I sometimes play with and always tech for, an Irish band called “Ellis Island.”  The band was playing both Friday and Saturday nights this weekend, about 4 hours per night.

On Friday night (Friday NIIIIGHT?), the cross-brace at the back of Mick Doyle’s bodhran broke.  I think that this had something to do with it being a completely silly design, considering that the player’s hand is constantly flexing against the thing. Here is a picture of the fail, with bonus footage of the utter mess that is my sanctum sanctorum.

That's not a brace!

Well, I mean, what were they thinking?  Two pieces of crummy dowel, cut into each other at the point that takes the most stress?  This will not stand!

Of course, I was under a time crunch to fix this, as the drum was needed for a show the next night. There was no way I could get the thing to Larry’s Bodhran Shoppe and back in time for the show, because it’s the weekend, I don’t drive, and there is no such place as Larry’s Bodhran Shoppe.

So I had to cast about the house for something that I could use as a brace that would be strong enough and comfortable enough, while still maintaining the unique machismo that is such a defining characteristic of my work.  The answer was obvious:

THAT'S a brace!
For the one or two of you who might not be able to tell by looking, that’s the butt end of a Sherwood PMP 7000 (Coffey).  The Coffey was the best choice,  because  backhand shots are just not an issue for bodhran players.  Also, I had two of them in my garage.  Note that this is the older Kevlar-reinforced 7000, not the newer, fibreglass reinforced model.  I would never have used one of those!

So how does it sound?

It sounds like a bodhran.


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