Arts and Entertainment

BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR From a purely transportational standpoint, the Friel Sisters’ recent stay in the Boston area had its difficulties: They arrived late for their sound check at one gig, and a few days before going back home to the UK, they... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham is kicking off its summer season with the musical “Mame,” playing June 13 – June 23. Mame Dennis, aka Auntie Mame, is an effervescent, uninhibited, single New Yorker who lives life to the... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR April was a cruel month indeed for Boston’s Irish music community, as word circulated that three area Irish sessions were coming to an end, including, arguably, the most iconic of them all, the Monday gathering at the... Read more
BY SEAN SMITHThe Outside Track, “Rise Up” • The pan-Celtic, intercontinental quintet is back with a new album, and another alteration to its lineup: Scotland’s Michael Ferrie has replaced German-Irish guitarist Cillian O’Dalaigh; this comes after Cork... Read more
CD REVIEWS BY SEAN SMITH Flook, “Ancora” • One of the truly inimitable Irish music acts to come out of the 1990s, Flook released three marvelous albums between 1995 and 2005, then broke the hearts of their multitude of fans by disbanding three years later... Read more
The Burren Backroom series has another full calendar of Irish/Celtic music, starting on May 5 with a 4 p.m. matinee performance featuring a pair of spousal duos. West Coast-based Noctambule is Marla Fibish and Bruce Victor, a quiet but steady presence in... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR When it comes to World War I, Martin Butler will give you fair warning. “I can talk about it for hours,” says the Tipperary-born musician and singer who has been active in the Boston-area Irish music scene for years. There... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR There are, of course, many reasons why Celtic musicians decide to team up. What brought the Boston-based duo Rakish – fiddler Maura Shawn Scanlin and guitarist Conor Hearn – together was less an affinity for hot fiddle... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR Karola Ruth Siegel was born in Wiesenfeld, Germany in 1928. Not too many years later, she watched as her father was dragged off by the Nazis. With hundreds of other children, she was shipped off, alone, to an orphanage... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH Tommy Fitzharris and Dónal McCague, “The Bank of Turf” – Fitzharris is an All-Ireland flute (and concertina) champion from Co. Laois; McCague is a fiddler from Co. Monaghan whose credits include appearances on the album “Our Dear Dark... Read more
‘The Infinite Dark’ on tap at Boston College April 4 )A fascinating union of song, music, poetry, and story-telling – with influences from Irish, Scots, and European folklore and tradition – is to be found in “The Infinite Dark,” a project centered on... Read more
Marcia Palmater is dead at 80 BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR Boston lost one of its foremost Celtic music connoisseurs recently, with the passing of longtime radio broadcaster Marcia Young Palmater on February 9. She was 80. Ms. Palmater shared her love... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR The philosopher George Santayana warned, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Hub Theatre Company of Boston is launching its seventh season this month with Helen Edmundson’s “The Clearing,” a... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR The philosopher George Santayana warned, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Hub Theatre Company of Boston is launching its seventh season this month with Helen Edmundson’s “The Clearing,” a... Read more
Bualadh BOSton, the annual Irish literary festival, will return this month with another accomplished lineup of writers and poets who will discuss their work in a series of three events at the Harvard Club on Fri., April 5, and Sat., April 6. On Friday at... Read more
For Laurel Martin, the Irish traditional music she plays on her fiddle isn’t simply about notes on a staff, or melody, or rhythm. It’s also the suggestion of images, places and times, and the presence of the people who have inhabited the music. “There... Read more
Manus McGuire, “The Copperplate Sessions” • McGuire, a member of such bands as Buttons and Bows and Moving Cloud, grew up in the firmament of the Sligo fiddle tradition, but as a young man embarked on a trip to Canada that exposed him to other fiddle... Read more
Manus McGuire, “The Copperplate Sessions” • McGuire, a member of such bands as Buttons and Bows and Moving Cloud, grew up in the firmament of the Sligo fiddle tradition, but as a young man embarked on a trip to Canada that exposed him to other fiddle... Read more
Manus McGuire, “The Copperplate Sessions” • McGuire, a member of such bands as Buttons and Bows and Moving Cloud, grew up in the firmament of the Sligo fiddle tradition, but as a young man embarked on a trip to Canada that exposed him to other fiddle... Read more
“Why would you want to study Irish?” is a question that Irish language learners are often asked. What I like most about Irish Gaelic is how it gives you access to an amazingly beautiful, living culture and, in a deep way, access to Irish history and... Read more

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