More News

Equinox will be giving a concert at The White Crow Conservatory on Saturday, April 27 at 7:00. They will be joined by Todd and Mahlia Farley, the mimes extraordinaire featured in ‘The Great Lakes Bay’ magazine this month. Also Ariul, a talented dancer, will be dancing the Irish steps.

Kathy Morris also asked me to pass this on:

Michigan singer/songwriter Candace Corrigan, who now works in Nashville, Tennessee, has completed her latest project, “O’Carolan, Songwriter”. When O’Carolan composed in the late 17 century, he often wrote lyrics to his ‘tribute’ songs, or ‘planxties’, which were paid for by these patrons. His wonderful music survived as it was passed down through the ages, but much of the accompanying prose was lost. Candace uncovered what she could, and had the words translated from the original ‘Irish’ Gaelic, which still left the challenge of fitting these English lyrics into his well known melodies. She does an amazing job with her skillful beautiful voice backed up by Janne Henshaw from Indiana, and our own local Carol Levack. You can download the music, or order CDs at

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Bay City Irish Session now weekly!

Big news in the local Irish music scene: the session at the Stein Haus is now every Tuesday!  It will be anchored by Hoolie, and everyone who plays traditional Celtic music is welcome to join in. 7PM-10PM, starting tonight.

Now that curling season is over, with any luck Jen and I will make it there more regularly…

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Millish at the State Theater next week; Liz Carroll at the White Crow next month

One of the best … errr … Celtic Jazz? Progressive Celtic? … groups out there, Millish, is coming to Bay City next weekend.  The group is kind of hard to describe, but Tyler Duncan, their piper and whistler, is has won multiple All-Ireland awards on pipes and convinced the University of Michigan to let him in to study jazz low whistle.  Brad Phillips is an award winning fiddler who also studied jazz at U of M.  Their album included everything from traditional Irish tunes to Dave Brubeck’s Blue Rondo ala Turk to some terrific original compositions.  It’s been a long time since then, so I don’t know really what sort of music to expect at the show, but I do expect it will showcase an immense amount of talent and virtuosic playing of pipes, whistle, and fiddle.  The show is 7:30 at the State Theater.

Next month on February 23rd, Liz Carroll will be at the White Crow in Saginaw.

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Two Concerts of Note This Weekend

Tonight (Friday September 21st) David Bowen and friends are playing at the Kaya Coffee House in Mt. Pleasant, 7PM. David’s a great singer and guitar player formerly from Midland, and he’s playing with Andy Rogers (fiddle) from Bay City and Bruce Gartner (mandolin, etc) from Mt. Pleasant.

Tomorrow night (Saturday September 22nd) Bua is playing at the White Crow Conservatory in Saginaw, 7PM. Bua is a fantastic young Irish (-American) band, I heard them play at the White Crow on New Year’s Eve and it was stunningly good.

Both these shows are highly recommended!

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Jim Malcolm Tonight!

Jim is here in town, and performing at the Midland Center for the Arts Lecture Room (downstairs) at 7:30 tonight.  More Info.

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Upcoming Workshops, Sessions, and Concerts!

The normal Midland and Bay City sessions have been cancelled for the month of August, but never fret, there’s still a lot going on.

1) There will be a Celtic session at the Midland Folk Festival, 9pm Friday the 24th. Hopefully this can make up a bit for the normal Bay City and Midland sessions taking the month off!

2) I’m teaching four Celtic tunes workshops at the Midland Folk Festival: Friday @ noon is Newfoundland Dance Tunes. Friday @ 3 is Irish Dance Tunes, with the tunes “The Lisheen Slide”, “Brendan Tonra’s” (jig), “Banks Of Lough Gowna” (jig), “Whinney Hills Of Leitrim” (slipjig), and probably a polka and a single reel TBA. Saturday @ noon is Irish Reels, with “Pigeon on the Gate”, “The Old Copperplate”, “The New Copperplate”, and “The Longford Collector”. Saturday @ 2 is Newfoundland Singles, which are simple, fast Irish polka-like dance tunes. (Note that I may run out of time to teach all the tunes listed!)

I see there’s also “Irish Fiddling, regional styles” taught by Terry Bell Saturday afternoon, and lots of other interesting workshops.

3) Finally, we’re bringing Scottish singer Jim Malcolm back to Midland, Thursday September 13th, 7:30 pm. The former lead singer of Old Blind Dogs, Jim is a fantastic singer, songwriter, guitarist, and harmonica player. More info.

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Nic Gareiss and Jessie Nieves present: Life After Limerick

Kaya Coffee House will host a “House-Style Concert” on Thursday, May 31 with Nic Gareiss and Jessie Nieves: Life After Limerick! Concert will start at 7:30. (From 7:00 to 8:00, Kaya will be open for food & drinks to concert goers; $10 suggested donation for concert.)

Two prodigal Michigan traditional artists return home this summer to share of their adventures! ‘Life After Limerick’ presents the story of Michigan natives: Jessie Nieves and Nic Gareiss, who attended The Irish World Academy at the University of Limerick, a conservatory-style school that is rapidly developing a reputation as one of the foremost institutions of traditional music and dance training in the world. Now, having both graduated from UL, Jessie with a MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance and Nic with a MA in Ethnochoreology, the pair have returned to Michigan eager to share their experiences with the traditional music community that fostered them artistically.

‘Life After Limerick’ tells the story of the educational voyage of these two young musician/dancer/scholars as encountered through this remarkable institution. Through tunes, songs, and dance steps, Jessie and Nic share their experience of living in Ireland: the joys, and occasional mishaps of acclimating to a new cultural environment and ultimately, the realization of just how deep the roots connections between Ireland and North America run.

Jessie Nieves, born and raised in Saline, Michigan, has been playing the fiddle for 16 years. A graduate of the Saline Fiddlers, she has shared the stage with Natalie MacMaster, and studied with living Irish fiddle legend Siobhan Peoples.

Nic Gareiss (Canadian Folk Music Nominee for Traditional Singer of the Year) has danced on national Irish television and on CMT, performed with the Chieftains, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, and studied under former Riverdance lead Colin Dunne.

(That’s my edited version of Kaya’s announcement of the concert — let me add that Jessie was a fine fiddler *before* she headed off to get a masters in traditional music performance, and Nic is unquestionably one of the world’s foremost dancers in his style, routinely performing with the top talent in the Irish Traditional Music World. This concert gets my highest recommendation — colomon)

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Goderich Celtic College schedule and course descriptions

It’s time for our yearly favorite news from Bay City’s lovely sister city, Goderich, Ontario — the Celtic College schedule announcement is up:

Goderich Celtic College schedule and course descriptions

We are so pleased to see Christina Smith and Jean Hewson back this year, and The Once teaching again, too!  Just in time for me to add to my shower-singing repertoire.

We’re getting ready to try to organize a small army to travel there from Midland.  No barricades, just a lot of music.

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New Irish Session in Mt. Pleasant This Week

Word on the grapevine is that Kaya Coffee House is hosting a brand new Irish session this Friday, 7pm-9pm. Moriath will be there, so it should be to a pretty high standard of quality.  If you know Irish tunes, come out and bring your instrument; if you don’t, it will be good listening in a very pleasant environment.

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St Patrick’s Music at the Stein Haus Now

Jerry and Bruce from Hoolie, plus Andy Rogers and myself.  We’re setting up as I type this.

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