Tag Archives: Celtic

Paddy Kelly, Celtic Music Maestro — An Introduction To The Uninitiated.

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.by Anura Guruge


Related posts (click):
1/ Paddy Kelly at East Hawkesbury Church.
2/ Ottawa Hogmanay 2015 with Paddy Kelly

3/ Paddy Kelly — the Maestro

**** Search “The Brigadoons” for a TON of posts & pictures >>>>

++++ Refer to ‘Highland Games‘ page (↑) for other posts ↑↑↑↑


Paddy Kelly’s new Electronic Press Kit (EPK).

Click on images to ENLARGE and savor here.

Click here to download the EPK as a 2-page (very safe and clean) PDF.




Ronan Tynan, The Irish Tenor, In Wolfeboro, NH, Aug. 7, 2015 Was But TOWERING Virtuosity!

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Glenn Miller Orchestra.
>> Jonathan Edwards & Marina Evans.
>> “Best of Broadway”.
>> BS&T.
>> John Gorka & Cliff Eberhardt.
>> “Devonsquare”
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>> “Aztec, Two-Step”.
>> “Yellow Brick Road”
— Brilliant!

>> Gordon Lightfoot Concert

++++ Search on ‘Great Waters’ for many other related posts >>>>


Click on any & all pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution will be enforced with gusto. 







His voice SOARED. It, at times, was primeval. It had the intensity of a lion. You could feel the Viking blood that imbued the Irish centuries ago. Our dear friend, Dianne Monahan, an accomplished singer in her own right (with ‘Clearlakes Chorale‘ for one), who knows her music and her English, called his voice ‘strident’. It sure was that. I loved it. I got to sit in the front row. His high notes make my body tingle. It was sublime. Yes, I know that there were a lot of complaints during the intermission that his voice, amplified, was too loud! Some claimed that the amplification caused it to break up and I heard the word ‘saturated’ being used. I cannot attest to any of that. Sitting in the front row I might have missed the worst of the amplification because of the way the speakers are positioned. I thought he was GREAT — in every way and in every sphere. Not the cat’s whiskers, but definitely a lion’s whiskers.

Yes, I am a sucker for any and all Celtic music and this was, indubitably, a class act. I was familiar with about 70% of his repertoire (done by others) and Ronan, to his credit, let me savor them in a different light. He is quite the entertainer. It is basically two shows in one — actually THREE shows in one because his piano accompanist, Billy (‘William’) Lewis is a magical, vastly gifted musician, worthy of being classed ‘peerless’. So it was Ronan Tynan of the blessed voice, Ronan Tynan the stand-up comedian & Billy Lewis the musical maestro. I would pay and go and listen to Billy on his own. I will have to look him up. Got to interact with him fleetingly before the show and I was struck by his humility. Such a nice guy.

I knew nada about Ronan prior to the show — and I missed, because I was supposed to be doing ‘security’ (which is kind of an oxymoron), his introduction. I noticed he limped and that he made a lot of jokes about his legs. It was only during the intermission that I learned that he is a double amputee, a bona fide orthopedic surgeon and the holder of numerous Paralympic records. An author too! He is quite the guy. Read up about him. He is inspirational. Start here on Wikipedia.

I relished every second of this unforgettable concert. Yes, it has been one great show after another — every week — all Summer BUT this was, nonetheless, still special, spectacular and scintillating. I am going to follow his music more.

People who complain that live concerts are loud kind of bug me. Concerts are supposed to be LOUD. If you like to modulate the volume stay at home and listen to your iPod. I love the vibration of loud concert music. When Matthew (now 23) was young he would drag me by my hand to stand in front of the huge 10′ monitors that ‘Seven Nations‘ would use in their incredible concerts — Loon Highland Games and in other places. The power of the sound waves coming out of those speakers made your teeth rattle. Now that was loud and we loved it. Yes, I have been going to loud concerts, with glee, since I was a teenager. And, oh yes, my ears must be shot, but jeez why come to a concert and talk about wearing ear plugs! I am sure Ronan probably has some choice words for people like that.

Two small gripes. I, knowing the Irish better than most, kind of thought that some of his ‘gushings’ were a tad too patronizing and as such, came across to a professional cynic as I, as being slightly ‘over the top’ (and I don’t want say more than that). Now, reading about him, I see that he has been blackballed for a supposed politically incorrect remark — and that would explain some of his cracks about Trump. That anybody would blackball this guy for remark like that is sad and bad. But I don’t think he needs to bend over backwards, as much as he does, to make up for being Irish to the core. The other thing that bothered me was his slight girth. He is a doctor. And yes, I gather you need some bulk to be able to have a voice like that — but he, to my untrained eyes, did not look a picture of health. That is sad. He loves his red wine and apple strudel. I can empathize. I love my red wine and apple ‘anything’ too — but not having been lucky enough to have been born Irish I am able to exercise something called moderation. And lets face it, it was the 2nd most famous Irishman, next to Ronan, Oscar Wilde, who said (and I am paraphrasing here): “I have terrific will power. I can resist anything but temptation”. I guess that must be Ronan’s thinking too. I am going to stop now. Moving into Oscar territory at this juncture might not be the best move for any of us. Moderation in all things — bar two (which is my motto).






The Incomparably Brilliant, Celtic Goddess Loreena McKennitt Will Be At The Concord ‘Capitol Center For The Arts’ In October 2015.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> “North Shore Acappella” — Scintillating.
>> “Aztec Two-Step”.
>> “Yellow Brick Road” — Brilliant!
>> 2015 Great Waters Schedule.

++++ Search on ‘Great Waters’, ‘Capitol’ & ‘concerts’ for many other related posts >>>>


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Click to access the ‘Capitol Center for the Arts’ Webpage for this concert.


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One of my all time favorite songs, “The Lady Of Shalott”. Click to listen on YouTube. You WILL thank me.

 


Áine Minogue, Harpist, At Wolfeboro, NH, ‘First Night’ Celebrations New Year’s Eve 2012.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1. Wolfeboro, NH, ‘First Night’ Celebrations New Year’s Eve … Worth Going
>>Nov. 29, 2012.
2.
Wolfeboro, NH, Christmas Tree Lighting, 2012 — Nov. 24, 2012.
3.
Wolfeboro Christmas Tree Lighting, 2012, Clearlakes Chorale,

>>Wolfeboro’s Community Chorus Sings Carols — Nov. 24, 2012.


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As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am very partial to harp music, acutely aware that I need to get my fill of the chords down here on earth, while I can. So, I was delighted that there was to be an harpist, Áine Minogue, was scheduled for two one hour slots at the All Saint’s Church (South Main St.) at 6:30pm and 7:30 pm.

Her name intrigued me. ‘Minogue‘ is a name I am familiar with from Sri Lanka. I was also vaguely familiar with the Australian Kylie Minogue from the work that she has done in Sri Lanka. So, I went looking. No, she has no Sri Lankan connections, but I will not hold that against her.

This is her Website. She has some good stuff there. Her slideshow of ‘Avebury, Glastonbury and Stonehenge‘ was a trip down memory lane for me. She has a well stocked ‘Listening Room‘. I listened, some. It was soothing. Mainly Celtic, and there is nothing wrong with that. I do like a bit of classic harp, but I will take what I can. So, I am hoping I will get to see her. Will have to ‘drag’ the kids straight from the parade and the 1st batch of fireworks. Might be able to make the 7:30 IF I bribe them with Chinese! The Church is small. So it could be packed.

Talking of Chinese, I am going to get my Chinese in Wolfeboro. Usually I get it in Alton, but the new owner, as she has made abundantly clear, has a problem. She pays too much in taxes. So I am trying to help out, as I also did with a local insurance company. When it comes to income and business taxes (including the dreaded NH ‘income & dividend‘) you only pay taxes on what you make — sans deductions. So, one way to pay less taxes is to make less money. Now, property taxes on the other hand … That is another story. Might do West Lake. Deanna likes it. Plus it will be the eve of our 10th wedding anniversary. More than likely ‘the sister-in-law’, as she invariably does, might be along. That could be fun. She was adamant that our marriage wouldn’t last, just because we had only known each other for a month!

NH Highland Games At Loon, 2012: Weather, Parking, Groups, Celtica and The Brigadoons.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
NH Highland Games At Loon, 2012: The Featured Band Is ‘Carnegie Mellon University Pipes & Drums’Sept. 16, 2012.
Updates: Laconia Multicultural Day September 8 & NH Highland Games At Loon September 21 …, 2012Sept. 5, 2012.
New Hampshire (NH) Highland Games, At Loon, September 21 – 23August 17, 2012.

Celtica, the featured group at the NH Highland Games 2012: Click image to access YouTube video of Celtica


In terms of weather, it looks like there is an equal chance of rain showers (in the morning/afternoon) on both days; Saturday being much warmer than Sunday.No hurricanes, however. That is always a plus; having done the games twice during or right after an hurricane; the first time before that had the ‘Concert Tent’, which came to be the next year after the chaos of trying to put on a show without enough covered area. [Yes, we even got dragged to the school in Lincoln for a performance!]

But, Saturday’s tend to be packed and you pay $15 MORE per ticket (adults only, kids always free) for the privilege. Yes, they have the Clan Parade and Massed Bands — but as I have already stated there isn’t a great slate of marching bands this year. Sunday, post 4pm, you also get all the hard-to-resist ‘give away’ sales at the food booths. Yes, I love those. Three sausage rolls $5 as opposed to $4.50 for one. We are still torn as to whether to go on Saturday or Sunday. Going today, Friday, was no longer an option because of school. We like Fridays — less crowds, full program of bands and the sheep dogs.

Celtica, supposedly the featured band for 2012, is also only playing Friday and Saturday. I went and found them on YouTube. They sound OK … shades of ‘Seven Nations‘ and a toned-downRed-Hot Chilli Pipers‘ (who made it rather clear last year that they were not coming back). Despite what the organizers like to tell us, groups as soon as they get a name stop coming to Loon. This by all accounts is considered a ‘small’ show of little consequences.

After about 3 minutes of Celtica, I realized what was missing. No vocals. Then it cracked me up. Read the first comment on YouTube against the above video: ‘Celtica needs vocals‘. I concur. I think 40 minutes of them on top of Albannach will get tedious. I think I have seen both Searson and Hardrian’s Wall before, but I am holding up hope for them.

Scheduling continues to deteriorate and confound. On Saturday they have Albannach playing in the ‘Concert Tent’ at the same time as the Clan Parade and Roll-Call. This is stupid. I have seen them do this before. This is not fair to anybody. People are conflicted and you have the group and the bands on the Parade Ground competing for sound with each other. Plus during the speeches, even if there are solemn moments, you have Albannach pounding away behind you.

On Saturday, my perennially favorite The Brigadoons don’t get a slot in the ‘Concert Tent’. Yes, I know they are old and have been playing there continuously for 20 odd years. But, they still represent quintessential, unadulterated Celtic music. They represent the tradition, the roots, the essence. They still draw a faithful crowd.

All said I am getting increasingly disillusioned by organization of the Highland Games at Loon, and given that I have been attending since 1998 (only missing one, and that was because I could not take it when it was at the dirt and cow manure in Hopkington) I think I am entitled to a say. It is not complacency. There is some cynicism. They are selling us old rope knowing that there are so many who love the games. So they don’t see a need to reinvigorate, to rejuvenate. I wish they would make a concerted attempt to make the games bigger and better. I will do a report card after we get back.

I saw a query here about parking. Unless you have VIP credentials you are not going to be able to park in or near the Loon complex. Period. Parking on Rte 112 (Main St.)/Kancamagus Highway is not permitted for miles before and after Loon; it is taped off, by the police (and strictly enforced). Yes, in 1998, I parked right next to the Loon bridge on the road. The next year I talked an attendant into letting me park inside Loon. Those days are gone. Park-and-Ride is the only way to do it, unless you are a VIP. There are at least 3 ‘Park-and-Ride’ sites — starting at the I-93 exit. We use the last one — by the ‘Inn Season’ hotel and Lincoln Shopping Center; but we haven’t been to the games on a Saturday in a long time. So not sure whether it gets full, though it, encompassing 3 fields, is HUGE.


Click to see ‘The Brigadoons’ at Loon in 2011 (on YouTube) sans my ‘buddy’ Jackie (electric bass) who passed away a couple of years ago. Miss Jackie. Chatting with him was the highlight of MY games.