We’ve got a couple of festivals for you—one relatively small, another one about as big as it gets—and a few other events you might want to take in.
By the way, do whatever you can to support live music—even if “live” means live streamed.
Here’s what’s up:
Friday, August 14
Songstress Mary Courtney is back for her weekly Friday concert, live streamed to Facebook at 6 p.m. Catch it here: https://www.facebook.com/MorningStarBand
Also at 6, you can join Caitlin Finley and Will Woodson for a cocktail hour (and a half). Catch the live stream at www.facebook.com/woodsonandfinley/live.
Raymond Coleman, one of the hardest-working peeps in local Irish music, shows up at The Wharf, 708 West Burk Avenue in Wildwood, starting at 6:30. Always a good show.
Friday, August 14 – Sunday, August 16
It’s time for the Philadelphia Folk Festival! Unlike previous Philly Folk Festivals, this one will be streamed live for all the obvious reasons. Curse you, pandemic.
However, the lineup is still just as appealing as it always is, featuring more than a few Irish and Celtic acts, including the always exciting Téada, Liam Ó Maonlaí of the Hothouse Flowers, The Henry Girls (fabulous), Kris Drever, Breabach, and Philly’s own John Byrne.
Some of what’s on this week—but not everything—is virtual. That’s the way things go these pandemic days. But that doesn’t mean these events are not still fun. (Of course they are!)
So here is what’s happening:
Friday, August 7
Sweeney’s Philadelphia, 13639 Philmont Avenue, hosts ELEVEN starting at 6:30 p.m. out on the outdoor patio.
The First Friday Traditional Irish Music Session, typically held in The Before Times at the Irish Center, tonight goes completely virtual via Zoom, starting at 8 p.m. To take part, direct message Hollis Payer from her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hollis.payer.
The summer fun just keeps on coming, close to home and down at the beach—and, of course, virtually.
Here’s what’s what:
Friday, July 31
You can catch the glorious Mary Courtney live on Facebook again this week at 6 p.m. She’s a veritable treasure trove of tunes and one of the most stirring voices in Irish music today.
Also at 6 p.m.—you’ll have to make a touch decision here—flutist Will Woodson and fiddler Caitlin Finley, who hails from Philly, host a cocktail hour (and a half) live on Facebook. Catch their act here. (Video below.)
Saturday, August 1
Hard to believe we’re heading into August already. We have one event you can watch from the comfort of your own air-conditioned home. Barleyjuice appears on the lineup for a concert from this year’s virtual Dublin Irish Festival. The show starts at 2 p.m. on Facebook.
Later in the day, Philly’s very own Jamison unPlugged hits the stage at the North Shore Bar & Kitchen, 301-303 New York Avenue in North Wildwood, starting at 5 p.m. Contact North Shore for reservations. Outdoor seating is limited. 609-551-4112.
One quick note: A drive-in concert for Saturday night, featuring The John Byrne Band at People’s Light in Malvern, is sold out.
For the first time in a long time, we have quite the full slate for you. A bit of it is virtual, all of it is appropriately distanced.
We’ll start with a virtual concert that you are going to want to watch tonight (Friday, July 24): the fabulous Mary Courtney. You can catch her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MorningStarBand
You can tip her during the performance via Venmo and PayPal. (Please do. Support our Irish musicians! Details during the show.) Starts at 6 p.m. Video at the end of the story so you can see why we’re crazy about her.
Also tonight, see The Rollers live at Sweeney’s Philly, 13639 Philmont Avenue in Philadelphia. They’ll be playing decades of your favorite tunes. The show starts at 6:30 p.m.
Because there’s not as much happening as in pre-Covid times, we’re looking forward a bit.
First up—and this is a don’t miss—the John Byrne Band is taking the stage for a socially distanced drive-in concert Saturday, August 1, in the People’s Light parking lot, 39 Conestoga Road in Malvern. John and the band are always a guaranteed good time. If you can, go.
Coming up sooner:
On Facebook Saturday, July 18, at 8 p.m. Irish time, 3 p.m. Eastern, our own Raymond Coleman is part of a huge cast of musicians worldwide playing for an NHS Fundraiser Gig. Check it out here. Donate here: https://gf.me/u/yfjb55
Jamison Celtic Rock will present its acoustic act Sunday, July 19, at Keenan’s Irish Pub, 113 Olde New Jersey Avenue in North Wildwood. The tunes begin at 6 p.m.
Little by little, we’re getting into the Irish swing of things again. Not a lot, but a few events worth mentioning as we head into the next couple of weeks.
We’ll start with Saturday, July 11. John Byrne and Andy Keenan will be playing at Burlington County Farmers Market, 500 Centerton Road, Moorestown, New Jersey. The tunes start at 8:30 a.m. John says they’ll be tucked away in their chicken cage—not completely sure what that means—safely distant from their audience. Details here.
If you’ve missed Jamison Celtic Rock—who hasn’t?—check out the band’s acoustic act Sunday, July 12, at Keenan’s Irish Pub, 113 Olde New Jersey Avenue in North Wildwood. Otherwise known as the Irish Riviera. The music starts at 6 p.m.
As the Philly area goes green, beginning to emerge from statewide pandemic restrictions, the very good news is that your favorite watering hole or restaurant might have opened already, at least on a limited basis, and even begun to expand from the outdoors to the indoors. Same as the good old pre-Covid days? Nope, but we’ll bet it’s going to be plenty good enough for those of us who have missed our normal routines … and our favorite dish or brew.
All of them are taking the state-mandated precautions—for example, requiring masks of patrons while waiting and when not at the table; taking the temperatures of staffers before each shift; requiring staffers to wear masks at all times; and spacing tables six feet apart. Some require reservations; some don’t. A few place time limits on how long you can stay, or restrictions on how many people can be seated at a table. And you’ll find more variations on that theme, all designed to keep staff and patrons safe. Hours may be subject to change.
Some of these places have entertainment lined up. You might even find happy hour, karaoke, quizzo, or a guy with a guitar.
What follows is by no means an exhaustive list. We’d advise you to check with your local pub, bar or restaurant to find out their status. Those that haven’t opened up yet often have pickup and delivery available. For that matter, even if the following are now offering street or patio dining, they’re usually also offering pickup and delivery, as they have for weeks.
For now, here’s what we’ve got:
We’ve got a ways before we can return to the way things were, but for now, many of our favorite musicians are coming up with some socially distanced accommodations.
Up to this point, you’ve only been able to hear them through their Facebook concerts. And some, like Seamus Kelleher, have been doing concerts from their back porch or in parking lots.
But if you’re jonesing for the tunes of your favorite musicians in person, you’ll have to wait till the end of the week.
However, there is one Facebook concert (among the many lately) that you’ll definitely want to catch.
You can listen to Jamison Celtic Rock on Saturday—the full band, for the first time in weeks—streaming live on their Facebook page. They’ll be set up the requisite six feet apart, streaming live from a condo in North Wildwood, and they’ll play your favorite tunes and make you think about better times. The show starts at 5 p.m.