The Outside Track in Bay City

On St. Patrick’s Day the Friends of Celtic Culture are bringing  The Outside Track to Bay City’s State Theatre.  They are a fine, fine international Celtic band touring the US in March, and we’re quite lucky to get them on St. Patrick’s Day.

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Summer Doings

There are three big local events that I know of this summer.

First up, July 15-17 is the International Maritime Music portion of the Bay City Tall Ships Celebration.  While the focus is on Maritime music, a lot of the groups also have a strong Celtic bent, including the local group Whisky & Water.

Then in August there are two events the same weekend.   August 25-28 is the Midland Folk Festival.  I don’t know what all will be there yet, but if nothing else I have volunteered to teach “Irish Jigs of Vincent Broderick” on Friday.

While that’s going on, on Saturday the 27th Saginaw hosts the Great Lakes Gathering, which is all Celtic music all the time.  I’m not seeing a comprehensive list of who is playing there this year yet, but there should be a lot of great groups.

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Tin Whistle Workshop Resources

Chiff and Fipple

Chiff and Fipple Discussion Forums

Brother Steve’s Tin-Whistle Pages

Jerry Freeman Whistles

Killarney Whistles

Donncha Ó Briain, air and reel

Órlaith McAuliffe, “Lord Gordon’s” (reel)

Mary Bergin, Sliabh Russell / Kitty’s Rambles / Padraig O’Keefe’s (jigs)

Donncha Ó Briain, Ceol Ar An bhFeadóg Stáin (Irish Traditional Music on Tin Whistle)

Mary Bergin, Feadoga Stain: Traditional Irish Music on the Tin Whistle

Mary Bergin, Feadóga Stáin 2

Micho Russell, Rarities & Old Favorites 1949-1993: Tin Whistle, Flute & Songs from North Clare & Beyond

Tom McHaile, Pure Traditional Irish Tin Whistle

Mary Bergin, Tin Whistle Tutor

Grey Larson, Mel Bay The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle

L.E. McCullough, “The Complete Irish Tin Whistle Tutor”

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Paddy O’Brien and Nathan Gourley

They’re at the White Crow Saturday night for a concert, then Sunday afternoon:

Multi Instrumental TUNES WORKSHOP! Tickets $40
Sunday May 31st 1pm $40
Call the CROW for more info!
989-790-2118 or email
Paddy O’Brien & Nathan Gourley: Multi-Instrument Tune Workshop
Available for intermediate and advanced players of any melody instrument used in the Irish tradition: fiddle, flute, whistle, concertina, accordion, banjo, etc.
Paddy and Nathan’s multi-instrument tune workshop offers students both encouragement and concrete tools for improving their understanding and interpretation of Irish traditional music. Technical instruction focuses on ornamentation, phrasing, and dynamics. The workshop also includes a strong emphasis on listening, interpretation, and feeling—the thing called ‘blas’ in Irish, which means ‘taste’ or ‘flavor.’ Students will also receive information and advice on good non-commercial recorded sources for learning tunes, and on particular tunes most suited to their instruments. Music will be learned by ear, so students are encouraged to bring recording devices and notebooks. 90 minutes—$40 per person.
Sample one-session repertoire workshop:
• Students play along on a basic tune so that Paddy and Nathan can assess their skill levels.
• Paddy and Nathan select 4-5 tunes (jigs, reels, and hornpipes, etc.) appropriate to students’ abilities. Tunes should help increase students’ repertoire and knowledge of traditional music while providing a basic grounding in good playing habits and solid technique. Paddy and/or Nathan play each tune over twice: once at regular tempo and once at a slower ‘learning’ tempo. Students spend some time familiarizing themselves with the new tunes.
• Paddy and Nathan play tunes through with students, working on technique, ornamentation, dynamics, and phrasing.
• Paddy talks about the importance of careful listening and interpretation in Irish music, how to select keys that best reflect the shape and feeling of a tune. He will also recommend good non-commercial sources for learning tunes. Students have the opportunity to request particular tunes, ask questions, and gain individual advice.
• Students are asked to bring their instruments and a recording device.

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Great Lakes Gathering

This Friday and Saturday is the 1st Great Lakes Gathering at the First Merit Bank Event Park in Saginaw. It will bring lots of great Irish music to Saginaw, including Crossroads Ceili, Finvarra’s Wren, The Codgers, Equinox, Roane, and Siusan O’Rourke & Zig Zeitler. Here’s a nice newspaper article on the Gathering.

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Ballads and Brews

This weekend is Ballads and Brews, the maritime music festival which is normally a part of the Bay City Tall Ships Celebration. Even though this is an off year for the tall ships, they’ve decided to go ahead with the music.

This year will have Celtic Jams hosted by Hoolie, Roane, La Compagine, and (if it’s your sort of thing) Enter the Haggis.

There’s a nice article from Mlive with what I believe is the correct schedule (the one on the official Ballads and Brews page appears to be preliminary).

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Irish Weekend At The White Crow

The White Crow is having three consecutive nights of Irish music the second weekend of August.

Friday August 9, 7PM: The Brock McGuire Band
Saturday August 10, 9PM: Late Night Irish Session
Sunday August 11, 6PM: A Chance Meeting (John Whelan and Friends)

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Tall Ships “Ballads & Brews” This Week

Tall Ships “Ballads & Brews” This Week

Bay City’s Tall Ship Celebration next weekend will bring a horde of musicians into town — primarily shanties, but there should be a good helping of tunes as well.  If I’m reading the schedule correctly, there will be 13+ hours of music every day!

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Goderich Celtic College Schedule Up

The Goderich Celtic College now has their 2013 class schedule up.  It’s August 5 – 9.  Teachers of note include Archie Fisher, singer Sean Keane, Andre Brunet, and The Once.

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Maeve Gilchrist & Nic Gareiss: Studio Showing

Join Maeve and Nic for a studio showing of new works-in-progress for harp, voice, and percussive dance! 
May 15, 2013, 8 pm 
Off-Broadway Studio
118 S. Washington Street 
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
$15 suggested donation
For reservations, please email

Michigan-born percussive dancer, Nic Gareiss and Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist met while both teaching at the Shasta Fiddle Camp in northern California. They continued their musical relationship with spontaneous collaborations at festivals and chance meetings and later toured together as part of Darol Anger’s band, The Furies. Sharing a deep respect for traditional music and culture while drawing on contemporary elements of music, dance, rhythm and improvisation, Nic and Maeve have emerged from the vibrant new acoustic scene as innovators in their fields. The percussion and drive of Nic’s footwork combined with Maeve’s melodic and improvisational sensibilities make for an explosive duet that delights both the ears and the eyes.  (Text borrowed from their Facebook announcement -colomon)

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