Rambling House Night at the Philadelphia Ceili Group Festival


Sean Og Graham, Mickey and Niamh Dunne

Sean Og Graham, Mickey and Niamh Dunne


The Philadelphia Ceili Group Festival may have ended last week, but there are still musical riches from the event that need to be shared.

In Ireland, a Rambling House is a long-held tradition, an evening where people gather to share music, songs and stories in an atmosphere based on community and good cheer. The Irish Center here in Philly was the setting for just such an event on the second night of the Festival.

Hosted by Galway native Gabriel Donohue, whom we now claim as one of Philadelphia’s finest musicians, he brought his music and stories to the evening as well as introducing and joining in on the fun. The special guests of the evening were Niamh Dunne and Sean Og Graham, who are part of the super group Beoga, but have been touring recently as a duo, performing songs from Niamh’s solo album “Portraits.” And as an added bonus, Niamh’s father, Mickey Dunne, a talented Uillean pipe and whistle player, was along for the craic. The musical legacy of the Dunne Family is well-known in Ireland and includes the late Pecker Dunne.

Among the wealth of talent present for the evening were singer Briege Murphy who hails from County Armagh, Philadelphia’s Rosaleen McGill, Terry Kane and Ellen Tepper (who play together as the Jameson Sisters) and some outstanding younger musicians from Philadelphia: Uillean piper Keegan Loesel and fiddlers Alex Weir and Haley Richardson. Keegan, Alex and Haley recently returned from Sligo where they competed in the Fleadh Cheoil.  

So, if you were unlucky enough to have missed it, or if you were wise enough to have been present for the unforgettable evening and want to relive the experience, sit back and enjoy some of the videos from the Rambling House.

Author: Lori Lander Murphy

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