Corrected posting: Canada’s Enter the Haggis will be at Spire Center in Plymouth on June 3 at 8 p.m.. Well into its third decade, “ETH” has brought together a prodigious – even quirky – blend of rock, fusion, bluegrass, traditional Celtic fare, agitpop, folk, and other strains.
By Sean Smith, Boston Irish Contributor
Subject to change pending COVID-related developments.
On June 3 at 8 p.m., Canada’s Enter the Haggis will be at Spire Center in Plymouth. Well into its third decade, “ETH” has brought together a prodigious – even quirky – blend of rock, fusion, bluegrass, traditional Celtic fare, agitpop, folk, and other strains. The addition of fiddler Rose Baldino – also known as one-third of the House of Hamill – has brought an extra dimension and energy source to the band (Craig Downie, bagpipes, guitar, keyboards, whistle; Brian Buchanan, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, accordion; Trevor Lewington, guitar, mandolin, keyboards; Mark Abraham, bass, banjo; and Bruce McCarthy, drums). From head-banging, arena-friendly Celtic rock to more nuanced, lyrical, indie-type offerings, ETH combines a versatile repertoire with sociopolitical conviction – all of which is in evidence on their most recent album, “The Archer’s Parade,” which they released at the very beginning of the pandemic.
For tickets and other details, go to spirecenter.org/event/enter-the-haggis.
•The Center for the Arts in Natick will feature Irish-world music fusion fiddler Eileen Ivers on June 4 at 8 p.m. A Grammy-winning performer, co-founder of Cherish the Ladies, and the featured fiddler in the original “Riverdance” production has long taken inspiration from the music she heard on and around the streets of her native New York City, including African, Latin, jazz, and rock. Ivers – who also plays mandolin, banjo and bodhran – appears with her band Universal Roots, including Matt Mancuso (lead vocals, guitar, trumpet, fiddle), Buddy Connolly (button accordion, whistles, piano, vocals), Lindsey Horner (upright and electric bass, baritone sax, vocals) and Dave Barckow (lead vocals, percussion, guitar).
For more details, go to natickarts.org.
• In addition to the June 22 show with Matt and Shannon Heaton, Hanneke Cassel, and Keith Murphy, the Burren Backroom series will present the duo of John Doyle and Mick McAuley on June 29 at 7:30 p.m. Dubliner Doyle is one of the more influential and ubiquitous guitarists in Irish/Celtic music of the past couple of decades, having played (along with McAuley) in Solas and active in current collaborations like The Alt with Nuala Kennedy and Eamon O’Leary, and Usher’s Island with Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Michael McGoldrick, and Paddy Glackin. He also has emerged as a quite experienced and celebrated songwriter. Kilkenny native McAuley has likewise been a familiar figure in the landscape, and a fine accordion and melodeon player (along with whistle and guitar) in the Irish tradition, but also has branched out into his own compositions and songwriting. He even had a stint on Broadway, as a melodeon player in Sting’s musical “The Last Ship.”
Opening for Doyle and McAuley will be Philadelphia trio Poor Man’s Gambit, which combines the diverse musical styles and interests of Corey Purcell (button accordion, cittern, bodhran, vocals, dance), Deirdre Lockman (fiddle, vocals), and Federico Betti (guitar, fiddle). Although much of the band’s repertoire is traditional Irish-based, they pull in other influences, including English, Breton and Scottish, while also performing contemporary material – such as Richard Thompson’s “Beeswing” – and their own.
Go to burren.com/music.html for tickets and details.
• One of Boston’s most popular Irish/Celtic bands, Devri, will be at the Irish Cultural Center of New England in Canton on June 4 at 8 p.m. The quartet of Declan Houton (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Larry Flint (vocals, bass, guitar), Chuck Parrish (guitar) and Steve O’Callaghan (drums, percussion) plays plenty of Irish classics and covers of The Pogues, Dubliners, and Wolfe Tones, but is equally fond of crossing over to the likes of The Beatles, Johnny Cash, and Snow Patrol, among others. Devri also has a long history of supporting charitable causes, notably Lucy’s Love Bus, an organization providing support for children with cancer and life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Sliabh Luachra is a vibrant and enduring Irish music tradition, and Limerick-born accordionist David Healy will give a three-hour master class on the topic at the ICC at noon on June 18. Healy, currently a Boston resident, is an All-Ireland champion who has toured internationally with such collaborations and productions as Celtic piper Carlos Núñez, Siamsa Tire National Folk Theatre of Ireland, Celtic Legends, Rhythm of the Dance, Celtic Steps, and Gaelforce. This workshop, which focuses on the repertoire of Sliabh Luachra polkas and slides, is suitable for both intermediate and advanced musicians of any age on any instrument.
More information at irishculture.org.
• The Celtic Woman “Postcards from Ireland” tour comes to the Chevalier Theatre in Medford on June 6 at 8 p.m. The all-female group has revamped its line-up over the past few years, with charter member Chloe Agnew – who left in 2013 but returned two years ago – joined by Megan Walsh, fiddler Tara McNeill, and newest recruit Muirgen O'Mahony. This tour will focus on their newest album, “Postcards from Ireland” (also the name of their most recent PBS special, which debuted last fall), with new arrangements of classic songs like “The Dawning of the Day,” “Wild Mountain Thyme,” “The Galway Shawl” and “Black is the Colour.”
Go to chevaliertheatre.com.
• The Lowell Summer Series welcomes Celtic rockers Gaelic Storm – forever known, perhaps, for its cameo appearance in “Titanic” 25 years ago – on June 24 at 7:30 p.m. But whatever the impact of that James Cameron film, the band has built a solid, loyal following through more than two decades of constant touring, the release of 13 albums and, most of all, a crowd-rousing mix of Celtic, country, and rock/pop. The group – Steve Twigger, Patrick Murphy, Ryan Lacey, Pete Purvis, and Katie Grennan – has regularly placed at number one in the Billboard World Music albums chart and appeared on the same bill with such acts as the Zac Brown Band, the Goo Goo Dolls, Emmylou Harris, and Lyle Lovett, and at various events and venues including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and Milwaukee’s Summerfest.
Details at lowellsummermusic.org.
• The Milton Music Fest will take place on June 25 and 26 at Hutchinson Field, and as befitting a community with such a high percentage of Irish ancestry, the event will have a significant Hibernian tint to it: The “Celtic Sunday” portion of the festival will include performances by local favorites such as the Fenian Sons, the Dooley Brothers, and Erin’s Melody. The festival grew out of Milton’s 350th anniversary bash in 2011, and over the years has hosted internationally renowned acts such as De Dannan as well as local performers. The schedule was still coming together as of press time, so go to wearemilton.org for updates and other details.