Monday, August 25, 2008

An Event-Full September!

The schedule is up for CelticFest Mississippi! Go here to plan your listening pleasure for the weekend.

If you can't get away, here are a few other options:

Sunday, Sept. 14 at 7 pm, Kúla is playing at the newly renovated Levitt Shell in Overton Park. This is part of a month of free music being offered at the Shell. For more information about the Levitt Shell or their schedule of events, go to

Sept. 19-21 is Clanjamfry: A Scottish Festival.
Friday (19th) Ceilidh
Saturday (20th) 5K Run, Faire, and an Evening Concert featuring Old Blind Dogs!
Sunday (21) Kirkin' of the Tartans and Dinner on the Grounds

The Faire offers games, dancing, vendors with crafts and food, children's area, sheep herding demos, Scottish Clans, and music from Kúla, Hooligans and Border Collies. For schedule and more information, go to

The Evening Concert with Old Blind Dogs should be absolutely wonderful! I saw them last September in Bethlehem at the Celtic Classic with their new line-up. Excellent! As a friend of ours said in introducing them, "They're not old; they're not blind; and they're definitely not dogs. And their music is good too."

If you are a fan of Kúla and other world music, you might enjoy their VillageFest on Sept. 27. There's more information about this event at I can tell you that Smithfield Fair will be there to perform. Other performers include the talented folks of Rose Creek Village Arts. Selmer is just a couple hours from Memphis, and worth the drive.

As some of you may know, the last weekend of September is also the Celtic Classic in Bethlehem, PA. This one of the largest Celtic Festivals in the US, gathering crowds of over 260,000 people and it's FREE! Of course, it is a little far afield. An excellent line-up usually makes it a worthwhile trip. Check their website for more information:

For non-Celtic music, check out the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival this weekend in downtown Memphis.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Feel Like a Road Trip?

As I was tooling around the World Wide Web, I discovered the Western Kentucky Highland Festival is coming up in Murray, KY. Murray is just about 3 hours away from Memphis. I only know about the event from their website,, but their Saturday evening concert (9/13/08) is a performance from Isla St. Clair. Now her I know!

My introduction to Isla St. Clair was as a young child, when my grandfather ordered the National Geographic Society album, "Music of Scotland" (okay, I'm dating myself, because this was an LP). She sang 2 or 3 beautiful songs on the album and I loved it! This was my first introduction to Scottish traditional music. The album also included a couple songs from Jean Redpath, a couple pipe bands and some other performers whose names I can't remember. Many years later, I would remember this album, when another friend introduced me to The Chieftans.

Anyway, Isla St. Clair has a beautiful voice and would be completely worth the drive to Murray, KY. The only problem is the timing. CelticFest Mississippi is the weekend before and Memphis' own Clanjamfry is the following weekend. Too much going on in too short a time frame. If anyone make the trip, let me know how the concert was.

Note: I'm not sure the above album is available anywhere, except maybe a used record store.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

CelticFest Mississippi Site Updated

This morning, much to the glee of the Cracker, we discovered that the CelticFest Mississippi website has been updated to include information for the coming festival.


Jimmy Crowley
County Cork’s Jimmy Crowley, a singer/songwriter and bouzouki accompanist central to the Irish folk scene since the late 1970’s. "Jimmy Crowley is a musical icon in Irish tradition…. the lift and lilt of his voice is the listener's joy,” says Micheál Ó Súlleabháin of the Irish World Centre.

Randal Bays and Dáithí Sproule
The second featured headliner for 2008 are returning duo Randal Bays and Dáithí Sproule. Among the many Americans who play Irish fiddle, Randal Bays is one of the few to find serious acceptance and respect for his music in Ireland. His serene demeanor certainly belies the power in his playing. The other half of the duo, Dáithí (pronounced DAH-hee) is, without condition, one of Irish music’s greatest guitar accompanists. Dáithí’s playing is both sensitive and driving, with no small amount of virtuosity. His rendering of traditional songs from his native Northern Ireland round out the duo’s musical vocabulary.

Many of the usual suspects are playing there as well--Legacy, Smithfield Fair, SPOT/Albert, Spirits of the House, Michael Harrison, Jim Flanagan, etc. For a complete list, go to

Please note that I was mistaken about the Cabot Lodge rate--it's $85 per night (not $82 as previously reported).

We hope to see you all there at this lovely, laid-back event, that always manages to feel more like a family reunion.