How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Seamus Kennedy will be at Musikfest in Bethlehem.

Seamus Kennedy will be at Musikfest in Bethlehem.

Musikfest opens in Bethlehem this week (August 7), and while there aren’t loads of Celtic acts, it’s worth a visit for the nonstop music that goes on for two weeks in this pretty little city about an hour north of us. Headliners include Culture Club (I was reminded that lead singer Boy George is of Irish descent!), Reba McIntire, Duran Duran, Alice in Chains, ZZ Top, Snoop Dogg, and Jerry Seinfeld, who as far as I know isn’t singing or playing an instrument.

On the Celtic side, Seamus Kennedy will be performing on Tuesday afternoon and Fisher & Maher on Tuesday night, while Scythian, a Celtic-Gypsy-Balkan fusion band from DC, will be doing the Tuesday night concert at SteelStacks. Seamus Kennedy—who, while he’s a wonderful singer, is also quite a comic—will be back on Wednesday afternoon with one of the Lehigh Valley’s terrific Celtic bands, Blackwater, on Wednesday night.

Heads up for the Philly Folk Festival. It doesn’t start till Friday, August 14, but there are two Irish events you’ll want to catch: One is Wexford’s Irish Mythen on Saturday, August 14 at 11:20 PM, and Celtic Afternoon on August 16 starting at noon featuring the John Byrne Band, Sylvia Platypus, Cassie and Maggie MacDonald, Tim Britton, the Old Ways, Mist Covered Mountains, and Allan Carr. If you stick around at night, you’re also likely to encounter many local Irish musicians who will be camping out for the fest and singing and playing into the evening. I’d also go for Lyle Lovett with his Big Band. You won’t be sorry.

The Broken Shillelaghs will be playing on Saturday, August 8, at the Anglesea Pub in North Wildwood.

On Sunday, singer Diarmuid MacSuibhne (that’s McSweeney to you) will be substitute hosting the “Come West Along the Road” show on WTMR 800 AM while Marianne MacDonald is in Ireland. The show starts at noon. Call in and get him to sing and speak in Irish. He does both very well. Diarmuid will also be performing this Saturday at Laurita Winery in New Egypt, NJ.

And on Thursday, catch Blackthorn at Rosetree Park in Media.

Don’t say no one told you what was going on.

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