Monday, March 11, 2013

Rousing Music For a Good Cause

Is it possible to go to see an Irish band and not find yourself singing along after a few songs? Is it the rousing lyrics, the up tempo beat of the reels, the soul-stirring sounds of the instruments?

No doubt it's a bit of each. The Belfast Cowboys, led by Jerry Robinson of Framingham, has developed quite the local following in its twenty-plus years of existence, with frequent performances at popular pubs in area towns including Nobscot's Cafe` in Framingham.

For me, one of my favorite harbingers of spring is drinking a Guinness and listening to the Cowboys belt out my favorite Irish songs at Nobscot's Cafe` on Saint Patrick's Day, a gig they have had for years. Jerry handles lead vocals, guitar, and tin whistle, with Peter Larson on vocals, electric guitar, fiddle, and mandolin, Patrick Robinson, also on electric guitar, while Tom Brady holds down the bottom on bass and vocals. While the Cowboys have an overwhelmingly classic Irish set list, with old songs like The Troubles and Galway Girl, they also throw in some newer songs like Fisherman's Blues by the Waterboys, and Brown-Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, the original Belfast Cowboy, from whom the band gets their name.

While the Cowboys are consummate entertainers, their purpose goes beyond a good time. Jerry Robinson is the Massachusetts coordinator for Project Children, a non-profit organization that helps both Catholic and Protestant children from Northern Ireland spend a summer in the United States. All proceeds from the band's CD sales (available on their web site or at their performances) goes to Project Children.

The Cowboys will be playing early at Nobscot's Cafe` this Saint Patrick's Day - Sunday, March 17, from 4-8 p.m., so don't use the excuse that you need to get up early for work the next day to keep you home. See you there, for a good time, and a good cause!