After our awe-inspiring drive along the Ring of Kerry, we decided to stop for a night in the quaint sea-side town of Kenmare. We had a refreshing meal at Prego's, a delicious Italian restaurant, then we wandered the charming streets of the town, looking for a place with good traditional music. We stumbled upon Davitt's Restaurant, where we heard the most beautiful music pouring out the door. We settled in a for a Smithwick's and listened to the haunting music of Janet Dowd and her band.
Janet's voice is pure, clean, and sweet, but with an amazing power. I was deeply moved by songs like "John Condon," a ballad about the youngest soldier to die in World War I, an Irish boy from Wexford. Likewise, Janet's performance of the traditional ballad "Loving Hannah" was a heart-breaking depiction of lost love. Janet's gorgeous voice was beautifully complimented by her band members. Her guitarist, who I believe is her husband Michael Dowd, played extremely well, and sang quite well, too.
At the end of their set, I had so enjoyed the music that I bought Janet's CD, 300 Miles. We spend the next day listening to it, and her music made our drive through Killarney National Park all the more enchanting.
The Irish music that we heard on our trip was definitely one of the highlights of the experience for me, especially since we are developing our own Celtic band, Dal Riata. This trip has inspired me, and I hope to someday create music as beautiful as Janet Dowd's.