Swallow Hill Music and Twist & Shout present an acoustic evening with legendary Scottish folk-rocker Al Stewart on Friday, December 18, 8 p.m. at the L2 Arts & Culture Center. Escaping the harsh confines of public school at the age of 16, Scotland native Al Stewart decided his path was to be that of a musician. Having purchased his first guitar from Andy Summers (The Police), Stewart started his musical career playing in various bands (one in particular with famed disc jockey Tony Blackburn), but after being introduced to Bob Dylan he decided to focus his attention on being a lyricist as well. In 1965, he moved to London where he landed a job as emcee at the legendary folk club Les Cousines in Soho. During this time, he started writing and performing at the club as well as introducing to the stage artists the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Bert Jansch, John Renbourne, and Ralph McTell. Surpassing his duties as emcee at Les Cousines, he started performing at Bunjies and the Troubadour in London. He then moved on to perform at folk clubs and colleges throughout England with the likes of The Incredible String Band, Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Pentangle and Roy Harper. Stewart”s first album, Bedsitter Images, was released in 1967, followed by Love Chronicles in 1969, Zero She Flies in 1970 and Orange in 1972. Many of these early songs were pages ripped from a diary of love affairs, Proust-like in detail and startling for their unabashed exposure of intimacies. If it wasn”t the length of “Love Chronicles” (19 minutes) that kept it from the BBC airwaves, then certainly the explicit lyrics did the trick. Musicians featured on these albums included Jimmy Page, Rick Wakeman, Richard Thompson, Phil Collins, Queen”s Roger Taylor and Brinsley Schwartz. Then came a crucial shifting of gears: Stewart decided to write about any and everything but himself. He began incorporating historical data and elements of film, literature and current affairs into his lyrics. Past, Present and Future, his first U.S. release, was the first record Stewart made using this approach. It became a cult album that has now sold close to a million copies worldwide. His next album, Modern Times, cracked the U.S. Top 40 Album chart that led to a successful U.S. tour. Year of the Cat, released in 1976, became his first platinum album in the U.S. It featured two Top 20 singles, “Year of the Cat” and “On the Boarder.” Buoyed by this success, he moved to Los Angeles and released Time Passages (1978) that also went platinum and featured the singles “Time Passages” and “Song On The Radio.” This period was followed by worldwide tours with his band, Shot In The Dark. The “90s brought a return to Stewart”s folksier roots with a UK solo tour (his first in 15 years). He enjoyed the freedom of performing the songs acoustically and, on his return to the United States, recruited long-time musician and songwriting partner Peter White to perform a series of shows in both the U.S. and Japan. It was during these shows that the album, Rhymes in Rooms, was recorded. It features some of his most well known songs performed in an intimate live setting. Its follow up in 1993, Famous Last Words, is an album of original songs incorporating acoustic instrumentation with traditional folk and classical styles. His latest album, Sparks of Ancient Light, was released in the U.S. in September of 2008 by Appleseed. With a dozen new vignettes of history and mystery elegantly intertwined by the timeless master of musical storytelling, it spans at least 2500 years of history in its tales of exotic locations and situations. Tickets are now on sale at www.swallowhillmusic.org (now with no processing fees) or by calling (303) 777-1003 x2. Discounts are available for Swallow Hill members.

THE ELDERS, one of America’s leading Celtic rock groups, will play two shows in the Denver/ Loveland area In January. The band, which tours across the U.S., Canada and Europe, will appear at the Soiled Dove in Denver Thursday Jan. 7th at 8PM, and at Loveland’s Rialto Theatre Friday, Jan. 8th at 8PM. The lads will perform material from their latest CD, “GAEL DAY” plus a few new numbers, as well as favorites from their large catalog of originals. Tickets for The Soiled Dove, 7401 E. 1st Ave, Denver. Tickets are $15 Gen. admission and $20 reserved. Tickets online at Soiled Dove For further info call 303 366 0007. Tickets for the Rialto show are $25 and available in advance and at the door at the Rialto box office, 228 E. 4th Street, Loveland, CO. For further information call 970 962 2420. Singer STOLL VAUGHN will open both shows, and the THE MCTEGGERT IRISH DANCERS will appear at the Rialto. Information regarding the band’s activities, including the JANUARY CARIBBEAN CRUISE and the JULY IRISH TOUR is available at www.eldersmusic.com.

“Slide… the future of Irish Music” Radio 1, Ireland “They can sing , they can write, they can dance across fingerboards and piano keys, buttons and bows, and by crikey can they play.” Irish Music Magazine SLIDE ” energetic, creative Irish music – named after the liveliest and most exciting of the tune rhythms from the South of Ireland. Consisting of the youngest acclaimed artists from bands that have stretched across a few generations, D” Danann, Stocktons Wing, Liam Clancy’s Band through to Damien Dempsey Band and Dan”, Slide collectively have honed an electrifying fresh sound building on their deep roots and teaching expertise in Irish Traditional Music and are “…taking Irish music to a new place”, said celebrated Irish musician-producer D”nal Lunny, who added, “Their music will touch people far beyond the realm of traditional music” Call Celtic Events at 303-777-0502

(printed in Dec 09 Celtic Connection newspaper) Dear Friends, I welcome the opportunity to extend my warmest greetings to members of the Irish Community and to all people of Irish Heritage as we approach the holy season of Christmas. It is a great privilege for me to represent Ireland here in the Western United States, an area with such a uniquely warm and rich relationship with Ireland, and also, an area with such a welcoming Irish Community 2009 has been a difficult year for many of you, and as it draws to a close we can hopefully look forward with optimism to a brighter 2010, with the much hoped for economic upturn, and the possibility of new employment for those who have joined the unemployment lines in the past year. Within our community here, 2009 will also be remembered for the remarkable steadfastness and spirit which the Irish community demonstrated in the support for the less fortunate, the older and more marginalized members of our Irish Family. The generosity of the Irish people towards those in need can only be described as quite remarkable. Our Community also continues to support and advocate on the behalf of the undocumented Irish, and hopefully 2010 will bring about some much needed movement in addressing their plight. As the holiday season approaches our thoughts also turn to family and friends at home in Ireland and elsewhere in the World. We will, of course, also remember our loved ones who are no longer with us, when we come together at family gatherings to celebrate Christmas. On behalf of Vice Consul, Barry O”Brien and all my colleagues at the Irish Consulate, I wish you, one and all, a happy and peaceful Christmas. Beannachta” na Nollag agus na hAthbhliana Best wishes for the Festive Season Gerry Staunton

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