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The University of Hartford

Notes from Celtic Airs
With your host Steve Dieterich March/April 2001

  With St Patrick's Day on the horizon, there will be plenty of Irish music for you to sample I'm sure. We're going to do our best to offer you some quality entertainment of the Irish/ Celtic genre. (Concert trivia: What was the only concert in the Celtic concert series to be cancelled due to bad weather? Answer later.)
        On 3/1/01, Patrick Street will perform in the Millard Auditorium. Since it's likely that date will have passed by the time you read this article, I'll say no more about them. The next event on our concert schedule will be the rescheduled Green Linnet Celtic Tour 2001, now starting at the Millard Auditorium on Thursday 3/22/01. The tour, originally scheduled as at triple bill, has lost the talents of Liz Carroll due to the change in date. But never fear, the remaining two acts will be sure to impress and satisfy you. They are Scotland's Old Blind Dogs and Ireland's Niamh Parsons Band. (More trivia: What was the only other double bill in the Celtic concert series? Answer later.)
        Niamh (pronounced "Neeve") Parsons is a Dublin-born singer of incomparable richness and depth. Often compared to Mary Black and Sandy Denny, Niamh's smoky contralto has charmed reviewers and audiences worldwide. She was recently chosen by Garrison Keillor for "A Prairie Home Companion's" live broadcast from Dublin on March 4,2000. (His St Patrick's Day show.) In the last two years, Niamh has released two highly acclaimed albums of traditional Irish songs, "Blackbirds and Thrushes" and "In My Prime". In their review, "The Scotsman" said 'A songstress like Niamh Parsons comes along only once or twice in a generation.'
        The Old Blind Dogs, based in Aberdeen, have been mining the traditional tunes of their native northeast Scotland, and polishing them with a bright contemporary brilliance, since 1990. This creative quintet made their Green Linnet debut with the 2000 release of "The World's Room". On this CD and its predecessors on the Lochshore label, the Dogs show off their mix of fiery bagpipes, fiddles and guitar. Original vocalist Ian Benzies was replaced on the last CD by the rich vocals of Jim Malcolm, a well-established traditional singer/guitarist in his own right before joining the band. Original members Johnnie Hardie (fiddle, guitar and mandolin) and Buzzby McMillan (Bass, cittern and whistles) are joined by piper Rory Campbell and teenage percussion phenom Paul Jennings. "This is one of Scotland's hottest young folk properties,” said Scotland on Sunday.
        I know you'll have a great evening of entertainment with these two highly acclaimed and talented acts. Come on out to enjoy them in a post St Patrick's Day celebration on 3/22/01 in the Millard Auditorium.
        The rest of our concert schedule for the year 2001 is shaping up well. On 5/11/01, we'll present the Aoife Clancy Band. Aoife (pronounced "Eefa") is the daughter of Bobby Clancy and former lead vocalist for Cherish the Ladies. Speaking of those "Ladies", their gig, originally scheduled for 6/1 then moved to 6/6, has now been moved (for the last time they promise me) to 8/16/01. This will be a full-scale performance in the Millard Auditorium, including their well-known dancers. On September 20th and 21st we will welcome back Ireland's Dervish. This is one of their favorite places to play in America, and though we're a much smaller venue than what they're accustomed to playing in recent years, they still tell their agent to make us one of the anchor dates on their US tours. Finally, on 10/3 we'll get another opportunity to see Danu with their tremendous new vocalist Ciaran O'Gealbhain.
        Tickets for all but the Dervish and Danu shows are already on sale through the University of Hartford box office at 1-800-274-8587 or 1-860-768-4228. The tickets for the later two shows will probably go on sale in April '01.
        As you know we had our annual Marathon fundraiser during the end of February.  Now we really need to have all of you show your support for the station and the commercial free alternative programming we provide during that week, by sending in your check to fulfill your pledge. If you paid with a credit card you will soon receive the premium you requested.  I procured a goodly number of fine Celtic CDs that we offered to you as thank you gifts for your completed pledges, but I urge you to recall that it's the weekly programs that you're really supporting.
        Thanks for your ongoing support of Celtic Airs, the concert series and WWUH radio. Don't forget to tune me in on Tuesday mornings from 6:00-9:00 AM.
        Trivia Answers: The only concert cancelled by foul weather was to have featured Niamh Parsons in February '96. It took us 5 years to get her to book a gig with us again! The only other double bill in our 50+ concert series was concert #2 featuring Pendragon and Fourin A Feire.

Copyright©WWUH: March/April Program Guide, 2001

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