What a whirlwind tour to Anchorage to play the 49th State Brewery!
Our travel plans were derailed by a flight cancellation on Thursday. This put us in a bit of a “pinch” schedule wise. Fortunately for us, the sound crew and staff at 49th State Brewing made things happen quickly and we had a great show!
Many thanks to Natalie Harrison and Philip Price of the Irish Club of Alaska for recommending us. Ellen Maloney and Allie Smedal of Northern Hospitality Group in Anchorage for coordinating the event. We especially appreciated the professionalism of Allen Neilson and his son, Alex at Sounds Good who really knew their equipment and got us dialed in quickly. Also, many thanks to Dan Hemme at Creative Sound and Lighting for providing most of Kelly's drum set.
We can't forget Premier Alaska Tours and their intrepid driver “KM” for the luxury tour bus ride from the airport and back- that was quite an experience for us!
Mike wants to personally thank the patrons of the 49th Brewing who graciously let him parade through their St. Patrick's Day dinner playing bagpipes and, “Big Tom” for letting Mike ride on his shoulders : )
We like to thank Alaina Pruitt at 49th State Brewing who handled all the moving pieces leading up to the event and got us extra time to set up. Thank you Alaina! Lastly, the bartenders and staff at 49th State Brewing who kept the green beers flowing and food on tables. We appreciate all of you - thank you! -FOM
It's been a long pandemic and FOM did the right thing by laying low. Certainly it was no fun for any of us but we managed to keep the music alive in small ways.
A more common term is "wood-shedding" but we call them "clinics." Basically they are low volume practice sessions where not all band members are present. Why do this? For most normal people, music isn't written to a mental "hard-disk" somewhere and recalled easily...It starts to fade! Capo positions disappear, starting chords and chord progressions disappear. That sweet solo that you played 1000 times? Gone. Lyrics are probably the toughest. Especially songs like "Bedlam Boys" that has 8 complicated verses. Newer material is always a challenge to remember because it hasn't been played enough. Our solution? Clinics. Just get together and play the material with no expectations. Just get the song "back under your fingers" they say. We have a held a few full band practices and several smaller clinics. It's good to get the songs back.
We would like to recognize Clint Davis for all the help he has provided for some of our practices and live shows. He's genuine and kind, with a strong grasp of all the technical aspects of a modern PA system.
Currently on Facebook we are using photography from a local photographer named Michael Penn. We love the pictures he took at our last live show in 2019. Thank you Michael! -FOM
Checking in. I guess we are just doing what everyone else is doing. Some of us, like our piper, have taken things to the extreme of course! We have managed to have a few socially distanced practices in Kelly's garage which has been both a mental and musical life saver! It's amazing how songs just start to slip away when you haven't played them in a long time? We are having fun with a new cover of a song called "Mrs Elliot" by "Enter The Haggis." The song has a lot of moving parts so learning it has not been an easy task. Martha brought in a song by a band called "The Darlingside." Yes, I'm sure they are popular to somebody but wee folk in Juneau, Alaska had never heard of them. They have a song called "The Best of the Best of Times." Their version is a pretty stripped down instrumental with kind of a "drone" quality to it. Martha saw the potential of this song using the unique instruments and capabilities of FOM. In other words, sonic curtains of guitar distortion and bagpipes! We are having a lot of fun with it. Martha has another song that she wrote called "Glass House." It's very new, so new in fact, some of us are still trying to understand what the chords are!
Mark has been busy with the recordings. Things are getting pretty close really. What's the hold up? Well, having the time to work on them has always been an issue. In that respect, Covid 19 was a blessing. All the time at home means he can focus on things better. Mark is a bit of a perfectionist. Using mad scientist lab like techniques in his garage, he's trying to find the sound that he hears in his head. Our first release, "Moon and Stars" is finished and only needs to be mastered. The rest of the songs are literally one recording session away from being finished.
Like everyone else we are lying low. Trying our best to keep the songs we know on a warm simmer. No shows planned of course. We hope this changes soon. Hang in there!
We are sad to announce the cancellation of the March 14th Red Dog show in a effort to curb the spread of the Covid19 virus. The band is super bummed of course as we have been working hard to get ready for this. We planned on playing, for the first time, 4 new songs that we think are high energy and very fun to listen / dance too! No plans for a reschedule as of now. We, like everyone else, will be watching the development and the eventual end to this scary virus. -FOM
Wow! What a night! Thank you all for joining us at the Red Dog Saloon. It was fun for us to play for such a large, enthusiastic and dancing crowd - thank you! Also like to thank Clint Davis for taking care of the sound engineering for the show. Also Michael Penn for photography and Eric and Tessany at the Red Dog for making it all happen! -FOM
From snowstorms to avalanches to the dark of night, Fire on McGinnis historically has not been lucky with shows and weather. Pier 49 was an exception. Nice, sunny warm evening with light winds at Juneau’s newest semi outdoor eatery, Pier 49. We had a great time playing to a large and enthusiastic crowd. Our thanks to Pier 49 and Charlie Harrington for organizing the event and to Molly Tankersley for taking all the great photos (including the “money shot” of Mike piping on the tables!). Also, huge kudos go to Keith Giles, Clint Davis and the boys from Alaska One for providing the sound equipment and sound engineering for the show. Alaska One has always played a key role in the development of Fire on McGinnis and has been there from the start.
The band took a little break from summer vacations but is back on a regular practice schedule. We are having fun taking a stab at a few new tunes. We all love The Police and have been thinking about how to combine a “Message in a bottle” with an Irish folk tune. We think we found an answer so, stay tuned for that! We also love a Dropkick Murphy’s song called “Rose Tattoo.” Of course, no can rock “Rose Tattoo” like the Dropkick Murphy’s but we like to challenge ourselves and it’s such a sing-a-long kind of song!
Sorry folks, the performance at the Hangar Ballroom on Oct. 13th is off. It was to be a fundraiser to help people buy eyeglasses who otherwise can't afford them. As the band we don't always know why things fall through and we do know that a lot of people were looking forward to this so, for that, we are sorry. Check back here for new shows however and we are going to try to do this next year! -FOM
Thank you all for joining us at the "Rock Around the Block Party." We all agreed that this was a really great gig that came off extremely well. We would like to thank Amanda Filori, Meghan Chambers, MC Eric Scott and Nancy DeCherney from the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council for making the event happen. We also would like to thank Erik Chadwell from Studio A for making us sound good! -FOM
Thank you all for coming out on a cold and snowy Friday night for some St. Patrick's day cheer! We apologize to the folks that were turned away at the door - the place was packed! Our thanks go out to the owners of McGivney's and Marcie Endicott for helping us organize the event. Big thanks go to Keith Giles and Alaska One for providing some of the sound system components and course the best sound engineer in Juneau. It would have been very hard to pull this off on our own! The show went well. Mike (our piper) seemed to be in good form running around the bar ( and on the bar!) playing huge bagpipe solos. The City of Juneau Pipe Band stopped by and entertained us with several traditional bagpipe tunes and some Celtic dancing. The biggest "clunk" of the evening happened when Martha dropped her guitar during the instrument change in "Owl's Hoot/ Hit Em' Up Style." That caused quite a racket but I think we recovered. No immediate plans for the next show so check back here or on our Facebook page for an upcoming event!