Irish traditional musicians also use a sound system on the first and second Sunday afternoons of the month there. Even the squirrel poking its head from under a ceiling board seemed to nod in approval.
On the afternoon of May 4, with the sun glinting off the adjacent Hudson River and a light breeze blowing in through open windows, the setting couldn’t be simpler or better for the first headlining concert by Dan Gurney, a 16-year-old button accordionist and flutist whose disposition is as winning as his musical ability.
A resident of nearby Rhinebeck, he has been attending these concerts since about 6. They were started in 1988 by Galway-born Fr. Charlie Coen, the pastor of St. Christopher’s in Red Hook and an All-Ireland senior champion on concertina, flute, and whistle.
According to Coen, young Gurney has been putting off this headlining opportunity for quite some time. But taking sporadic instruction from button box players John Whelan, John Nolan, and Billy McComiskey, placing first four times at the annual fleadh cheoil sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Region of Comhaltas Ceolt