Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Irish band ain’t fiddlin’ around

"First it’s the brogue, and then the stories of the people he’s met and the places he’s been in a career spanning 50 years, that let you know you’re talking to a real legend in traditional Irish music.

As the leader of The Chieftains, a group that has six Grammys under its belt, Paddy Moloney is the ebullient spokesman for the band, which also includes fiddler Sean Keane, flautist Matt Molloy and bodhran player Kevin Conneff .

Moloney himself has played the tin whistle and uilleann pipes since he was a young lad growing up in Dublin. He formed the original lineup of The Chieftains in 1962 and they took their name from The Death of a Chieftain by John Montague, an Irish poet and author.

In 1975, The Chieftains started playing together full-time and have since put out some 25 albums and worked with such artists as Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones.

The group has also been named the official Musical Ambassadors for their home country."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fiddles and snowshoes focus of festival

"NORWAY — Dozens of people from Norway to Windham and beyond participated
Saturday in the first annual Mellie Dunham Snowshoe and Fiddle Festival.

The event was highlighted by snowshoe competitions at the Roberts Farm Preserve in the morning and an afternoon of fiddling and contradancing at the Grange Hall with the Don Roy Trio, including Roy, Pam Weeks and Bill Olson.

“It's a lot of fun,” said Lona (Noble) Bedard, granddaughter of Mellie Dunham, clapping to the beat of the fiddle music. Bedard sat in the Grange Hall where her grandfather played his fiddle hundreds of times a century ago.

“We're off to a good start,” said Ben Tucker of the event that organizers hope will become an annual celebration of one of Norway's most famous residents. Mellie Dunham, who died in 1931 at the age of 78, was a master snowshoe maker and a nationally known fiddler who was selected by Henry Ford to promote traditional fiddle and dance music across the country in the 1920s."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fiddler spins Irish tunes

"When Eileen Ivers was a college student, she dreamed of working for NASA. Lucky for audiences, she changed her mind.

Ivers, a champion Irish- American fiddler who's been called the Jimi Hendrix of the violin, will make a rare local appearance this weekend when she plays a benefit concert at Dominican College with her band, Immigrant Soul. With a touring schedule that finds her on the road much of the year, it's nice to perform close to home, says Ivers, who lives in West Nyack with her husband and manager, Brian Mulligan.

Crowds all over the world have embraced Irish music, says Ivers, who plays nearly 100 shows each year. Even in Japan, fans roar as if they're at a rock concert. 'If you closed your eyes, you would swear you were in the heart of Ireland, playing in a pub somewhere,'' she says. 'It's a source of great pride for the people, the ones who left.'"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Irish band Kelly to perform Sunday at PAC

"The Irish band Kelly will perform at 3 p.m., Sunday, February 6 at the Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center in Chillicothe. The band has earned a reputation for being an outstanding Irish band, according to Chillicothe Area Arts Council administrator, Julie Ashbrook. The five musicians will perform traditional Irish music, using fiddle, guitar, mandolin, flute, button accordion, whistle, bones, bodhran and bass, and will include both happy and haunting vocals that pay homage to the true spirit of Irish music."

Celtic Band Sigean plays White Horse on Feb. 12

"Celtic Band Sigean Returns To White Horse Black Mountain
The sounds of celtic fiddles and pipes return to White Horse Black Mountain on Saturday February 12 as Sigean performs a concert of traditional music from Scotland, Ireland and the British Isles.
Sigean is a traditional Celtic band that has some Americana/bluegrass/old-time roots because of its members’ musical experience. Sigean was formed in 1997, in Bristol, Tennessee, in order to allow local musicians to perform Irish traditional music. Guitars, fiddles, Irish pipes and whistles, bodhran (Irish frame drum)tenor banjo, and sometimes 5-string banjo, upright bass and vocals from a Scottish vocalist. Traditional reels and jigs, airs, ballads from Scotland, Ireland and the British Isles."

Master of the fiddle brings secrets of the past to Opera House

"Fresh from Scotland’s massive Celtic Connections festival, Alasdair Fraser brings his fiddling magic to the Opera House for a concert with master cellist Natalie Haas on Friday night.
Fraser and Haas were recently the stars of several performances at the annual Glasgow music festival, including the Highland Sessions and the Legends’ Fiddle Competition, in which five master fiddlers adopted the roles and donned the costume of historic Scottish musicians.
It is inherent in the art of Scottish fiddling to recognize the importance of the history behind the music. In an interview from his home in the Sierra foothills, Fraser said he was originally drawn to the fiddle for its ability to delve into a world obscured by modern life."