What do you get when you cross The Jordanaires with Flogging Molly? Keep reading to find out…
When I was a teenage youngster I got back stage tickets to a show at the Hard Rock Cafe. At the time, my dad’s good friend Mike (who is now CLEGHORN’s bass player on the latest album) was playing with, of all things, a very successful Elvis tribute band. It sounds funny, but they did a great imitation of Elvis’ big Hawaii show. They toured all over the US and Europe doing a killer Elvis act. And this night was a special performance because it was being filmed and the original Jordanaires were doing the backing vocals! Mike, being the great guy that he is, got us tickets to attend and hang out back stage before the show.
It was a pretty big deal to me. This was my first real experience to the professional music world. When I arrived, I nervously walked down the hall towards the back stage area. I open the door and took a step in. I looked around and took it all in… I saw stressed gearheads working on instruments, sweating roadies moving gear all around, and the band was sitting in metal folding chairs eating tiny sandwiches with bottled waters.
It was incredible!
As I stood there in utter awe of the glorious life of the touring band, an older gentleman rushed by, pushing me out of his way and shouted, “get out of my way if you’re not working!” Embarrassed, I hid myself away and waited for the show to start.
When the music kicked off, it was great. The Elvis impersonator was up on stage doing his thang. As I scanned the stage it hit me: The man who somewhat rudely pushed me out of the way was Gordon Stoker – one of the Jordanaires. Almost in shock, I turned to my dad and said, “That was the guy who pushed earlier! I have a story!”
Well, there it is. That was my big brush with fame
After that night I began refining my craft. I learned guitar and fiddle. I started writing songs with my dad, many of which are on our albums. A few years later we were playing and touring our own music. I guess I could say that the Jordanaires taught me to “get to work.”
And there are a few more moments that have helped inspire me to keep working hard:
One of my biggest influences on the fiddle is a Canadian fiddler named Ashley MacIsaac. His name might not be well known by the mainstream public, but his music has been very successful in Canada and Europe. I mean, the guy has performed for the Queen! My dad, knowing I respected Ashley, bought plane tickets for us to go see him at the Dublin Irish Festival in Ohio. Ashley performed great and the whole weekend was memorable to see different Celtic rock acts. After Ashley’s show, we were able to approach him. I asked for an autograph and we made small talk. I told him that his music was very influential for me. He accepted our EP too, which was cool. I liked knowing that an Artist I liked would be listening to my music.
The best part of this story is that Ashley sent me an email after the fact. He said he had enjoyed the music and was considering covering one of the songs. Every once in a while, we still send an email back and forth. This is one more experience that has pushed me to keep working hard.
A couple years ago, we made contact with the House of Blues. The General Manager of the Dallas location venue was impressed with our music and started booking us on his Voodoo Stage. Since then we’ve had the opportunity to play before the Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys shows. For those who don’t know, these are among the most popular Celtic rock bands. It is great for us to get in front of a crowd that is predisposed to our style of music.
These are few fond memories of mine. These are a few of my “Brushes with Fame”.
So to answer the question: What do you get when you cross The Jordanaires with Flogging Molly? Well, you get me!