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Dancing in the Kitchen

Described by Hot Press journalist Dermott Hayes as “ the hottest honky tonk band east of the Pecos ”.

Their new CD “Dancing in the Kitchen”, was produced by legendary Nashville producer, Jim Rooney.

The line-up consists of Chris Meehan, piano/vocal, Bobby Kelly, acoustic guitar/vocal, Eamon Murray, tenor sax, Brian Harris and Francie Lenehan, electric guitars, Percy Robinson, pedal steel guitar, Matt Cranitch, fiddle, Gerry O’Connor, viola/mandola, Ronnie O’Flynn, bass and Mick O’Connor, drums.

September 2010 Irish Times Album Review

"This is a joyful love letter testifying to a devotion to country and blues from a bunch of rusty old geezers who clearly never have lost their grá for the music. Well marshalled by noted Nashville producer Jim Rooney, sharp pianist and legal eagle Chris Meehan and his crew skilfully negotiate country waltzes, western swing, cajun craic, jump blues, jazz and Americana standards coloured by a dizzying array of sharp solos by the likes of guitarists Francie Lenehan and Brian Harris, steel guitarist Percy Robinson and sax and harp wizard Eamon Murray. Meehan’s song selection is bang on, ranging from the playful Diggy Liggy Lo to Percy Mayfield’s profound Please Send Me Someone To Love . This is an Irish album that, with some flourish, nails the essence of Americana."

Click here to purchase the "Dancing in the Kitchen" CD...

Click here to find out about the tour...
The Songs ...

1.                  Bubbles in my Beer

(Walker – Wills – Duncan)

This is a tribute to such bands as the Light Crust Doughboys and the Texas Playboys and their leader, the charismatic Bob Wills, who from the 1930s to the 1950s blazed a trail and who, by fusing country music with swing jazz created a whole new musical genre known as Western Swing.  Although Wills co-wrote this song along with his singer Tommy Duncan and lyricist Cindy Walker, his wasn’t the first version of the song I heard.  That was by Mac Wiseman who, at the age of 84, recently recorded an album of duets with a good friend of this band and someone whom we have had the privilege of accompanying on many occasions, John Prine. (see photo)


                        Tonight in a Bar room I’m sitting,

                         apart from the   laughter and cheer,

                        the scenes from the past rise before me

while watching the bubbles in my beer

A picture of someone who loved me

Brings a lone silent tear to my eye

I know that my life’s been a failure

While watching the bubbles in my beer.


I’m seeing the road that I travelled

A road paved with heartaches and tears

I’m seeing the past that I wasted

while watching the bubbles in my beer.

I picture the heart that I’ve broken

and the golden chances that have passed me by,

the dreams I once made are now empty

as empty as the bubbles in my beer.



2.                  “Drivin’ my Life Away”

(Rabbitt – Malloy – Stevens)  Scene Gems EMI Music

Bobby takes lead vocal on this trucker’s anthem which features Brian on an electric baritone guitar, Eamon on harmonica and Percy on pedal steel.

Midnight, headlights, blind you on a rainy night.

Steep grade up ahead slow me down

Making no time, I gotta keep rollin’

Windshield wipers, slappin’ out a tempo

makin’  perfect rhythm with the songs on my radio,

I gotta keep rollin’


                   Ooh! I’m drivin’ my life away, lookin’ for a better way

                  For me

Ooh I’m drivin my life away, lookin’ a sunny day.


Truck stop cutie  comin’ on  to me

Trying to talk me into a ride said I wouldn’t be sorry,

She was just a baby.

Waitress, pour me another cup of coffee.

Pop me down, jack me up, shoot me out, flyin’ down the highway, looking for the mornin’.


Ooh, I’m drivin my life away, looking for a better way, for me.

Ooh I’m drivin my life away, lookin’ a sunny day. (for me)


3.                  “I always knew that you were the one” (Instrumental)

(David Lindley)  I don’t know too much about this lovely instrumental piece, played here by Matt and Gerry, other than it features on the soundtrack  of the film “The Long Riders”.


4.                  “The bottle let me down”

(Merle Haggard) Sony/ATV Tree Publishing


I started singing this Merle Haggard classic at gigs around 1975 and I’ve been singing it ever since. Francie ( electric guitar) and Percy (steel) play the solos.  It’s dedicated to the woman who always requested us to play “Tonight the bottle didn’t work”.


Each night I leave the bar room when it’s over,

 not feeling any pain at closing time,

but tonight your memory found much too sober,

I couldn’t drink enough to keep you off my mind.


Tonight the bottle let me down

 and let your memory come around,

The one true friend I thought I’d found,

Tonight the bottle let me down.


I’ve always had a bottle I could turn to,

But lately I’ve been turning everyday,

But the wine don’t take affect the way it used to,

And I’m hurtin’ in an old familiar way.



5.                  “Hot Dog”

(Dedmon – Owens) Acuff/Rose, Sony/ATV Tree Publishing.

“I first heard this song when I was in my early teens, and never forgot it. I didn’t know any thing about the song except the title and every time I thought I’d tracked it down  it turned out to be the same title but a different song e.g. Bill Haley , Elvis Presley. Then out of the blue I heard Shakin’ Stevens singing it on “The Collection” and discovered it had been written and recorded by Buck Owens in 1956. He had released it under the name Corky Jones as he was afraid it might hurt his Country image. He released it again in 1961, but this time under his own name. “  Bobby

My baby works at a hot dog stand

 Makin’ these hot dogs as fast as she can,

Up steps a cat says ‘don’t be slow ,

 give me two hot dogs ready to go.’


                   Hot dog, she’s my baby,

Hot dog, drives me crazy,

Hot dog, don’t mean maybe,

You oughtta see my baby at a hot dog stand


In the cool of the evening when the sun does down

All the cats and chicks all gather round

They order hot dogs and red soda pop

 and head down town to a hep cat hop.


Hot dog, she’s my baby,

Hot dog, drives me crazy,

Hot dog, don’t mean maybe,

You oughtta see my baby at a hot dog stand


I’m waiting for my baby every night at 12,

She closes up the shop and then we lose ourselves:

At a hep-cat hop in a crazy way,

We’re doing the bop till the break of day.


 Hot dog, she’s my baby,

Hot dog, drives me crazy,

Hot dog, don’t mean maybe,

You oughtta see my baby at a hot dog stand


6.                  Diggy Liggy Lo

(J.D. Miller) Sony/ATV, Acuff, Rose Music

This song is about an improbably named Cajun couple from the French speaking part of Louisiana who met and fell in love at a country dance. The song was a massive hit for Doug Kershaw not once but twice in the 60s.

Diggy Liggy Li and Diggy Liggy Lo

Feel in love at the fais do do

The pot was cold but the coffee chaud

For Diggy Liggy Li and Diggy Liggy Lo


Chorus: Diggy Liggy Li Lo

Diggy Liggy Lo

Everybody knew he was her beau

Nobody else could ever show, so much love for Diggy Liggy Lo


It’s the place they make romance

Where they do the Cajun dance

Steal a kiss at half a chance

Show your love with every glance


Repeat chorus


Now he’s gone to see her pa

Now he’s got himself a poppa-in-law

Moved out where the bayou flow

Now they got a little Diggy Liggy Lo


Repeat chorus



7.                  To make love sweeter for you

(Kennedy – Sutton) EMI Al Gallico Music Corp.

“This song featured on an early Jerry Lee Lewis country album and

I’ve always loved it. When I decided to record it for the album, my

intention was to ask my dear friend Ronnie Drew to sing the bass

harmony like only he could do, but sadly he passed away before we had the opportunity to realise this ambition. I finished up singing it

myself as a small tribute to a great man and a special friend.” Bobby.


Well, I’d like to send an orchid at the start of every day

For flowers show more beauty than words could ever say

You’ve done so much for my world till all I want to do

Is try my best in every way to make love sweeter for you


A thousand special compliments I’d  pay to you each day

Your ears would never tire of all the sweet things I would say

You never would be lonely, honey  you never would be blue

‘Cos my one aim in life would be, to make love sweeter for you.


You’ve given me the faith it took to make my dreams come true

That’s why I want to live and breathe  my every breath for you

You’ve cleared the windows of my mind and now that I see through

I’ll do my best in every way to make love sweeter for you.


8.                  Steel Guitar Rag

(McAuliffe – Stone – Travis)  

Webb Pierce ,who is credited with introducing the pedal steel guitar into country music ,said he did so in order to “ make a man’s pitiful song sound more pitiful”. It can , however, also be an instrument of joy especially when it’s played, as it is here , by “ the Peerless” Percy Robinson


I’ve wandered around, seen many a town,

 Mac, You’ll find I’m the kind likes to brag

But listen and see if you don’t agree

 No melody rolls like  that ol’  steel guitar rag



When Percy slides that thing along the strings

It sounds so doggone heavenly  you hear the angels sing

And when you start your feet your heart will beat

A rhythm to that old steel guitar rag


You may be kinda choosey  about the songs you like to hear

You make some that bluesy make cry right in your beer

But if you want a melody that drives away your cares

Make happy your soul with that ol’ steel guitar rag.



9.                  Body and Soul

(Green – Heyman – Sour)  Druropetal Music

This is, in fact, an old jazz standard, popularised in the thirties by Coleman Hawkins. I first heard it sung by that fine UK jazz singer Norma Winstone. Although she sung it to the accompaniment of a typical jazz trio, I kept hearing in my head the sound of  fiddles and a steel guitar, much in the manner that they appear here, played by Matt ,Colm and Percy, respectively.

My heart is sad and lonely

For you I sigh, for you dear only

Why haven’t you seen it

I’m all for you body and soul


I spend my days in longing

And wondering why it’s me you’re wronging

I tell you I mean it

I’m all for you body and soul


I can’t believe it, it’s hard to conceive it

That you would throw away romance

Are you pretending, it looks like the ending

Unless I could have one more chance to prove dear


My life a wreck you’re making

You know I’m yours just for the taking

I’d gladly surrender myself to you body and soul


What lies before me

A future that’s stormy

A winter that’s grey and cold

Unless there’s magic

The end will be tragic

And echo a tale that’s been told

So often


My life revolves about you

What earthly good am I without you?

I tell you I mean it

I’m all for you body and soul


10.              The Claw

(Jerry Reed)  Publisher – Hal Leonard

Brian, (ably assisted by Francie ,flatpicking on a Grennan acoustic,)

      tackles ( and nails)  this virtuoso piece for electric guitar written

by  the late great Jerry Reed. Not a task for the fainthearted.



11.              Please send me someone to love

(Percy Mayfield)  Sony/ATV  Sings  BMI

I’m grateful to our producer Jim Rooney, himself a Grammy Award

Winner, for choosing this song for us. It also affords an opportunity  to introduce to you the stunning vocal talents of Michele Rayfus. 50 years or so before America had its first black president, Percy Mayfield wrote this song as an “anthem of peace between the black and white man”. Many of Mayfield’s songs carry dark forebodings but it shouldn’t be forgotten that he had a lighter side and ,apart from this song, is best remembered as the man who wrote “Hit the road, Jack”.

This track is dedicated to legendary blues guitarist Jimmy Faulkner, who I played with in the Red Peters Blues Band and who played a couple of times with this band, who is, sadly, no longer with us and Red himself who ,thankfully, is.

Heaven please send to all mankind

Understanding and peace of mind

And if it’s not asking too much

Please send me someone to love


Show the world how to get along

Peace will enter when hate is gone

And it it’s not asking too much please send me someone to love


I lie awake nights and ponder world trouble

And the answer is always the same

That unless man put an end to this damnable sin

Hate will put the world in a flame, what a shame


Just because I’m in misery, I don’t beg no sympathy

And it it’s not asking too much please send me someone to love


Guest Musicians on this track Dave Fleming (Double Bass)

Kelan Walsh ( Baritone Sax)

Solo on tenor sax: Eamon


12.              Ain’t Livin Long Like this

(Rodney Crowell)

                                                                                                                                                             Bobby takes lead vocals on this Rodney Crowell song . Eamon and Kelan feature on horns while solos on the electric guitar are played firstly by Francie, then Brian and  finally ,Percy on the steel as the band disappears down the highway in a cloud of dust.

I looked for trouble and I found it ,son

Straight down the barrel of a lawman’s gun

I tried to run but I don’t think I can

“You make one move and you’re a dead man, friend”

Ain’t livin long like this

Can’t live at all like this

Slip the handcuffs off behind my back

Don’t leave me freezing on a steel rail rack

They’ve got them all at the jailhouse ain’t they baby

Ain’t livin’ long like this

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