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Arts and Entertainment

Echoing Across Millennia, Irish Harp Shapes a Land

By Ed Forry, April 2, 2011

By Sean Smith
Special to the BIR
It’s arguably the most iconic of Irish musical instruments, depicted in both classical and commercial art – and, yes, it’s even the namesake for a popular beer. So, with another year of St. Patrick’s Day events in Boston and elsewhere having brought a focus to traditional Irish music, the Irish harp has once again enjoyed its fair share of attention. Read more

BCMFest- Two Local Bands Featured in April 11 Concert

By Ed Forry, April 2, 2011

A column of news and updates of the Boston Celtic Music Fest (BCMFest), which celebrates the Boston area’s rich heritage of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton music and dance with a grassroots, musician-run winter music festival and other events during the year. – Sean Smith
Music not just for dancing – The contra dance tradition is as venerable a New England institution as fall foliage, snowy winters and Red Sox pennant fever. The tradition, with connections to Irish, Scottish, and other Celtic music, not only survives but thrives, thanks to many creative and energetic young musicians — including a number in the Greater Boston area. Read more

‘THE NEWS GREW SO BAD YOU COULD LAUGH FOR CRYING’

By Ed Forry, April 2, 2011

In Ireland Unhinged, the Author Searches for Ireland’s Heart and Soul in the Shadow of the ‘Celtic Tiger’
By Peter F. Stevens
BIR Staff
In 2000, the author David Monagan did something many Irish Americans dream of, but never get around to doing for countless reasons personal and professional. He and his family sold their home in Connecticut and moved the proverbial “lock, stock, and barrel” to Cork where he embarked upon a self-avowed search for “Ireland’s soul,” the Ireland he remembered and cherished from a year spent in Dublin in the early 1970s. Read more

DEEP IN THE HEART OF DERRY: The Boys of St. Columb’s

By Ed Forry, March 1, 2011

By Thomas O’Grady
Special to the BIR
“The schoolmen were schoolboys first.” So James Joyce has Stephen Dedalus muse in the “Scylla and Charybdis” episode of Ulysses. These words would have made an apt epigraph for The Boys of St. Columb’s (The Liffey Press, 2010), Maurice Fitzpatrick’s book of commentary and interviews published as a companion piece to the film of the same name that he co-wrote and co-produced: both book and film focus on one of the most momentous events in the history of modern Northern Ireland. Read more

New Film Gets to the Heart of Childsplay

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, March 1, 2011

By Sean Smith
Special to the BIR
What can you say about a film in which Liz Carroll -- one of the most influential Irish fiddlers of our time -- appears as an interviewer, rather than a performer?
That’s one of the many charms of “Fiddles, Fiddlers and a Fiddlemaker: Childsplay,” a new documentary about the fiddle ensemble Childsplay and its artistic director and guiding spirit, Cambridge violin-maker Bob Childs. Read more

Enter, Singers, Dancers and Heavenly Harpists

By R, special to the BIR, March 1, 2011

By R. J. Donovan
Special to The BIR
Take an international step-dancing champion, add a dazzling fiddler from Galway, 19 heavenly harpists, one Broadway star, comedy galore and a 30-member choir and you’ve got “A Little Bit Of Ireland,” the St. Patrick’s Day musical revue presented by Reagle Music Theatre March 11-13. Read more

Black 47’s Kirwan talks music, strife, and civility

By Ed Forry, March 1, 2011

By Sean Smith
Special to the BIR
Second of two parts
Wexford native Larry Kirwan — co-founder and guiding spirit of seminal Irish rock band Black 47, playwright, memoirist, novelist, columnist, radio show producer and host — has been one of the most visible and active figures on the Irish music scene for the past two decades, especially in New York (The Daily News once placed him ahead of Madonna in its list of the 50 most interesting New Yorkers). Read more

Singers, Dancers, Harpists Aplenty Conjure Up ‘A Little Bit Of Ireland’ at Reagle Music Theatre

By R. J. Donovan, special to the BIR, March 1, 2011

By R. J. Donovan
Special to The BIR
Take an international step-dancing champion, add a dazzling fiddler from Galway, 19 heavenly harpists, one Broadway star, comedy galore and a 30-member choir and you’ve got “A Little Bit Of Ireland,” the St. Patrick’s Day musical revue presented by Reagle Music Theatre March 11-13. Read more

Introducing ‘The Sole Mates,’ Free Spirits of Dance and Music

By by BIR Staff, special to the BIR, February 4, 2011

New Ensemble to Perform in Cambridge Jan. 20
By BIR Staff
Boston-based Irish dancer and choreographer Kieran Jordan will present her new collaboration, “The Sole Mates,” for one night only this month before the group hits the road in March for an 11-gig tour of Germany and Switzerland. Read more

CD Reviews: The Lindsays' “From the Green to the Blue”

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, January 7, 2011

By Sean Smith
Special to the BIR

The Lindsays: “From the Green to the Blue” -- If you got the Boston Irish Reporter September 2010 edition, you might have read Susan Lindsay’s candid, enjoyable account of how she and husband Stephen put together this CD: the doubts and fears, the highlights and lowlights, and the constant balancing of hope versus expectation versus reality.
Well, to these ears, it was all worth it.
“From the Green to the Blue” reflects the “very Dublin” approach the Plymouth couple take to their music: a genre-bending mix of traditional tunes, Irish ballads, and contemporary, world-music influenced songs by the likes of Johnny Mulhern and especially Dublin native Wally Page, who wrote three of the pieces appearing on the CD. Read more

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