I’m Irish. My family – the Redmonds – can be traced back to Wexford County. There is no end to the enjoyment of this fact for me. Among my forebears was a John Redmond, who as a Protestant member of Parliament defended the rights of his Catholic neighbors. Rarely a popular move.

My love for bands and singers from The Emerald Isle is merely accidental. Or genetic. Maybe the way destined lovers are brought together unbeknownst of the predestined link, I was drawn to so many Irish musicians. None of it was because I thought I should be listening to this music. It just happened because I had to like it. And that’s the only music worth listening to anyway.

I’ve been listening to The Chieftains for about 11 years now. I discovered them through Rich Mullins, I think. A lot of their songs are about lost love, drinking and murder. What is not to like about old men singing about lost love, drinking and murder? Sounds like the Old Testament to me…

Van the Man. I never get tired of Van Morrison. Ever. For even a moment. I wanted to name a child after him but my wife did not like ‘Van Morrison Redmond’. We settled on ‘Dylan.’ Watch this by the man from Belfast and you can just thank me later.

Can you remember the first time you heard Bono say, “Sing this with me, this is 40.” I was in my ’79 ‘vette. Chevette, that is. No reverse. Speakers sitting in the vinyl backseat and a cassette of Under A Blood Red Sky pushing them to the outer limits of respectability. I was driving toward the parkway on Esplanade. It was Summer and Scott Smith had given it to me to try out. If you can’t love this, you aren’t converted.

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