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Dirk Mewes is a Colorado uilleann pipe (Irish bagpipes) player and also makes pipes out of his workshop in Berthoud. He spoke recently with Cillian Vallely, the uilleann piper with the ever-popular Irish band Lunása. Cillian has also recorded and toured with a diverse collection of artists and shows, including Natalie Merchant, Bruce Springsteen, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Tim O’Brien, and Riverdance. Cillian will be performing at the D-Note in Arvada May 18, 3pm, and holding workshops with Ryan McGiver, a folk singer and guitarist from upstate New York.

Dirk: “Thanks for speaking with me today! Let’s dive right in. The uilleann pipes seem like a very difficult instrument to master, being a piper myself, I have found that certainly to be true. At what age did you start playing the pipes, Cillian, and why did you choose the pipes?”

Cillian: “I think I started the pipes when I was eight years old. I was playing the whistle for a few years before that. My parents were both teachers of traditional music. They have had the piper’s club in Armagh for almost fifty years now. So they were running a little music school once a week. I used to just bring a whistle to that for a while. I remember my mother trying to teach me the fiddle, and trying various instruments, but my father was a piper and was teaching the pipes. I remember him giving me a practice set to try, and I took to it more than the other instruments.

“I never really looked back, you know. There were times when I couldn’t have cared that much about the music when I was a kid, but I always liked the pipes. I liked blowing them, and I liked the sound of them, you know?”

Dirk: “So at what point in your life did you decide that you could make a living playing music?”

Cillian: “I went to university, and I sort of studied things that I didn’t really care about. In the Irish system, you kind of have to decide what you are going to do when you are about 16, and I just did the degree in economics and business. I realized after about a month of the courses that I absolutely had no interest, but there was no changing or turning back in the system, so I finished it out anyway.

“And then I had to think of something to do, and I had no plan. So I went to Boston, and I was just going to get a summer job. But I started getting a lot of pub gigs playing music. And then I kept getting more pub gigs. And I was starting to enjoy the lifestyle of just playing music at night. So, I started getting better and better. I never really thought about whether I was going to keep doing it or not. I just kept going, and never looked back, so it just worked out that I was able to make a living. I mean, I probably wouldn’t have been able to stick to doing six bar gigs a week for the rest of my life. But I started getting better work, and getting recording work, and going on tour, and playing concerts. So, it became an interesting lifestyle, you know?”

Dirk: “It sounds like it was just a very natural progression for you.”

Cillian: “Yeah. I think a lot of things changed in my lifetime. Very few people would have played traditional music for a living. I wouldn’t have really known anybody. It would have only been the most famous people that you’d have heard about, but I think that the music became more and more popular. And it was sort of just more viable to make a living out of it. By about 1990, it was my main thing, and it was a good time, you know?”

Dirk: “It seems like in general that the uilleann pipes have seen a real resurgence in popularity in the last few years. There are more players now, and more people making the pipes than ever. What do you see as the contributing factors to the current popularity of the pipes?”

Cillian: “I suppose it is directly related to the music, itself, getting more popular. The music has gone from strength to strength, and pipes have gone along. And it’s not just done in isolation, there has been a steady increase in the amount of people playing the music. In terms of more popular culture, that can be changing – you know kind of a fad thing. There was a period in the 1990′s when pipes were getting used in a lot of commercials and movies, and I did a bit of that kind of work myself, but that’s just sort of an almost separate thing. The fact that the pipes were used in “Braveheart”, it’s a very temporary thing.

“But in terms of just the sheer number of people playing pipes, that’s been on a steady incline since the late ’60s, when it truly was at an all-time low. The more people play, the better standard the players are. Certainly, you see that with more makers, the standard of instruments is just getting better all the time. With the instruments that are made now, I’d say there has never been an era like it.

“I clearly remember teaching 20-25 years ago, and the pipes that would be brought into the class would make you cringe. And now, you go into a class and everybody plays an A, and it seems to be in tune, and people can’t blame the pipes anymore. There’s also a great standard in reed-making. With more people playing, and more people making them, there’s more quality players, and more quality instruments.

“In terms of the way the public’s being drawn to it, when people go to a concert and there’s a really good player on the stage, with a good sound, in tune, and playing well, you know people love the instrument. It’s a very special instrument in that sense, and definitely people connect with it. A lot of people put a lot of stock in the kind of things like Riverdance, Titanic, and Brave Heart, but I think that’s more in terms of influence, and a sort of making the instrument wider known…”

Dirk: “I grew up listening to ‘Planxty’, the ‘Bothy Band’, and the ‘Chieftains’, and there were pipes in all three bands, and I heard a lot of recordings of that, but I never actually saw a set of uilleann pipes until 20 years ago.”

Cillian: “Yeah, and people now can get a good set. They can hear whatever it is they hear – The Chieftains, or Lunása, or whatever it is at a concert, you know, and you can buy a record, and listen, and get hooked on the sound, and then they can go and find somebody to make them a set, and then you can get started, and it’s a relatively easy thing. It’s not simple, but it can be done! It wouldn’t have been the case 25 years ago. The internet is a great resource, as well. You can read forums, watch videos online of people playing – and you can even get lessons online!”

Dirk: “In May you are coming out here with Ryan McGiver. Can you tell us how you met Ryan, and what we can expect to hear at your shows?”

Cillian: “I met Ryan, I’m not sure exactly when, it was at least five years ago… He’s from upstate New York, and had moved down to New York City, where I am living. I ended up doing a few sets and bar gigs with him. He’s a great player and a great singer, but apart from that, we became good friends, and enjoy each other’s company. So, we ended up doing a festival, and then we kind of turned the festival into a tour. So, Ryan sings, he accompanies the tunes that I do on the whistle and the pipes, – and that would be strictly Irish music. But then, he sings American folk songs. So, we have worked out a show combining the two. And I enjoy it myself. I spend most of the year playing, not just with Lunása, but also with other ensembles of at least three or four other people.

“So, I’m enjoying the freedom of just the two of us. It’s a smaller sound, but it gives us the freedom to do what we want. We change the repertoire up a lot, and I play some of the tunes that I’ve written myself. “

Dirk: “The pipes have been known to be more of a solo instrument, are you going to be playing more of a solo method as well?”

Cillian: “In this show I will do a few thing unaccompanied, and use a lot of drones and regulators, and then we do some things with just the chanter and guitar, and there are things that will match the chords of guitar – matching them with the regulators, and we do a bit of that on the songs as well, kind of using all the parts of the pipes, to back up the song.

“I enjoy both that part of playing with groups and not playing with groups, and I always see it as playing the thing that works for that particular setting. In a group setting, you’d put a lot less ornamentation in and a lot less of all of your piping stuff at the expense of everybody around you, but when you are playing on your own you have a lot more freedom do what you want to do… On the pipes, you would never play a set of chords on the regulators if there was a completely different harmony in the rhythm section. Whereas if you are the only one playing, then you can do whatever you like. It’s a very different musical experience – and I like that it’s different, because I like both things.”

Dirk: “You’ve been with Lunása for about 15 years now. What is that like, and how do you find ways to keep that music fresh?”

Cillian: “Well, I mean, it is difficult. The beauty of playing with the same people year-in, and year out is that is becomes very tight, very solid, you become very trusting of the other players. It’s a sort of very dependable thing, but you can definitely get jaded, over the years, if you keep playing the same material. So, we change the material up a lot, and we write some of our own music, and we try not to play the same things every night. We do solos, and we change them up a lot. But we don’t tour as much as we did before, you know. In the early days of the band, we were on the road 200 plus days of the year together, and none of us really played any other gigs, and it was harder to keep it fresh in that sense. Then we’ve had a new guitarist the last couple of years, that brings something new into the group, and we’d do the odd collaboration, and that sort of helps things, you know?”

Dirk: “You’ve also have had some help from you musical brother, as well, in the latest recordings.”

Cillian: “Yeah, with the ‘National Concert Orchestra’. Niall, my brother is a traditional musician, but he has studied music at college, and he’s always played classical music, and he’s done a lot of arranging in the last ten years, for kind of smaller ensembles. I took part in a lot of his projects myself. He had written the music for a BBC documentary on the ‘Flight of the Earls’. It was the 400th anniversary of that. We did a series of concerts for a twelve-piece classical ensemble. And he’s certainly been writing more and more. Then the opportunity came up with the RTE orchestra, and he arranged the music of Lunása for a full orchestra. It was a great thing to do! I played a lot of classical music growing up, and I had played in an orchestra for six or seven years, but I’d never played the pipes with an orchestra. So, I’d sort of enjoyed bringing the two things together, at last. I think it collaborates very well with Irish music.

“I think a lot of people are very taken by the ‘Celtic Rock’, but actually, I think that the classical music world is closer to the Irish music world. As long as the classical players stay away from the melody! I say that, kind of joking… The classical players are trained to be able to play anything. But when Irish music is written, it’s not written as played, and classical players play what they read, so if what they read is not written correctly, then what they play sounds. You know you could nearly start laughing sometimes if you hear a violin player play an Irish tune from a book. But, that’s because the music is written in its simplest form.

“People like myself that read and play, know how to play from sheet music, but if you don’t know both things, then you can’t possibly play from sheet music, because it’s not written correctly. It’s the same in any music. If you take a jazz book, and you played a transcribed John Coltrane tune, it would sound laughable, if you played it as written. You can’t possibly write the correct swing. There would be so many dots and little tags to get that rhythm. It’s like that with Jazz or Irish music, you write a basic form so people can identify the actual note to be played, and then you find the rhythm from listening, and you find the right groove.”

Dirk: “Is there anything else you would like to say about the collaborative work you have done with Niall and others – combining classical and traditional music?”

Cillian: “You asked about keeping the music fresh, and doing collaborations. I think one thing is that when you play professionally, you play a lot more, so you get a lot better than you would have been than if you played just once a week. You end up playing four-to-five hours a day, all the time. So, when you do something new in a collaborative project with classical musicians, or whatever, it definitely helps keep the excitement levels up. We’ve done a lot of that stuff!

“We did a nice thing with Natalie Merchant a few years ago, and others with Lunása. Last year, I recorded with Bruce Springsteen. A few years before that, I did a thing with Tim O’Brian. In all these things, you learn a lot about yourself, and your own music my having to play it, or trying to play your stuff in those kind of settings.”

Dirk: “I have only heard parts of the latest Lunása recording with RTE. I am looking forward to hearing the rest of that!”

Cillian: “Yeah, it was a fairly interesting project. There was a great conductor who had knowledge of both genres, and that helped a lot. Niall’s arrangements were kind of done the way a lot of pop or rock arrangements are done with orchestras. The arrangements and chords of the band were kind of extended into the full orchestra. So, the kind of grooves and harmonies that we were already playing were sort of spread out among the rest of the instruments. And Niall picked the tracks that he felt would work best – just based on the sort of colors that he could have from the orchestra, whether it was strings, or percussion, and brass, and woodwind, and stuff, and sort of give all the parts of the orchestra a role to play.”

Dirk: “With your father a famous piper, and your talented brothers Niall and Caoimhin both sharing recording with you especially on Callan Bridge, is there a story you’d like to share with us about growing up with your musical family?”

Cillian: “I mean, it’s one of those things if you grow up, you grow up. That’s what it is. You can’t go back and grow up in another household, and compare the difference, you know? It was just part of life. With music school, it was always concerts, and practices, and sessions. My father taught me for the first few years, and then he handed me on to one of his pupils who was maybe only 15 years old, Mark Donnelly, he was a great piper. He taught me for a while, and when I was about that age, I was teaching some of the younger guys. You know, that’s sort of the way the club always worked. The pupils become the teachers, and it’s still going very strong. My younger brother Caoimhin, he’s a fiddle player now and piano player. We all came through that, and we have two younger siblings, Lorcan and Maire, and they all play. Not as much as the three of us, but a lot of it was taken for granted.

“I was more into sport, myself. I was a runner and footballer and I probably enjoyed that more as a teenager. But the music was there. I never gave up on it, I still played. I really got back into it when I was probably 18 or 19. The good thing was, I wasn’t a beginner . When I should have got my bug for wanting to play the pipes all day long every day, I wasn’t just starting, you know. I had already been playing for 10 or 11 years. I appreciate that now, but when you’re younger and it’s just there, and it’s your family, you certainly had no sense of feeling lucky or this is great. It’s only with hindsight that you realize that it’s a privileged upbringing of culture, you know?

“I have small kids now, so I’d love them to play, but I know the one thing I won’t be doing is ramming it down their throats. My father never did that with me. I just kind of went along, and if I wasn’t overly enthusiastic, it didn’t matter. I wasn’t forced. But you were surrounded by the music and you were surrounded by hearing great players. So you knew how it should sound. You always knew how it sounded when it was played well. So it was just a matter of practicing and figuring out how to do that. I think the approach of trying to turn kids into geniuses or trying to turn them into champion players, I don’t think it works, myself. They’ll either be good or they won’t.”

Dirk: “Can you give us a preview of what your workshop students should expect to learn when you’re here?”

Cillian: “I suppose there’s a limit to what you can do in any workshop. But I would certainly advise people about how they’re executing things. I think one thing, no matter how advanced you are on the pipes – or any instrument, is that you can always improve your sound, and you can always improve your rhythm. Piping can be incredibly technical and incredibly complex if you want it to be, to sound great. And pipes sounding good is not just about having a good reed and a good chanter, that’s only the start of it.

“I always feel that with teaching the pipes, a lot of what people would call ‘technique’ is really fingering technique, but there’s a lot more to technique than the just all the tricks with your little fingers. A lot of the technique is holding the pipes, applying the right pressure, and playing with good rhythm. You know I always believe everybody can improve in that department. I would listen to what people are doing already, and advise them how to improve from where they are, and also, obviously explain to people what I do and what I believe in.”

Dirk: “I have had several lessons with you in the past, and I’ve always learned something very valuable from you, so we’re all looking forward to your Colorado trip!”

Cillian: “Yeah, great! Looking forward to getting out there!”

Dirk: “Let me know if you want to go on a fly fishing or skiing trip when you’re out here – there will probably still be some snow left!”

Cillian: “Yeah, I’m a bit afraid of the skiing. I’ve never ski’d before. You’d have to put me on the baby slopes, is that what you call them? One of the times Lunása was out there, I actually didn’t go, but a number of the lads went to Loveland, was it? They arrived back black and blue. They had gone on the baby slopes, and then had gone for the big ones right away. There was black eyes and bruised ribs… It was nearly very bad. But they had fun, I believe.”

Dirk: “It seems like you guys always have fun.”

Cillian: “Oh yeah, well, we play to, anyway…”

Cillian Valley and Ryan McGiver will perform a matinee show at the D-Note in Arvada on May 18 at 3PM: The D-Note: 7519 Grandview Avenue in Olde Town Arvada (Corner of Grandview and Old Wadsworth) Sunday, May 18, 2014 3PM. $20 at the door. http://thednote.com
If you’re interested in participating in one of the workshops held by Cillian or Ryan, email info@IrishHouseConcerts.com. More information about Cillian can be found at http://CillianVallely.com. More information about Ryan at

April 14 CC Once_2

By Rodger Hara – - –

Colorado audiences have had the privilege of seeing and hearing Dubliner Glen Hansard many times during his tenure with The Frames that began in 1990; most recently in 2005 when they played at the Bluebird Theater. And after the success of the music from Once, Hansard and his co-star Markéta Irglová have appeared as The Swell Season on stage at the Ogden Theater in 2007 and the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2008.

The film, written and directed by former Frames bass player John Carney in 2006 with additional input from Hansard and Irglová, made it to the Sundance Film Festival almost by accident in January 2007 where it won the World Cinema Audience award in the Dramatic category and the title song written by Hansard and Irglová won the Oscar for best song in 2007. Hansard wasn’t even Carney’s first choice to play the male lead, known only as “The Busker” and was looking for an older woman to play the female lead, “The Girl”; when Carney’s choice dropped out, he turned to his old friend Hansard who recommended the 19 year-old Irglová, daughter of a Czechoslovakian friend, for the part and the rest is movie, music and theatre history: How three friends armed with a few songs and a bit of a script made a low-budget ($160,000) film that earned over $7 million in its first three months of world-wide release, wins the Oscar for best song, then is turned into a multiple-Tony-award winning musical on Broadway that also wins a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.

And if all of that isn’t enough, there’s a touch of James Bond to the story as well: Barbara Broccoli, producer of the last six James Bond films, acquired the stage production rights to the movie and approached Englishman John Tiffany to recreate it on stage. Tiffany’s initial reaction was, to say the least, unenthusiastic. “I thought it was a terrible idea. I never think about adapting films for the stage. That’s not the way I work. And when I was approached about Once, I hadn’t even seen the film. But one of my best friends said, ‘You will love the music.’ So I downloaded the soundtrack, and absolutely loved it. I’d never heard music like that, and the music is the reason why I wanted to do the show. Not just the music itself, but the fact that it’s a story about creating music, a story about the healing power of music. Immediately I thought, ‘We’re going to be able to see actors create that music in front of us.’ That’s really exciting. Actors have played instruments onstage for years, but not always in a show about making music.”

From that beginning, Tiffany then suggested to the producers that Dubliner Enda Walsh write the book for the play, saying “We’ve known each other since 1997, when we were working in Edinburgh. I felt that if you’re going to do a piece of theater about Dublin, then you get Enda Walsh from Dublin to write it.”

Walsh had much the same initial reaction as Tiffany. “I guffawed when my agent called and asked me to speak to the producers. I said, ‘What a stupid idea. It’s a two-hander with very little plot. It’s delicate.’ So I called the producers and told them it wasn’t for me. There’s no tradition of musical theater in Ireland, so I rubbished the idea. Then they told me John Tiffany was attached to it as director.”

The two spoke and decided to closet themselves for two days to read the screenplay, listen to the songs and talk about how it might work. At the end of the two days they concluded that they wanted to do the show. Walsh thought that with the Irish people hurting from the recession it would be “…sweet to do a little love letter to Dublin.”

They ultimately decided to set the show in a Dublin pub and to also include music played by stage characters who weren’t musicians in the film. They retained the songs from the film although in a somewhat different order and occasionally with modified arrangements. Martin Lowe, who did the orchestration for the show, observed that “The songs feel just a little bit bigger than they did in the movie. That’s unusual; it’s the movies that are always bigger. But the most musicians on any number in the movie is five. We’ve got 12 onstage, although they’re not all playing all the time. Often, we have three or four guitars playing at any one time. We also use ukuleles, mandolins, strings, drums, an accordion, and a banjo. The banjo is in quite a lot of the songs because one of the actors wanted to learn it.” And just like a session in your local, there are different people who start and stop the different tunes depending on who is on stage at the moment. To close the musical loop, Hansard and Irglová visited the show while it was in development off-Broadway, made some fine-tuning suggestions and then gave it their blessing.

When asked why he thought Once was so successful as a film and a stage musical, Tiffany said “I think what’s very moving about the piece is how sometimes we meet people who we don’t necessarily stay with forever, but they give us the resources to move on to the next part of our life. There’s something very truthful in that. People have said to me, ‘When I was sitting in the theater watching Once, I felt like I was watching it with everyone I’ve ever loved, whether or not they’re still in my life.’”

Featuring a multi-talented touring cast that sings, dances and plays their own instruments, Denver theatre-goers will be able to see for themselves that Once deserves the eight Tony awards it received including those for Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical (John Tiffany), Best Book (Enda Walsh), and Best Orchestrations (Martin Lowe) . Once plays at the Buell Theater in the Denver Performing Arts Complex May 6-18; performance times are Tuesday-Sunday at 7:30 PM and 2 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets and information at http://www.denvercenter.org/buy-tickets/shows/once/about.aspx or call 303.893.4100, 800.641.1222 or TTY: 303.893.9582.

Photos courtesy of Denver Center Attractions, © Joan Marcus

May 092014
Bennet School group dance

The Bennett School of Irish Dance will fill the stage at the Lone Tree Arts Center with the exciting sounds and color of Irish music and dancing on Saturday, May 10th. Spirit of Ireland 2014 is the latest in the series of shows which have delighted audiences every year with traditional steps and modern choreographies in the Irish tradition.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Riverdance, the phenomenon which brought Irish dancing from church halls and country pubs to Broadway. What better way to celebrate that revolution in world entertainment than by enjoying Spirit 2014?
The Lone Tree Arts Center at 10075 Commons Street will provide a luxurious setting in keeping with the quality of Spirit 2014. More than 100 Bennett School dancers will showcase the audience-pleasing skills they hone in more than 80 performances per year, including the Cheyenne Celtic Musical Arts Festival, Elizabeth Celtic Festival, Colorado Scottish Festival, Long’s Peak Scottish/Irish Highland Festival and Summerset Festival.
The roots of Irish dancing reach back thousands of years, but the dancing has always thrived on innovation as dancers devise new steps and routines to fit traditional tunes, and fit traditional steps to new music. Spirit 2014 will draw on both strains to present colorful costumes and skillful steps in an ever-changing variety for an exciting evening’s entertainment.
Spirit 2014 will be presented 6:00-8:00 PM on Saturday, May 10th (doors open at 5:30.) Tickets are $15 (adults) $10 (seniors) and $8 (children 7-15.) Tickets are available online from the Lone Tree Arts Center’s web site or by calling their box office at 720.509.1000; you may also buy tickets at the door. By Bill Bennett

granias web_1

The Granias, Lyons Colorado-based, all-female Celtic band, will perform
in Denver this month.
The Granias. inspired by their namesake, the famous 16th century Irish Pirate Queen Grania, these Celtic women bring their graceful, swashbuckling sound to Denver’s Swallow Hill stage on May 10. Expect traditional fiddle tunes “powered by pure energy” (Boston Music Spotlight), “exceptional” vocals (Irish Music Magazine) and “beautiful” harp, (The Folk Harp Journal), driving guitar and rhythmic Irish bodhran drum.

Fiddler Jessie Burns recorded three number one World Music albums while touring with Celtic supergroup Gaelic Storm. Sirotniak is known for her rich, session-style playing and unparalleled community spirit that earned her a place in the Longmont Times-Call’s Top 100. Gadbaw and Krimmel’s latest duo release was described by Colorado Public Radio as “stunning,” and by British folk magazine What’s Afoot as “an absolute joy to listen to.” With a varied repertoire of ancient melodies on the celtic harp, rollicking fiddle tunes, Irish traditional ballads and sing-alongs, The Granias are sure to steal your heart.
In addition to Burns on fiddle -Beth Gadbaw (vocals/drum), Annie Sirotniak (guitar) and Boulder harpist Margot Krimmel comprise traditional Celtic folk group.

The Granias
Saturday May10 at 8 p.m.
Swallow Hill’s Tuft Theatre, 71 E. Yale Avenue in Denver
Tickets $10 in advance, $12 at the door, 303.777.1003,www.whitebirdsmusic.com

May 092014
Indulgers May 2014

Rodger Hara rounds up some of the Regional talent offering for May —
Angus Mohr shares their time and lends their talent to help raise money for ten-year-old Max Watson, the first of fourteen patients identified with a newly discovered metabolic disorder Cobalamin X. From birth, Max has faced developmental challenges including an inability to walk or stand. Because his condition compromises his immune system, Max attends fourth grade via a remote classroom. His family cares for him in their home, moving Max many times each day to ensure that his life is as rich and full as possible. They play a benefit show for Give Max a Lift, from 2 – 6 PM on the 31st at Defy! CrossFit, 6850 W. 116th Ave, Unit A, in Broomfield.
In other Angus Mohr news, longtime lead guitar player Mark “Byrd” Tester has retired and been replaced by Michael Aggson, former front man for the blues band Third Degree.
Kindred Spirits plays at Stella’s Coffee Haus, 1476 South Pearl St., Denver, on the 11th from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Avourneen is in the big room at Katie Mullen’s downtown on the east end of the 16th St. Mall from 9 PM – 12 AM on the 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th, at Lannie’s Clocktower on the other end of the Mall at 11 PM on the 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st and at Stella’s Coffee Haus on S. Pearl St., Denver at 7 PM on the 3rd.

The Mountain Road Ceili Band is downstairs at The Margarita at Pine Creek in Colorado Springs on the 16th from 6:30-9:00 PM

You can enjoy the unique sound of The Granias on the 10th at 8 PM in the Tuft Theatre at Swallow Hill, 71 E Yale, Denver. Ticket info at (303) 777-1003, swallowhillmusic.org or www.whitebirdsmusic.com

Kevin Dooley and his trio play on the 8th for Larry’s Guitar Shop Listening Room Series in Longmont, 7:30 PM, tix are $5, then play at Haystack Mtn Golf Course, Niwot, for their Wednesday night music series on the 14th from 5 -8 PM and are at The Gold Hill Inn from 5 -7 PM on the 18th.

Skean Dubh plays for the Ridgegate Community Evening Concert in Highlands Ranch from 4-5:30 PM on the 9th and for the Beltania May Pole Ceremony in Florence, CO at 10:30 AM with a concert at 1 PM on the 10th.
The commoners are on the stage of the Crown Bar in Cheyenne, WY at 9:30 PM on the 10th and then play at Ned Kelly’s in Littleton at 9 PM on the 17th.

The Indulgers hit the road for performances at the legendary Dubliner pub in Omaha, NE on the 2nd and 3rd at 9:30 PM then return home to play at Brendan’s 404 in Denver on the 9th at 8:30 PM, The Exchange Tavern, Westminster at 8:30 PM on the 10th, at noon on the 17th in Thornton for Thorntonfest and then close out the month at Conor O’Neill’s in Boulder at 10 PM on the 23rd.

Gobs O’Phun is at the Celtic House Pub in Parker, 16522 Keystone Blvd on the 24th.

You can check out Adam Agee and Jon Sousa at the Denver Public Library at 2 PM on the 3rd when they play there for the Fresh City Life series. Later that day, you can hear Jon perform with fiddler Andy Reiner at the Fort Collins Contra Dance at 7 PM.

Pandora Celtica plays in concert with touring guest artist Celia on the 7th, location TBD and then are in the Florence Mountain Park for the Beltania Pagan Music Festival on the 10th at 3:30 PM.
Brian Clancy sings and plays at Jack Quinn’s, Colorado Springs at 7:30 PM on the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th, and at the Irish Snug, Capitol Hill at 8:30 PM on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st.

You can hear Big Paddy at the Exchange Tavern in Westminster on the 2nd at 8:30 PM.

The always busy Potcheen performs at Brendans at 7 PM on the 2nd, has a CD release party on the 10th at 7 PM in the Larimer Lounge, plays the DTC Tilted Kilt at 8 PM on the 16th, travels to Colorado Springs for a gig at Jack Quinn’s on the 17th at 8 PM and is at the Celtic House in Parker for a 9 PM show on the 24th.

Mathew Gurnsey of the Muses performs at the Burns Pub in Broomfield every Thursday this month. Happy Hour is 4-6, Mathew on at 6:30PM – No cover charge.
May 2014 Ceolta Notes
By Rodger Hara
Angus Mohr shares their time and lends their talent to help raise money for ten-year-old Max Watson, the first of fourteen patients identified with a newly discovered metabolic disorder Cobalamin X. From birth, Max has faced developmental challenges including an inability to walk or stand. Because his condition compromises his immune system, Max attends fourth grade via a remote classroom. His family cares for him in their home, moving Max many times each day to ensure that his life is as rich and full as possible. They play a benefit show for Give Max a Lift, from 2 – 6 PM on the 31st at Defy! CrossFit, 6850 W. 116th Ave, Unit A, in Broomfield.
In other Angus Mohr news, longtime lead guitar player Mark “Byrd” Tester has retired and been replaced by Michael Aggson, former front man for the blues band Third Degree.
Kindred Spirits plays at Stella’s Coffee Haus, 1476 South Pearl St., Denver, on the 11th from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Avourneen is in the big room at Katie Mullen’s downtown on the east end of the 16th St. Mall from 9 PM – 12 AM on the 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th, at Lannie’s Clocktower on the other end of the Mall at 11 PM on the 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st and at Stella’s Coffee Haus on S. Pearl St., Denver at 7 PM on the 3rd.

The Mountain Road Ceili Band is downstairs at The Margarita at Pine Creek in Colorado Springs on the 16th from 6:30-9:00 PM

You can enjoy the unique sound of The Granias on the 10th at 8 PM in the Tuft Theatre at Swallow Hill, 71 E Yale, Denver. Ticket info at (303) 777-1003, swallowhillmusic.org or www.whitebirdsmusic.com

Kevin Dooley and his trio play on the 8th for Larry’s Guitar Shop Listening Room Series in Longmont, 7:30 PM, tix are $5, then play at Haystack Mtn Golf Course, Niwot, for their Wednesday night music series on the 14th from 5 -8 PM and are at The Gold Hill Inn from 5 -7 PM on the 18th.

Skean Dubh plays for the Ridgegate Community Evening Concert in Highlands Ranch from 4-5:30 PM on the 9th and for the Beltania May Pole Ceremony in Florence, CO at 10:30 AM with a concert at 1 PM on the 10th.
The commoners are on the stage of the Crown Bar in Cheyenne, WY at 9:30 PM on the 10th and then play at Ned Kelly’s in Littleton at 9 PM on the 17th.

The Indulgers hit the road for performances at the legendary Dubliner pub in Omaha, NE on the 2nd and 3rd at 9:30 PM then return home to play at Brendan’s 404 in Denver on the 9th at 8:30 PM, The Exchange Tavern, Westminster at 8:30 PM on the 10th, at noon on the 17th in Thornton for Thorntonfest and then close out the month at Conor O’Neill’s in Boulder at 10 PM on the 23rd.

Gobs O’Phun is at the Celtic House Pub in Parker, 16522 Keystone Blvd on the 24th.

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