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Notes from Celtic Airs
with your host Steve Dieterich
July/August 2005

  Hello Celtic music fans. Hope you're enjoying your summer. If there hasn't been enough heat for you yet, checkout some of the hot shows I've lined up for the Celtic Concert series. Bohola were so well received here in January '05 that when offered the opportunity to rebook them for July '05, I couldn't resist! This is good news according to many of our regular concert attendees! They'll be here July 8th at 7:30 PM in the Wilde Auditorium. Bohola consists of long-time Chicago Irish traditional heavyweights Jimmy Keane on accordion, Sean Clelland on fiddle and Pat Broaders on dordan, bouzouki and vocals. They take their name from a town in Co. Mayo. Like Chicago itself, their music is aggressive, comfortably approachable and bold. They know their tradition, their music and most importantly their audience. The Irish Herald proclaimed them "the newest Irish super group". The Irish Voice said "Bohola is an acoustic power for the new century, a group whose instrumental virtuosity, strong vocals and stunning arrangements place them at the leading edge of the traditional music scene." Based on the January show, this will be a wonderful concert, so make plans to be in attendance July 8th in the Wilde Auditorium, on the campus of the University of Hartford.

  The Cottars are a stunningly talented quartet of young Cape Breton musicians who play a blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic music. I first saw them live on a cold December night at Old Deerfield Village, Deerfield, MA and have been trying to sign them to a concert here ever since. At long last, I've been successful and look forward to presenting them to you in concert Friday August 26th at 7:30 PM in the Wilde Auditorium. "Cottars" were the tenant farm laborers of the Scots Highlands. Many fled during the18th century Highland Clearances and made their way to North America. Their traditions and spirit remain a strong influence in the folk music of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (=New Scotland). The Cottars are well versed in this Scottish tradition and equally proficient in music from the Irish and American folk traditions. The band came together in late 2000 and is composed of two brother -sister pairs, Jimmy (17) and Roseanne (15) MacKenzie and Ciaran (17) and Fiona (15) MacGillivray. Ciaran plays guitar, whistle and keyboards. Fiona plays harp, bodhran and whistle. Jimmy plays guitar, bodhran and other stringed instruments. His sister Roseanne ("Rosie") is an amazing fiddler! Many critics feel she's destined to follow in the footsteps of her idols Jerry Holland and Natalie McMaster as one of Cape Breton's most acclaimed traditional fiddlers. Ciaran, Fiona and Roseanne share vocals and the three are also accomplished step dancers! Their debut album "Made In Cape Breton" was released in late 2002 to great acclaim. It was a major factor in landing them invitations to perform at Senator Edward Kennedy's 2003 St. Patrick's Day concert for family and friends and to the Newport Folk Festival and Canada's equally prestigious Stan Rogers Folk Festival in the summer of 2003. The dawn of 2004 saw the Cottars win Canada's East Coast Music Award as Best New Artists. This celebrity status brought them to the attention of Altan, Ireland's superstars of traditional music. They accompanied Altan to Japan where they appeared as the opening act. The second Cottars album "On Fire" was released in the U.S. in late 2004 and has been well received. It showcases their evolving talents with some original compositions by Ciaran and Fiona's recording debut on harp. Another band highlight of 2004 was an invitation from The Chieftains to perform together on the CBC TV special "The Chieftains in Canada." Air dates for this special in America are still being negotiated. I think you'll be as impressed by the Cottar's as I was and hope you'll be here to see them live on August 26th in the Wilde Auditorium.

Tickets for the WWUH/Celtic Airs Concert Series go on sale two months before the performance dates and are only available from the University of Hartford Box office, open 10:00AM - 6:00PM Monday through Friday. On-line purchases can be made at any time at hartford.edu/hartt.

  I hope you're tuning in to Celtic Airs every Tuesday 6:00-9:00AM. I'll keep you up to date on the concert series and play you the best of the new album releases as well as a generous dose of your old favorites.

Copyright © WWUH: Program Guide, 2005

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