by Cindy Reich In Ireland, on Christmas Eve, it is customary to light a candle and put it in the window for Mary and Joseph to find their way” Especially in rural areas, the hillsides are dotted with lights that sparkle like stars on “Oiche Nollaig”. You can experience an Irish Christmas with Danu when they bring their Irish Christmas show to Macky Auditorium on Friday, December 10. Blending Irish carols, traditions and of course, music, Danu will transport the audience to their native Ireland for the evening. Long a driving force in Irish traditional music, Danu has gained the respect and adoration of fans throughout the world with their energetic jigs and reels as well as soulful vocals. However, along with painting a musical picture, Danu will introduce the audience to the rich Irish traditions surrounding Christmas. One of the most unique is the “wren dance” that takes place on December 26th, also known as St. Stephen”s Day. According to legend, Stephen was being pursued by Romans and hid in a furze bush. As the Roman legion passed by, the wren called out, giving away Stephen”s hiding place and he was caught and killed. There is retribution for the wren, in Ireland, even to the present day, but the tradition all but died out except in very remote areas of the Gaeltacht (Gaelic speaking areas of Ireland, primarily in the west). However, even Dublin has its “wren day” and to find out what happens to the wren, you”ll have to be at the gig! (No wrens will be harmed in the wren festivities!!!!) The evening can best be described by original Danu founder and band member, Benny McCarthy (button accordion): “We perform “An Irish Christmas” which basically entails Music, Songs and stories that we play here at home in Ireland. We have many traditions that are particular to Ireland such as the lighting of Candles on Christmas Eve to St.Stephens day and the hunting of the wren traditions. We like to tell our audience about all this tradition and get them involved in some familiar carols (Irish Style mind you), play tunes, sing songs and have local Irish dancers join the band. An overall Christmas Hooley Irish style!!” Other members of Danu include outstanding Gaelic singer and first female member, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (vocals, flute, whistle), returning member Donal Clancy (guitar), Tom Doorley (flute), Oisin McAuley (fiddle) and Donnchadh Gough (uillean pipes/bodhran). With six albums and a live DVD under their belts, Danu has a brand new album, “Seanchas” (Lore/Folklore). McCarthy has this to say about this newest release: “This is the band”s first release since 2005. We are very proud of this new album, which features many tunes and songs we didn’t get the chance to record over the years along with some beautiful newer material. We like to think this our “mature” record! While Danu have not been in Colorado for a while, “too long away” as Benny McCarthy, they are looking forward to returning to snowy (?) Colorado for this special Christmas show. “We are really looking forward to getting to Boulder and the Rocky Mountains”, says McCarthy. “It is going to be the highlight of the tour!” Danu”s “An Irish Christmas” Friday, December 10, 2010 at Macky Auditorium, Boulder. 8pm 303-492-8339

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