March 13 CC cover Small

By Karl Kumli

Great Big Sea is a band which could have had serious identity issues. Could’ve been a pop-oriented band. Could’ve been a trad-oriented band.
Notice I did not say that Great Big Sea actually has any identity issues. These three guys know exactly what they are all about. They ARE a pop-oriented band and they ARE a trad band. In GBS World – centered in Newfoundland and its maritime traditions — if you do some things extraordinarily well, you keep on doing them. So Great Big Sea does both. They have been playing and singing traditional and pop-oriented music – sometimes fusing the two – for a score of years now.
Front man Alan Doyle, has so much rapscallion in his personality that Russell Crowe takes lessons from him. If Sean McCann – whose evocative tenor adds sweet harmony but can pack an ale house wallop as well – actually had been a shanty man in the days of tall ships, captains would simply have turned the bark over to him and let his songs fill the canvas while his bodhrán pounded down the seas. Multi-instrumentalist Bob Hallett moves from low whistle to fiddle to squeeze box (and guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, tin whistle and, reportedly, saxophone) with effortless artistry. Combined, with bass and a drummer, Great Big Sea can rage like a nor’easter or sigh like a wavelet disappearing into sand.
With GBS, however, you always get a little extra: a little extra energy, a little extra humor, a little extra dancing. In a live show it might be that third encore, an a cappella version of Old Brown’s Daughter offered up, sans microphones, to a raucous, packed-house crowd; every man Jack of ‘em hushed to silence by the sheer beauty and simplicity of the end-of-evening vocals. On an album it might be that extra cut – not even on the playlist – lurking to swallow you up when you finally let the CD play all the way through.
That twenty-year history is fully on display in their latest recorded offering, appropriately titled “XX”. It’s a two-disk set. Powerful stuff by anyone’s dead reckoning. Favorites like “Boston and St. John’s”; trad stuff like “Captain Wedderburn” and “Lukey” (with some band called The Chieftains backing up the Boys from Newfoundland). Barn burners like “Captain Kidd” and “When I am King.” And it has a few extra cuts – okay, six of ‘em – that you’ve probably never heard before. One of the new ones, “Heart of Hearts” might even be hit-bound on its own.
Twenty flippin’ years is a lot of time for a band which expends energy in gigawatts as GBS does. So you can bet your last bottle of Old Black Rum that the Twentieth Anniversary Tour is likely to be something special. In fact, like the XX album, the tour comes in two parts. Part One cranks up on the left coast and moves from California to Boulder over a fortnight. After the two shows at the Boulder Theater — Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 – the band will be taking a two week break before hitting east coast stages to wrap up the tour. Those two Boulder shows (only Edmonton, Calgary and Boston are other stops with double dates), with a break for the band afterward, should be peel-the-paint-off-the-walls affairs.
It seems flat-out weird that a band from Newfoundland – immortalized in sea lore as a place where sailors could freeze to death aloft – would exude great warmth, but it’s true. A Great Big Sea house party, a hooley, or a gas, is a fair antidote to the last of winter’s roar. If the groundhog really did see his shadow in February, the upcoming Boulder GBS shows are likely to be a fine chance to chase away the chill. Then again, perhaps the GBS fire isn’t really so very odd at all.

GREAT BIG SEA
TWO ALL AGES SHOWS
Friday March 22 and Saturday March 23
Both Shows at 8pm with 7pm Doors
BOULDER THEATER, 2032 14th Street Boulder, CO 80302
ALL SEAT RESERVED $35.00 and $29.50 Available at www.bouldertheater.com 303-786-7030.
Show information/Groups/Purchase by check call Celtic Events at 303-777-0502

Karl Kumli is one of the hosts of Seolta Gael, a weekly program of Celtic music, culture and news on radio station KGNU 88.5 FM Boulder, 1390 AM Denver, or streaming live a www.KGNU.org. The program airs at 7:00PM every Wednesday. KGNU celebrates 30 years of Celtic music on the Colorado airwaves this month!

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Denver St. Patrick’s Day Route and Basic Info

TIME: Steps off at 10 a.m., on Saturday March 16 and generally lasts until 1:30 or 2 p.m.
ROUTE: Starts at Coors Field parking lot, steps off at 27th and Blake, Blake west to 17th, 17th to Wynkoop, Wynkoop back to Coors Field.
VIEWING: Anywhere along the route is a good spot.
PARKING: Street parking is prohibited on the parade route, but plenty of parking lots are available on near-by streets.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Light rail and RTD busses run to the Union Station and parade route areas. Visit the RTD site for route information. Remember that the trains fill up on parade morning so allow yourself plenty of time.

The Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade welcome the regions diverse community to lower downtown Denver (LoDo) to be a part of one of the largest St. Pat’s Day party in the country! No matter what your background, you can be a part of the “green scene” that will line the parade route in honor of Ireland’s Saint Patrick. The parade is free with great viewing all along the way.
(See Parade Route Map on Page 3)
The parade steps off at 10:00am on Saturday March 16, and should finish around 1:30 -2:00pm.
Sun, sleet, or snow, you’re in for a fun day of entertainment and laughs so bring your friends and family.

The theme of the 51st parade is, Honoring Colorado’s Irish: Liberty, Freedom, Opportunity.
The 2013 Queen Colleen Jessica Lesser & her Court will be at the helm of the parade.
Jessica Lesser is sponsored by Colorado Emerald Society. She was a multiple National & World qualifier in solo Irish dancing, but won the Regional’s, National’s, “All Ireland’s” & World Championships with her team members at Celtic Steps School of Irish Dance. Jessica is also the 2013
“Denver Rose” will also compete for the Rose of Tralee crown later this year in Ireland.
Queen Colleen 2nd Runner-up is Susannah Faulkner, sponsored by Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, is a member of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee as well as the Irish Network of Colorado. 1st Runner-up is Kathleen Zazenski, sponsored by Michael and Ann O’Neill., is a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and volunteer for Domesti-PUPS.
The Grand Marshall of this year’s parade is Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey. Mitch is internationally recognized for his expertise in DNA technology, applying that technology in criminal prosecutions and working to ensure that DNA science is admissible in court. He has trained law enforcement officers and prosecutors regarding DNA technology in the Middle East, Canada and throughout the United States. Mr. Morrissey is one of the lead proponents of using Familial DNA Database Searches in the United States and directs the Denver DNA Human Identification Research Project. A familial DNA search software developed under Morrissey’s direction is in use in criminal investigations in Colorado, Virginia and Wyoming.
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St. Patrick’s Day Run, Pedal, and Parade in Colorado Springs

Pedal on St. Patrick’s Day 50K Bicycle Ride March 16 at at 8:30am This fun ride starts at America the Beautiful Park and ends at Colorado College. All riders are invited to ride in the Parade. Next up is the 5K On St Patrick’s Day Run at 10:00am. This flat, looping course starts and ends at Acacia Park. Shake off the winter cobwebs and stretch your legs! Last year more than 3,300 runners took part. The Leprechaun Fun Run happens at 11:00am, for kids 10 and under.
Runners and riders will pick up their packets at the St Patty’s Sports Expo on Thursday March 14 and Friday March 15 from 11:00am to 7:00pm. Hosted by the City Auditorium, the Expo will feature top running and biking gear, fitness and wellness professionals and much more!

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place at 12:00 noon, in Downtown Colorado Springs. The parade will begin at St. Vrain & Tejon and continue south down Tejon Street to Vermijo. Over 100 units, including marching bands, floats, classic cars, bagpipers, and lots of leprechauns! More than 30,000 spectators are expected to attend, filling the streets of downtown with smiling Irish eyes and green … everything!
Grand Stand seating is available if you would like to be in the middle of the action with comfortable seats! Advance tickets are required and are available by calling 719.635.8803. Tickets include seating near the Parade Announcer, snacks, drinks, and Irish baubles!

Additional information on the Colorado Springs St. Patrick’s Day Parade is available at www.csstpats.com or by calling 719.635.8803.
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Colorado State University’s Grandin is lucky charm for local St. Patty’s Day parade
Temple Grandin isn’t Irish, but the famous Colorado State University professor will put on the green – and gold – to fill the role of grand marshal for the popular Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown Fort Collins next month.
Grandin travels the world to discuss her pioneering work in farm-animal welfare and her experience overcoming personal struggles with autism. She is well-versed in public speaking, book-signing, media interviews, and accepting all manner of honors and accolades. She’s often stopped at airports and restaurants when recognized as the world’s most famous autistic person, and the subject of a highly acclaimed movie. But the event on Saturday, March 16, will mark Grandin’s first time as a parade grand marshal. Grandin said she’s ready to hop aboard the grand marshal’s horse drawn carriage to cheer on the local Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the city she has called home for nearly 25 years. “It’s going to be fun,” said Grandin, who began working in the CSU Department of Animal Sciences in 1990. “When I get asked to do local things, I always try to do them. I think it’s important to be doing things in the community.”
The Downtown Fort Collins parade, sponsored by Lucky Joe’s Sidewalk Saloon, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 16, and will travel a route about 1 mile long through Old Town. The parade typically includes approximately 90 entries and thousands of community spectators, said Peggy Lyle, assistant director of the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association, which coordinates the annual parade. “Dr. Temple Grandin is well known across the world for her academic accomplishments at CSU and it is a great honor to celebrate her at this event.“ said Peggy Lyle, Assistant Director for the DBA. “Temple is one of the biggest stars in our community and we feel privileged that she calls CSU and Fort Collins home.”
Grandin is among them: Her research at CSU has provided new insights into livestock behavior, allowing Grandin to design humane handling systems, guidelines and auditing strategies used by livestock producers and meat packers worldwide. With her remarkable innovations, Grandin and has become a hero for people with autism and their families.
Grandin’s work in animal welfare is intertwined with her autism: She often says autism allows her to think visually – or to “think in pictures” – leading to a unique affinity with animals. This results in her problem-solving for the global agricultural industry and to humane practices that have built consumer trust in the food system.

In recent years, Grandin’s fame has reached new heights, with a constant stream of high-profile honors and media attention. In 2010, HBO released a biographical feature film called “Temple Grandin,” basedon her early life and career. The movie won seven Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. Also that year, Grandin earned a spot on TIME magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
Parade information at www.DowntownFortCollins.com or by calling 970-484-6500

Colcannon band

By Oliver Little

On March 16th the Denver-based Irish music group Colcannon joins forces with the Colorado Symphony for a performance at Boettcher Concert Hall at 7:30pm. The concert, “St Patrick’s Day Celebration with Colcannon” is part of the CSO’s 2012/2013 Pops season.

Although Colcannon has several orchestra performances under its belt already, they are particularly enthusiastic about this concert. “The CSO is such an excellent orchestra. To have the opportunity to play with a group of this caliber is really exciting and challenging for us.” says Jean Bolger, the fiddle player for Colcannon. “Plus, we have a new piece to premiere, and it will be amazing to hear it come to life with the help of such great players. And of course, being right here at home, we can share the experience with our friends and local fans, which is wonderful.”

The new piece in question is Colcannon’s O’Toole and the Goose (for Colcannon and orchestra), a 20 minute journey that tells, in words and music, of the aging King O’Toole, his pet goose, and the elusive St. Kevin.
With compositional contributions from each of the five band members, a poetic rewriting of an old Irish legend by vocalist Mick Bolger, and orchestration by Colcannon’s bassist Mike Fitzmaurice, the creation of O’Toole and the Goose was a truly collaborative endeavor. “We first started putting the storytelling, poetry, and music together a few years ago with our project The Pooka and the Fiddler”, says Fitzmaurice. “Ever since then I’d been wanting to do a story/poetry piece but expand it even more to include the orchestra. When Mick wrote the text for O’Toole and the Goose for a project we did with the Heritage Irish Stepdancers we decided to ‘lift’ that story and use it for our next orchestral work”. In keeping with Colcannon’s collaborative creative process each of the musicians contributed musical material. “The five main musical motifs are each from a different band member. I contributed my own tune of course, and did all the orchestrating and stitching the whole thing together with Mick’s poetry” Fitzmaurice explains.

Mick Bolger says the story of O’Toole and Goose, based on an old Irish legend, appealed to him on many levels. “When people hear “storytelling” these days they tend to automatically think it’s for children, but stories are cathartic at any age. The story of O’Toole and the Goose is kind of a ‘grown-up’ story. It’s not a big action story with villains and monsters; it’s quieter than that. It speaks to people’s fears of aging and of dying and to the great bond we have with our animals. It’s really fundamentally about love, and sacrifice, and grace.” And what about St. Kevin, who would certainly be familiar to most Colcannon fans already? “Well, this is a definitely a different side of St Kevin. He was, after all, a very complex individual” Bolger deadpans.

Traveling out from Michigan to conduct the orchestra for the concert will be Grammy award winning conductor John McLaughlin Williams, who first worked with the band in 2005. “We really enjoyed playing with John, and have been hoping for another chance to do something together. So when the CSO asked if we had someone in mind as conductor, he’s the first person we thought of. He’s a wonderful musician, and he’s excited about our music- and, he’s a fiddle player! Well, a violinist, actually… but he’s adventurous and a good sport, so we’ll probably be able to get him to play something with us” says Jean with a laugh.

In addition to O’Toole and the Goose the concert will feature two movements of Mike Fitzmaurice’s Red Kite (Concerto for Colcannon and Orchestra) and fiddler Jean Bolger’s orchestral suite Táimse im’ Choladh (I Am Sleeping), as well as arrangements of Colcannon audience favorites such as The Streets of Our Town and Athens Hotel.

Tickets are available through the Colorado Symphony website and at the Boettcher box office (303) 623-7876 or (877) 292-7979 Toll Free Box office email: tickets@coloradosymphony.org

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Note: Colcannon we’ll also be at the Broomfield Auditorium. An afternoon show — that’s at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 17!

You can get tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/290178

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On a snowy St. Patrick’s Day in 1983, Boulder radio station KGNU first broadcast a “Saint Patrick’s Morning Sound Alternative.” Since that time, KGNU has hosted thousands of hours of Celtic music through the now-weekly program called Seolta Gael, the annual St. Patrick’s MSA and random cuts of Celtic music on Musica Mundi and other programs, as well. That first show was also “two radio stations ago,” meaning that KGNU has broadcast from two different studios since that time! The first show was delivered using only vinyl records on turntables, whereas today CDs are giving way to mp3 and .wav files. The first show was not taped or otherwise recorded, and is now zinging through the universe, fast approaching the star Gamma Pavonis (really!). Today every KGNU show is now podcast for two weeks after airing. To use another measure of antiquity, KGNU broadcast that first Celtic music program 11 full years before the very first performance of Riverdance in Dublin, Ireland.

The show has gone through some personnel changes over time. While Karl Kumli hosted the first show, and still finds time behind the microphone, Celtic music savant Louis Krupp (who brought Runrig and a wild array of other, seldom-heard bands to the air) and Maeve Conran have moved on, save for rare and treasured guest appearances. But a star-studded lineup of the KGNU Celtic Air Force now brings extra diversity to Seolta Gael. Shay Dunne, Stevyn Prothero (Ironfeather), Fergus Stone and Pat McCullough all share mike time and each brings a particular take on the old, new and evolving Celtic Traditions. Seolta Gael now airs weekly at 7PM on KGNU.

Predictably, the artists whose music is in the lineup has changed, as well. That first set list included music from the Clancy Brothers, Clannad, the Bothy Band, the Chieftains and the Dubliners. Only Clannad and, to a lesser extent, the Chieftains, are still active as performing ensembles, and individual musicians from the Bothy Band, and Clancy relative Robby O’Connell are still touring. Today, new Irish “super groups” like Altan, Danú and Solas are joined by emerging greats such as Mairtín DeCógáin and Téada, as well as artists from the other Celtic traditions of Scotland (e.g. Capercaillie, Dougie McLean), Wales (Plethyn), Canada (Great Big Sea and Natalie MacMaster) and the USA (Gaelic Storm and the Elders). Of course, KGNU features local groups such as Skean Dubh, Colcannon, New Time Ensemble, Gobs O’Phun, the Indulgers, Angus Mohr, Tradition Tartans and Tears, Agee & Sousa/Bodha, Leachman & Krimmel, Pandora Celtica, and many more.

To celebrate three decades of “ceol agus craic” KGNU will be presenting the Thirtieth Annual KGNU St. Patrick’s Sound Alternative from 9:30AM until noon on Friday, March 15. You can listen live at 1390AM in Denver, 88.5FM in Boulder, 93.7FM in Nederland and around the world, on the web, at http://www.kgnu.org/ht/listencomp.html . In addition to music, there will be concert ticket and music premiums, and much more! Join the oldest, regular, on-air St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at KGNU!

Like Seolta Gael Celtic Muisic show on Facebook
www.facebook.com/pages/KGNU-BoulderDenver-Seolta-Gael-Celtic-Music

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Gobs O’Phun kicks of an Irish weekend Friday March 15 with a St. Patrick’s Day Concert that will be “A Tribute to “The Quiet Man”
Gobs special guest musician Peggy Fasing. The Gobs plan to “Duke” it out at Swallow Hill where their concert will pay tribute to the funny, quirky and sentimental John Wayne movie set in Ireland, “The Quiet Man”.

Irish traditional music lovers will be in for a treat when Altan takes to the stage on Saturday night.
Throughout, there has been the unwavering commitment of the band to bringing the beauty of traditional music, particularly that of the Donegal fiddlers and singers, to contemporary audiences in a way that brings out all its qualities and destroys none. In fact, Altan have always believed that Irish traditional music is a modern music in every sense and its growing influence and popularity have proved them right.

Swallow Hill Music Association is located at71 E. Yale, Denver CO 303-777-1003

Gobs O’ Phun Friday, March 15 8-10 PM Daniels Hall
All Ages Advanced Tickets: $16 / Day of Show: $18
(Swallow Hill Members $2 less)

Altan Saturday March 16 8-10 PM Daniels Hall
All Ages $30.00 – $32.00 (Swallow Hill Members $2 less)

Fighting Jamesons feild

The Fighting Jamesons deliver a traditional style of music with an aggressive and energetic modern-day approach. Formed in 2010, The Fighting Jamesons quickly gained a strong presence on the East Coast. They’ve shared the stage with legendary Irish rock acts such as Dropkick Murphys, The Saw Doctors, and Young Dubliners. In November of 2011 the band released their self-titled debut album, produced and engineered by Capital Records recording artist Mark Padgett.
Bill Bodkin of POP Break said this of Padgett and TFM: “While The Fighting Jamesons might not be a household name just yet, the album has serious production value behind. Produced by Mark Padgett, founder of former Capitol Records recording artists Mae, this self-titled debut is about as major label sounding as you’ll hear out there. And it’s this value that makes the record that good. The Fighting Jamesons are a live show band, they’ve made their name with their high-energy, interactive shows and it’s been seen on numerous occasions that it’s sometimes hard to capture a good live band on record. Luckily Padgett is able to do that and the production quality, as high as it is, doesn’t alter anything you’d hear from the band live.”
The band comes to Denver Thursday for one show only at the Marquis Theater at 2009 Larimer St. The All Ages show will start at 8:00pm. On Friday March 15 the band travel to Steamboat Springs, CO for the Strings Music Festival (8pm)
Colorado band, The Stubby Shillelaghs will open the show. They began in 2010 when long-time friends Andrew Mithun, Ryan Knaub, and Shaughnessy McDaniel decided to start “The Stubby Shillelaghs” as a small side project band to the current heavy metal bands they played in. In October of 2010, the owner of Patrick’s Pub in Greeley, Co. was looking for an act to play his Halloween show. He took a chance on the newly formed and unproven Stubbies. The result was a resounding success. This led to the band being offered a weekly show at Patrick’s called “Stubby Tuesday”, which they have been playing every Tuesday evening since. They recorded and released their first self-produced album “Stubbies Assemble!” on St. Patrick’s Day of 2011. The year 2012 saw the release of two Stubby Shillelaghs albums. The first was a studio album titled “Whiskey Business” and second, a live album titled “Parental Advisory Live!”.
The Fighting Jamesons w/The Stubby Shillelahgs, Thursday, March 14, Marquis Theater 2009 Larimer St Denver, CO 80205 303-292-2829 Advance Ticket Price: $10 Day Of Show Price: $12
Note: Look for the after party across the street at Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub.
https://www.facebook.com/TheFightingJamesons thefightingjamesons.com/
http://thestubbies.net/

Shamrock city

Cindy Reich interviews Seamus Egan (March 2013 Celtic Connection – Denver)

When Seamus Egan found himself in Butte, Montana for the “An Rí Rá” Festival eight years ago, his father had a request—see if Seamus can find anything about Michael Conway, a great-uncle of his father who had emigrated from Ireland and ended up in Butte, where he had been murdered. Not much was known of his story—only that he had been a bare-knuckle fighter. A picture of his grave, an entry in a ledger—anything that would shed light on Michael’s story was the initial goal of Egan on that first trip. The story that Egan would uncover—of how Michael Conway was murdered by the sheriff of Butte because he wouldn’t throw a fight—became a much bigger story about the town of Butte itself.

It was said in the 1800’s that there were more Irish per capita in Butte, Montana than any city in the U.S., including Boston and New York. The Irish were there to work in the copper mines, as there were few places in the U.S. that would employ Irish workers. The Historical Society in Butte opened up their archives to Seamus to do his research and on subsequent visits, Egan continued to research Michael Conway’s story. However, it ended up opening up his eyes to the remarkable story of Butte, Montana itself, and the part that the Irish played in its history.

“One of the largest mines, the Anaconda mine was owned by Max Daly who was from County Cavan, and it became known around Ireland that if you made it to America and could get to Butte, that he would make sure you had a job”, said Seamus. “It got to where people wouldn’t spend much time on the east coast, but would make their way as quickly as possible to Butte. At one time, it was so popular a destination for the Irish that Butte became synonymous with America. Even if you weren’t going to Butte, you were in Butte, as far as they were concerned.”

The further Seamus got into the story of Butte, Montana the more he wanted to tell the story—in part through the eyes of Michael Conway, but also to expand to the larger picture. Immigration, labor, poverty, mining—all were interwoven in the history of this town. Therefore, Seamus and Solas utilized the fundraising website Kickstarter to provide the working capital to produce “Shamrock City”. “In all the years Solas has been together, we’ve never done anything without a record label”, said Seamus. “We were really floored by the outpouring of support and generosity for the project. That gave us the start to get the ball rolling financially as well as the moral support that there was interest in this idea.”

“One of the hardest parts of this project was to decide what stories NOT to tell”, Seamus related. We wanted to tell Michael Conway’s story but put it in a place and time. We didn’t want to just do a linear history of the town. We are using archival images as well as video we shot to add a visual sub-context to the story in our live performances. It is sort of a silent picture running behind us to give that extra dimension”.

“We are just now starting to work on the DVD, and as part of that, we have started a new function on our website. (www.solasmusic.com) The idea is that the US is made up of many stories just like this. We thought it would be a nice thing to include those stories in this project. Therefore, we are starting a video project this week called “Tell Your Story”. People can go on the website and tell their story and we’ll also be filming at stops on our tour where people will have a chance to tell their story as well. Even though Michael Conway’s story is over 100 years old, many of the issues are still relevant today. Having people tell and record their stories will be very interesting!”

“Shamrock City” is a musical journey that starts out with the leaving of Ireland and the beginning of the recording is a masterful inclusion of an archival recording of Rita and Sarah Keane singing “A Stór Mo Croí”. It is stark and bare and sets the tone for the typical “American Wake” that would take place for those going off to find their fortune in “Amerikay”. “That song had been in my head when we finished the album”, said Seamus, and we thought, “what would be the most effective way to get that feeling across?” “We certainly couldn’t do it better than Rita and Sarah”, said Seamus, laughing. “So I told Sean Keane what we were doing and he gave us permission to use the recording and we were thrilled. Once that was there, it allowed us to begin the journey”.

While there are numerous songs and tunes on this superb album, the song “Michael Conway” seemed to me to be the one that was the most powerful. Like a small film, it paints a vivid portrait of Michael Conway’s life—and death. The writing is so timeless, that it could have been a ballad written on the day of Michael’s death over 100 years ago.
“ I think we were really able to lay out Michael’s story in this song as well as the references to Butte”, said Seamus. “He was only 25 years old when he died, but I imagine the three years he spent in Butte he experienced things there that he would not have done anywhere else. In the purest sense of a story song, it was going to tell his story. Mick (McAuley) did a great job with the lyrics. It was a song that was written early on, but really needed to work. Seamus continued, “It is one of the songs that after the show people come up and talk about that song—they have a profound reaction to it.”

Miners worked hard but also played hard. Egan was able to get Rhiannon Giddens from the Carolina Chocolate Drops to record “Lay Your Money Down” for the project. “I was really thrilled with that song”, said Seamus. “Rhiannon’s voice was the voice that was in my head right from the beginning, so we were thrilled to have her do it. That song needed a really strong personality. We didn’t want it to be too oppressive, because Butte was also a wild place! People never knew when they went to work whether they would be coming back alive at the end of the day—it wasn’t an easy life. So when they let loose, they were mental! So there was this liveliness about the town that we definitely wanted to harness”, Seamus continued.

Another contributor was iconic Scottish singer, Dick Gaughan. “The way we looked at this”, continued Egan, “was that the songs themselves were characters and as much as we could, the person singing that song played that character. The “Labor Song” was great for Gaughan and we had always wanted to do something together. So I found myself in Glasgow and called him up and he was home in Edinburgh. We got together and knocked it out in an afternoon!”

The final song is another stunner, called “No Forgotten Man”. Again, I thought that it was probably an old-timey ballad from the 1800’s that he had arranged for this project. Yet, again, however, it was a very thoughtful and seamlessly written original song that will linger in the mind long after the CD stops revolving. “That was actually the last song we wrote”, said Seamus. “We came across the story of this guy called William Parks, who really was the guy who started what would become Butte. He was a guy who had a notion that there was something in the ground in Butte and started digging a hole. Everyone thought he was cracked and had lost his mind. The gold rush had passed Butte by but he dug for a long time and eventually found the vein of copper that led to Butte becoming the richest hill on earth. Then he was more or less swindled out of his find, so the song is about perseverance and that even if it doesn’t work out so well, you’re not going to be forgotten. The chapter in the historical record about him was called, “The Forgotten Man”. And it’s also the story about Michael Conway, because he had been for all intents and purposes, a forgotten man for the last 100 years until we found him for this project”.

A stunning tour de force, “Shamrock City” will take the listener on a vivid and emotional journey that tells the story of Michael Conway, but also opens up the larger picture of the emigrant experience in Montana in the 1800’s. For those looking for a genuine experience this St. Patrick’s Day—ditch the green beer and take a listen to “Shamrock City”. Prepare to be amazed.

“Shamrock City” has just been released by Solas and is available from their website, www.solasmusic.com

Editors note: Solas will perform and chat about their new project Shamrock city (CD/Video) at eTown Live Radio Show Taping Sunday, March 10, 2013 – 7:00 pm. eTown Hall has their own venue now, located at 1535 Spruce Street Boulder, CO It is an intimate venue so get your tixs now! Additional guest will be Terry Allen. www.eTown.org or Contact: Zack Littlefield, 303-443-8696 #110

Denver Brass 2013

The Denver Brass and a cast of fiendishly talented guest artists paint a vivid scene of tommy knockers, leprechauns and pots of gold ore. Echoes of the Emerald Isles will be performed March 9-17, at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. You don’t want to miss this pure Colorado Gold!
Immerse yourself in Colorado’s deep Celtic roots, ancient threads that connect us all and
echo from our historic past. Guests artist include Celtic Colorado Pipes & Drums; Rocky
Mountain Highland Dancers; Wick School of Irish Dance; tenor Todd Teske and
fiddle/guitar duo, Iain Hyde & Tom DeLong.
Grown right here at home, The Denver Brass is a style-melding band of 14 professional
musicians. They are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Colorado audiences by
presenting fresh and exhilarating shows. One of just a few professional large brass
ensembles in the world, The Denver Brass enjoys a success directly linked to its universal
appeal. The Denver Brass musicians’ passions range from great brass music, to skiing, to
Colorado history and to solving the world’s problems over a great glass of beer or fine
wine.
Denver Brass – Echoes of Emerald Isle begins this weekend and runs through March 17 at the Newman Center at Denver University. March 9,15,16 @ 7:30pm and March 10 & 17 2:30pm.

For more information, concert schedule and ticket sales please visit www.denverbrass.org
or call 303-832-HORN (4676)

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