Dorians: A Triple Shot of Irish Folk for Saint Patrick’s Day
What: Saint Patrick's Day party; traditional Irish / Celtic music
For Saint Patrick’s weekend, local Celtic treasures the Dorians are playing at three area venues. The triple dose starts Friday, March 15, with a show at the Liberty Theater to kick off Murphysboro’s Saint Patrick’s Day festival. Next, the band plays for the first time at the Isle Casino in Cape Girardeau Saturday, March 16. The Dorians then perform a special five-hour set of songs and dance music from the Irish and Scottish traditions on the holiday itself-- Sunday, March 17 at Pinch Penny Pub.
The band-- Bryan Kelso Crow on vocals, flute, whistle, and keyboard; Mickey Soltys on fiddle and guitar; Mike Shanahan on guitar and cittern; and Elana Floyd-Kennett on vocals, keyboards, and percussion-- are in their twenty-fourth year of offering Southern Illinois a type of music mostly seen in more urban areas.
“There really isn’t anyone else out there doing what we are doing,” Crow said. “You get to a place like Chicago and you have several Irish/Celtic bands. But here in Carbondale there isn’t anyone but us.”
Crow, a native of Tennessee with Scots-Irish roots, taught as an exchange professor at the University of Ulster from 1985 to 1986. He now teaches Irish Studies for SIU and is part of the coordinating committee for the annual Southern Illinois Irish Festival. He founded and has hosted the locally produced, nationally syndicated public-radio program Celtic Connections since 1991.
Shanahan has studied guitar with Daithe Sproule, Zan McLeod, and Jed Foley, and he is also the entertainment coordinator for the Southern Illinois Irish Festival.
Soltys, in addition to studying Irish fiddling styles, regularly plays square dances for the Friends of Traditional Music and Dance.
Floyd-Kennett, who rejoined the band after a long hiatus, plays an Irish goatskin drum called the bodhran and an African drum called the djembe.
The Dorians have played everywhere from Saint Louis to Memphis and beyond-- including the Alaskan Highland Games in Anchorage and the Great Performers of Illinois Concert in Chicago.
“It’s great when you get to play with such a caliber of musicians,” Shanahan said. “That’s the idea-- to play with people who are better than you, so you will play better.”
The Saint Patrick’s show at Pinch differs from the band’s other performances this week to accommodate for the length of the set (“We have some songs that we pull out for the show,” Shanahan said) and a rowdier crowd.
Crow said shows like the one at the Liberty Theater allow the band to perform to an audience of all ages and backgrounds.
“It also gives families the chance to come out and see us perform,” Crow said. “It should be a great show.”
what: Saint Patrick's Day party; traditional Irish / Celtic music
where: Pinch Penny Pub
when: Sunday, March 17