Maine Celtic Celebration

Maine Celtic Celebration

Maine Celtic Celebration

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ByonwithComments Off on Bohola

Irish music’s accordion virtuoso Jimmy Keane and the remarkable bouzar player and vocalist Pat Broaders, comprise bohola, Irish music’s newest “supergroup” as penned by The Irish Herald. bohola play a driving, muscular, and yet very emotive style of Irish music with deep roots in the ‘pure drop’ tradition, infused with the raw and gritty urbanized musical vernacular of the Irish and Irish-American experience.

bohola’s debut album is championed by the Irish Voice as “one of the most impressive debut recordings ever by an Irish traditional music group.” The Courier News added, “Though most of the tunes bohola plays are well over 150 years old, the music comes across more vibrant than the moribund sounds of much of today’s alternative rock. Their sound comes from the Irish version of jam sessions, but bohola puts the noodling of many current jam bands (Dave Matthews, among others) to shame.”

The Irish Echo captured the essence of bohola when it reviewed their self-titled release. “The sum here is greater than the parts, and egos are subordinate to both execution and effect. bohola have crafted an album of intricate, nearly invisible latticework, relying not on gimmickry but on imagination and vision. What a welcome concept: muse-imbuing music.”

Born in London of Irish-speaking parents, Jimmy Keane’s accomplishments are far reaching. The son of a sean nos (old style) singer, he is All Ireland accordion champion for five consecutive years. He is a composer and arranger of Irish music and has produced and recorded numerous albums. Many regard Keane as the premier exponent of Irish music on the piano accordion. Noted University of Limerick Professor, composer, and musician Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin praised Keane as the “savior of the piano accordion.” Emusic described him as “one of the true giants of Irish traditional music of the past fifty years.”

Keane has performed and recorded with some of the best musicians in Irish music over the years including Liz Carroll, Michael Flatley, Mick Moloney, Eileen Ivers, and Seamus Egan. However, it was not until he started playing with Pat Broaders that the style of Irish music that Keane plays “really started to jell and this big huge raw and powerful sound came out of nowhere,” reflected Keane. “We were like a glove – instinctively darting in and out of the music as if we were “as-one” playing the same big instrument.”

Pat Broaders arrived in Chicago from Ireland in the 1990’s. “Pat is a real veteran of the Irish music scene both here and abroad, playing, recording, and performing with many artists and bands over the years,” said Keane. “Pat has this acute sense of music and rhythm that enables him to “lock in” his bouzar (bass bouzouki & guitar hybrid) playing to whatever I might do musically and rhythmically. The synergy that results spurs on bohola and draws in the audience. And his singing is brilliant – if I could sing, I’d love to sing like Pat.”

bohola’s key to their sound is the interplay between the musicians and the approach they take to their music. “It is the music that counts,” states Keane. “We really listen to and respond to each other when we play – bending, twisting, and caressing the music as it flows along.” Keane considers bohola fortunate to be able to perform and carry forward the traditional Irish music art form while placing their special touch to the music. “We are here to serve this great music and bring out what we feel is the best nature in the tunes and songs we play.”

The Chicago Tribune wrote, “bohola plays 300-year-old jigs and reels as if they were trying to tear the house down. Keane’s rippling accordion playing rapid, swirling melodies, while Pat Broaders accents the rhythm with his staccato bouzouki strumming. Broaders also takes the spotlight to sing plaintive ballads.”

“We try to always play from the heart,” said Keane, “and bring to the audience the core and the spirit of what the music we play and sing is about.”

In concert, bohola perform music selections that weave in and out between tunes and songs that can continue for twenty minutes or so, ever evolving and flowing. They play tunes that range from hundred-year-old harp pieces, reels, jigs, slides, polkas and barndances to newly composed pieces in the traditional idiom. And the songs run the gamut from the ancient melodies of Ireland, to songs brought to North America by immigrants, to newly composed songs from here and abroad. All played with a freshness and subtlety of approach that is unique in Irish music today.

Open the Door for Three

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A road-tested, audience-approved, high-octane, laughing-out-loud trio of Irish musicians: Kieran O’Hare, Liz Knowles, and Pat Broaders.

They mine tune books, collections, and recordings to find old and new tunes and new and old songs. They add to those discoveries Liz’s compositions, harmonies and arrangements, Kieran’s encyclopedic knowledge of tunes and the uilleann piping tradition, and Pat’s rhythmic bedrock bouzouki and world-class singing.

Open the Door for Three is a trio that plays its music powerfully.

Though the trio is brand new, its members are mainstays of the Irish music scene. These three have distinguished themselves over the last two decades, having played with Riverdance, Cherish the Ladies, Secret Garden, Anúna, Celtic Legends, and The New York Pops, as well as mainstream pop-artists Don Henley, Paula Cole, Bonnie Raitt, and Josh Groban.

They have performed in venues around the world: on Broadway, at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, at L’Olympia and Palais de Congrès in Paris, Malaysian rainforest festivals, piping tionóil in Ireland, theatres from Shanghai to São Paulo, cruise ships in the Caribbean, and even a bullring in Mallorca.

Their debut release “Open the Door for Three” is a culmination of
years on the road together, comprised of unearthed tunes, new arrangements of great songs, homages to the musicians and bands they grew up listening to, and the signature sound of a trio of good friends playing great music together.

The Press Gang

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A bold new sound has emerged in New England’s traditional music scene: The Press Gang unites the talents of accordionist Christian Stevens, fiddler Alden Robinson, and guitarist Owen Marshall into a energetic, creative, musical partnership. With the addition of Hanz Araki on flute and vocals, the band delves into new territory with songs from the Irish and Scottish traditon, and new tunes from Hanz’s own vast repertoire.

The Press Gang

As American performers in the Irish tradition, the quartet blends their skill and fluency in Irish music with their curiosity and aptitude for other styles. The joy that these musicians take from playing with each other shines brightly, both in recordings and on the stage.

The Colleen Raney Band

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“Among the best in her genre.” – Irish Music Magazine

Acclaimed traditional singer Colleen Raney returns to the Maine Celtic Celebration with her band – Ryan Davidson, Nathan Gourley, and special guest Hanz Araki.

As a member of the thriving Irish music community in the Pacific Northwest for over two decades, Colleen has been fortunate to appear alongside Johnny B. Connolly, Hanz Araki, Cary Novotny, Magical Strings, Tom Creegan, Dale Russ, and Colm MacCárthaigh in addition to her touring work with the West Coast Celtic band Story Road.

“Rarely is an artist as deeply entrenched in a musical niche as Colleen Raney able to present centuries-old music with an eye toward current and future listeners outside of the genre. By adapting and developing her voice, however, and by surrounding herself with a constantly-evolving ensemble of the best musicians the Northwest has to offer (Celtic-centric or otherwise), she manages to both credit her training and history, and stake claim as a serious presence in contemporary folk music.” Katie Presley, Bitch Magazine, January 2011

“Singing with a deep love for the tradition, and for the dark poetry of Celtic song, Colleen has been drawing new life from the old ballads and renewing our love for Celtic music.” Devon Leger, Hearth Music

“Raney brings a rich, hearty, and inviting voice – unmistakably American and without affectation or pretense – to her music.” Sean Smith, Boston Irish Reporter, May 2012

“Raney has an incredibly expressive voice – powerful, yet full of emotion” – Jamie O’Brien, The Irish Edition

The Stowes

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3 lads from Cornwall with a love of Cornish and Irish folk music. A rousing mix of shanties, Traditional tunes and contemporary folk songs can be expected!


ByonwithComments Off on Boghat

Boghat is a Traditional Irish Dance Music trio of accomplished musicians based out of Portland, Maine.

Boghat plays the traditional music of Ireland with a contemporary twist. From fiery reels and sexy jigs to plaintive airs and the occasional song, Boghat covers the entire spectrum of the genre, experimenting with contemporary elements while maintaining a healthy respect for the tradition.

Boghat currently performs regularly at venues and is often booked for weddings, parties and formal occasions.

Chris Gray & Fiona Howell

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Chris Gray grew up on Mount Desert Island, Maine, and has been playing music and creating art for as long as he can remember. He received his BA in Music and Visual Arts from Bowdoin College in 2010. He then went on to attain his Diploma in Irish Traditional Music and an MA in Ethnomusicology from University College Cork, in the south of Ireland, in 2011 and 2012.

Chris is both an artist and a musician/composer. As a multi-instrumentalist, he specializes in playing the Great Highland Bagpipes, the Uilleann pipes, and Irish whistles in addition to being an accomplished percussionist. He has recorded and produced two albums, Piob More (2010) and Ceol As Corcaigh (2011), and is currently working on a third.

Chris has performed for numerous events and venues in New England and Ireland, including the Saint Andrew’s Society of Maine Burns Dinner; the Maine Celtic Celebration; the Maine Saltwater Festival; and the Highland Games in Maine, New Hampshire, and New Brunswick. In addition, he has annually been piping for the Blessing of the Fleet in Bass Harbor, Maine. During the summer, Chris co hosts sessions every Tuesday night at Paddy Murphy’s in Bangor, Maine.

Fiona Howell is a traditional Irish flute and whistle player as well as a Sean-Nós singer. She played in New Orleans for five years where she appeared in the local music magazine, Offbeat, and on Fox News 8 for St. Patrick’s Day. Fiona also played and sang on “New Hampshire Chronicle,” a local TV news show. She has studied at the Acadia School of Traditional Music and Arts of 2014 and 2015. Fiona appeared at the Celtic Celebration of Belfast, ME in 2014. Recently, Fiona has performed on WERU, a local Maine radio show, the “Wicked Good Music Hour,” with Chris Gray and Jennifer Torrance. She released her debut album, Crossing The Sea, in January 2015. Contributing musicians include Chris Gray, a Maine-based musician on pipes, and Steve Wehmeyer on bodhrán (a founding member of Gaelic Storm, the Irish band from Titanic). Mastered by Irish flute player, Grey Larsen. Crossing The Sea was inspired by the Irish myth of the selkie, which is also the focus of the cover artwork.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Loyola University New Orleans in 2014.

The Napper Tandies

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Coming to a bar near you, The Napper Tandies are a three piece Irish folk group from Maine. Drawing heavily from legendary groups such as The Dubliners and the Pogues, they carry on the great pub music tradition with a energy and pride. With their unique blend of instruments and generous repertoire of music, they can keep any crowd singing, dancing, and drinking for hours.


ByonwithComments Off on Castlebay

Castlebay has been musically weaving together the heritage of New England and the Celtic lands since 1987. Members Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee have loved and researched traditional music for most of their lives and blend history, legend and experience into their personable performance style. Their concerts feature poignant ballads sung in Lane’s ethereal soprano and Gosbee’s rich baritone interspersed with joyous dance tunes played on Celtic harp, guitar, fiddle and tin whistle. Castlebay treats the audience to a musical journey through time and across the Atlantic. The duo also presents special theme concerts on various aspects of Celtic lore, nautical life or Colonial America.