Irish / Celtic music

Dorians: Celtic Traditions for Saint Patrick’s Day

Venues & Businesses
Pinch Penny Pub

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Dorians: A Triple Shot of Irish Folk for Saint Patrick’s Day
Dorians: Leading Saint Patrick's Day in Southern Illinois


Who: Dorians
What: Saint Patrick’s Day bash (Irish/Celtic music)
Where:
When: 2017-03-17
Some things are Saint Patrick’s Day musts. Must wear green to avoid pinches. Must enjoy Irish custom
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Some things are Saint Patrick’s Day musts. Must wear green to avoid pinches. Must enjoy Irish customs and possibly down a dyed lager at a local watering hole.

And another is seeing the Dorians play at Pinch Penny Pub.

That long-standing Saint Patrick’s Day celebration continues with the Dorians performing Friday, March 17 at Pinch. In addition to music by the Dorians, who will play dance music from the Celtic traditions of Ireland and Scotland as well as related tunes from England and North America, Pinch’s menu will feature authentic Irish cuisine.

The current members of the Dorians have been performing together since 1990. The group includes Bryan Kelso Crow on vocals, flute, whistle, and keyboard; Mickey Soltys on fiddle and guitar; Mike Shanahan, who plays the guitar and cittern; and Elana Floyd-Kennett, who sings and plays keyboards and several percussion instruments, including the Irish goatskin drum, or bodhrán, and the djembe.

Crow, a native of Tennessee, said he had never heard of Celtic music until he was in college. He took a trip to Ireland in 1978 and was immediately hooked.

“I learned to play the tin whistle there,” he said. “And then, a few years later, I learned how to play the traditional wood flute, which is similar, except the finger positioning is across and not downward.”

Crow is professor in the Irish Studies program at SIU. He is also a member of the coordinating committee for the Southern Illinois Irish Festival and taught as an exchange professor at the University of Ulster, which is located outside Belfast.

In 1991, Crow launched Celtic Connections as a local radio program on WSIU 91.9 FM, and in July 1996, it was picked up for national syndication. The program can now be heard on more than one-hundred public-radio stations across the country.

Crow cofounded the Dorians with Shanahan, who has studied guitar with Dáithí Sproule, Zan McLeod, and Jed Foley.

The band’s repertoire includes humorous ballads, traditional love songs, and tunes about history and politics. Floyd-Kennett said they have also thrown a few new Americana folk songs into the setlist. Much of the band’s instrumental repertoire features Scottish and Irish reels and jigs as well as slower, melodic tunes.

The group has played all across the region, including stops in Saint Louis, Springfield, Peoria, Champaign, Murphysboro, and Memphis. The Dorians have also performed at the Alaskan Highland Games in Anchorage, and the band was a featured act during the Great Performers of Illinois concert in Chicago.

Floyd-Kennett said she can credit the Dorians’ longevity to how much the band enjoys what they do.

“We like the kind of music we perform,” she said. “That’s the cement of it, I’d say.”

The Saint Patrick’s Day show is a rare, guaranteed day to hear the group play.

“We only play out two or three times a year,” Floyd-Kennett said. “For some, everybody’s Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day. And others, it is because they want to come out and see us.”

Crow said the show will bring its eclectic mix of high energy and tradition.

“It’s lively and you can dance to it,” he said.

For more information about the Dorians, check out the band’s page at <http://www.AcoustiCon.com>.

For those who wish to continue celebrating Ireland into the weekend, the Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce will hold the annual Saint Patrick’s Celtic Celebration Saturday, March 18 with a five-kilometer walk/run, an Irish-stew cookoff, a parade, and a bags tournament. Festivities conclude with a bocce tournament Sunday, March 19.

For the full schedule, or for entry forms for the walk/run, ride, parade, or tournaments, call the Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce at (618) 684-6421 or log on to <http://www.MurphysboroChamber.com>.

who: Dorians

what: Saint Patrick’s Day bash (Irish/Celtic music)

where: Pinch Penny Pub

 

when: Friday, March 17

Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival 2016: Seven Years to Cheer More Beers!

Venues & Businesses
Big Muddy Monster Brew Fest

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Rusty Nail: Rowdy, Rocked-out Irish Punk


Who: Friends of Murphysboro
What: Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival w/ Nine88s (bluegrass) / Rusty Nail (Irish punk)
Where:
When: 2016-10-15
Pictured: Rusty Nail.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Beer lovers, rejoice, for a local fall festival has you in mind.

The seventh-annual Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival returns Saturday, October 15 to Riverside Park in Murphysboro. The ever-expanding event has new attractions and conveniences to help make the afternoon as smooth as possible.

The festival begins at 1 p.m. and continues until 4 p.m.

Brad Fager, an organizer for the event, tells Nightlife the festival had lined up forty-six vendors and hopes that more will sign on in the coming week, topping off the event with more than fifty.

“That’s the most we’ve ever had,” Fager said. “It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We’re expanding to the whole park.”

Vendors will bring in food and about three-hundred different kinds of craft beers. Most are from the local area and Midwest, with a couple from California.

Murphysboro has a brewing legacy. According to the Murphysboro Brewing website, Prussian immigrant Conrad Broeg started a brewery in the city in 1870. In 1886, Rudolph Stecher, a German immigrant, purchased the brewery. By 1912, the Stecher Brewing Company produced more than forty-thousand barrels of beer each year, a stellar feat for a local business.

After Prohibition and Stecher’s death in 1926, however, Murphysboro’s local-beer industry remained quiet until Chuck Stuhrenberg opened Big Muddy Brewing in 2009. Since then, Von Jakob, Scratch, Little Egypt, Abbey Ridge, and Saint Nicholas all began producing local beer. In 2009, the Friends of Murphysboro began celebrating the local craft-beer scene with the Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival.

New this year: Organizers will provide free, safe transportation to and from the festival. Buses will run back and forth between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and again from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., with stops at the Brews Brothers Taproom in Murphysboro and near Pagliai’s and the Hangar 9 in Carbondale.

Fager also said patrons may take photos with a seven-foot tall Big Muddy Monster photo board. The Big Muddy Monster is a legendary creature that reportedly haunted the region about forty years ago.

A vintage base ball game between the Murphysboro Clarkes and Belleville Stags is also scheduled for the day. So is the announcement of the winners of the festival’s home-brew competition.

Fager said the Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival provides an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Southern Illinois autumn with unique craft beers.

“Every brewery can always make it different,” he said. “They may use a different recipe or different water. That’s why there are so many popping up here and all over the place. I think it’s good for tourism. Every year it grows and gets better.”

General-admission tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the gate.

Event-goers can also buy tickets to the Imperial Tent, which includes a meal with food from local eateries, a special tasting snifter glass, and general admission to the festival. Imperial Tent tickets are $50 in advance and $60 on the festival date. Only 250 tickets to the Imperial Tent will be available, so if this sounds ideal, act fast.

Advance tickets will sell at Illinois Liquor Mart locations in Carbondale, Murphysboro, and Marion.

Proceeds from the fest support the Friends of Murphysboro’s continued efforts to improve Riverside Park.

For more information, check out <http://www.BigMuddyMonsterBrewFest.com>.

who: Friends of Murphysboro

what: Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival w/ Nine88s (bluegrass) / Rusty Nail (Irish punk)

where: Riverside Park

 

when: Saturday, October 15

Southern Illinois Irish Festival 2016: A Taste of the Emerald Isle in Little Egypt

Pictured: Dallahan.
Jeff Hale
Video Comentary

“Ireland is where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible.”— Charles Haughey.

Since 1996, the Southern Illinois Irish Festival has celebrated Irish and Celtic culture with a three-day festival filled with music, storytelling, games, food, and fun. The celebration will return to Southern Illinois Friday through Sunday, September 30 through October 2, bringing out the Irish in even those with no Irish heritage.

The festival kicks off Friday, September 30 at Carbondale’s Varsity Center for the Arts with a concert by Irish and Scottish phenomenon Dallahan. The group may be familiar to Southern Illinois audiences through the WSIU-FM program Celtic Connections, which regularly features their music.

Celtic Connections host and Southern Illinois Irish Festival event organizer Bryan Crow tells Nightlife that he’s ecstatic about Dallahan bringing their traditional sounds all the way around the world to Carbondale.

“We are so excited to have them,” Crow says. “They are a top-notch band. I was familiar with them because they have sent me some CDs to play on Celtic Connections. I realized how good they are, and when I saw on their U.S. agent’s list of bands that are touring around this time, I recommended to my coplanner that we try to get them. It’s very exciting!”

Composed of Irish, Scottish, and Hungarian members, Dallahan mixes traditional European folk sounds with jazz, funk, and classical music to create a montage that has had audiences cheering since the release of the quartet’s debut CD, When the Day is on the Turn, in 2014. This year has seen the release of Dallahan’s second studio album, Matter of Time, and the group was nominated for Folk Band of the Year Award at the 2015 Scots Trad Music Awards.

In addition to the Friday-night performance, Dallahan will give two concerts at the Irish Festival’s outdoor Celtic Fair Saturday, October 1 at Walker’s Bluff. The Celtic Fair continues Sunday, October 2 at Walker’s Bluff.

In addition to featuring the internationally recognized music of Dallahan, the festival will feature music by the Dorians, the Wee Heavies, the Brianna Brown Band, Buckley and Walsh, Celtica, Roisín Dubh, the Storm Crows, and the Heartstrings Ensemble. The two-day event will also include games (including the Ancient Athletics Highland Games), and arts and crafts by artisans and craftspeople.

Tickets for the Friday night performance are $20, while admission to the Celtic Fair is $10 for adults and free for children younger than eighteen.

For tickets and more information, visit <http://www.SIlIrishFest.org>.

who: Southern Illinois Irish Festival

what: Dallahan (Scottish music); Celtic Fair

where: Varsity Center for the Arts; Walker’s Bluff

 

when: Friday, September 30; Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2

Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations Abound in Little Egypt

This year, Southern Illinois residents have many opportunities to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. And
Jennifer “Jay” Bull
Video Comentary

This year, Southern Illinois residents have many opportunities to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. And as always, local Irish / Celtic band the Dorians will be at the center of much of the activity.

The Dorians will play the Shamrock Party Saturday, March 12 at Walker’s Bluff, which will feature Irish food and green beer. Then, on Saint Patrick’s Day itself, Thursday, March 17, at Pinch Penny Pub, patrons may enjoy the Dorians’ music with an authentic Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage.

The Murphysboro Saint Patrick’s Day Celtic Celebration takes place the weekend following Saint Patrick’s Day. One festival highlight is the Dorians’ annual concert Friday, March 18 at 7 p.m. at the Liberty Theater.

“We’ve done this for several years,” Elana Floyd-Kennett of the Dorians  told Nightlife. “The Liberty Theater is a really nice place. It is really comfortable and kind of a family environment as far as where we perform there. We’ve played off and on for Murphysboro Celtic Festival for I don’t remember how many years. We bring traditionally Celtic music, because that is the focus of what we do. We do songs, nice ballads, funny songs, instrumental pieces. We have some longtime fans that come there that like that setting.”

The venue at Liberty really allows the Dorians to shine in their performance, too.

“I really enjoy the setting at the Liberty Theater,” Floyd-Kennett said. “Acoustically, it’s nice and it’s not huge as far as the number of people there and there is no competition with anything else. We are the highlight— we are onstage and all ears and eyes are on us. It’s comfortable— it’s a comfy place. We can do songs there that highlight story— and story not only through the words of the song but also the emotion that comes through the melody, and we can highlight singular instruments, solos that are much less-noticed in a pub setting. There’s an intimate experience, really, in a small theater place like that. There is full appreciation of the performers and the performance in a setting like that.”

The whole experience of the Celtic Celebration is fun for the Dorians.

“Just being part of it is nice,” Floyd-Kennett said, “sharing that shared passion for traditional music and Celtic culture and honoring the Irish and Scottish and Welsh and immigrants and ancestry. Although there is definitely a part that isn’t part of that— [some audience members] just like Irish/Celtic music because they like Celtic music and it has nothing to do with ancestry or lineage. Everybody’s Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day!”

In addition to the concert, the Murphysboro Saint Patrick’s Day Celtic Celebration will features a walk/run, parade, and other activities. For more information, call the Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce at (618) 684-6421 or log on to <http://Murphysboro.com>.

 

Meanwhile, another local Celtic band, Róisín Dubh, will perform Saturday, March 12 at Von Jakob Orchard. Pete’s Sake will play the Hangar 9’s Saint Paddy’s Party Thursday, March 17. The Saint Patrick’s Day Party at Thursday, March 17 at Saint Nicholas Brewery in Du Quoin will feature bagpipe music and Irish cuisine.

Southern Illinois Irish Festival 2015: Keeping the Celtic Tradition Alive

Pictured: bohola.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

For nearly two decades, a Southern Illinois tradition has taken its inspiration from the Celtic country.

The nineteenth annual Southern Illinois Irish Festival opens with myriad music and traditional performances and other family friendly activities throughout the three-day event.

“It takes all year to plan,” one of the festival’s planners, Bryan Kelso Crow, told Nightlife. “From fundraisers to organizing the bands, it takes a lot of work.”

This year’s festival ushers in a celebrated musical duo when bohola performs Friday, October 2 at the Varsity Center for the Arts. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets will sell at the door beginning at 7 p.m.

bohola plays traditional tunes, many more than a century and a half old, and produces a driving, vibrant energy— an almost alternative-rock sound. With accordion virtuoso Jimmy Keane and Pat Broaders on bouzar (a combination guitar and bass) and vocals, the music combines older, more traditional music and the innovations of today.

Keane is a five-time all-Ireland accordion champion, and he has also performed and recorded with great Irish musicians. But Keane said it was not until he started working with Broaders that he found his style of Irish music.

“We were like a glove— instinctively darting in and out of the music as if we were as one, playing the same big instrument,” he said in the band’s press bio.

“The band bohola was here in 2002,” Crow said. “It’s really great to have them come back for the festival.”

For the second year in a row, the Celtic Fair will take place at Walker’s Bluff in Carterville. Beginning Saturday, October 3 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, October 4 at 11:30 a.m., the eclectic fair sets up three stages both days. Performers include some of the best Irish and Scottish acts and bluegrass and Americana musicians in the region: Saint Louis Irish Arts, the Dorians, E.L. Kurtz, Róisín Dubh, Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin, Carter and Connelley, Kevin Buckley and Mary Walsh, Banjovi, the Blackberry Blossoms, and pipers Les Lannom and Sean Folsom.

The Scottish Highland Games demonstrations will also take place both days of the fair, while food and drink vendors will be on tap and merchandise vendors will sell festival souvenirs.

Several festival events will keep the younger set occupied and entertained. Professor Play will create unique balloon creations, and Chris McBrien will tell stories and perform magic tricks. Several bounce houses and an Irish children’s village will also be set up.

As many as four-thousand people have come out to enjoy past Irish Festivals. Board president Mike Shanahan, who helps coordinate the music acts for the festival and with Crow is a member of the Dorians, said he believes the Irish Festival has become such a longstanding tradition in the area because it provides a variety of activities for people of all ages.

“There is a lot for people to do,” Shanahan said. “And typically with it stretched out all weekend, people can come one day if they can’t another or if the weather doesn’t cooperate. There are also bounce houses for children to play on while maybe their parents are listening to music.”

Admission to the Celtic Fair is $10 for adults and free for those eighteen and younger.

Shanahan said Irish Festival visitors will need to take Cambria Road as a detour to Walker’s Bluff because of ongoing road construction. For directions and more information, check out <http://www.SIlIrishFest.org>.

who: bohola and other acts

what: Southern Illinois Irish Festival

where: Varsity Center for the Arts; Walker’s Bluff

when: Friday through Sunday, October 2 through October 4

Note: The dates for the Celtic Fair are corrected from an earlier version of the online edition of this story.

Southern Illinois Irish Festival Celebrates a Taste of the Grain 2015!

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Irish Fest


Who: Southern Illinois Irish Festival
What: Taste of the Grain benefit
Where:
When: 2015-02-28
On Saturday, February 28 at 3 p.m., the Copper Dragon will host the Southern Illinois Irish Festival
Jennifer “Jay” Bull
Video Comentary

On Saturday, February 28 at 3 p.m., the Copper Dragon will host the Southern Illinois Irish Festival’s annual Taste of the Grain benefit.

“It involves a lecture and presentation of a number of single malts,” organizer Mike Shanahan told Nightlife. “I don’t have the exact number, but it is usually more than five and it is presented by an expert in the field, Les Lannom. He is really an expert presenter.”

Lannom is the former official bagpiper for the Los Angeles Chapter of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

The popularity of the Taste of the Grain means that tickets will not be sold at the door as an accurate head count is required. Advance tickets are required.

“Registration in advance is $35 paid— we have to have the money up front,” Shanahan said. “There are limited tickets— we are limited to fifty people and we are already more than halfway sold out. That is why we have this advance registration. We have a harp player, Christa Ashton. She’s played harp for many of our Irish Festival events, including pub night as well as previous events like this one. This is probably around our tenth year, at least. We’ve done them in different places before and this is the second year at the Copper Dragon.”

Guests can expect more than just entertainment.

“There will be appetizers served before and during the event to sort of moderate between the tastings,” Shanahan said. “People can have an appetizer beforehand, the presentation takes about an hour, in between there are breaks with some small canapés and appetizers served.”

To order tickets, call Shanahan at (618) 549-3090 or visit <http://www.SIlIrishFest.org>. All participants must be twenty-one. A full cash bar will be available for those interested in more than just whiskey.

who: Southern Illinois Irish Festival

what: Taste of the Grain benefit

where: Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Saturday, February 28

Southern Illinois Irish Festival 2014: The Emerald Isle Returns to Little Egypt

Pictured: Dorians.
Brian Wilson
Video Comentary

The Southern Illinois Irish Festival has been a Southern Illinois institution for nearly two decades. Each year, it brings the best of Irish and Celtic culture to this region, offering three days of music, games, and entertainment for the entire family. Now in its eighteenth year, the fest runs from Friday, September 19 through Sunday, September 21.

This will mark the first year the Celtic Fair is moving to its new location at Walker’s Bluff after many years at Turley Park in Carbondale. Walker’s Bluff has much to offer, including two concert stages for live music and a large, open setting for Celtic Fair events.

The festival kicks off Friday with an evening of music from Danny Ellis at Cousin Andy’s Coffeehouse in the Church of the Good Shepherd. Ellis is a world-renowned Irish musician who rose to fame as a teenager in the 1960s, playing with popular showbands like the Airchords and the Jim Farley Band. He worked as a session singer for the famed Abbey Road Studio in London. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Saturday will mark the opening of the Celtic Fair, which will feature many attractions that festivalgoers look forward to every year. Included among the highlights will be the Ancient Athletics Highland Games, two different pipers, and vendors selling merchandise, food, beer, and wine. Children may enjoy an Irish village, bouncy castles, popular balloonist Professor Play, and Liam the Giant Leprechaun.

Mike Shanahan, vice president and entertainment coordinator of the event, says that music is a big draw for the festival.

“There are two days of two different kinds of music,” Shanahan explains. “On Saturday, it’s mainly Irish and Scottish kinds of music.... On Sunday, the theme is Celtic roots and traditions. That’s why we have bluegrass and anybody who does roots music. That’s a whole other demographic of people who may not necessarily care about Celtic music but who might want to see the other kind.”

The groups appearing on Saturday will include Heart Strings, the Gordons, Róisín Dubh, Saint Louis Irish Arts, Marshall Anderson, the Dorians, and Danny Ellis.

Sunday’s lineup will include Dennis Stroughmatt and L'esprit Creole, Fiddle Rick Johnson, the Rural Kings, Lee Murdock, Róisín Dubh, and the Dorians.

Sunday will also include all of the events at the Celtic Fair, including battle reenactments by the Medieval Combat Society.

Shanahan says he’s hoping for a good turnout and stresses that there really is something for the whole family at the fest.

“It should be a fun time and it always is,” he adds. “We pray for good weather like anyone else.”

Celtic Fair tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students thirteen and older, and free for children twelve and younger. Note: Reed Station Road is under construction, so those heading on Route 13 to the Celtic Fair need to take Cambria Road north to Vermont Road, then head west to Meridian Road. Turn north on Meridian, just next to the Walker’s Bluff General Store, and head into the festival. For directions and a map, visit <http://www.WalkersBluff.com>.

For tickets and more information about the Irish fest or supporting events, visit <http://SIlIrishFest.org>.

who: Irish Festival Committee

what: Southern Illinois Irish Festival

where: Cousin Andy’s Coffeehouse; Walker’s Bluff

when: Friday through Sunday, September 19 to September 21

Dorians: Leading Saint Patrick's Day in Southern Illinois

Venues & Businesses
Murphysboro Chamber
Murphysboro St. Patrick's Day Festival
Old Feed Store, The
Pinch Penny Pub
Von Jakob Vineyard

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Dorians: A Triple Shot of Irish Folk for Saint Patrick’s Day


Who: Dorians; County Graves; Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce; Roisín Dubh
What: Irish Festivals
Where:
When: 2014-03-15 - 2014-03-22
On Saint Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish, and in Southern Illinois you can be Irish for two weekend
Jennifer “Jay” Bull
Video Comentary

On Saint Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish, and in Southern Illinois you can be Irish for two weekends in a row if you want, as many celebrations will take place throughout the area.

On Saturday, March 16 at 3:30 p.m., a Saint Patrick's Day Festival kicks off at Von Jakob Winery and Brewery with a performance by Johnston City Celtic duo Roisín Dubh and a gourmet four-course dinner with Irish specials. The following day, Von Jakob will have live music by the Dave Caputo Duo at 2:30 p.m. with Irish lunch specials, including shepherd's pie and corned beef and cabbage. Find out more about Roisín Dubh on Facebook.

Local Irish / Celtic band the Dorians will perform at Pinch Penny Pub’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day party, which this year takes place Saturday, March 15 at 6 p.m. The Dorians have played Pinch’s Saint Paddy’s party for about twenty years now, and as always, Pinch will serve Irish stew, corned beef dinners, and other Irish-themed food and beverages. The bar will also debut the selection of about 150 microbrews.

The Dorians then head to the Sunday, March 16 at 5 p.m. for a show at the Old Feed Store in Cobden.

Americana band County Graves will perform Monday, March 17 at the Hangar 9’s Saint Patrick's Day Party.

The Dorians will also kick off the twenty-seventh Murphysboro Saint Patrick’s Day Festival the following weekend when they play Friday, March 21 at the Liberty Theater. The Dorians will record the show for possible release as a live CD.

The Murphysboro Saint Patrick’s Day Festival proper takes place Saturday, March 22.

“There's no other Saint Patrick's Day festival south of Saint Louis that I am aware of in Illinois,” Bruce Wallace, executive director of the Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce, told Nightlife. “There is nothing quite like this. This brings in hundreds and hundreds of people. Friday night— this will be important— we do sponsor the Dorians, Irish-music [band], to play at the Liberty Theater on Friday. We started off [the next day] with a [five-kilometer] race at 9 a.m., then we have a kids’ fair, craft-beer tasting, dart tournament, bocce-ball tournament, [and] arm-wrestling tournament, so we offer about eight different events throughout the course of the day.... The Saint Patrick's Day Festival is a pretty big deal, things going on all over town— things for kids, things for adults. Everybody wears green or you get pinched.”

This year the annual Irish-stew cookoff will not take place, but Wallace promises that next year's event will have stew, though it won’t be limited to Irish stew.

Because everyone loves a parade, Murphysboro’s Saint Patrick's Day Festival doesn't disappoint. A parade begins at 11 a.m.

For a complete list of times and events for the Murphysboro Saint Patrick's Day festival, search for the event on Facebook.

who: Dorians

what: traditional Irish / Celtic music

where: Pinch Penny Pub; Old Feed Store

when: Saturday, March 15; Sunday, March 16

who: County Graves

what: Americana / Saint Patrick's Day Party

where: Hangar 9

when: Monday, March 17

who: Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce

what: Saint Patrick’s Celtic Celebration

where: downtown Murphysboro

when: Saturday, March 22

who: Roisín Dubh

what: Saint Patrick’s Day Festival

where: Von Jakob Orchard

when: Saturday, March 15

Southern Illinois Irish Festival presents... A Taste of the Grain 2014

Saturday, February 1 at 3 p.m., the annual fundraiser to support the Southern Illinois Irish Festiva
Jennifer “Jay” Bull
Video Comentary

Saturday, February 1 at 3 p.m., the annual fundraiser to support the Southern Illinois Irish Festival, A Taste of the Grain, will offer an opportunity to sample various scotch whiskys.

“It's pretty much the same as it has been in past years,” Mike Shanahan, an organizer for this year's event, told Nightlife. “This year it's again in the front room at the Copper Dragon.... It features a tasting of somewhere between six and eight scotches, a variety of different single-malt scotch whiskies, and then offering food, appetizers, and a chowder and things like that. Plus live entertainment with various musicians playing traditional music and bagpipes.”

The tastings will include a variety of whiskies from the lowlands and highlands of Scotland, with a single-malt from Ireland to be used for comparison. An expert will introduce each of the brands.

“The presentation will be given by Les Lannom, who is very knowledgeable about single-malts and is also a member of our festival committee— then, additionally, he is the one who plays pipes,” Shanahan said. “There will be other artists there, too. It is brief entertainment and usually takes about two hours for the tasting and the other hour for the entertainment and people getting food and things like that.”

Seating is limited, and in the past people without reservations have been turned away at the door. Those interested in attending A Taste of Grain should therefore make reservations by calling Shanahan at (618) 549-3090. Tickets are $30.

A Taste of Grain is also a celebration of Robert Burns's birthday. Born in 1759, the poet and songwriter from Scotland is most famous for composing “Auld Lang Syne.”

Find out more at the Irish Festival website at <http://www.SIlIrishFest.org>.

who: Southern Illinois Irish Festival

what: Taste of Grain fundraiser

where: Copper Dragon Brewing Company

when: Saturday, February 1

Southern Illinois Irish Festival 2013: The Emerald Isle Returns to Little Egypt

Pictured: Open the Door for Three.
Jennifer “Jay” Bull
Video Comentary

Friday, October 4 through Saturday, October 6, the seventeenth annual Southern Illinois Irish Festival will provide music, vendors, and good times.

Kicking off the festival Friday night is a headlining concert featuring the music trio Open the Door for Three. The band includes Dublin-born Chicago resident Pat Broaders on vocals and bouzouki, American fiddler Liz Knowles, and her husband Kieran O’Hare on Irish pipes and whistles. The three band members are mainstays of the Irish-music scene, having played with Riverdance, Cherish the Ladies, Bohola, Secret Garden, and the New York Pops, and mainstream artists Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, and Josh Groban.

“Basically, we are a trio of musicians playing traditional and contemporary Irish music,” Kieran O'Hare told Nightlife. “We're very much looking forward to playing the festival in Carbondale and looking to being there. This is the first time at the festival and we are all looking forward to it.”

Open the Door for Three is an internationally known band that released an album in the United States this past spring.

“We play all over the world,” O'Hare said. “We just finished a five-year run based in France in a theatrical production there. We've been all over the country in the last few weeks and months, and our appearance in Carbondale is part of our fall tour that we are doing.

“It is a mixture of instrumental music and songs which appeal to the connoisseur of Irish traditional music as well as those who are new to it,” O'Hare added. “Our instrumental combination is a very classic one. That, paired with the songs of our singer Pat Broaders, who is from Dublin, it's a varied and exciting form of music, and we look forward to bringing it to you in Carbondale.”

Brian Kelso Crow, a member of the Dorians and one of the festival organizers, is excited that Open the Door for Three will kick off the festival.

“This will be one of the top Irish bands performing in America,” Crow said. “I host the Celtic Connections radio show on WSIU and I've been playing tracks from their album all throughout this year, and I consider it one of the best albums of the year, really. They are all experienced musicians, they've been around for awhile, but this is a new trio, basically. We are very excited to have them down to hang out Friday night for the concert and also Saturday at the fair.”

While the majority of the Irish Festival will be held at Turley Park in Carbondale, Friday night's concert, cosponsored by Cousin Andy's Coffee House, will take place at Garden Grove Event Center behind the University Mall, formerly the Sports Blast.

“We'll be using their upstairs room called the Loft, or if weather is warm we can be outside on the upper place called the Terrace,” Crow said. “That will be $10 at the door and there is a full bar there, but it is a family event so people can bring kids as well.”

The Irish Festival has vendors and activities, but its big draw is the music. Saturday’s Celtic Fair performers include Open the Door for Three, Carbondale’s Irish band the Dorians, Johnston City Scottish duo Roisín Dubh, dancers and musicians from Saint Louis Irish Arts, Saint Louis Irish duo Kevin Buckley and Ian Walsh, local favorites the Blackberry Blossoms, and local violinists Heartstrings. Sunday’s Celtic Roots, American Traditions lineup includes local favorites Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin, Banjovi, the Dorians, Roisín Dubh, the Voyageurs, and After Barbed Wire (the Farmer’s Market buskers).

“The other performers are coming from Saint Louis and from around the Southern Illinois region, so we have mostly Celtic performers on Saturday at Turley Park and then a mix of Scottish-Irish with some Americana on Sunday,” Crow said. “The local Irish band that I am a member of, the Dorians, will be playing on Saturday as well as on Sunday. The Dorians’ performances on Saturday and Sunday won't duplicate anything-- it isn't like we are playing the same set over again on Sunday. It will be altogether different and more of Americana/bluegrass on Sunday, but still some Irish and Scottish in the mix also.”

This year’s Irish Festival will feature an Irish Children’s Village and children's activities, Liam the Extra-Large Leprechaun, the Medieval Combat Society, Saluki dogs, Professor Play, chair massages, a bouncy castle, a bagpipes demonstration tent hosted by Sean Folsom, and much more.

“A big attraction is the Scottish Highland Games, which we have on a field there in Turley Park that is roped off because it is dangerous,” Crow said. “Guys throwing logs the size of telephone poles and that sort of thing. You have to see that to believe it. It is the old traditional Scottish Highland competitions, and there is a group in Springfield that does this and they come down every year-- Ancient Athletics they call themselves, and that is near one of the roped-off areas for beer and wine so people can sit and drink and watch these amazing feats.”

Turley Park will pretty jam-packed with music, activities, and vendors during the weekend.

“There will also be merchandise vendors, with Celtic merchandise and all sorts of jewelry and stuff, food and drink vendors,” Crow said. “We really fill up Turley Park for those days. There are two stages of music and the bands overlap a bit, so that there is always music going on on one stage or another. We'd like to see more students come and check it out, too.

“The question came up when we went to the student volunteer fair of, 'Do you have to be Irish?' Absolutely not. You just have to appreciate good music, talent, and dance, and everything, and be looking to enjoy the cultural opportunity,” Crow added.

Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission at the park entrances will be $5 each day, with children twelve and younger admitted free when accompanied by adults. Beer and wine will be sold in special areas.

“We are just hoping for good weather and a great turnout,” Crow said.

For more information, visit <http://www.SIlIrishFest.org>.

who: Southern Illinois Irish Festival committee

what: Southern Illinois Irish Festival

where: Garden Grove Event Center; Turley Park

when: Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6

Michael Londra’s Celtic Fire

Venues & Businesses
Marion Cultural and Civic Center


Who: Michael Londra’s Celtic Fire
What: Irish / Celtic music and dance
Where:
When: 2013-03-29
Michael Londra of Celtic Fire.
Brian Wilson
Video Comentary

Celtic Fire will take over the stage Friday, March 29 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center.

Formed by famed Irish tenor and former Riverdance member Michael Londra, Celtic Fire celebrates the heritage and culture of Ireland through music, dancing, and singing. Born in Ireland, Londra has performed on stages across the world. He’s the creator of Radiocelt, the biggest online Irish radio station, and was featured on the PBS special Beyond Celtic.

Londra says there is a consistency to Celtic Fire’s concerts, but adds that part of the show involves a readiness to adapt to the changing mood of the audience.

“The key for our show is that it’s acoustic,” he says. “It’s very free-flowing, quite often. It depends on the audience and what’s happening on the night. I will change the direction of the show, and we tend to bounce off the energy of the people in the room listening.”

Londra says the music performed at this concert will be mostly traditional, and using the national instruments of Ireland, including the fiddle, the bodhran, and the plaintive uileann pipes. The dancing, choreographed by veteran performer Claire Worley, is designed to complement the traditional nature of the music by featuring authentic Irish jigs and reels.

Londra says this particular performance will be a bit of a departure from past shows, but it will still maintain everything that has made Celtic Fire so popular among concertgoers.

“This show we’re going to kind of mix it up, because it won’t only be traditional,” Londra says. “Because of the music that I record, particularly over the past year, we’re going to mix in a little bit of a country feel just to try to explore the connection between Ireland and America. With everything else I’ll sing the songs that people want me to sing, the more traditional Irish songs that they will know.”

Londra adds that a big part of Celtic Fire’s appeal is that it is a positive form of entertainment.

“They will forget their troubles at the door, without a doubt,” he says. “There’ll be a lot of laughing. I think one thing about an Irish show is that it connects to your emotions in a very good way, and there’s a lot of laughing that happens at our shows primarily because people are having such a good time on stage. Also, it connects to your heart somewhere, particularly if you’re Irish-American and you have that connection, which a lot of Americans do, particularly in that part of the world. So you may cry a little, and you may want to dance.”

Tickets range in price from $25 to $35. To purchase tickets, stop by or call the civic center box office at (618) 997-4030 or visit <http://www.MarionCCC.org>.

who: Michael Londra’s Celtic Fire

what: Irish / Celtic music and dance

where: Marion Cultural and Civic Center

when: Friday, March 29

Dorians: A Triple Shot of Irish Folk for Saint Patrick’s Day

Venues & Businesses
Pinch Penny Pub


Who: Dorians
What: Saint Patrick's Day party; traditional Irish / Celtic music
Where:
When: 2013-03-17
For Saint Patrick’s weekend, local Celtic treasures the Dorians are playing at three area venues. Th
Leah Williams Wright
Video Comentary

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.”

who: Dorians

what: Saint Patrick's Day party; traditional Irish / Celtic music

where: Pinch Penny Pub

when: Sunday, March 17

Southern Illinois Irish Festival presents: A Taste of the Grain 2013

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Southern Illinois Irish Festival

More Articles
Southern Illinois Irish Festival Fifteen Years of Bringing the Emerald Isle to Little Egypt
Southern Illinois Irish Festival 2012: Bringing the Emerald Isle Back to Little Egypt
Southern Illinois Irish Festival Takes A Taste of the Grain


Who: Les Lannom, Mike Shanahan and Bryan Crow, Roisin Dubh, and Christa Ashton
What: Southern Illinois Irish Festival Taste of the Grain benefit
Where:
When: 2013-01-19
Pictured: Roisin Dubh.
Brian Wilson
Video Comentary

Each year the Southern Illinois Irish Festival holds a number of fundraisers for the main event in October. One of these is A Taste of the Grain, a Robert Burns celebration and whisky tasting that will take place January 19 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Copper Dragon. (The Chalice Dubs Masquerade dubstep showcase will take place later in the evening.)

A Taste of the Grain invites folks to taste a variety of Scottish whiskies and Scottish-inspired appetizers while enjoying live Celtic music. Seven single-malt Scotch whiskies will be available for sample, representing the major whisky-producing areas of Scotland.

Festival coordinator Mike Shanahan says these will give people a sense of the wide spectrum of flavors to be found in the various types of Scotch whiskies.

“There’s a very wide range for anyone who’s ever tasted these things, from knock-your-socks-off smoky to very light,” he says.

Shanahan adds that there will also be a tasting of single-malt Irish whisky for comparison.

“The main difference is triple-distilled and Scotch is only double-distilled,” he says. “That’s why Scotches have a much bolder flavor than Irish whisky.”

There will also be a presenter, Les Lannom, who will tell folks about the different types of whisky being sampled, explaining their flavor qualities as well as their cultural heritage.

Bryan Kelso Crow, festival coordinator and host of the popular WSIU radio show Celtic Connections, says that Lannom will be there to “tell about each round of whisky people get to sample, what region it comes from, and how it’s distilled, and that sort of thing.”

He adds that folks will also receive “a printed program with a map of Scotland so they can sort of keep track, take notes on what they might want to purchase a bottle of at some point down the line.”

This will mark the first year A Taste of the Grain will be held in the front lobby of the Copper Dragon.

“I’m very pleased with the support and interaction that we’re getting with the people at the Dragon,” Shanahan says. “We’re excited about having a new home, really. It’s a nice place.”

Shanahan adds that this event is held in conjunction with Copper Dragon and Pinch Penny Liquors, so each of the whiskies sampled will be on sale at Pinch, and attendees will receive coupons for special discounts.

Musicians will perform live Celtic music during the tastings, including Bryan Kelso Crow and Mike Shanahan (two members of the popular local Celtic group the Dorians), harp player Christa Ashton, and Scottish bagpipe music and singing from Johnston City duo Roisin Dubh.

While the celebration of poet Robert Burns (whose January 25 birthday is in close proximity to this event) won’t be as extensive as it has been at past Tastes of the Grain, musicians will sing some of his songs during the course of the evening.

Wine and other spirits are available as an alternative.

Admission is by a recommended $30 donation.

For tickets or more information about A Taste of the Grain and the main festival, call (618) 549-3090 or visit <http://www.SIIrishFest.org>.

who: Les Lannom, Mike Shanahan and Bryan Crow, Roisin Dubh, and Christa Ashton

what: Southern Illinois Irish Festival Taste of the Grain benefit

where: Copper Dragon Brewing Company

when: Saturday, January 19

Southern Illinois Irish Festival 2012: Bringing the Emerald Isle Back to Little Egypt

Bands
Bankesters
Ol' Moose

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Ol' Moose (Doug Anderson)

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Venues & Businesses
Irish Fest
Rustle Hill Winery

More Articles
Bankesters: Looking Forward


Who: Southern Illinois Irish Festival committee
What: Southern Illinois Irish Festival and Celtic Fair
Where:
When: 2012-10-06 - 2012-10-07
Pictured: Chicago Reel.
Brian Wilson
Video Comentary

 

Every year, the Southern Illinois Irish Festival brings a taste of the Celtic to the region. Now in its sixteenth year, the festival will take place Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7. Bryan Kelso Crow, coordinator of the festival and host of the weekly WSIU radio program Celtic Connections, says this event plays an important role in the community.

“Short of Saint Louis, this is the best place to see top-quality Irish dancers and musicians, as well as bluegrass and other music,” Crow says. “It’s a good family event.”

The fest kicks off Friday, October 5 with acclaimed Scottish singer / songwriter Ed Miller performing an evening of acoustic music at Cousin Andy’s Coffeehouse at the Church of the Good Shepherd at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the Ed Miller performance are $12 for adults or $5 for students.

The main attraction of the festival, the Celtic Fair, will take place Saturday, October 6 and Sunday, October 7 at Turley Park. The Celtic Fair features a huge amount of activities and attractions, including two stages of music and dance, the Highland Games, bagpipe demonstrations, and historic reenactments from the Medieval Combat Society. The fair will also include numerous food vendors, two beer and wine tents, and a wide variety of Celtic merchandise for sale. A number of children’s activities will include a bouncy castle, the young dancers from Saint Louis Irish Arts, and an appearance from Liam the Giant Leprechaun.

Live musicians will also perform all weekend at the Celtic Fair. On Saturday, performers will include local Irish band the Dorians, Johnston City Celtic duo Roisin Dubh, Irish singer E.L. Kurtz, Shaina’s Strings, Saint Louis Irish fiddler Kevin Buckley, and Irish singer/songwriter Patsy O’Brien. Sunday will feature performances by local favorites Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin, the Bankesters (whose fiddle player Emily Bankester just won the first annual International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Award for Vocalist of the Year in Nashville), the Rural Kings, the Dorians, and the Bone Dry River Band.

Crow says they make an effort to emphasize music “focusing on the music of Irish and Scottish cultures, but also looking at how that ended up in Appalachian music and bluegrass.”

Admission to the Celtic Fair is $5 each day, with children twelve and younger getting in for free when accompanied by an adult. The fair will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday’s events will also extend beyond the Celtic Fair, when the six-member Irish band Chicago Reel performs at Rustle Hill Winery in Cobden. Consisting of three members from Ireland and three from the United States, this Chicago-based group offers a modern take on traditional Celtic music.

“They bring a real, traditional authenticity to the festival, playing acoustic instruments.... We’re excited to have them coming,” Crow says.

Tickets for the Chicago Reel show are $12 at the gate. Jim Keaveny will warm up.

For tickets and more information about the Irish fest or supporting events-- or to donate time, money, or materials to the festival-- visit <http://www.SIlIrishFest.org>.

who: Southern Illinois Irish Festival committee

what: Southern Illinois Irish Festival and Celtic Fair

where: Turley Park, Rustle Hill Winery

when: Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7

 

Murphysboro’s Saint Patrick’s Day Festival: Shamrocks, Shaleighleighs, Stews, and Stepdances

Venues & Businesses
Murphysboro St. Patrick's Day Festival


Who: Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce
What: Saint Patrick’s Day Festival
Where:
When: 2012-03-17
Alongside the Apple Festival, the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Festival is one of Murphysboro’s most i
Brian Wilson
Video Comentary

Alongside the Apple Festival, the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Festival is one of Murphysboro’s most important traditions. Now in its twenty-fifth year, the event promises something for the whole family as it takes place Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17.

“It’s so much fun,” Marlene McGregor, chairperson for the festival, says. “There are so many things to see or get involved with.”

The event kicks off Friday night when local Celtic favorites the Dorians perform at 7 p.m. at Murphysboro’s historic Liberty Theater.

Dorians member Mike Shanahan says the concert “will consist of traditional Celtic, Irish, and Scottish dance music, as well as songs.... We have a variety of songs to fit the occasion as well as instrumental music.”

The Dorians will also perform Saturday, March 17 at Pinch Penny Pub.

The annual five-kilometer walk/run will start at 9 a.m. The course will run from Seventeenth and Walnut Streets to Spruce Street. Preregistration is $15, or $10 for River to River runners. The entry fee after March 9 is $20.

Bruce Wallace, executive director of the Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce, says the festival typically draws hundreds of visitors, but that weather is a major factor in determining crowd turnout.

“Last year... [was] beautiful,” he says. “It was like sixty-nine degrees, so we had a lot of people that may not normally had come. For example, we almost doubled the number of our participants in the [five-kilometer walk/run], just because they showed up the day of the event. We had like eighty people show up the day of the event that wanted to run... so it depends on the day, the participation we get. But we always keep our fingers crossed, you know? It’s the luck of the Irish.”

The cookoff will also start at 9 a.m. at the Seventeenth Street Bar and Grill Warehouse with two categories this year: Setup involves preparing a dish at the event, and Crock Pot involves bringing a dish from home. The early registration fee for the Setup competition is $50, and the late fee is $75. The first-place prize is $300, second place is $150, and third place is $50. The top-three competitors receive team medallions. Early registration for Crock Pot is $25, and late registration is $35. First place wins $100, and second wins $50. All entries are required to be inside the Seventeenth Street Warehouse by 2 p.m., and blind judging will begin at 2:15 p.m. Awards will be presented to winners as well as to the best outside booth upon completion of the judging. Cookoff applications are available at the Murphysboro Chamber office.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Seventeenth Street Bar and Grill Warehouse opens to the public, and will serve a buffet of corned beef, cabbage, and Irish potatoes. Tickets will be on sale all day, and silent-auction items will be up for bid during the event.

The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m., starting at Seventh Street and going west on Walnut Street. It will feature floats, music from local school bands, and appearances by local politicians.

The Irish Kids’ Festival will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Murphysboro Youth and Recreation Center. This free event is open to first through sixth graders, and will feature arts and crafts, games, and storytelling.

At noon, a fire-truck display takes place in the parking lot across from the Seventeenth Street Warehouse, and will feature old and new trucks.

The Leprechaun Classic Bocce Tournament will take place at 1 p.m. at Riverside Park. Cost is $60 per four-person event team, with a limit of ten teams. For more information, call Bruce Davis at (618) 687-3113.

The festival ends with a performance by local group the Smoky Hollow String Band, who will play at the Liberty Theater at 7 p.m.

Smoky Hollow is a recent arrival on the Southern Illinois acoustic-music scene. They play oldtime American and Celtic music, and are the only fiddle band in the area.

String Band member Joanne Long says this kind of music has a lasting appeal for many listeners.

“You can dance to it, as they say,” she says. “It’s just very pleasing to listen to, and I think it’s in the genes of most Americans.... Most people do have an Irish ancestor. Of course, the music was the basis for our American country music and bluegrass.”

The band will play classic songs at the concert featuring guitar, cello, mandolin, banjos, percussion, and fiddle.

“If you’re gonna play in Murphysboro,” she adds, “you’ve got to have a fiddle in the band.”

Tickets for the concert are $10 for adults. Children twelve and younger get in free. All proceeds benefit the continued restoration of the theater.

For more information, or for entry forms for the walk/run, ride, parade, or cookoff, call the Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce at (618) 684-6421 or log on to <http://www.MurphysboroChamber.com>.

who: Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce

what: Saint Patrick’s Day Festival

where: downtown Murphysboro

when: Saturday, March 17

Bourbon Knights Reunite!

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9


Who: Bourbon Knights
What: pirate swing
Where:
When: 2012-03-17
Saint Patrick's Day is just around the corner. That’s time for Carbondale's resident pirate-swing en
Matthew Decker
Video Comentary

Saint Patrick's Day is just around the corner. That’s time for Carbondale's resident pirate-swing ensemble, those rowdy sons and daughters of debauchery and legends among local drunkards and degenerates, the Bourbon Knights, to come out of semi-retirement and celebrate that most hungover of holidays with what promises to be a raucous and ramshackle pseudo-reunion show Saturday, March 17 at the Hangar 9. The lineup for this incarnation of the band will include the Rev. Mad McMalcolm on vocals and vibraslap, Rear Admiral Bustos on vocals, the Dayna of the Regiment on vocals, Matteo French on banjo, A. Tilley the Huntress on fiddle, Gregor the Chaste on bass guitar, Sir Nigel Cochbyrne on electric guitar, Hateful Jared Mileger on twelve-string guitar, Benjammin McGee on mandolin, the Beard on accordion, Jimothy Scotch Beatty on percussion, and General Tazington on drums. [Notably absent: group cofounder and vocalist Captain Third Class E.G. Grabas.]

Nightlife recently got in touch with the group via unofficial spokesperson Mileger for a quick interview, and in true, boozy Bourbon Knights fashion, the results are highly potent and heavily edited for print.

How did the reunion come about? Could you fill me in on the details?

The word reunion seems a bit strong. We rehearse friendship together year round. It's not so much a reunion as it is something that we all like to do occasionally. We always did a big Saint Patrick's Day show when we were active. It’s been awhile, and it just seemed like a good time to wake the beast. A lot of folks go out looking for a good time on Saint Patrick's Day, and we’re happy to oblige from time to time. I believe our last performance was for the So Ill Roller Girls benefit around this time last year.

What's been going on musically (or otherwise) for the members since the group broke up?

Most of us have remained pretty active musically. Too much to list or remember, really. The Beard is always busy with local hillbilly heroes the Whistle Pigs who, by the way, will be kicking off this show with an hour of their own choice cuts. Other projects featuring [Bourbon Knights] members include: Zü ü l, heavy hitters, with a new album coming this spring; Accumen, a soon-to-be-unleashed garage/spectrum jam mashup; Back Stabbath, Carbondale’s premier Black Sabbath tribute band; Hobo Knife, kings of Gypsy jazz; Cabaret Decadance, a Vaudeville-style revue, parody, satire, and burlesque in the original sense. Other hobbies include baby-making, loathing, cheese sandwiches, walks on the beach, and a steady diet of latently homoerotic jackassery.

The Bourbon Knights were a staple on the Carbondale music scene for a long time. A lot of bands implode in their early stages, and there's something to be said for going out on top. How did y'all manage to keep it going so long, and end it on a seemingly high note?

A lot of bands are terrible. It’s not especially difficult to keep a project going if you’re doing something interesting and unique. We always had fun and the hordes always gave it right back. That’s more than enough to fuel the fire. Having the ability to play in a lot of different types of venues for a lot of different crowds went a long way as well. The logistics of some of our stage shows and wrangling twelve to fifteen people could be taxing, but our numbers also kept us afloat at times. Captain Third Class E.G. Grabas is a gentleman and a saint. We were all friends before this and have remained so in the wake of our disbanding. Bourbon Knights don’t die-- they move to Murphysboro.

Can we expect any more from the group in the future or is this a one-time only occasion? Are there any future plans?

You never know when a blister might occur. As long as enough of us remain in the area and remember the songs-- as if forgetting them is an option-- something could happen. That said, there are no real plans for the Bourbon Knights anymore. The current objective is clear.

What do you hope to accomplish with the show?

A nice buzz and a few laughs. It will be good to raise a glass with friends, old and new. This will be a fun night, and we hope Carbondale is as excited as we are.

Anything else you would like to add?

As usual, we’ve kept the cover to a minimum. It's cheap, only $5. All proceeds will be donated to ourselves, then most likely to a local bar. Other than that, if folks need a [Bourbon Knights] fix, they can check out <http://www.TheBourbonKnights.com>.

who: Bourbon Knights

what: pirate swing

where: Hangar 9

when: Saturday, March 17

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