Monday, February 26, 2007

Feel like a long weekend? I have a suggestion

This weekend brings the 25th annual North Texas Irish Festival at Fair Park in Dallas, TX, which has become a can't-miss for Celtic fans from the Mid-South and the Southwest.

This festival continues to showcase the finest talent in music and dance in the Southwest, as well as bringing in the top performers from the US, Canada, and the British Isles. Among the international headliners are the legendary Tommy Makem, along with his sons The Makem Brothers, Cathie Ryan (who has wowed audiences at our local CoffeeHouse Concerts each of the last two years), Scottish singer-songwriter Ed Miller (one of my favorites), and Brian McNeill, founder of the Battlefield Band, who is a powerful performer.

Included among the regional headliners are Jackson, MS's Legacy (featured on the blogroll), Jim Flanagan, a USM professor from Ballyvourney (I hope that's right) who is the best Sean Nos (traditional) Irish singer I've heard, Tinsmith (who just played the Folk Alliance Conference here this weekend), and Spot & Albert, two brilliant musicians who don't sing a lot but are hilarious as well as talented beyond words.

If you love this music (and chances are you wouldn't be here if you DIDN'T), this is a worthy trip to make. I will be there, and I hope you are, too, it's terrific, not just for the music during the Festival itself, but for the sessions at the Radisson bar late into the night, where you see world-class players jamming with local musicians, it's just amazing.

Come to big D this weekend and you won't go wrong; you can even buy tickets in advance online at the website (above and on the blogroll), a weekend pass is just $30 (if you're going to be there all weekend, why not?).

While the host hotel has sold out, you can still find a room (if you move quickly) at the backup hotel, the Holiday Inn Select on North Central Expressway; they WILL provide shuttles to and from the Radisson Central Dallas, where you can hear sessions and take shuttles to and from Fair Park.

I will have more on some great places to eat in Dallas later this week.

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