More then 11 years ago, I met Pat “Hatrack” Gallagher while seeing him perform at the Colonial Inn in Concord. I sat in a couple of times with him during a jam session. A couple of months later, he asked me to be the house drummer for a regular blues night every Monday evening at the Colonial.

Pat is one of the most talented jazz harmonica players around. One year, while in New Orleans for JazzFest I was talking to someone about a gig I was doing with Pat and they looked at me and said, ” You’re playing with Hatrack” It was truly a badge of honor.

For almost two years we played together and a friendship was born. This was right in the middle of my divorce. Those Monday nights at the Colonial were my sanity and salvation.

Last night, Pat’s girlfriend Katherine, asked me to join them in celebrating Pat’s 60th. The Acton Jazz Cafe was filled with Pat’s friends, family and fellow musicians.

Shirley Lewis, Boston’s First Lady of the Blues, joined us for some smoking hot blues, including some gospel chants and scat singing. Most impressive was one of Pat’s friend, who played a 65 year old carpenters saw. The sound was nothing I have ever heard before, but it was beautiful. He did a rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” that was just incredible.

All told, it was a great fun celebration…thanks Pat and Katherine for including me!

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