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Notes from Celtic Airs
January / February 2008
by Steve Dieterich

Well, it’s hard for me to believe it’s already 2008!!
I’ve been a WWUH volunteer for fifteen years now and in my fourteen years of hosting Celtic Airs, have broadcast more than 700 programs! That may seem like a long time, but believe it or not, there are a significant number of WWUH volunteers who’ve been around longer and have broadcast far more programs than I have. We have a VERY dedicated team here!
            The Celtic Airs/ WWUH Concert Series is well into it’s 13th year and will present concert #118 on January 11th, 2008 when Pipeline return to the University of Hartford’s Wilde Auditorium. This duet is composed of Dermot Hyde (uillean pipes, whistles, small pipes and vocals) and Tom Hake (guitar, bouzouki, Celtic harp). Both members worked in live theater for years before they met in a theater performance. Their theater experience is obvious in their stage presence and style. “They combine frighteningly beautiful music with and unrivalled and original sense of entertainment.” Audiences are treated to “a mesmerizing collage of sound interspersed with a witty and informative stage patter.”    
            Both men are gifted multi-instrumentalists, a talent which allows for a highly varied presentation of music influenced by the seven Celtic nations. Dermot is also blessed with a song writing talent and “writes some of the best traditional songs heard in Celtic music today.” His compositions generally make up a portion of a Pipeline set list. Tom Hake loves to provide background information on their selections for the evening as well as “tantalizing string accompaniment to Hyde’s melodies.”
            Start your 2008 concert experience with a lovely night of music provided by Pipeline on January 11th at 7:30PM in the Wilde Auditorium.
            On November 4th, 1994, the second Celtic Airs concert featured an unknown quartet form Scotland called The Old Blind Dogs. On a memorable night, they enthralled a sell out audience. Now in their 15th year, and through multiple personnel changes, they remain a major force in the Scottish neo-traditional music scene. A return appearance is planned for Saturday February 9th in the Wilde Auditorium.
            The Old Blind Dogs began life as a quartet but performed as a quintet much of their professional lives. They’ve now reverted to the quartet format and feel they’re better for the streamlining.
            Only Jonny Hardie (fiddle, guitar, vocals) remains form the original group. He’s now joined by 2005 Scots Traditional Instrumentalist of the year Aaron Jones (guitar bouzouki, bass and vocals) and highly acclaimed piper Rory Campbell (border pipes, whistle, vocals). Keeping with the Old Blind Dogs tradition of “alternative percussion”, Fraser Stone brings his African-based percussion talents to the current ensemble.
            When Jim Malcolm departed, the remaining members decided to share the singing duties with admirable success as witnessed by their latest studio release, Four On the Floor” released in 2007. With no front man to rely on, the harmonies have taken on a new verve.
            The Dogs have always been known for their impassioned live shows regardless of who was in the line up at the time. Hardie says “We work hard on stage. Perhaps we err on the side of being too frenetic!! We don’t pace ourselves, we just go for it.” That’s the attitude that endears them to long time fans AND first- timers!

Don’t miss Old Blind Dogs in the comfortable confines of the
Wilde Auditorium on Saturday February 9th, 2008 at 7:30PM.

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  Tickets for the Celtic Airs Concert Series are sold exclusively by the University of Hartford Box Office. Call them at 1-800-274-8587 or 1-860-768-4228, or On-line shoppers can use the secure website at www.hartford.edu/hartt.

Tickets for each concert go on sale two months prior to concerts.

Celtic Airs, the Tuesday morning installment of WWUH’s ‘FM On Toast’ can be heard 6:00-9:00am at 91.3 FM, or streaming live on the internet at wwuh.org.  I hope I can count on you to be among my listeners each week and look forward to meeting you in person at one of our concerts, scheduled monthly throughout 2008.

See you at an upcoming concert!

WWUH: Program Guide © 2008

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