Tom plays with Dave Anderson and Bill Felix in 'SixMile Cross'. A mix of Irish, Bluegrass, Rock 'n Roll and what have you. Nothing too mellow here but worth checking out.
Tom, Jimmie Scanlin, Dave Anderson and Bill Felix. Photo by Chuck McKern
Tom and Jimmie Scanlin will be teaming up at various times. This duo will be known as 'Sligo Road'. Jimmie is an enthusiastic, energetic singer and banjo player with a ton of songs and stories. A true Irishman.
Jimmie Scanlin and Tom. Photo by Chuck McKern
Tom Brett. Photo taken by Pat Sheridan
Taste of Ireland Tour, November 2014. Planning next years tour so let me know if you are interested and I will put you on the list. This years sold out fast.
It is important to support the establishments that support Irish music. Drop in for a drink now and again and tell them that you appreciate the music. Most of the gigs are not late at night and are in your neighbourhood, not across the bridge. Bring the kids and grandkids.
Call me if you have any questions or want to book a gig 856-673-8452 or email: email@example.com
TBAA Fireballs is a U14 girls soccer team out of Gloucester Township.
They are the current NJ State Champions, two time champions. My daughter Niamh is a member of this fantastic team of players, coaches, parents.
This past July 16, 2013, I celebrated forty years in this great country. Forty years of work, pleasure, making friends, playing music, getting married, raising a family and finally to work in Law Enforcement as an Investigator for the Camden County Sheriff's Office. Six months in the Camden County Police Academy was my reward to allow me to proudly wear the uniform. I was accepted for the Garda Siochana in Ireland in 1973 but could not resist life in the USA. It started in Washington Heights, New York and continues in South Jersey. I've met great people along the way. I married one of them, Colleen. I continue my assimilation into this great society. My first job in this country was as a bartender in New York. I landed on a Monday and was a bartender on Wednesday in the Blarney Stone on 181st Street and St Nicholas Ave, in Washington Heights. Nickles and dimes were new to me so it was quite challenging to combime all aspects of selling alcohol and giving the correct change. No computerized cash registers those days. Just plain math. I got familiar with beer and booze fairly quickly. Getting familiar with the various personalities and colours was a different experience. Next door was an OTB (betting parlour) so we got the winners and losers. Upstairs was a pool/card hall owned by a voiceless Cuban who only drank White Label scotch. A shot of scotch and glass of water. He would come in throw it back and return later for more of the same. Always left a tip. He used to place a voice vibrator (for want of a better word) against his throat to speak. He always had security with him and was in and out in two minutes. A lot of Cuban waiters used to come in after working downtown in restaurants. Great tippers and always friendly and courteous. Top shelf drinkers. I had a few unusual experiences at the bar. One evening an unruly customer would not leave. He was just annoying everyone around him, not confrontational. I went around to where he was, lifted him up and dropped him outside the door. When I returned to the bar the whole place had cleard out. It was 7 o'clock and I knew something was wrong. After a few minutes they started to reappear and take up their previous positions where they left their drinks. I started to ask why everyone left. I was informed that when I lifted the gentleman from his seat I exposed a gun in his pants, which I did not see, but everyone else did, and they all took off. Fortunatelly he never came back. I had another one where a gentleman who used our bathroom facilities daily, but was barred from drinking in the bar, came in with a grapefruit behind his back. He let go the grapefruit at me and fortunately it missed but hit the glass behind me which miraculously did not shatter. He took off, I jumped the bar and got him just outside the door. The rest is history. Did'nt see him after that. I worked with John Callahan on the night shift. John was an experience. Like a bookie, always had money, was customer savvy, took care of those who took care of him. We had some good customers. Those that wanted to come in and chat have a few beers and see you tomorrow. Others up to no good always trying to beat you for a dollar. I got to know them quickly and treated them as they treated me. I never trusted them. Even for a bottle of beer they would call you friend until you asked for the money. The professor was good. Every evening he would have his dinner at the bar, read his paper and enjoy his Windsor Caniadian. Hughie was from Donegal. A retired mailman whose retired life was walking three blocks to the bar each day and spending the whole time talking to himself over a glass of beer. He was my worst image of the Irish immigrant. His mansion was a one bedroom crap hole he called home. I had to walk him home a few times because the locals would rob him when he was drunk. On the other side of the establishment was a corner deli. The cook would pay us a visit over his shift, bring us sandwiches in exchange for a soda cup of whiskey. Fair exchange. Good sandwiches. Eli was another customer who got lost somewhere in the world but used the bar as his living room and bathroom. Nelly, our cook, was his only friend. He figured everyone was out to steal from him. Many did. Johns end of the bar catered to the the owner, Jack Flanagan and his clingons. Jack was a big drinker but held it well. Mind you most of his drinks were so watered he was able to stand up all day in the same spot while accepting the generous offers of Chivas Regal. He could do it daily. Did it daily. I can still see the faces of all those customers. The ones who taunted me and the trusted ones. There were retirees who never went anywhere but the bar. The workers who came directly from work to the bar. That was all they had. Me, John and Jack Flanagan. I was transferrd to another Blarney Stone on Webster Ave., and Fordham Road. Somebody was on vacation so there I was. Jack Flanagan owned this one too. Not as busy but had it's own characters. I used to work on Sunday and would open up at 12.00. It was amazing. You could see the customers at various locations across the street waiting for the door to open. They dare not be seen outside the door waiting. What would people think. There were about 5-7 regulars who religiously came and sat in the same spot each Sunday morning. I would set up their drinks, they would enter and take the same place at the bar as the previous Sunday and before that. Sundays were like that. In this bar I met my father's brother Hugh for the first time. He had written to my mother over the years and kept in touch after my father died in 1962, but never returned to Ireland after immigrating. I never understood why but I learned over time that he being a member of the old IRA had a lot to do with it. Somebody got shot and his passage was booked to America. He never went back. I somehow never forgave him for that because all he ever talked about was Tubbercurry. He lived on Jerome Avenue where I stayed many times. The Webster Avenue bar was not as busy as 181st Street, not as multiculturaled (like that) and therefore not as entertaining. I remember one night after work I went to another bar close by to meet some people from around Tubbercurry. One of those was a rock named Jack Brennan. Jack was short but large. A good character who told me he used to bring his horse into my father's forge to get shod. The first night I met him I could not buy a beer. We were playing darts and reminising about Tubbercurry. The night progresses and it was the first time I discovered Budweiser. The next day I was working at 12 noon and I wished I wasn't. I was in bad physical shape. Badly hung over. Nothing worse than feeling like crap, and smelling beer and whiskey and wishing everybody would leave. I remember to this day that the only relief I could get was bending down and pretending to be cleaning the sinks. That never worked since. Not sure how I ended my relationship with this bar but soon I was down on Wall Street in a restaurant serving martinis and manhattans for lunch. Can't remember the name of that place but it was 180 degrees from the Blarney Stone. These people ran 'tabs'. Not sure how long I lasted there but I was on the prowl again looking for new environs. I was never too worried about getting another job. Somehow it always worked out. My next adventure brought me among the money, to Park Avenue. Again not sure how I ended up there but expect I just walked down the street asking the doorman if they were looking to hire. 925 Park Avenue was hiring.