • If you're new to the pub songs podcast, subscribe.
    • Donations to Celtic Non-profits over $45,000
    • Today’s show is brought to you by my Gunn Runners on Patreon. Special thanks to Not Higgins, C.J. Taylor, Sarah Crockett, Bill Mandeville, William McKissack, Brian Morin, Carol Baril, Kurt Goodyear, Miranda Nelson, Jan Czenkusch, Luke Miller, Josh Brown, LauraMay Sorkin, James ODell, Eric Ray, Tim M. O'Brien
    • What new patreon content was added?
    • What are you doing while listening to Pub Songs & Stories? I’d love your thoughts and feedback. So take a picture of yourself or where you are or what one of these stories reminds you of. Post it on social media. Use the hashtag #pubstories so I can find it and share your story.
    • If you need a guest on your podcast…
    • What song would you like to hear more about?

    4:01 - The Carroll Sisters “Reels for Three Brothers” from Daybreak

    8:38 - NEW TO IRISH & CELTIC MUSIC: BEST OF 2022 PLAYLIST

    There’s a lot of great new music added to our Best of 2022 playlist on Spotify and Amazon Music.

    • The Carroll Sisters
    • Poitin Band
    • Kilmaine Saints
    • The Rogues

    Listen to the playlists on Spotify or Amazon Music.

    9:05 - UPCOMING SHOWS

    9:27 - “Whiskey Is Calling” by Kilmaine Saints from Drunken Redemption

    12:32 - STORY OF PLAYING MUSIC WITH PADDY MALONEY FOR 20 YEARS

    Paddy Maloney was the co-founder of The Chieftains. They were called Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors. The Irish music world mourned last October in 2021 when Paddy passed away.

    I posted my own sorrows for his passing on the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast Facebook page. Jon Pilatzke responded. Jon is a fiddler and an Irish dancer. He played music with The Chieftains for 20 years. I asked him to submit music to the podcast.

    I asked Jon if he might be able to share a story or two about playing music with Paddy. He humbly shared this inspiring story of a Celtic music legend.

    21:48 - Jon Pilatzke “The Canadian Set: Fisher's Hornpipe / Cotillon d'Avila LeBlanc / Reel du Forgeron (The Blacksmith's Reel)” from Amongst Friends

    25:48 - STORY OF QUEEN OF THE PIT

    I was performing at Tucker Brewing Company at the beginning of last year, when who did I see in the audience, drinking a pint, Jeff Shaw of The Muckers.

    I first connected with Jeff a number of years back when he too was living in New Orleans. We both had an early introduction to Celtic music through an album of Irish drinking songs. But it wasn’t until Atlanta that I finally met him. And I was really surprised to see him in my audience.

    At that time, I was trying to find artists to collaborate with on my album Selcouth. One song stood out. That was “Kilty Pleasure”. I’ll talk more about it in a moment. But I emailed him the next day and asked if The Muckers might be interested in collaborating. And I’m so happy they agreed.

    There aren’t many Celtic bands in Atlanta that are making a splash. But The Muckers, they are definitely the go to band. They sound amazing. But I’m sure it also helps that they are a Celtic Punk band. That’s probably why they were on a cruise with the Celtic Punk icons, Flogging Molly, as Jeff will explain.

    29:49 - “Queen of the Pit” by The Muckers from Irish Goodbye

    33:30 - SUPPORT WHAT YOU LOVE

    The musicians on this podcast are happy to share their music freely with you. You can find their music on streaming music sites. But streaming is a way to sample the music. If you hear something you love, these artists need your support.

    Please visit their website, sign up to their mailing list and buy something. You could buy digital downloads, a shirt, a sticker, a pin, a songbook, jewelry, or even the classic physical CD. Your purchase allows them to keep making music. And if you’re not into the physical stuff, many artists accept tips or are on Patreon. So please support the arts.

    If this show made you happy, then you can also join the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. Your support pays for the production and promotion of my music and this podcast. If you have questions or comments, drop me an email.  Save 15% with an annual membership.

    34:16 - FINDING BEERS WE CAN ALL CAN ENJOY

    Have you ever been to the Cheesecake Factory? I like the place okay. But I’ll be honest. I get a bit overwhelmed. They have a 10 page menu with SO MANY items. I can see why it’s so popular. There’s something for everyone there. I can find something fun and so can my picky kids.

    In some ways, The Lost Druid Brewery in Avondale Estates, GA outside of Atlanta reminds of the Cheesecake Factory. They have SO many beers to choose from. There’s something for everyone.

    In fact, the head brewmaster, Rob, will tell you a story about why they have so many beers to choose from.

    36:29 - GIVING BACK

    Next Stacia will tell you how the brewery gives back to their community.

    Speaking of giving back…

    39:19 - WHAT IS THE CARBON ALMANAC?

    I was listening to Seth Godin’s Akimbo podcast a few weeks back when he announced a new project–The Carbon Almanac.

    It piqued my interest. I am extremely concerned about the impact we are making on our environment. Not as much for my sake, but for kids and their kids. What kind of world do I want to leave behind?

    We are causing major damage to our planet and atmosphere. It will affect everyone some day. But the good news is that we can make a difference. We can make positive change. Not just as individuals but as a community.

    The Carbon Almanac at its base is a book. It’s a book about how we can affect change on our planet. But it’s also a book designed to start discussing how we can make change together.

    If you too are concerned about Climate Change, I want to invite you to check out the Carbon Almanac website to get involved. Or at the very least, you can pre-order the book like I did for when it comes out in June.

    Order the Carbon Almanac now or check out the webpage at thecarbonalmanac.org .

    40:48 - “Heart of Fangorn” by Brobdingnagian Bards from Memories of Middle Earth

    44:09 - WHAT IS IRISH DANCE?

    I’ve played Celtic music for over twenty years. I remember how Riverdance was all the rage when I started playing Celtic music, I never quite understood it. I am a singer. I’ve fallen in love with the traditional tunes. But I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Irish dance.

    My daughter Inara loves to dance. We started her on ballet a year before the pandemic started. She quickly found it slow and boring. She has a lot of energy. So a year ago, we signed her up with Atlanta Irish Dance by Burke Connolly. She connected with it instantly.

    I wanted to find out more about Irish dance. So I contacted Emma Burke, one of the co-founders of the school. Emma is a certified Irish dance teacher and internationally certified Irish dance adjudicator, which allows her to judge Irish dance competitions world wide. During her Irish dancing career, Emma competed all over the world, winning titles throughout.

    Atlanta Irish Dance is the Premiere Irish Dance Academy in Georgia and one of the top Irish Dance Companies in the United States. They have an exciting performance based program run through their 501c3, in which they produce lively crowd-pleasing performances for crowds across Atlanta.  Their dancers and teams are ranked 1st in the Region, 2nd in North America, and among the top 10 in the World.

    So what is Irish dance? I’ll let Emma Burke tell you more about it.

    You can find out more about Atlanta Irish dance at http://www.burkeconnolly.com

    They welcome dancers as young as 3 up to Adults into their program.  They train every dancer with innovative and engaging teaching techniques that inspire each student to become their best. I attended a Father & Me Valentine’s Day class with Inara. It was fantastic. Exhausting, but fantastic.

    52:10 - STORY OF KILTY PLEASURE

    I love my kilt. I don’t wear it as much as I used to when I wrote my song “Kilted For Her Pleasure”. It’s become a bit of a guilty pleasure. It’s largely something I wear when I’m going to a show or an event.

    I love it for many different reasons. Obviously, I love it becomes of Scottish heritage. Gunn is one of the clans of Scotland. That old Scotland map shows the Gunn land just Northwest of Inverness. But when I wrote the song, I realized there are other reasons.

    You see, the album is called Selcouth. That means, “when everything is strange and different yet you find it marvelous anyway.”

    That word sort of encapsulates my life. Yes, there was a time in high school when I just wanted to fit in. But when I got to college, I realized that I would never fit. I was just different. It wasn’t good or bad. It was just different. And we are all a little different. We are all unique. That is a great thing.

    America is a cultural melting pot. It’s not just white Americans. People from around the globe have immigrated to our country, just like my family did 150 years ago.

    I love traditional Irish music. But 15 years ago, a trad musician sat me down to tell me I wasn’t playing Celtic music. I didn’t fit the mold. He was right. But that didn’t make my music any less Celtic. I believe in inclusion. Not exclusion.

    I’ll be honest. The racism that our last president ignited and promoted was a big reason for this song. I was afraid that my people, the Scots and Irish of the South, were a part of that bigotry.

    So I wanted a song that waived a banner of what it truly is to be Scots-Irish in America.

    Our groups were once oppressed by the majority. Now we are a big part of America. And I believe it is time to realize we don’t have to oppress other minority groups to stand out. We can all be strong and proud of our unique heritages and embrace all of our differences.

    That’s what the kilt says to me. It’s a sign that I am a true American, and I am Celtic forever. And I love and respect you and your heritage, whatever it is.

    55:15 - “Kilty Pleasure” by Marc Gunn & The Muckers from Selcouth

    If you enjoyed that song, I really would greatly appreciate it if you would buy the album.

    59:28 - NEXT TIME

    We have some comedic Celtic music and stories, just in time for April Fool’s Day with Dublin Abbey.

    Pub Songs & Stories was produced by Marc Gunn. The show is edited by Mitchell Petersen with graphics by Miranda Nelson Designs. You can subscribe and listen wherever you find podcasts. You can also subscribe to my mailing list. You will get regular updates of new music, podcasts, special offers, and you’ll get 21 songs for free. Welcome to the pub at www.pubsong.com!

    #pubstories #thechieftains #floggingmolly


  • Posted on 13 Mar 2022

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    Golden Age of Celtic Music #250

    Liesel Wilson rediscovers her heritage with Welsh tunes and a story. This might just be the Golden Age of Celtic Music. If you could name your own beer, how would you pick the name? Can a love of travel lead to the love of your life?

    It’s all on Pub Songs & Stories show #250.

    WHO'S PLAYING IN THE PUB TODAY

    Welcome to Pub Songs & Stories. This is the Virtual Public House to share stories and inspiration behind music with your host Marc Gunn. Subscribe to the podcast and download free music at PubSong.com.

    0:30 - WHAT’S NEW?

    • Today’s show is brought to you by my Gunn Runners on Patreon: James B and Gail P
    • Edge of Great from Julie and The Phantoms.
    • What are you doing while listening to Pub Songs & Stories? I’d love your thoughts and feedback. So take a picture of yourself or where you are or what one of these stories reminds you of. Post it on social media. Use the hashtag #pubstories so I can find it and share your story.Share on social between now and St Patrick’s Day and I’ll give a free download of an album of your choice. You could also win a free CD!
    • What song would you like to hear more about?

    3:50 - UPCOMING SHOWS

    4:35 - Tuatha de Danann “The Dream One Dreamt” from In Nomine Eireann

    8:57 - WHO’S GOLDEN AGE ARE YOU A PART OF?

    Vince Conaway wrote on Facebook: "When I started playing faires in the nineties I was told that I’d missed the high water mark of the eighties. Now I see people in the community romanticizing the nineties and oughts and can’t help but think that we need to focus on the present and remember that we’re currently living someone’s golden age."

    10:15 - NEW TO IRISH & CELTIC MUSIC: BEST OF 2022 PLAYLIST

    There’s a lot of great new music added to our Best of 2022 playlist on Spotify. We also added another playlist over on Amazon Music.

    • Screeched Inn & Marc Gunn with “Bright Side of Everything”
    • Tuatha de Dannan
    • Beyond the Pale
    • Teada
    • The Barley Boys
    • An Lar

    Listen to the playlists on Spotify or  Amazon Music.

    13:06 - Hair of the Dog “The Little Beggarman” from Donegal

    15:22 - STORY OF WELSH MUSIC

    Today, we meet Liesel Wilson.  Liesel has been playing fiddle/violin for most of her life. She began playing Chinese erhu during her Chinese language studies in high school and college.  She specializes in singing in languages besides English, including Mandarin Chinese, Gàidhlig, Irish, Early Scots, Russian, Spanish, and Welsh.  She is a former member of Blue Canvas Orchestra and Chance Ensemble. She has performed throughout the U.S. and Scotland as a member of Willowgreen. They were added to the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast last year along with her own solo music.

    It’s the Welsh music that we will visit today as Liesel tells the story of the “Welsh Beast Set”.

    20:11 - Liesel Wilson “Welsh Beast Set: Pur O Fesur / The Gilded Room / Hen Ferchetan / Nyth Y Gwcw / Nyth Y Gog” from The Path

    26:13 - SUPPORT WHAT YOU LOVE

    The musicians on this podcast are happy to share their music freely with you. You can find their music on streaming music sites. But streaming is a way to sample the music. If you hear something you love, these artists need your support.

    Please visit their website, sign up to their mailing list and buy something. You could buy digital downloads, a shirt, a sticker, a pin, a songbook, jewelry, or even the classic physical CD. Your purchase allows them to keep making music. And if you’re not into the physical stuff, many artists accept tips or are on Patreon. So please support the arts.

    If this show made you happy, then you can also join the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. Your support pays for the production and promotion of my music and this podcast. If you have questions or comments, drop me an email.  Save 15% with an annual membership.

    26:58 - BUYING LOCAL - HOW TO NAME YOUR BEERS

    It’s time to Buy Local. We chat with Rob, the brewmaster at The Lost Druid Brewery. He’s gonna share with you how he names his beers. I love how he names them and the pop culture references that he adds to many.. Including the little known secret behind the name Doctor Strange.

    30:27 - “Famine” by Doolin’ from Doolin’

    33:21 - STORY OF WHEREVER I MAY ROAM

    Originally, I was gonna talk about the famous Scottish song, “Loch Lomond”. It seems I already talked about “Loch Lomond” in show #199. So instead…

    I fly to Texas in April to perform at Sherwood Forest Faire. My daughters are making the journey as well. It got me thinking about when I first started flying.

    I don’t remember. I was talking to my dad about it. He reminded me that during summers when we lived in Maryland, he would drive us to visit his family in East Texas. His parents would then drive us halfway to meet my mom’s parents. We’d stay in San Antonio for a while. Then we would fly home.

    It was me and my brother. On an airplane together.

    Fast forward to 1985, the two of us flew to Italy to visit my mom. In 1989, I flew all by myself for the first time to visit my mom in Italy.

    Talking to my dad, I realized my love of traveling began in part because of those trips. Especially on the airplane. Visiting Europe! It made a HUGE impact on my life. I flew to Hawaii to visit my dad and step mom during college. The next vacation, I flew back to Italy. We drove up to Germany, France, and even saw the Floriade in The Netherlands.

    I love traveling. So it was fitting when I met my future wife in 2009, that she too had a love of traveling. We love to roam.

    However, it wasn’t until 2013 or 2014 that I finally wrote my first good love song for my wife. I had written others. But they never went anywhere. The song was called “Wherever I May Roam”.

    I remember it was fairly easy to write too. The music I based on how I had been playing “Gypsy Rover”. It had a very pleasant rhythm that I tightened up.

    One of my big goals was to write a song that was a call and response. That is to say, something that I could sing and audience members could respond to the lyric I sang.

    But it’s the story that made it a love song. It was created in 3 parts. The first was my life before I met Gwen. My life was a bit rough before her. I was in a band. But I did not feel like I was growing as a musician or as a person. I was also wanting to find love.

    I had to make a change. So I broke up the band. I moved from Austin to New Orleans. I tried to start over.

    I learned in high school that every new year, I could sort of change my persona to be more like someone I wanted to be. Rather than who I was. But it required a radical shift.

    Ultimately, I learned that I couldn’t change who I actually was. But I did learn that the radical shift could do wonders for your life.

    The break up of the Brobdingnagian Bards was sad for many of our fans. But the move to New Orleans… it kickstarted my new life. I started writing new music. I recorded a ton of new albums. It launched Celtic Invasion Vacations. It also got me out on tour. At a little house concert in Reston, Virginia, I met my wife. That’s what the second verse is all about.

    The final verse… Sometimes when you’re a musician in a band, you start playing music together, just music. A groove catches on. Groove seems like the wrong word. Because it’s not about rhythm, it’s about playing in sync, together. It just matches. It works.

    As a budding singer and songwriter, I wanted something that was more than just a groove. I wanted a song. A beautiful song… that leads to other songs.

    That’s what “Wherever I May Roam” did. I wrote my first love song for my wife. It told our story. But it also blossomed into children and more adventures than I could have possibly hoped for.

    And likewise, this song also was the true start of my rhythm and folk musical style on the autoharp. The thumb lead, as they said at the California Autoharp Gathering.

    39:03 - Marc Gunn “Wherever I May Roam” from Selcouth

    42:01 - NEXT TIME - We’re talking about Kilty Pleasure and we have a story from The Muckers.

    Pub Songs & Stories was produced by Marc Gunn. The show is edited by Mitchell Petersen with graphics by Miranda Nelson Designs. You can subscribe and listen wherever you find podcasts. You can also subscribe to my mailing list. You will get regular updates of new music, podcasts, special offers, and you’ll get 21 songs for free. Welcome to the pub at www.pubsong.com!

    #pubstories #lieselwilson #welshtunes


  • Posted on 28 Feb 2022

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