Over 20 years ago I was playing at a Celtic Music festival in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I was there with a fine fiddler named Deby Benton Grosjean. At the festival there was an Irish man, sitting on stage all alone, telling stories. His name was Tomáseen Foley. I loved hearing him tell stories about his life growing up in a very small parish in rural Ireland, a time and place very far away from my life in California. His storytelling was, and is still now, at the highest level of artistry.
A few weeks after we left the festival, Deby received a letter from Tomáseen saying that he had a dream about collaborating with her on an Irish Christmas show, and would she come to Ashland Oregon in December for a few performances. Deby said yes, but only if she could bring her guitarist, which fortunately for me, was me. Those few performances kicked off a now over 20 year run of Tomáseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas.
Many fine musicians, singers and dancers have been part of A Celtic Christmas for countless gigs across the US, and at this point, Tom and I are the only original members of the show. And yet I have never tired of the road with him, being on stage with him, his stories, and his deep friendship.