Andy Irvine at Elysium Folk Club

Saturday night was a great treat, as both Dave and I saw the legendary Andy Irvine at The Elysium Folk Club in Rollinsford, NH. Great show, great player and, as I’ve mentioned before, all in a great room. And, as you can see from the camera phone, my seat wasn’t too bad either.

The legendary Andy Irvine

Dave has been lucky enough to see Andy play a few times – either as a solo, with Patrick Street or the band Mozaik. This was my first time seeing him live, and he didn’t disappoint. He did a fine mix of songs from his new album — including The Spirit of Mother Jones, Emptyhanded, and Oslo — and classics from earlier in his career like Arthur McBride, My Heart’s Tonight in Ireland and Never Tired of the Road.

One song that stood out for me was O’Donoghue’s – his ode to the days when he first got started in music by hanging out at the famous Dublin pub with the boys from The Dubliners and the lads that Andy would soon join to form Sweeney’s Men. Kinda reminds me of my experience coming to The Press Room — getting to know all the other musicians, forming deep friendships and, eventually, creating this duo with Dave, and our maritime group Mudhook with our friends Alan Eaton and Mike Jeanneau (the biggest Andy Irvine fan I know). As the song says: “This is what life was all about.”

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If you made it to the show, or his performance at Blue in Portland, what did ya think? What was your favorite song?

Mudhook at the Durham UU Coffee House

Just a quick note:

If you missed us playing with Mudhook at the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival, you’ll have another opportunity later this month. We’ll be playing a coffee house gig at the Universalist Unitarian Fellowship in Durham NH on Oct. 15. You can see details and let us know if you’re coming at the Facebook event page we set up HERE.

In the meantime, you can get your Mudhook fix with this video that our friend Jeff Murdock took of us last weekend at our PMFF performance at the Moffatt-Ladd House.

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2011 Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival

Just thought I’d mention that Dave and I will again be performing as part of the maritime folk group Mudhook at this year’s Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival, which takes place this weekend (Sept. 24 & 26) in different venues around Market Square. It’s a great weekend of music, and audience participation is always key!

If you want to catch one of our shows, stop by The Moffatt-Ladd House on Saturday at 1 p.m. for a set that will feature several new songs. A full calendar of the festival’s events are at the website, and the schedule has all our other performance times listed.

We've come to LOVE playing The Barn at The Moffatt-Ladd House...the acoustics are great!

FYI – We’ll also be playing in Prescott Park at noon on Saturday to kick off the NH Fish and Lobster Festival (known locally as The Fishtival). The PMFF and the Fishtival have been working together on some overlap during the last couple of years because they are so interwoven thematically. Ours will be a short set, but that event is well worth checking out.

Celtic Crossing displays local music support

Debbie and Steve Codd and family go beyond just running a great shop at  Celtic Crossing  Portsmouth – as they are always finding new ways to support local musicians.  They have been the key sponsor for the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival for three years, they give local CDs  special display space and in-store listening, and this week they’ve unveiled a new ‘local music’ window.  Debbie has created large versions of a number of local CD covers, like the classic vinyl LP size.  These are hung in mobile form amidst  the actual CDs.  It’s eye-catching and very effective.  

Thanks again to Debbie and the whole Cobb family!

Wild Rover Celtic Festival 2011

Every once in a while, I mention my history with The Wild Rover Pub in Manchester, NH in a post. What can I say: it holds a special place in my memory. After all…

  • When I went to college in Manch-vegas, I spent more than a bit of time there.
  • When I lived in Mont Vernon, I’d go every Thursday night to hear Marty Quirk sing.
  • I became friends with some of the regulars and they invited me to join Manchester’s Ancient Order of Hibernians.
  • The Rover is where I learned to play bodhran, where I first got on stage to sing, and where I had my first St. Patrick’s Day gig as part of the band, Shillelagh.

The trinity celebration

Well, I’m happy to say I’ve got a bit of a homecoming in a couple of weeks, as Dave and I will be playing the Wild Rover Celtic Festival. This is a tremendous event that includes three features:

1) The 21st Annual Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 5K Road Race, which is benefits the Make A Wish Foundation. (I remember working a mile marker for this race when I was with the Hibos.)

2) A St. Baldrick’s fundraiser. This is a fun event that involves people shaving their heads for money, and that money goes for childhood cancer research. This local event is part of a national campaign which has seen 187,000 “shaves” raise more than $114 million since 2000.

3) And, of course, there’s live music and exhibits throughout the day. My friends Marty Quirk and Kevin Dolan will be playing earlier in the afternoon, and after we play there will be a U2 tribute band called New Years Day. There will be several schools of Irish dance taking the stage for demonstrations, and countless booths from local vendors and exhibitors to visit, including our good friends from Celtic Crossing in Portsmouth and the Seacoast Irish Cultural Association (SICA).

The race starts at 10 a.m. and the festival starts at 11 a.m. We’re tentatively scheduled to play between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., so we hope you’ll stop by to visit and enjoy the day.

And if you decide to shave your head…lemme know and I’ll kick in a few bucks.

Would you shave YOUR head? These guys are doing it to help children with cancer.

The day kicks off with the 21st annual 5k road race to benefit the Make A Wish Foundation

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