Thursday, 23 June 2011

Ballroom Dance Reviews, thanks!

My thanks to Ballroom Dance Reviews for linking to the blog, here. The common theme here I suppose is the love of dancing in traditional forms. In our case, Irish set and step dancing, and theirs in traditional ballroom dancing! Well, it's all dance music.

Ballroom Dance Reviews focus on ballroom dance lessons and reviews of DVD courses. Check them out if you're curious!

Irish Connections Social Networking site

I was sent a link to an interesting global social networking site . I haven't tried it myself yet, so I'm not officially endorsing it at this time.

'The site was created as a vehicle for irish people around the world to connect and where possible help each other out. There is plenty of musicians and bands on the site from Ireland and beyond ...'

Let me know what you think of it if you try it out!

Martin Nolan and Chuck Hart - House Concert and Workshops

House Concert and workshops Sunday July 3rd with Martin Nolan (Whistle/Pipes) and Chuck Hart (Guitar/Fiddle/Mandolin).

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Martin took his first lessons from John Keenan Senior, father of well-known piper Paddy Keenan .

He is currently a member of the band IONA.

Chuck Hart from Ottawa is a singer-songwriter and traditional musician, and has been playing, writing and performing music of diverse influences for more than 30 years. Chuck has an enduring passion for the dance music of Ireland.

Sunday July 3rd, 202 Main St., Barriefield

Workshops. $20 each or $30 for two

Pipes 2:30 – 3:30

Whistle/Low Whistle 3:30 – 4:30

Fiddle 2:30 – 3:30

Guitar or Mandolin 3:30 - 4:30
(depending on interest)

House Concert 6 to 8 pm, $20

This came up short notice, on a holiday weekend, so if you know anyone else who'd be interested, pass it on, and please e-mail to confirm you're attendance.

Singer-songwriter and traditional musician, Chuck has been playing, writing and performing music of diverse influences for more than 30 years. He started out on guitar in the '60s, took up the mandolin in the '70s, then answered the fiddle's call in the early '80s to pursue an enduring passion for the dance music of Ireland.

Over the years Chuck has honed his craft at innumerable sessions, played with several ceili and contra dance bands, and appeared at folk festivals and clubs in Canada, the US and the UK. Wherever he goes Chuck builds musical connections and thrives on the exchange of ideas that fuel creativity and keep tradition alive, all the while continuing to explore more individual terrain through his own compositions.

Naismiths Thursday Night Celtic Jam - Continues through the summer

The Naismith Thursday Night Celtic Jam will continue through the summer.  The music session has been popular and the musicians asked to keep it going over July and August.
So, a Celtic music session takes place every Thursday night at Naismith`s Pub in Almonte.


15th Annual Almonte Celtfest - 8-10 July 2011

Almonte Celtfest 2011 Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary

Come to the 15th Annual Almonte Celtfest, July 8 to 10 and celebrate with us the great traditional and contemporary music, song and dance of the Ottawa Valley region. Discover your "inner Celt " !
This year's event literally is bigger and better. It is a tribute to all of the performers, volunteers and supporters who have made Celtfest possible over the past 15 years.

Celtfest 2011 kicks off Friday July 8th evening with music in Almonte and Carleton Place pubs. On Saturday a new expanded format sees music at the Farmers Market at 9:00 am, workshops at the Old Town Hall at 11:30 a.m and for the first time ever, Main Stage concerts in the outstanding natural atmosphere of Almonte's Gemmill Park commencing at 2:00 pm and ending at dusk. Saturday's excellent performers are The Cape Breton Fiddlers, The Boxty Band, The Barley Shakers, Julie Fitzgerald & Friends, Brandy N Port, Wade Foster, Salty Dog and headliners, The Rogues who in 2010 won a "battle of the celtic bands" event over 64 other bands, in the USA.

On Sunday July 10 Celfest commences with the Fiddle Mass at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church at 10:30 am and at 12 noon on the Main Stage, outstanding performances by Monday Night Fiddlers, Les mots dits Anglais, Dai Bassett, Triple Trouble, Corkery Road, Heather Dale Band, the Celtfest Friends tribute to the 15th Anniversary, and headliners The Rogues.

Celtfest 2011 also features an excellent artisans and food village, the O'Connell Acoustic Session Tent and the little Celts children's area. Over these three days Almonte Celtfest showcases an amazing collection of Ottawa Valley and Canadian Celtic talent in a celebration of the Valley spirit that's not to be missed. For more information please visit

See you there!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

5th Annual Russell CelticFest - 18 June

The 5th annual Russell CelticFest  is next weekend, June 18th, 2011, 24 Legion Lane, Russell Ontario.
Here is the line-up for 2011 (content from the CelticFest website)

Brandy 'N' Port
The band Brandy 'N' Port was born in April, 1987. The founding members are Alec Long, Paddy Maher and Danny Byrne. Today's line up is Alec Long, Al Wilmore, Seamus Costello & Danny Byrne. The band's philosophy is still the same as when it was formed, to play music that appeals to the masses while sticking to their Celtic roots. Whether it be a quaint Irish Pub or a dance for 3000 people Brandy 'N' Port has mastered the stage.

Corkery Road
Corkery Road is a four-piece Celtic band that specializes in high-energy, infectious, traditional music. With a repertoire ranging from familiar pub songs to wild and dramatic historic tales, Corkery Road offers music that is sure to please even the most diverse audience. Slip back in time through melodies that shaped our heritage. Hear the voices of the far-flung Celtic peoples who shaped this land, from Newfoundland to the Ottawa Valley. Listen to stories of whaling, logging, emigration, pining for home, and having a good time in the midst of hardships.

The Runes featuring Ruth Sutherland
The Runes is a celtic musical group featuring celtic harper/singer/songwriter Ruth Sutherland, multi-instrumentalist/blues harper/singer/songwriter Doug Feaver, and celtic fiddler Stephen Fuller. Ambient and thoroughly entertaining, the combination of these three world class musicians results in a performance you'll enjoy and remember for a long time. They have travelled the world performing in major festivals including the Festival Interceltique in Lorient France, and concerts with the Southern Cross Pipeband in Montedvideo Uruguay. The music of The Runes will get your feet tapping or bring a tear to your eye –no matter how it makes you feel, it is music you won't forget.
The Red Hot Chili Steppers
Lindsay Lovenuk (18 yrs - Russell), Michelle Farley (17yrs-Avonmore), and Kylie O'Connell, (15yrs – Riverside South). We have been stepdancing together for the past 3 years. We enjoy performing at various events in our community and the Ottawa area. Some of our performances have included the Tattoo held in Ottawa, performances with The Bobby Lalonde Band at the Casino de Lac Leamy and Mont Tremblant, the Russell Celtic Fest, St. Patrick's Day celebrations, local Fairs, and Farmers Markets. During the summer months, we look forward to Fiddle and Stepdance Competitions which take place throughout Ontario. Over the past 8 to 10 years, we have been competing in both solo and group dance. We have recently learned to play a few jigs and reels on the fiddle.
Dukes of Haggis
Riding the popularity of emerging East Coast bands like Great Big Sea, Kilt and others... the Dukes of Haggis first came together in 2003 around a love of Celtic music (traditional and contemporary) and the idea of how much fun it might be to play a repertoire of Celtic and East Coast music. About that time, the "Dukes of Hazard" movie was coming out hence; the "Dukes of Haggis" band was born. The Dukes first performed as an acoustic trio in the spring of 2004 and have never looked back. And while the band now performs as a duo (and also plays an extended repertoire of pop, rock and contemporary music), the Celtic repertoire has always been their first love. This year, it is our privilege to perform the best of our Celtic repertoire at the Russell CelticFest.
The Wayward Sound
The Wayward Sound coalesced early in 2011. A zany blend of Traditional Celtic and Modern Folk music will have you out of your seats singing and dancing in no time. The Wayward Sound is Keith Anderson: guitar and vocals; Doug Crump: guitar, vocals, harmonica; Michael Jonz: mandolin, vocals, guitar; Olivia Pelling: fiddle, vocals; Melissa Sparling: bodhran; Vance Trudeau; whistle, accordion, mandolin. Check us out! (

Herringbone was born around a campfire at Fitzroy Harbour just west of Ottawa. Herringbone will be performing a 'teaser' show at the Russell Legion Club Room the Friday night before CelticFest.
The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band
Canada's Oldest Civilian Pipe Band, Founded in 1896. The first Pipe Band to be heard in the Nation's capital on Burns night, 1896. Under the direction of Pipe Major Bethany Bisaillion, the Sons of Scotland compete at the Grade 4 and Grade 5 levels and perform in some 50 concerts and parades throughout the year. We are committed to developing the talent of each of our members, producing quality music, and having a great deal of fun. The band is proud to be affiliated with the College of Piping in Glasgow, Scotland.
Chris Angel
Chris began performing at bars and pubs while completing his degree in performance music at the University of Windsor. Chris started out playing open mic nights at Patrick O'Ryan's Irish Public House and soon became a regular fixture at a dozen Windsor and Detroit bars. Chris has captivated crowds from university students to legionnaires, with a collection of songs that range from current top 40 rock hits, to Scottish ballads. While tending to focus on a fast-paced mix of rock and modern Celtic favourites, Chris is always up to the challenge of satisfying the requests of any crowd.
Neil McDaniel
Neil McDaniel was born in Margaree Forks, Cape Breton, in June of 1975. The Cape Breton scenery does a good job inspiring one's mind and artistic flavour and throughout high school, Neil continued to progress with music on his own terms and developed an interest in additional instruments such as the guitar, digital keyboard and harmonica.

REMINDER...Tonight!: Friend of the House: Glenn Graham in Concert in Kanata - June 11

Glenn Graham is coming back to Ottawa!

See Glenn Graham June 11, 8pm – 10pm, Kanata.

Exact location and to reserve seats email Maria at

Light refreshments available during intermission. BYOB
One of Cape Breton's finest traditional fiddlers, Glenn is also a composer, song-writer, step-dancer, music instructor and published author. His music has been featured on the International TV hit series Dawson's Creek, multiple CD compilations, TV specials and independent films and DVD productions. With five recordings and multiple East Coast Music Award nominations to his credit, it's no surprise that he is one of Cape Breton's most sought-after performers and music instructors. Influenced by the Gaelic sounds of the "Mabou Coal Mines" fiddle style that is found in the Celtic Cradle of North America, Glenn's roots go deep in the traditional music of Cape Breton. Glenn Graham, along with his sister Amy and a band including some of Cape Breton's most innovative musicians, has appeared at California's Villa Montalvo, the Celtic Colours International Festival, Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Lunenburg Folk Festival, Saint John Festival By the Sea, Granville Green Concert Series, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor Maine, the Wayne Gretzky Invitational, and numerous other venues. He performed in the first ever Cape Breton Live on Tour production, which toured Quebec and Ontario in November of 2006, with some of Cape Breton's most recognized musicians.

First Ever Oireachtas in Canada- July 2

Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and the North American Gaeltacht group are hosting the first ever Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada, the first ever Oireachtas in Canada.

The Oireachtas in Ireland Is a huge event which celebrates Irish culture, through the Irish language: there are songs, sean nos dancing , music, storytelling and poetry. It is a competition, but all done in great fun. We are hosting our own Canadian Irish language Oireachtas on JULY 2nd at the Gaeltacht site just outside Tamworth Ontario for a day filled of fun and activities.

This celebration of our Irish heritage is open to everyone who sings sean nos style or who sings other styles of songs in Irish or is member of a Celtic choir that sings songs in Irish; anyone who does sean nos steps or Ottawa Valley steps, and those who do traditional Irish set dances can do the Clare Lancers are welcome ; as are those who plays the uillean pipes or the harp, or who are members of a ceili band, the band can compete, and finally anyone who can recite poetry, tell a story in Irish, or who have written articles, poetry or stories in the Irish language.

All learners of the Irish language are welcome are strongly encouraged to compete as this event is open all levels of ability from beginners to fluent speakers. If you don't do any of these but are looking for a way to celebrate your Irish culture, come and join us in the audience.
For more information please contact 613-541-6000 ext 6042 and speak to Aralt, or at or visit to register and join in the fun.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Get your Ulysses On - Bloomsday at St. Brigid's - 16 June 2011

Celebrate Bloomsday at Saint Brigids Centre on 16 June 2011.  This is the 3rd annual presentation of this event.  They want you to dress up like it's 1904, too!  The event is FREE and  donations go to help the Centre. Light refreshments will be served (donations from sponsors The Irish Village, Auld Dubliner Pub, Highlander Pub, The Royal Oak) and a Cash Bar is on site.   Event starts at 7:30 PM.

Glenn Graham fiddle workshop and concert, Perth ON, 11 June 2011

Fiddle Workshop and Concert 9:30am-4pm: Glenn Graham - One of Cape Breton's finest traditional fiddlers, is also a composer, songwriter, step-dancer, music instructor and published author. With five recordings and multiple East Coast Music Award nominations to his credit, it's no surprise that Glenn Graham is one of Cape Breton's most sought-after performers and music instructors. Glenn, along with Vic Maltby will be teaching at a Fiddling & Songwriting Workshop in Perth, ON. Fiddle workshops will be taught at an advanced beginner and at an intermediate level, open to players age 10 to 75+. Fiddlers will have the opportunity to learn from both teachers. Songwriting workshop lead by Jenny Whitely. Following the workshops, there will be a Concert at the Myriad Theatre, from 2:30 till 4pm, which is open to the public, admission is by donation. The Concert will feature the instructors, the workshop participants, and a special appearance by The Blue Skies Community Fiddle Orchestra. Fiddle workshops will be held at the old shoe factory Sherbrooke St. upstairs in the Perth School of Dance studios. Song-writing workshop and Concert will be held in the Myriad Theatre downstairs. Lunch is available for purchase at the Factory Grind (next door) or bring a bag lunch. Cost for the workshop is $25. Maximum 15 participants in each workshop. Questions? Call 613-278-2448 or E-mail:

Recent Tweets from @thegaelichour

If you're a Twitter user, and not following Austin over at THE GAELIC HOUR (@thegaelichour) then I can only ask why not?  I have followed, and unfollowed a few Twitter accounts because they send too many Tweets in the day. You will not have this problem with Austin's Twitter feed. His tweets are relevant and in the right measure.  Two recent tweets are as follows:

KANATA, AN IRISH STORY. Congratulations Eleanor McGrath, excellent documentary on Irish immigration.

Ottawa Rose 2011Kate Scott is traveling to Ireland for the Regional Finals Jun 3 - 6. We wish her the best.

I echo Austin's sentiments, my very best to both Eleanor McGrath and Kate Scott!