WWUH Homepage

Public Affairs
Guide Articles
Station News
Benefit Concerts
WWUH Records
Contact WWUH
General Links

The University of Hartford

Notes from Celtic Airs
with your host Steve Dieterich September/October 1998

     September will see the arrival of two excellent Celtic bands to continue our Celtic Concert series.
     Ireland's Craobh Rua (pronounced Creeve Ru-ah) will perform Friday September 25th at 7:30 pm in the Wilde Auditorium. Since their last US tour, there's been a change in personnel for this Belfast-based quartet, making them even better than before according to all reports I've read or heard.
     In vigorous contrast to the mushy new-age Celtic styling of some bands and the World-beat Celtic of others, Craobh Rua presents traditional Irish music that is more reminiscent of the classic style of the early Irish folk revival of the 1970's and 1980's. After six years of extensive touring and four well reviewed albums, they are one of the most in-demand Irish groups in folk circles today. They've been called the ultimate seisun band," a well earned compliment in my book! They will present an evening of jigs, reels, and hornpipes punctuated by beautiful ballads, as well as more irreverent songs, in English and Gaelic.
     Craobh Rua means red branch," a reference to the well known Red Branch Knights of Ulster from Celtic Folklore. This is definitely a northern" band as exemplified by the lengthy and mystifying titles of their first three albums, all of which, it turns out are well known Belfast expressions rather than some secret coded message.
     The band was formed in 1986 by current members Brian Connolly and Michael Cassidy. About a year ago, piper Mark Donnelly was replaced by Diarmaid Moynihan, and Aaron Jones took over for singer/guitarist Jim Byrne.
     Founder/business manager Brian Counolly plays mandolin and 4 string Irish tenor banjo. Michael Cassidy was a classical violinist in his youth but switched to traditional fiddle after seeing the Bothy Band as a teen. Uillean piper Diarmaid Moynihan played with Craobh Rua form 1989-90 and rejoined last year. Aaron Jones plays guitar and bouzouki and handles lead vocals for the band. He's also a member of the Scottish band Seelyhoo.
     That's the low down on Craobh Rua, the Belfast band that will delight all you lovers of Irish traditional music.
     On Friday September 11th, we have the privilege of presenting the Tannahill Weavers. This is the 20th anniversary year for one of Scotland's favorite traditional bands. Rarely, if ever, will you get the opportunity to see them in a small intimate venue like the Wilde Auditorium. They will open their US tour with this concert and release a new album coincident with the tour. I'm sure we'll get to preview much of the new material during this show as well as some of your old favorites.
     In twenty years, there have been many personnel changes for the Tannahill Weavers, but there have been two constants, lead singer/guitarist Roy Gullane and flautist Phil Smillie. The current line up also includes piper Duncan Nicholson, fiddler John Martin, and bouzouki/keyboard player Les Wilson.
     As always, the band is distinguished by their tight three and four-part harmony singing, a constant trademark through the years. Looking ahead on our concert calendar, you'll want to jot down the Cathy Ryan Trio on Friday, November 6th at 7:30 pm in the Wilde Auditorium. This fine Irish-American vocalist and songwriter is the former lead singer for Cherish the Ladies. She plans to release her second solo album just before the start of this tour. I'll be giving you an earful as soon as we receive a promotional copy.
     Tickets for all these concerts are available through the University of Hartford box office located at the Lincoln Theater. Their hours are 10 am til 6 pm. You may also order tickets by phone by calling 1-800-274-8587 or 768-4228. As always, thanks to the generosity of the box office, there is no service charge for these WWUH benefit concerts. If you've never seen Celtic music live, you don't know what you've been missing. Remedy that situation soon. Fill that void in your live experience by attending one or more of our upcoming shows.
     Finally, as I enter my sixth year of presenting Celtic Airs on Tuesday mornings 6 - 9 am, I want to thank you for your continuing listenership, financial support for the station and concert attendance. I will continue to present to you the latest Celtic album releases as well as plenty of your favorites from the past. If you have questions of suggestions, please call me at 768-4701 Tuesdays 6-9 am.

Copyright©WWUH: September/October Program Guide, 1998

 Copyright© 2000 WWUH and the University of Hartford
   E-Mail: wwuh@mail.hartford.edu   Webmaster: manolama@aol.com