As Eamon Murray pointed out from the stage in the Ballroom at the Irish Center last night, a lot has changed in the 10 years since Beoga last played here. But the most important thing hasn’t changed: Murray, Liam Bradley, Niamh Dunne, Seán Óg Grahamand Damien McKee are still Beoga and still know how to bewitch their audience.
It’s a pretty mean feat to bring 200 people out to listen to trad music on a Thursday night in mid-May with less than a month’s notice, but that is exactly what went down at the concert brought to you by the Philadelphia Ceili Group and the Commodore Barry Arts and Cultural Center last night. Continue Reading
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.
Last Friday, the Philadelphia Ceili Group brought multi-instrumentalist and award-winning folk singer Jarlath Henderson to a very appreciative Delaware Valley audience (with some driving from as far away as Reading in rush hour traffic to attend). And with a crowd of nearly 50 people in attendance at the Fireside Room of the Commodore John Barry Arts & Cultural Center (AKA The Irish Center) in Mount Airy, the evening was one of brilliant tunes and songs, with Jarlath stunning on pipes (both uilleann and vocal) and accompanied by the talented Glasgow-born Innes Watson on guitar (one audience member was overheard exclaiming “He makes that guitar talk!”). To check out where you can see them perform as they continue their U.S. tour, and to order their CDs, check out Jarlath’s website.
This is just the kick-off to a number of upcoming concerts the Ceili Group is sponsoring, several as a co-production with the Irish Center. First up is next Thursday, May 16, when they bring Beoga to town. In case you haven’t heard, the self-described “new-wave trad” super-group recently shot into the stratosphere when they performed on two Ed Sheeran songs: “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan.”
Then, on Sunday, June 9, they will be presenting David Curley in concert. Dave is an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, mandolin, banjo and bodhran, sings and does some Irish dancing as well. He is part of the band RUNA, as well as being a member of SLIDE. Continue Reading
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.
Occasionally, there is an occurrence of the kind of inspired synchronicity that causes one to say, “Ah, yes, it was meant to be.”
Wednesday evening at the restored Kelly House in East Falls was just that sort of occurrence. An enthralled audience of about 50 listened as Irish musician and folklorist Mick Moloney presented, for the first time, the Princess Grace Irish-American Sheet Music Collection. The talk was followed by the performance of several of the songs by Mick, Athena Tergis and Liz Hanley.
The Kelly House, in a partnership with the Center for Irish Studies at Villanova University and its director, Dr. Joseph Lennon, is fulfilling one of the missions set forth by Prince Albert of Monaco when he purchased the family home several years ago. With the assistance of, and collaboration between, family members Susan Kelly Von Medicus and her brother John B. Kelly III in Philadelphia, the house is taking on a new life and purpose. Continue Reading
Irish musician and folklorist Mick Moloney recalls a time when he was still living in Philadelphia, and L.A.H. O’Donnell, who had retired from EMI Records and lived in Chestnut Hill, contacted him with an intriguing offer: a vast trove of Irish-American sheet music.
“He was offering the collection for $3,000,” Moloney says. “Well, at the time, I didn’t have $300.”
Scholar that he was and is, Moloney looked about for another suitable home for the music, which hearkened back to the Tin Pan Alley days and a little before. No one, including the Smithsonian, had the budget. That was the last he heard of the music, although he never forgot about the offer.
Ten years later, when his circumstances had improved, he called O’Donnell again.
“I asked, ‘Is that collection still for sale?’ He said, ‘Mick, you’re one week too late. Someone just bought it.’” Continue Reading
Sober St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated Sunday, March 10, from 4 to 7 p.m., at The High Point Bank Barn at St. Peter’s Church, 2475 St. Peter’s Road in Malvern.
Sponsoring the event is the local Irish music and cultural organization Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann-Philadelphia/Delaware Valley—CCÉ, for short.
“We have a super line-up this year, with Shannon Lambert-Ryan and Fionán de Barra joining us for the first time,” said Katherine Ball-Weir, CCÉ-Philadelphia Delaware Valley chairman. “They are such great musicians and performers, and real favorites of mine. I’m thrilled that they could make space in their schedule to be with us. They will be touring with their band Runa around that time, but Shannon and Fionán are based here in Philadelphia and the two of them will be back for a couple of days, so we grabbed them up. They will join some of our favorite musicians from Philadelphia and Baltimore.” Continue Reading
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.