Un-Reeltime in Colorado!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Please welcome the Hardest Working Band in Celtic Show Business.......Reeltime"

This introduction was easily earned by Green Linnet recording artists Reeltime during their whirl-wind stay in Colorado over St. Patrick's day weekend in which they encountered many challenges including road closing snow storms and the phenomenon of Irish- Americans on St. Patrick's Day.

"Six Gigs in Three days!........" "We're tired but happy," said band leader Chris Kelly as he and band mates waited to board the plane back to Ireland after their hectic 5 week tour of the U.S which finished in Denver. "There were a number of "firsts" for us in Colorado, which will make for some good storytelling."

Reeltime's first full day in Denver began with a morning sound check at the new Tower Records store in Cherry Creek, followed by a lunch hour concert to enthusiastic customers and store employees. "What a great band and so easy to work with," exclaimed Stacy Connley, manager of the Tower World Room, who was one of the many new fans won over to Reeltime. Tower Records at one point ran out of Reeltime's debut release but has since restocked in good numbers { they also have a shop - by- phone number 1 - 800 - ASK - TOWER }

After the Tower "Nooner" the band packed up and off to the Bluebird Theatre for load - in and sound check for an evening of "Standing Room Only" concert.

The McTeggart Irish Dancers opened the evening show with a short but well - received performance. Comedian Kevin Fitzgerald "The Funniest Veterinarian in Show Business" was "piped in" from the balcony onto the stage as he tossed out handfuls of green beads Mardi Gras style to the good humoured audience. On stage Fitzgerald delivered a tight twenty minutes of comedy that had his fans howling. Fitzgerald was surprised just before going onstage when his mother, who had never seen his comedy act, showed up at the Theatre unannounced. "That was rough," joked Fitzgerald, " 5 minutes before my show I had to throw out 15 minutes of my act."

And then it was Reeltime. The charismatic band hit the stage with their turbo-charged traditional music and treated the very receptive audience to an evening of great music from their debut release as well as some as yet un- recorded tunes. "They have a unique and infectious sound and the voice of the singer {Mairin Fahy} is just beautiful." critiqued one fan after the show. Guest dancers Linnane Wick and Sean Casey showed some stellar free style Irish Step dancing on a couple of tunes that received roars of approval from the audience.

After the successful concert and a nightcap with new friends at Nallen's Irish Pub, the band went back to the hotel for a few hours sleep and an early rise for the Denver St. Patrick's Day parade for which they were guests in the Honorary Division. After one pass through the parade route in a convertible with instruments in hand and music blazing the band took up on the offer of comedian Kevin Fitzgerald to ride through the parade route a second time on his float " St. Patrick meets Moby Dick."

Amazed by the zany festivities band member Benny Hayes said pointing to a lone fire engine, "Back home that is a parade."

From the parade it was back to the hotel to check out and drive to the DoubleTree in Aurora to check in and sound check for the evening dance in the ballroom presented by the Irish Fellowship Club of Colorado.

Reeltime met the challenge of playing for the diverse Irish American crowd with talent and personality and soon won the crowd over. The band did improvise on their normal format for this special event and did the business by adapting the music to suit the crowd. "We call it our Green Show......You can't keep everyone happy all the time but we can always try" explained band member Mairin Fahy. And happy they were, Sally Hughes, the Veteran of many IFCC dance exclaimed "This is absolutely the best dance I've been to....the music was just magic."

Sunday morning usually means sleeping in for most folks. But at 6.00am tthe band was on the road to Beaver Crteek for a 9.00am sound check, the band's 10am show for ex-president Jerry Ford and celebrity ski racers was delayed because of heavy snow, but they eventually made it on stage. "This is the first time we played in a snow storm'" laughed accordian player Eilis Egan. "It's also the first show we had to load in with a snow-cat," added Chris Kelly. After the gig it was load up the van and drive through snow and accident covered roads until they reached the Wyncoop[ Brewery in downtown Denver. Site of gig #6.

"The Wyncoop was great to us. They named a beer after us, made Reeltime Tee-shirts, wined and dined us, and even threw in a few extras so we decided to give them a show." A great show and the party goers were in form to match. As everyone let their hair down the highlight of the evening was when Denver resident and bone-fide Reeltime roadie, Ben Kelley took to the stage with Reeltime and provided a memorable performance playing the box - the CD box.

From the stage Chris Kelly gave thanks to all and added "The Chieftains have 3 or 4 Grammys, but we have a beer named after us. What greater honour can you bestow on an Irish band."

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