I know. I know. It’s a big week for music fans this week with SXSW raging in Austin and countless musical icons making guest appearances and performing in tiny venues. But, we should not forget that St. Patrick’s Day is in a week and for fans of Celtic music, or drinking music in general, this is a great holiday to get out of the house and enjoy some live music. Sláinte!
Saturday, March 15
Colcannon – Broomfield, Colorado
Colcannon formed in 1984 in Boulder Colorado, and their reputation has grown steadily over the years with the release of eight CDs on the Oxford Road Records label. The band’s recent CD The Pooka and the Fiddler received a Parent’s Choice Award for its artful interweaving or music and storytelling. The Emmy®-award winning PBS special, Colcannon in Concert, filmed at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has aired nationwide.
Colcannon’s appeal crosses lines of age, gender and ethnic background. For while the musical focus is on the beautiful wealth of traditional Irish music — all acoustic instrumentation, traditional as well as original tunes and songs, with some of the songs in founder Mick Bolger’s native Irish language — Colcannon’s true message is the story of the resilient and joyous human spirit.
SnoValley Tilth St. Paddy’s Day Bash – Carnation, Washington
Join SnoValley Tilth for a pint and their second annual St. Paddy’s Day Bash fundraiser at the historic Sno-Valley Senior Center in Carnation.
They’ve got traditional, seasonal fare: Hemplers’ nitrate-free corned beef from PCC Natural Markets, organic boiled cabbage, tasty mustards, organic colcannon, vegetarian pea soup, soda bread, and scrumptious homemade Irish apple cobbler. A limited number of snack plates of apples, cheese, and oat cakes will be available for an additional donation for those who need a little extra or would like to explore pairings with their whiskey!
They’ll also have local microbrews from Snoqualmie Brewery and tastings of three small batch whiskeys from Skip Rock Distillery. Wine, cider, tea, and coffee, too!
And of course there’ll be music and performances of Irish and Celtic music, song, and poetry, by fun local artists.
Don’t let your mates slag you come Monday for missing the party! See you there!
Sunday, March 16
ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION starring RUNA and special guest Chamomile & Whiskey – Winchester, Virginia
Throw on some green gear and let’s get Irish! The Bright Box Theater is celebrating this St. Patty’s Day with live music performances by internationally-acclaimed Celtic roots band Runa and central Virginia’s own Chamomile & Whiskey.
A full Irish tea bar will be offering over six imported teas from Ireland with all the stately accompaniments fit for a high tea or leisurely sip. There will also be Irish cheeses and a soda bread bar featuring over nine cheeses imported from Ireland, house made soda bread, and assorted crackers and fresh fruit, plus plenty of other tasty libations available at the cash bar.
Runa draws on the diverse musical backgrounds of its band members and offers a contemporary and refreshing approach to traditional and more recently composed Celtic material. Through their repertoire of both highly energetic and graceful, acoustic melodies, along with their fusion of music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the United States, this vocal and instrumental ensemble gives its arrangements of traditional songs and tunes a fresh sound.
Runa consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, and Maggie Estes of Louisville on the fiddle, and Galway’s Dave Curley on mandolin, bodhrán, vocals, and step-dancing. The band often performs with world-renowned, guest musicians, including Isaac Alderson on the uilleann pipes, flutes, and whistles.
Wake the Dead – San Rafael, California
After 11 years of solid success blending Celtic traditional music and the songs of the Grateful Dead, Wake The Dead, the hot Northern California septet, now embraces the entire “summer of love,” delighting Deadheads, folkies, rockers, and adventurous music lovers alike around the world.
As an expression of cultural joy, you can’t top an Irish wake. And what is a wake but a celebration – a toast of appreciation – an expression of love – and a damn good party. So when eight top Bay Area musicians realized they shared as deep a love for the songs of the Grateful Dead as they did for traditional Celtic tunes, some brand-new music sprang up and started the partying.
Wake the Dead is a romp that flows seamlessly from rock grooves to hot Irish reels, and from haunting airs to achingly beautiful melodies familiar to Deadheads everywhere. “Sugaree” in waltz time, bracketed by an ancient harp tune and infused with a poignant Celtic longing. “Bertha” thundering out of “China Cat” on a mandolin tidal wave. The eerie lilt of the uilleann pipes, giving a glow to “Bird Song” as if it was always meant to be there. Groove jams to keep the tie-dye swirling. Vocal harmonies that float like clouds.
The music takes off, and the band follows, grinning all the way. These aren’t worlds colliding – they’re worlds meshing, coalescing – creating a whole new world of possibility, and true to the spirits of the Grateful Dead and the eternally hopeful Celts.
The band are also performing on Saturday, March 15 at the Utunes Coffee House in Oakland. Pick up tickets right over here for that performance.
Image courtesy of makeyourbreak.com