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Audio, Audios, Music, Photo Essays, Photos

Sights and Sounds of the 2019 Philadelphia Irish Festival

The 2019 Philadelphia Irish Festival at Penn’s Landing is history. A very good festival it was. With temperatures in the 80s and a nice breeze along the Delaware, it was picture-perfect most of the day.

Seamus McGroary, C.J. Mills and Joe Kirschen started playing just after noon, and the tunes flowed on into the afternoon, with the McLean Avenue Band of New York City and Philly band Jamison taking the stage later in the day, undaunted by occasionally threatening skies.

A good-sized crowd showed up to take in the tunes, buy Irish shirts and hats, slurp water ice, sip a brew, feast on funnel cake, or watch the Irish dancers. For the kids, there were balloon hats, face painting and a moon bounce. Continue Reading

Audio, Audios, Music, Photo Essays, Photos

Philly Fleadh 2019 in Pictures and Sounds

Non-stop music on three stages, dance, Irish and Celtic vendors, food and drink—it was all on display Saturday at Philly Fleadh 2019, held on the grounds at Pennsylvania Army National Guard Armory & Readiness Center in Northeast Philadelphia.

In a week during which rain seemed to be falling every day, the Fleadh’s organizers got lucky. It was bright and sunny, and the grounds had mostly dried out. People came with their lawn chairs and set up on the lawn to listen to tunes from such bands and performers such as Oakwyn, The Bogside Rogues, the John Byrne Band, Seamus and CJ, Ray Coleman.

We were there for a good part of the day and tried to capture some of the flavor of this big, exciting event.

The pictures are up top, and here’s a recording of the band Oakwyn playing “Come Out Ye Black and Tans.”

Editor’s note: All Irish Philly podcasts are now available on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and Spotify.

Audio, Music

Nathan Carter, Soon Back in Philly, On Irish Country Music, His Career and What’s Next

Back in the States for another tour, Irish country music phenom Nathan Carter has come a long way since his hit song, “Wagon Wheel.” He’s enormously popular—as witness his sold-out appearance at the Philadelphia Irish Center a few months ago.

As with so many artists, it was a bit of a slog to get to that first huge hit. Unlike many artists, he’s been able to remain popular and well in demand, adapting to changes in the music industry that might have cut short the careers of many others.

And he’s grateful for every moment he gets to play his music.

Carter is scheduled to appear Saturday, May 25, at Glenside’s historic Keswick Theater. He’ll be accompanied by Celtic Woman’s Chloe Agnew. It promises to be a great show. Tickets and info here. Better jump on it. Tickets are moving fast.

We recently interviewed Carter. Here’s what he had to say. Continue Reading

Audio

Podcast: Michael Londra and His “Ridiculously Lucky” Career

County Wexford singer Michael Londra burst on the scene as the lead singer in the United States tour of Riverdance, the cultural phenomenon that itself inspired all of the Celtic and Irish groups and shows that have also swept the country over the years. He was, by many standards, something of a late bloomer. He was 31 when his career began in earnest.

Since Riverdance, he’s performed in many venues and shows, from Broadway to an acclaimed PBS special in 2011. He’s also a producer of musicals, which has kept him off the road recently. But Londra’s back, and he’s performing—including a show, Michael Londra and the Celtic Fire, at Annenberg Center Live March 16.

We recently interviewed Michael Londra about his life and career. Here’s what he had to say. Continue Reading

Audio

Celtic Thunder’s Colm Keegan Brings Irish History to the Philadelphia Irish Center

Colm Keegan made his mark as a principal singer in the well-known Celtic Thunder, but before he embarked upon a performance career, he was a high school music teacher, with a master’s degree in music.

For years, he’s thought about a way to merge Irish history with music, and there never seemed like a good way to do it—until now.

On Saturday, March 9, Keegan brings the first chapter of a new series called Irish History through Music to the Commodore John Barry Arts & Cultural Center (The Irish Center), 6815 Emlen Street, at the corner of Carpenter and Emlen (SEPTA’s Carpenter station on the Chestnut Hill West Line), in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. Continue Reading

Audio, Music

Podcast: Interview with Oisín Mac Diarmada of Téada

In the world of Irish traditional music, you would be hard-pressed to find a more accomplished and creative group than Téada.

County Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada, the group’s founder, recently sat down for an interview with irishphiladelphia.com. The conversation was wide-ranging, starting with his earliest days in County Clare learning the fiddle—sometimes when he might have preferred playing football to practicing—to a time when it seemed his career path might lie in the field of education, and ultimately to the successful career he has carved out with Téada and his talented bandmates.

The picture he paints is one of a musical journey ever evolving and ever more creative.

Téada will be appearing Thursday, February 21, at Sellersville Theater 1894, 24 West Temple Avenue in Sellersville. The show starts at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30. Ticket prices range from $21.50 to $29.50.

Tickets and more information here.

Editor’s note: All Irish Philly podcasts are now available on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and Spotify.

Audio

Podcast: Interview with Celtic Woman’s Tara McNeill

With her violin, Tara McNeill provides what she calls Celtic Woman’s fourth voice. And a lovely voice it is.

From early childhood, when she first took up violin, harp and singing, violin has always been her first love. The sound of the violin, she says, conveys layers of emotion that have always appealed to her.

In 2016, she realized a life’s ambition—joining Celtic Woman as a principal member, replacing the previous violinist Mairead Nesbitt. Continue Reading

Audio

Podcast: The Ins and Outs of DNA Testing

irishphiladelphia.com’s genealogy maven Lori Lander Murphy returns with another installment of Who’s Your Granny (with occasional editorial comment from her dog Daisy).

DNA testing is becoming more popular. There are many DNA testing services, and all employ different methods. Consequently, they may render different results. Some of them are more strongly focused on finding your family history, and some aren’t.

If you’re a genealogy beginner, what do you need to know?

Lori explains. Continue Reading