Wednesday, August 26, 2009

September is Celtic-ful!

CelticFest Mississippi is one of our favorite festivals to attend. It always feels more like a gathering of friends than a music festival. So many events that we attend separate the performers from the festivalgoers, but not this one. This festival is a chance for performers to see old friends and to enjoy hearing other people perform, or in some cases, to play together. Then after the main event, we all go back to the host hotel and enjoy the seisuins. If we lived in Jackson, the Cracker and I would definitely want to be a part of the volunteer team that runs this event. In fact, this event was part of the reason that the Cracker got interested in Celtic music, well with a little influence from yours truly. UPDATE: Their schedule is now up, and you can find it here!

As things are, we do not volunteer at this festival, but not because we don't support it. Mostly because we need a break between events. One of our busiest weekends of the year is the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival on Labor Day weekend. An event that, sadly, will very rarely feature any Celtic music. We've been trying for years, but with only modest success. If you enjoy a wide variety of music, that doesn't include Celtic this year, do check out the MMHF presented by the Center for Southern Folklore.

The last weekend of September is filled with Celtic music! Again, the Cracker and I will be working at Clanjamfry, the Scottish Festival presented by Evergreen Presbyterian Church. In addition to playing at the festival, Legacy, from Jackson, MS, will be performing at the Celtic Crossing and the Levitt Shell will present The Prodigals, a Celtic rock band from the East Coast.

So, to recap. Check out other types of music at the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival (blues, soul, gospel, jazz, country, reggae, klezmer & more). Make the drive to Jackson, MS for CelticFest Mississippi for a great weekend of Celtic music. Visit Cooper-Young Festival and patronize our artist friends. Then come to Clanjamfry to see Legacy and the Sallymacs; the evening concert presents the great Brian McNeill (or have a pint and see Legacy at the Celtic Crossing). Join us for brunch and traditional Irish music with Legacy at the Crossing again on Sunday morning (or go to Evergreen's Kirkin' o' the Tartans, followed by Dinner on the Grounds). Then bring a picnic, blanket and non-alcoholic beverage to the Levitt Shell for some kickin' Celtic rock with The Prodigals. I'm tired just thinking about next month.

Friday, August 21, 2009

CelticFest Mississippi Is Coming!

This week's installment of Feel Good Friday brings us one week closer to CelticFest MS. As I look forward to make the short trek to the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, I want to share this snippet from Tim Britton, Uillean piper extraordinaire.

Tim is one of the headliners for this year's event and a perenial favorite. For more information about the event, see the festival website. If you are attending the event, make sure to come to the host hotel, Cabot Lodge Millsaps, for the seisuins that last until the wee hours (sometimes they run into the staff putting out the breakfast bar).

See you there!

Friday, August 14, 2009

CelticFest Mississippi! Coming Soon!

With the coming of September, we enter the busy season for the Cracker and I. After we work the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival (which, alas, has every kind of music, but Celtic), we head to Jackson, MS for a great weekend of music and craic at CelticFest Mississippi. Headlining this year is the group Trian, Captain Mackey's Goatskin and String Band, Tim Britton and Brendan Nolan. In addition, there are great regional performers, dance groups and music & cultural workshops.

For Feel Good Friday, I chose this video of Máirtín de Cógáin and Jimmy Crowley singing "I Know My Love". As Captain Mackey's Goatskin and String Band, joined by Don Penzien and Valerie Plested of Legacy, they emphasize the songs about soldiers and soldiering.


CelticFest Mississippi is completely run by a group of dedicated volunteers. Among those volunteers are Don Penzien and Valerie Plested two-thirds of the group Legacy. Here is Legacy performing at a house concert.


If you are in the area, join us for this great weekend!