Reviewed by Mary McWay Seaman, Celtic Connection, October, 2007
Folks who grew up during the Great Depression will not easily forget this book, and some New Yorkers may even feel themselves walking through its mirrors. Others will revere it as an aching refresher on the era. NORTH RIVER, Pete Hamill”s new novel, conducts readers through 1934 Greenwich Village near the North River (as the locals called the Hudson), where for many folks, hoping for heat and hot water was wishing for the moon. Sick at heart in the winter of his life, Dr. James Finbar Delaney, family physician, shoulders a grueling workload to block his despair. An injury in France during World War I, where he saw fellow soldiers cut to ribbons, had long banished Delaney”s dream of becoming a surgeon. Investigations into the strange disappearance of his dissatisfied wife drag on, and the couple”s impetuous daughter, a teen-aged bride, has left the country with a revolutionary young husband embroiled in overseas political rebellions. Hamill”s rich historical acumen summons a dark decade between world wars; a decade marked by global pauperism and growing overseas tyrannies that pushed multitudes into revolution and many towards nihilism. Few writers can transport readers to New York”s blighted, Depression-era streets with as much subtle, sensual veracity as Hamill. Delaney”s home medical practice near the river, “where he had listened to so many confessions without any hope of granting absolution,” occupies his mornings, while afternoons are devoted to house calls on foot or bicycle within warrens of decrepit tenements (anyone remember house calls?). The dangers faced when treating gangland foes ” hazards of his profession ” are constructed with the authority of a precise, journalistic hand. The narrative is crisp, and everyday conversations hum with authenticity. Nostalgia drips from the pages like a misty dew, but manages to skirt sentimentality. Delaney”s patients are afflicted with ailments and hardships that gnaw at each other with a sorrowful edginess. Injuries and diseases, from random sicknesses and savage accidents to grievous wounds from brawling and gunshot wounds, arrive at his door. Gangsters and gun-runners, military veterans and ordinary folks are treated for illnesses that would only be seen in specialty settings today ” tuberculosis, malaria, ills from tobacco and alcoholism, and cancer. The doctor attends to common complaints ranging from boils to shingles, but most people just waited out the usual childhood diseases and common respiratory ailments. The shame of penury is as visceral as the fear of hospitals before the development of antibiotics. Delaney”s patients, like much of the population in the 1930s, view the institutions as dumping grounds for hopeless cases. Hamill”s tough, newspaperman”s no-nonsense eye is at work in beholding the solitary, multi-tasking Samaritan whose accounts payable are never healed by his accounts receivable. When the doctor”s three-year-old grandson is abruptly deposited on his doorstep, life changes utterly. His daughter abandons the toddler to begin a search of Europe for her runaway spouse. The young husband”s dreams of glory require dramas with showy responsibilities and a new woman; he refuses to be foiled by the drag of family life. Folks in this novel are one of two kinds. Members of the first group, no matter where they are, want to be somewhere else and are suspended in wishful transit mode. The second group consists of those up to their elbows with life”s daily digging and hauling. Delaney”s wife, daughter, son-in-law and a mob patient are in the first category. Blindsided by love for his grandson, the doctor hires Rose, a scrappy Sicilian immigrant with a shaky past who organizes the household and soothes both suffering souls. All of the historic, literary, artistic and religious symbolism inherent in her name is excruciatingly correct. Her persona, a steadying tonic for Delaney”s sorrows, also provides an intriguing peek into the structural class system of the period. Reverence for President Roosevelt is palpable among the masses. The discipline of poverty has had its enthusiasts through the centuries, but there are no romantic notions about the nobility of privation in this book. Poor folks with poor ways – bugs, dirt, debilities and rotten teeth ” are on their own in the years before Social Security, welfare, food stamps, free school lunches, subsidized childcare and after-school camps. Private charities and churches offer some relief. Hamill gets in a few swings at the Catholic Church, but his measured hits are piercing and effective, usually in anecdotal asides, as he lets facts speak for themselves. His impression of religion as an anachronistic, monolithic bureaucracy rife with tribal, ritualistic bonds bearing strange fruit is furthered through the drama of a sports celebrity”s funeral (attended by John McCormack, George M. Cohan and Will Rogers), and the manipulation of another death certificate to circumvent the Church”s denial of burials for suicides (an injunction since rescinded). This enchanting saga is buoyed by a vortex of multilayered subplots awash with unexpected twists. A probing look at organized crime in the city, propelled by years of Prohibition, teases out some ethical dilemmas. Deft explorations of the enemies doctors sometimes make when their patients die comprise sobering tales, and one interlude exposes the dangers of submitting wound reports to law enforcement. Threading his way in and out of snares in the face of fearsome threats, Dr. Delaney sports a touch of swagger ” a perennial Pete Hamill feature in some portraits of his afflicted, almost too-good-to-be-true protagonists. Hamill”s exuberant love for the city he knows so well spills over in remembrance of hard times and unsung heroism. His genius in evoking the gritty, cold fog of Depression-era desperation lies in depictions of bewildered, workaday folks battling for their daily bread without fuss, fanfare or any grasp whatsoever of grand gestures. Most arrestingly, NORTH RIVER delivers an old soldier from hopelessness by addressing an elemental, ancient force – the heart”s desire to nurture and protect progeny, mankind”s lone, earthly fragment of immortality.

A nonprofit organization, MCPN has provided medical and health education services to the underserved since 1989. Their current service areas encompass Jefferson, Arapahoe, Adams and Park Counties and the City of Lakewood and Aurora. MCPN has one of the largest population base of any Community Health Center in Colorado and, the largest number of underserved individuals in the State. Within its current established healthcare system MCPN provides primary care to approximately 16,000 individuals in the City of Aurora. According to David Myers, MCPN President and CEO, those numbers will increase, “We estimate that 60,000 individuals in Aurora qualify for MCPN services. Our expansion of a new medical facility will increase our current capacity to serve more patients, bringing the estimate total to 32,000 individuals served in this community.” MCPN has developed services to provide primary health care for people who have no other access to health care. A Family Practice model of health care is supported by case management services, pharmacy services, and other coordination efforts to remove barriers to health care. Well Child Care, immunizations, obstetrics, gynecology, and chronic disease management are among the most often-requested services. MCPN provides case management and health education programs in the following areas: ” AmeriCorps service learning Programs for Adults, where health education and outreach services for MCPN patients and clients are provided. ” Health Education Classes comprised of Diabetes, Asthma, Childbirth, Smoking Cessation, Family Planning and Healthy Living. ” Healthy Start Project, providing care coordination for pregnant women and families with infants up to two years of age in Aurora, Englewood, and Sheridan. ” Perinatal Services, creating effective linkages for pregnant women with the MCPN service system and providing Doula Birth Coaches. ” Services for Aurora”s Homeless/Indigent Populations, serving the community at MCPN”s Elmira clinic. ” Services for Pregnant and Parenting Teens, working with pregnant and parenting youth in Aurora ages 11 ” 19 years. These services include: resource information, help returning to school or getting a GED, support, advocacy, home visits, case management and the teen clinic. MCPN has accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). This means we have been recognized for complying with rigorous national performance standards that promote quality health care delivery, our top priority. MCPN is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization; this designation allows all revenue to be put towards meeting their mission. All donations are tax exempt. For more information about MCPN or The Green Tie Event please contact Vice President of Development, John Reid @ (303) 761-1977 x124 or

Interview with Beth Patterson by Pat McCullough Beth Patterson has a stage presence that has been described by viewers as “a cross between a cobra and a puppy.” No doubt the puppy is for her lovely smile and voice ” and the Cobra? Maybe for her fleet finger action on the fret board ” but more likely to describe her deadly quick sense of humor. Not deadly in the sense that she is trying to hurt anyone ” just deadly sweet irreverence. The Louisiana native is loaded with one liners and quick wit ” on and off the stage. Whether it comes from fact or fiction is irrelevant as long it is absolved by a laugh. Take for example her current ad/flyer for a November 25th concert at Lannie”s Clocktower Cabaret in Denver which reads, “Her music is great, but her cooking sucks!”-Martha Stewart. During a recent phone interview she laughed off what she described as “The bogus quote”" but then the cobra struck. “She totally snubbed my cake, even though it felt like Janet Reno”s boobs she still could have been nice about it ” she snubbed my cake, and said me my cooking sucks, and at Lannie”s Martha and I are going to mud wrestle ” and I”m going to completely kick Martha Stewart”s ass ” Let”s get her out of the kitchen and see how she can do with a microphone and bouzouki!” Since Martha Stewart won”t be there (please read Martha Stewart fans and attorneys) Beth came up with plan B. “Lannie (Lannie Garrett ” performer/owner) walks on stage dressed like Martha Stewart and I say “Martha you dissed my cake and said my cooking sucked” ” and then we both get into a rousing rendition of “Anything You Can Do I Can Do better”. Return of the puppy. Having fun with the cabaret connotation Beth joked, “At Lannie”s Cabaret, I”ll be stripping myself of preconceived notions and genres.” So will there be more puppy or Cobra at Lannie”s? “There has to be a balance of Cobra and puppy ” at times both can be a little more intense”. So is it a part of a performance plan? “It”s not a conscious thing ” people know what they are going to get into when they come to see me. You see the bogus quote ” and people expect something far from domestic.” Beth is back in the studio in the process of recording her 4th CD called “On Better Paths”, which is an anagram of her name. “I”ve got some things like “Hell or High Water”, my post-Katrina song that people have heard that will be on the CD ” but it will be up a couple of notches with intensity. The CD will be cryptic, multi-layered and multi-faceted ” more musically striking. There is going to be more cross pollination ” fusions of Celtic and African more strongly or a lot less subtly than “Take Some Fire” (her 2nd CD). She added with a chuckle, “Less shy musically and lyrically.” Ruff-ruff, Hiss-Hiss Beth Patterson Colorado Gigs: Sunday, Nov 25, 7pm show 6pm doors, Lannie”s Clocktower Cabaret, 16th St. Mall @ Arapahoe in Downtown Denver. 21+ show $12 online at and $15 at door. 303-293-0075. Thursday, Nov 29, 7-9pm, All Ages show Avogadros, 605 S. Mason, Ft. Collins, CO, 970- 493-5555. Note: Beth Patterson”s 4th CD “On Better Paths” is schedule for release in the Spring of 2008 info at

“We raised $2K for Children”s Hospital…for the research of “SIDS”, said owner Andrew Toole, “We raised the money by silent auction with items donated by Natures Way, Pepsi Centre and Scruffy”s putting up two round trip tickets to Ireland.” Big Paddy, Kinetics & 66 Days provided entertainment. (photo by Donnie Danesh)

With fiddle in hand, she will drop into the Conor O”Neill”s Sunday night session in Boulder to play and visit with friends. “The folks there have been so supportive and kind,” she said about her fellow session players, “really generous with their excitement for me.” She will also teach fiddle lessons when she is home to her students with flexible schedules. “I really love to teach and get people excited about such a joyous music ” I think there are a lot of people out there that like the variety and spontaneity of the traditional Irish music ” it”s a great outlet for young and old”. Passionate about Irish traditional music, Jessie”s first instruction was in classical violin which she played for ten years as a child in Suffolk, England. For the past 15 years or so Jessie has been focusing on Irish trad but she has also been introduced to some of it”s cousins. “I”ve been influenced by American music like Old Time and Bluegrass as well because I”ve been living out in Colorado and played that a fair bit as well.” So going from trad to the bigger sound of GS, what kind of adjustments did you need to make?
“You have to do an adjustment with how you play ” like in a lot of kinds of music, if you”re the melody player people will follow you ” if you want to pick the pace of the tune up or slow it down you do and the guitarist will follow you. But when you”re in a more contemporary group with a drum kit you have to fit ” you can”t just say “gee, I think I”ll speed it up now” because you would just get out of time with everyone. The group is set by the drum and guitar and you have to fit. Fitting into that rhythm has probably been the hardest challenge for me… it continues to be a really fun challenge. I get to explore rhythm in a way that I”ve never done before ” I”m backing up the songs as well as playing melody” You have a wireless fiddle that allows you to interact freely with band members and audience. How have you adjusted to this physical movement aspect on stage?
“Yes, if I moved around like that in a trad setting I would take everyone out,” she said with a laugh, adding, “Pretty much of the job description is to be really energetic and just really have a great time playing on stage ” and we honestly are- its the highlight of every day to get on stage and play ” we spend all day getting -driving there, arranging it ” then you finally get up there and play. I get really filled with energy when I”m up on stage, and the tunes are so catchy that I just can”t stand still.” So how did you get plucked out of comfortable Colorado to tour the world with GS?
“I put my Myspace page(website) together and started shooting-off “friend requests” (one way musicians cross promote on each others sites) to just all sorts of people including Gaelic Storm.” A day or two later Jessie got and email from their Nashville management office requesting that she give them a call and arrange to fly out to the East coast to audition the next week. “He sent me a bunch of cds-and I tried to learn about six albums in one week-which backfired” she laughed recalling the information overload. “But I did the audition with them and it went well and they were all really nice…Ellery Klein (their fiddle player at the time) with her pregnant tummy was very nice and helpful. They gave me-kind of like a trial period where I went out on tour for about a week apprenticing with her – so we would be both on stage and she showed me the ropes. Once we worked out that I wanted to be there and they wanted me there than Ellery left when she was about 5 months pregnant – so I became their full time fiddle player.” Now that you have been touring for a half a year or so do you feel like a bona fide member of the band?
“Now it feels like I have been doing it forever” she said with a laugh, then resumed on a more serious note, “I think it is so much about how personalities get on ” its no use being an amazing musician if there is a big personality riff of people ” the chemistry of the band is more important. It”s sooo great, we really, really like each other and watch out for each other.” So as the only female in the band are they protective of you?
“Actually they are- they definitely keep an eye on me ” they”ve let me know that if there was ever any trouble, all I had to do was whistle and they would be there with their boxing gloves on.” Is there any downside to being the only female in the band?
“Not really, they have had a girl in the band for the last ten years, so in a way they treat me like one of the guys. Though they do tease me all the time ” lucky I grew up in a big family of 7 brothers and sisters. , I do beeline to other female musicians I meet on the road and immediately start talking about things that I wouldn”t normally talk about with my girlfriends -like hair, make-up and clothes.” What! the lads won”t chat fashion with you?
“No, but you would be surprised how much time they spend on their hair ” much more than me!” She said with a laugh, assuring me that none of the lads were in earshot. GS spends close to 200 days on the road, how are you managing all the time on the road ” the tour bus, hotels?
“It”s a unique work situation where you virtually live with your co-workers and bosses and you depend on each other for company-you create music together, you do business as a team – a lot of our time goes into merchandise “selling and accounting. When were on the tour bus, its is a big vehicle and you can get space on it you know ” you learn quickly how important to have a really could set of headphones-and a good computer-and I-pod so you have the option to be in your own world as you travel. I”m so glad cell phones were invented because I can stay in touch with friends back home, and of course email is really key. We don”t sleep on the bus we stay in hotels all the time ” it would be a lot harder if we had to sleep on the bus.” Is there a shower? “Yes “but it is occupied by beer crates.” So the all the travel is not draining? “Mostly I”ve woke up every morning excited to see what”s coming next- but every now again you just want to go home-you just want your mommy you know. You just want some good healthy home cooked food and the same bed and a place where you can be by yourself every now and again. But that happens rarely- and I think that you have to be kind of an adventurous kind of person who likes to be in new places and see new things all of the time.” What has been your most memorable gig so far? “I heard about Milwaukee for decades ” about being such an amazing festival ” and to actually get to play there was like a dream come true for sure. Friday night played in front of upwards to 10,000 people…as far back as you could see was a sea of people ” it was a little daunting to be up there with legends of Irish music all over the place ” and thousands and thousands of people. The energy was phenomenal “really incredible! Saturday the rain came. Waking up on Saturday morning and seeing sheets of rain coming down wondering yet again if it would be another festival wash-out which happened a lot this summer. But, the Saturday concert was turned out to be incredible. The band said that it was the best show that they have done in ten years ” since they had been together. It was definitely the most fun that I”ve ever had on stage ” just because everyone kind of teamed together-the audience was out in the wet and cold, and we were up there knowing that we had to cheer them up and give them something to dance about and get warm again ” We ended up stage surfing on the front of the stage on our stomachs in front of all of those people ” this band is all about giving people a really good time – making people feel really glad that they”re at the gig and have them leave with big smiles on their faces.” Jessie will be having a couple of homecoming of sorts – November 1st when she returns to Colorado with Gaelic Storm, and November 9th when she and the band will be in concert in New Mexico where her mom grew up and many relatives live. An Evening with Gaelic Storm, Thursday, November 1st, 7:30 pm Show, 6:30pm Doors. All Ages Show (Under 16 must be accompanied by parent w/ticket)/GA. Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway, Englewood CO. Tickets: $15.00 Advance $20.00 DOS. Advance tickets at Denver Folklore Center, Kereen O”Connors and at: or call 303-777-0502 An Evening with Gaelic Storm, Friday, November 9th, 8:00pm Show, 7:00pm Doors, ALL AGES SHOW/GA, The Historic El Rey Theater, 622 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM. Tickets $10 kids & students w/school I.D., $15 Advance $20 DOS. Advance tickets available at Encore Music, Bookworks, All Zone location, 1.866.I.GetTix or In Colorado call 303-777-0502.

Reviewed by Mary McWay Seaman, Celtic Connection, September, 2007
Belinda Rathbone”s new memoir is an exceptional combo of history, lament, battle cry and chronicle of what is, sifted from what once was, in rural Scotland. To read THE GUYND: A SCOTTISH JOURNAL is to become an intern folded into the intimate workings of a culture with tattered veils of medieval custom. Guynd is the Gaelic word for a “high, marshy place,” the name given to the Ouchterlony family estate near Arbroath in Angus. An award-winning photography historian, the American Rathbone married John Ouchterlony, the Guynd”s 26th laird, and moved to his 416 acres of farmland and forest to restore the tribe”s crumbling 200-year-old, 32-room Georgian country house near the older (1615) homestead with its stone-walled, relict garden. Ouchterlony had been an adventurous engineer working around the world with little time for his holdings. Rathbone, daughter of an English mother and well traveled throughout Europe, expected to be prepared for life anywhere in Britain. However, the landscape and culture of Scotland astonished her. Dismayed at the Guynd”s neglect, she states that “This was not the cherished family retreat in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or the lakeside log cabin camp in the Adirondacks.” The richness of detail delivered from the pen of this lyrical writer is a treasure unto itself, recounting a decade at the Guynd that began in 1990. “Once upon a time country society revolved around places like the Guynd, with each estate conducting its own little orbit. It was like a village, in which all inhabitants played their role and knew their place.” So begins a section with misty traditions wafting through the old home place stuffed with antique furniture, silverware, china, pictures, weaponry, books, dance cards, diaries and dunning notices. By the 1920s imports of foreign goods had killed local production, and income from tenants, crops and pasture could not maintain large properties. Many were leveled or turned into hotels or schools. Remainders are termed “the centerpiece of a system gone to seed, deeply suggestive of the forbidden desire to give up and get out. Some hidden force kept them there, but it wasn”t exactly love.” As for the Guynd, The long-absent man and his mansion “belonged first to each other, and only after that to anyone else.” Seeking simple comforts, especially after their son Elliot was born, Rathbone shoulders heroic cleaning and renovation efforts that drive assistants out the door. She employs the age-old rule when confronted with overwhelming tasks ” break them down in manageable components. Schedules and timely performance become paramount. Advice from historical societies and government groups on restoration arrives with a horror of bureaucratic “historical correctness” to be accompanied by inspections and endless paperwork, but the eminently common-sense Rathbone saves the Guynd from such shackles. The volume of multi-tasking involved with refurbishing the house, outbuildings and furniture, along with field and forest work, prevents most projects from crossing the finish line. Indeed, works-in-process dragging through years appear to be the modus operandi of several other Scots, stoical do-it-yourselfers with the long view of centuries. Completed tasks, strangely and vaguely devalued, put Rathbone and Ouchterlony at odds. The hardship of living with mounds of hopelessly broken stuff, a crude kitchen, primitive heating, and harsh cultural economics eventually crushes ambition. Heat is never turned on before December 1 or after March 1, no matter the weather or temperature. The archaic kitchen creates hours of extra work. An egg-timer by the telephone inhibits leisurely conversations. A misery of clutter is warehoused in every room as centuries of hard times had led to hoarding. Comical interludes include an attempt by Rathbone to load junk for the dump, only to be apprehended on her way to the car. Candle stubs, string, shredded stockings, mysterious mechanical parts, decades-old canned goods ” nothing is considered trash. A feel for legendary Scottish frugality is offered in a description of Arbroath. “There are thirty-two pubs in Arbroath, but their street profile is more like that of a speakeasy. The doors remain shut, even when the pub is open, and it will stay open until the last man leaves. Drinking is a serious occupation in Scotland and there”s no need to waste money on a sign.” The quiet Scottish Christmas, so different from the English one, is expected. Scotland, rooted as it is in post-Reformation, 16th-century Presbyterianism, is not famous for its Nativity spirit, although folks do whoop it up on New Year”s Eve (the ancient Celtic/Norse Hogmanay). “Not-very-bonny Dundee” propels tenants to the Guynd”s cottages and flats. Retired folks with home maintenance and gardening skills fare well. Younger, rougher lodgers with emotional baggage, poor educations and addictions provide absorbing studies of the welfare mentality. Rathbone constructs a fascinating feudal heritage concerning entitlement attitudes among the tenantry, “an erratic population of fugitives ” Occasionally they might spend a day lifting tatties for a local farmer or banging in fence posts for John, if he pays them under the table so as not to compromise their unemployment status with the Department of Social Services. Being mainly the descendents of that class of feudal society who worked for the laird and in turn were looked after, they continue to expect to be looked after to this day.” The government now takes responsibility for these people. Puzzled by these renters, Rathbone observes that most Americans descend from immigrants who “expected to strike out on their own.” A journey through this magical book illuminates the ongoing potency of history and custom in an enduring culture, no matter how superficialities like dress and decorating may change, no matter how family structures may shift, or how governments may rule. Readers in company with Belinda Rathbone throughout the pages of THE GUYND: A SCOTTISH JOURNAL, quickly learn that they are joining her “in another land, in another time”"

The event raised $7,000 for the Denver Fire Fighters Burn Foundation. “Another great day of golf for a great cause” according to Steven Annis, tournament director. The 5th annual tournament will take place Monday June 23, 2008. Pictured above is John Nallen presenting the check at the Denver Fire Dept. station #6. John Nallen and family from CO, Mayo Ireland own Nallen”s Irish Pub in downtown Denver and have also recently opened O”Shea”s Tavern & Grill in the Denver Tech Center.

The brilliant, innovative harping of M”ire N” Chathasaigh, Irish Traditional Musician of the Year 2001, and the astonishing virtuosity and versatility of English guitar wizard Chris Newman, has been heard all over the world: now they come to Cameron Church September 23rd for the first time with their addictive and stylish cocktail of powerhouse Irish dance-music, gorgeous airs, evocative old songs and striking new compositions – with shots of hot jazz and bluegrass thrown in! Their new CD FireWire has garnered extraordinary critical acclaim: “M”ire N” Chathasaigh is in a class of her own” The Guardian “An eclecticism and spirit of adventure that is quite thrilling… Virtuoso playing… bewitching string fantasies and a wonderfully clear and expressive voice” The Times “Dazzling virtuosity… The speed and complexity is to be marveled at… exquisitely delivered… delightful” The Daily Telegraph Their “blazing guitar and dancing harp”, coupled with Chris”s “subversively witty introductions”, guarantee a unique and captivating evening. Sunday September 23rd 7:00 pm, Cameron Church 1600 South Pearl, Denver. Tickets at the door: $15 (children 12 and under $10). Sponsored by Kolacny Music, Denver. Call 303-722-6081 for info.

SINEAD O”CONNOR will perform at the Paramount Theatre on Friday September 21 introducing her latest release “Theology”. “Theology is an attempt to create a place of peace in a time of war and to provoke thought,” says Sinead O’Connor about her new studio album, the artist’s first since her 2005 reggae collection, Throw Down Your Arms. “The events of September 11, 2001 contributed to the writing of the songs very much so, as did events subsequently as they have panned out all over the world.” The whole world became a very dangerous place on that day.” I simply wanted to make a beautiful thing, out of something beautiful, which inspires me.” Theology, the record, apart from being a place of peace and meditation, is a very personal emotional response.” Influenced by a wide variety of musical and literary sources which have helped shape her aesthetic consciousness since childhood, O’Connor composed the majority of the songs on Theology, the first album to be comprised mainly of her own material since her fifth full-length album, Faith and Courage, was released in 2000. Both icon and iconoclast, Sinead O’Connor has been making music, rejecting stereotypes and defying expectations for more than a quarter century.” At the age of 14, she wrote and recorded the debut single for the Dublin-based Irish band In Tua Nua, then left the band because she was too young to tour. In 1990, her sophomore album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 while her Prince-penned single, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” reached #1 on the Hot 100 and earned her a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance.” Twenty years after she first began transforming the pop cultural landscape with the release of her debut solo album, The Lion and The Cobra, Sinead O’Connor continues to delight and surprise, challenge and inspire with the sound of her voice and the power of her music on Theology. Showtime is 7:30 PM. Doors open 6:30 PM. This is an all ages show. Tickets are $52.50, $42.50 and $32.50 RES plus applicable service charges at, the Dick”s Sporting Goods Park box office and at all metro Denver Dick”s Sporting Goods stores. Ticket Center hours may vary. Contact retailer to confirm hours of operation. To charge tickets by phone, call 1.866.461.6556 or log on @ Tickets available the day of show at the Paramount Theatre box office from 4 PM ” showtime. Ticket purchase includes parking for the Plaza Parking garage located on the corner of 18th & California (1 1/2 blocks north of the Paramount Theatre). Patrons must present concert ticket stub upon exit of parking garage.

A slice of musical heaven in my life has been the experience of Willie Clancy Summer School held in County Clare on the West coast of Ireland. Each year around the first week of July thousands of people stream into Miltown Malbay, (once home to uilleann piper Willie Clancy) and surrounding towns to enjoy classes, concerts, and ceilis celebrating traditional music and dance. People road bikes or hitched rides from Miltown, Spanish Point and Quilty to share a tune, song, or dance. There was an organic high to the whole experience ” simple but powerful. Stop, I know what you”re thinking ” but I was drinking a lot more pints of water then porter. Were those uplifting endorphins I read about kicking in from the aerobic pace of the ceilis ” I don”t know ” surely the simple beauty of the area had something to do with the feeling. Back in the school and disco days it was about dancing with the pretty girl ” this was different ” it was more like connecting to the magic of the music and dance and just being content with the moment. When I returned to Colorado (with sore feet and baggy pants from dancing 6 hours a day!) I wondered if a “Willie Week” type of event could be successful in the Rockies? Thanks to Barbara Yule and friends, the ingredients for such an event are in the mix for September 27 through September 30 when they present the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival hosted by Walsenburg, La Veta/Cuchara and Gardner in Huerfano County in the scenic mountains of Southern Colorado. Barbara and husband Jack moved to Huerfano County from Scotland over 6 years ago and have been homesteading on their 30 acres outside of Gardner. They lived in a trailer, then cabin, as they steadily built their home (and it”s almost finished). Throughout the construction they have had many music sessions at their place with Jack starting things up on his button accordion. But as Jack continued to build their home during the day, Barbara began to build a festival. Now, in only its 3rd year, and with limited funding, it would not be fair to compare it to Willie Week which has been going since 1973 ” However, they have made some great strides bringing in some top international talent and developing community support for the fest. They even involve the Huerfano County youth with special K through 12 in-school programs that run the whole week prior the Fest ” Brilliant! Below are some highlights that Barbara sent us in a press release. There are detailed event and class descriptions, performer bios, and other helpful information at This year”s festival includes five individual concerts featuring Irish and Scottish international artists. Thursday”s opening in Gardner is ceilidh style and includes sets from all the artists performing over the weekend ($12). Friday night at the Fox Theater in Walsenburg, is hosted by famed Irish fiddler Seamus Connolly with premier uilleann piper Jerry O”Sullivan, Irish harper Lynn Saoirse, cellist Abby Newton and others. Saturday night at the Fox is an all-Scottish concert with Scottish popular singers Margaret Bennett, Alison Bell and Ed Miller and an ensemble of musicians and storytellers ($20 and $16 for children and students). Bring your cool sunglasses for a little genre cross-pollination Saturday afternoon when world renowned jazz harpist Park Stickney and special guests (jazz musicians) fuse Celtic with jazz for an up-tempo performance. The concert”s finale presents the dynamite duo of Maire Ni Chathasaigh, Irish harper with guitarist Chris Newman. Afternoon concerts are $16 and $13 for children and students. Check out the discount weekend concert ticket to save money. There are also two free Ceilidhs ” a Dance Ceilidh in La Veta Park Saturday afternoon and a final Ceilidh at La Veta Inn Sunday evening. On offer for children are Saturday morning activities, $5 per child, free for parents, and a special Sunday concert at $5 per ticket. The festival not only boasts excellent and unique concerts performed by top international artists, but a full program of courses, workshops and demonstration talks presented by these same artists. Here is a chance for musicians to sharpen their own skills in classes and workshop settings. Instruments include harp, Highland pipes, uilleann pipes, Irish fiddle, Celtic guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bodhran, as well as singing workshops in both Irish and Scottish songs and even ceilidh dancing for everyone. A full harp retreat course of 15+ hours with Irish harpers Maire Ni Chathasaigh and Lynn Saoirse and other workshop leaders costs $235 for pre-festival registration. Each intermediate/advanced piping course consists of 7 hours with Jerry O”Sullivan and added sessions with other artists ($110). Irish fiddle with Seamus Connolly, Celtic guitar with Chris Newman, both intermediate /advanced, and elementary harp with Scottish teacher Heather Yule are each four hours long and cost $60. There are shorter one to two hour workshops costing between $10 and $15 an hour. Free beginning classes in harp, bodhran and whistle. For a full schedule of events, fees and lodging suggestions see or telephone the festival office at 719 742-5410. So there you are ” if you have an interest in the traditional music and dance from across the foam, plan your trip to Southern Colorado now. It is very easy to get to ” just east of I-25 ” come on, you can do it! (and maybe you”ll feel your own organic endorphin propelled Rocky Mountain high! Or just have a pint of 333 whatever!) by Pat McCullough e

an interview with Cindy Reich (August 07 Celtic Connection) Sometimes the good guys do win in the end. From a debut recording made in the bedroom of band member Shane Power to a song that was included in every demo iPhone, Guggenheim Grotto have won fans all across the land. Their debut album, “Waltzing Alone”, released in Ireland in 2005 is an addictive blend of memorable melodies, outstanding songwriting and vocal harmonies, which is utterly captivating. It became the number one folk album on iTunes downloads and the first cut, “Philosophia” was included on every demo iPhone. The Guggenheim Grotto are multi-instrumentalists/vocalists Shane Power, Kevin May and Mick Lynch. So how does one get from a debut album recorded in a bedroom in north Dublin to the darlings of Apple, Inc.? I asked Shane Power. “Apple/iTunes have been amazing to us”, he replied, “and its great to know that they”re interested for all the right reasons. Apparently you can”t buy your way on to a feature like Single of the Week or iTunes, nor can you buy any sort of favors or advertising that will put you to the top of the pile for consideration.” “The iTunes crew sit down together and decide what they like or wish to promote, and luckily for us they chose The Guggenheim Grotto.” “Being featured on the iPhone was a great buzz for us as we”re all into technology and we”ve always used Mac”s when making the Album, and indeed are currently using Apple machines to record the new album!” “The only problem with the iPhone”, laughs Power, “is “I want one now!!! But they”re not available here in Ireland “til next October or November.” “Maybe by that stage they could squeeze a mobile studio into the iPhone so we could take it on the road with us…now that would be nice!” While the GG might be deep into technology, their CD, “Waltzing Alone” is a work of art, in both sound and packaging. It is a small book with a slot in it for the CD to fit in. There is a lot of information packed into it and it is as tactile as the CD is listenable. Band member Kevin May explains, “One of my favorite albums is Leonard Cohen”s “Greatest Hits”. “Normally I don”t like greatest hits albums, but this one has all his early hits like “Suzanne” and “Famous Blue Raincoat” and on this album he had little paragraphs on each song like where he was when he wrote it, or any little anecdotes that may be attached to it. And I loved that about the album”where you can really get in behind the writer or get a sense of the time in which it was written.” “It adds to the experience as a whole, you know?” Kevin continues. “I love holding something in my hands when I”m listening to an album for the first time”scanning thru the pictures. So I guess it was very much an homage to all those earlier albums that we”d loved that would”ve had extensive sleeve notes.” Although The Guggenheim Grotto have gained wide acclaim with “Waltzing Alone”, their live show is even more impressive. The lads are delighted with the prospect of winning over a whole new audience during their performance at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons in August. They played to several sold out venues on their last tour while still relatively new to U.S. audiences. With all of the success and buzz surrounding The Guggenheim Grotto”s “Waltzing Alone”, is there pressure on the band now for the next recording? Shane replied, “The new record is going brilliantly…we”re recording about three days a week at the moment and hope to have it all ready by Christmas, which probably means a release date of early to mid next year.” “We can”t wait to get it finished”although “Waltzing Alone” was only released in the U.S. last September, it”s nearly three years old for us now.” Are you guys going back into the bedroom to record? The atmosphere of “Waltzing Alone” is so nice” “Yes”, agrees Shane. “We”re back in the bedroom for this recording too”it worked for us last time. If it ain”t broke”.” “We bought ourselves some great new equipment”, Power continues, “so this time it”s become easier to capture some great sounding performances in our home studio. I can”t say for sure yet what the finished results will be, but its going to be another genre-mixing, song loving, band-playing album with maybe a dash of electronica on the side. We look forward to unleashing the results on the world!!” You can catch The Guggenheim Grotto live and unleashed on Sunday, August 19 at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival at the Planet Bluegrass ranch in Lyons, Colorado. Check out The Guggenheim Grotto at their website: Guggenheim Grotto joins Judy Collins, Ray LaMontagne, Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak, Richie Havens, and many others at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, August 17-19 at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons, CO. Tickets ($40 Friday, $45 Saturday, $45 Sunday, $105 3-day pass) and camping ($45-60) are available now at (from The Celtic Connection August 07 issue)

About an hour north on I-25 from Denver, my wife, 3 1/2year old son, and I began shouting out the names of the various animals that we saw in the fields along our leisurely drive toward Wyoming. Just a half hour later we were on the southern outskirts of Cheyenne when my wife and I began calling out Buffalo! as we pointed toward the herd just east of the highway. From the backseat our son responded, and camels too! My wife and I shared silent smiles at the humor of a small boy s imagination. After dropping off our Celtic Connection newspaper, we enjoyed a nice lunch at the Cheyenne Depot (we highly recommend the sweet potato fries). We picked up some literature in the lobby which included a brochure on the Terry Bison Ranch located just south of town. Thinking that the herd of Buffalo that we had seen on our way might be a part of the Ranch we left on a mission. About 7 miles south on I-25 (and about 5 miles from Colorado s northern border) we took the Terry Ranch Road Exit (WY Exit #2). Traveling east under the highway we began to head south along the frontage road. Almost immediately we saw a herd of buffalo grazing along the fence line. After a tourist stop for a few photos we continued south. About 2 miles later, as Terry Bison Ranch came into view we began to make out the forms of other animals they had brown hides, somewhat like buffalo – but they had longer necks and humps on their backs hey, the kid was right-Camels! We drove around as much of the Ranch complex as we could, but most of the Ranches 30,000 acres are off limits to vehicles. Along the way we saw, not surprisingly -horses, cattle, chickens, turkeys, donkeys, goats – but also other non-bison-ranch critters like, llamas, ostriches and emus. Other wild life listed in the Ranch promo materials include peacocks, turkins (1/2 turkey-1/2 chicken), and beefalo (1/2 buffalo-1/2 steer). First stop on site was at the Terry Trading Post. The well stocked store had everything from mementos of the old west to food supplies (including meat from their buffalo herd). The friendly staff gave us a map and some helpful Ranch information along with the keys to a cabin. The cabins are priced at $79.95 and sleep 3-4, depending on what style you get (additional cots are available). There are log cabins reminiscent of the frontier and a few modern cabins reminiscent 1960s mountain cabin. Each cabin has a kitchenette, with a small refrigerator, microwave and sink. There is also a private bathroom with a shower. The all have decks with a very comfortable I-could-stay-here-for-awhile feel to them as you kick back and watch the horseback riders and buffalo roam the rolling hills and folks head to the fishing pond to catch supper. For $58.95 you can stay overnight in the historic Bunkhouse, the original building used by the 7XL cowboys who worked the ranch in the early 1900′s. Each of the 17 private rooms can sleeps 2 on one full-sized bed (sorry, no extra room for cots). Men s and women s restrooms are in the bunkhouse, but bring your robe because the shower house is next door. Space is also available for RVs and campers next to the Trading Post. If you would like someone else to do the cook in n pour in, the Brass Buffalo Saloon and Senator’s Restaurant is open in the summer months serving western style vittles and drink, morning, noon, and night. Their dinner menu includes bison, beef, chicken, seafood and more. Western entertainment is available most Saturday nights (all week long during Frontier Days) Other daylight offerings include a train tour on the Terry Bison Express. The train has two open-air cars for some great picture taking of the roughly 2,500 head of bison/buffalo on the Ranch. Guided trail horses rides (with optional breakfast packages) are available for those 8 and older. Younger folks can saddle-up for a fun pony ride and receive an “Official Cowboy or Cowgirl” certificate! Stop by for a day or a week and awaken your inner-cowboy or cowgirl at Terry Bison Ranch Resort. Call Telephone: 307-634-4171, Fax: 307-634-9746. Directions to the Ranch: From I-25 take WY Exit #2 (Terry Ranch Road Exit) located about 7 miles south of Cheyenne or approximately 5 miles North of CO border, go to the East Service Road and head South about 3 miles and the ranch will be on the East side of the road. (by Pat McCullough From The Celtic Connection, July 07 issue, “Travel Here…Travel There” column)

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