Back in the late seventies, there was a great little Irish bar on South Kedzie named after its address: The 6511 Club. It was rumored to be a hang out for IRA Rebels lying low to avoid the British. I doubt that was true, but it made the place seem a little more exciting.
On weekends, two gentleman, one whose name escapes me, and the other named Kevin Henry, played Irish music all night long. As a young audio engineer, I once recorded some of their performances. Unfortunately, because I was so young, the recording were of such poor quality as to be useless!
After our recent move back to the South Side of Chicago, I was looking for a place to hear some traditional Irish music when a friend recommended Lanigan’s on 111th. I have been to sessions at several pubs, but I’ve never seen anything like this. Usually, they’re rather sedate affairs with 4 or 5 players, but at Lanigan’s a dozen players is the norm! They play continuously for three hours from 9 pm until midnight.
And who is there leading this talented group of players? None other than Kevin Henry, now eighty years old and playing as well as he did when I last saw him three decades ago at 6511 Club.
On Sunday evenings, when Maria is usually settling down for a little TV before bed, I’ll often grab a book or newspaper and stop by Lanigan’s. Usually, there are more musicians playing than patrons in the bar. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but it’s a great atmosphere for relaxing with a pint and listening to some live Irish music.
So if you’re bored next Sunday evening, stick your head into Lanigan’s and enjoy some traditional Irish music. I’ll expect you to buy me a pint!
Here’s a YouTube video of Kevin playing in someone’s kitchen in Ireland!
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