Audio, Music

Audio Podcast: Interview with Celtic Woman’s Máiréad Carlin

Celtic Woman’s Destiny World Tour is coming to Reading, Pa., June 18, 2016, at the Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading. If you’re willing to drive a little farther, you can also catch them at Eisenhower Auditorium in University Park the night before.

We interviewed singer Máiréad Carlin, one of the four current members of the troupe, which began in 2004 and took off from there.

Máiréad is classically trained, with a background in opera and folk music. She’s well known in her native Northern Ireland for many things, not the least of which is her duet with Glee’s Damian McGinty, singing Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run,” celebrating Derry’s designation as City of Culture in 2013.

She joined Celtic Woman in August of the same year.

We spoke to Máiréad about her career, about going Celtic Woman, and about music generally and what it means to her. We started by asking her: Why is the world still so enamored of Irish music and dance, more than 20 years after Riverdance.

Here’s what she had to say.

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish In Philly This Week

A wee bit of a light week as we welcome the flowers of May.

The 35th anniversary of the death of Irish Hunger Striker Bobby Sands will be commemorated on Thursday at Tir na nOg , 1324 Hamilton Avenue in Trenton. No details on what’s going to be happening, but it starts at 8 PM. There’s sure to be music.

Also on Thursday, the duo, Slainte, will be playing at Con Murphy’s Pub on the Parkway in Philadelphia.

The John Byrne Band will be performing in concert on Friday at the parish house at Christ Church Riverton in Riverton, NJ. Continue Reading

News, Photos

A Solemn Remembrance of 1916

With solemn ceremony and rousing speeches, Philadelphia’s Irish community celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising on Sunday, April 24, the lost battle that led to the ultimate victory of Irish independence.

The event started in the blazing sunshine at The Irish Memorial, where a number of local dignitaries, including State Rep. Mike Driscoll and Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon spoke. Using only an index card for reference, Irish-born Patsy Kelly, told the history of the uprising, in which about 1200 armed Irish men and women seized buildings in Dublin, launched by the reading of The Proclamation by Irish teacher Padraig Pearse.

That document, which proclaimed Ireland a free republic belonging to the Irish people, was read later at Independence Hall, first in English by Regina Mullen Bocchino and Dierdre Mullen, the granddaughters of Joseph McGarrity, a Philadelphia-based businessman from Tyrone who was considered the financier of the rebellion, and then in Irish by Temple University cardiologist Brian O Murchu, MD. Continue Reading

Music, Photos, Videos

Mick Moloney, Jimmy Keane and Robbie O’Connell in Concert

Longtime Philadelphia Ceili Group member Jim McGill shared an old  program with Mick Moloney before his concert with Robbie O’Connell and Jimmy Keane Saturday night at the Philadelphia Irish Center/Commodore Barry Club.

I didn’t get a look at it, but it was from the first time Mick played at the center, many years ago. It was a photo, of course, of a much younger and bushier Mick Moloney. O’Connell had a look at it and he drew laughs from the audience when he described Moloney as looking like “Sasquatch with a banjo.”

That’s kind of how the evening went. A concert with these three masters of the trade is an informal affair. They all had stories to tell—moonshine and the Tennessee World’s Fair figured prominently in one particularly quirky tale—and even though the three of them were up on stage in the bright lights and the rest of us were sitting in the ballroom in the dark, it felt like a much smaller room, with friends sharing gossip, a few well-worn tunes and a drink or two.

Better to show you than to tell you. So what we have is three videos and a small collection of photos from the concert. Hope you like them. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

This Sunday, April 24, Irish organizations from all over the region will converge on Philadelphia to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, the lost battle that ultimately won Ireland its independence from British rule.

It starts with a flag-raising at The Irish Memorial at Front and Chestnut Streets at 10 AM followed by a procession to Independence Hall at 5th and Market Streets where the Proclamation—Ireland’s “Declaration of Independence”–will be read out loud.

There will be food available after the ceremonies at The Irish Center, 6815 Emlen Street in Philadelphia. Several bands will be playing. Continue Reading

News, People, Photos

Meet the New Philadelphia Rose of Tralee

The 26-year-old executive director of a Philadelphia nonprofit serving homeless veterans was crowned the 2016 Philadelphia Rose of Tralee on Saturday night at the Radnor Hotel. The event was emceed by CBS3 consumer reporter Jim Donovan.

The latest Rose, Brigid Gallagher, has the inside scoop on what she’s in for this year. Her older sister, Colleen, was the 2007 Philly Rose. The two wrote and illustrated a children’s book and, along with running the Philadelphia Veterans’ House, Brigid Gallagher is completing her masters of art therapy and counseling at Drexel University. A graduate of West Chester University with a degree in graphic design and psychology, The new Rose is a marathoner and one of the newest members of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the oldest Irish organization in the US, located in Philadelphia, which recently opened its membership to women.

Brigid is the middle sister of seven girls—so there may be more Gallagher Roses to come. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Whoever came up with the idea of turning Mick Moloney, Robbie O’Connell and Jimmy Keane into a group, hurray for you.

These three traditional Irish musicians have been at the forefront of Irish music for more years than they care to count. And they’re coming to the Irish Center on Saturday night for a concert sponsored by the Philadelphia Ceili Group.

Singer and musician Mick Moloney, a Limerick native, is an honorary Philadelphia. He pursued his graduate studies at Penn in 1973 and stayed on for several years to revive the Irish music tradition in the city. He’s also the architect of two topnotch groups, Cherish the Ladies and The Green Fields of America. He is a Natational Endowment of the Arts Heritage fellow. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Put up your dukes! This Saturday quite a few people will be doing just that at the Young Irelands Gaelic Football Club’s “Fight Night” fundraiser at The Irish Center in Philadelphia. There will be a real ring, real referees and real fighters. And yes, real blood. It’s real boxing. It happens.

You’re a lover, not a fighter? Well, Jamison is The Red Rooster in Philly on Saturday night. You’ll love their brand of Celtic rock. They’re also the only band in Philly whose fiddler is sometimes airborne. Said fiddler CJ Mills will also be at Reedy’s on Frankford Avenue on Friday, April 15, as part of Slainte, with Frank Daly, his Jamison bandmate. Continue Reading