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by Shay ClarkeIrish Fest at the CenterWhat a great weekend at the Irish American Heritage Center as they continued to celebrate their 25th year with a great festival lineup. The Elders, Scythian, Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, The Tossers, The Makem and Spain Brothers, Kevin Flynn and the Avondale Ramblers, James Conway and The Boils, Joe Cullen and Teresa Shine, Kevin Prendergast and dozens entertained huge crowds, as for the most part the weather was gorgeous. Noticeably absent from the schedule were The Four Courts, who have proven their chops at other Center functions and are one of the best "trad folk" acts to emerge on the Chicago scene. Kevin Flynn and The Avondale Ramblers are set to become another breakout band in the months to come. The Larkin And Moran Brothers were brilliant too.
Irish American-Hall of FameThe winds of change blowing around the Irish American Heritage Center have produced some terrific new concepts, first being the Irish American Hall of Fame. This new national organization will honor noted Irish Americans and their contributions to Arts,[url=http://rogervivierheelssale.webstarts.com/][b]roger vivier heels[/b][/url], Business, Public Service, Sports and other areas. Anyone may nominate a candidate.
Arthur Guinness Day Music FestivalSaturday, September 25th at the Center will feature Gaelic Storm in a day to celebrate "The Pint of Plain." World class beer,[url=http://woolrichparkaschweiz.albirank.net/][b]Woolrich Parka Schweiz Online Shop[/b][/url], world class venue, world class lineup. Tickets are $15 in advance until the end of the day on September 23rd and $20,[url=http://giuseppezanottisneakerssale.olimx.com/][b]http://giuseppezanottisneakerssale.olimx.com/[/b][/url], thereafter.
The High Kings are set to perform at the Center on Tuesday, August 17th at 7:30pm. This is an event that I have been looking forward to for many years. Their new album, Memory Lane, has just been released in the US and Martin Furey, Finbar Clancy, Darren Holden and Brian Dunphy are sure to provide some very special memories.
Nuala Kennedy and AJ Roach I was delighted to have Nuala Kennedy and AJ Roach as guests on "Blarney On The Air" last month. Nuala is from Dundalk, County Louth, lives in Scotland and was touring with AJ to promote her new album,[url=http://billigmonclerjackenkaufen.olimx.com/][b]Moncler Jacke Damen Outlet Deutschland[/b][/url], Tuned In, which was recently released on Compass Records.
I had played Nuala's debut album, The Red Shoes, a few years back and I had been introduced to AJ's distinctive voice by Craig Scotland at his home in Fort Worth last November.
They played and sang live at the WDCB studio in Glen Ellyn, and judging by the phone calls we received,[url=http://billigmonclerjackenkaufen.olimx.com/][b]Billig Moncler Jacken Günstig Kaufen Moncler Jacke Damen Outlet Deutschland[/b][/url], the listeners loved it. I have mainly thought of Nuala as a flute player, but I was amazed and enthralled by her voice, so much so, that I just gave up on the music I had chosen for that night's show and let them at it. It was a rare treat indeed.
Books, Music and VideoFather's Day and friends returning from summer vacations in Ireland provided me with some great books and videos from home. It's like that sometimes, either a feast or a famine, but you need to know about them.
Holy Water is a great laugh. Set in Ireland, four boyos hijack a truckload of Viagra,[url=http://duveticadoudoune.halod.com/][b]Femmes Doudoune Duvetica Pas Cher[/b][/url], hide it in the Holy Well,[url=http://duveticadoudoune.halod.com/][b]Femmes Doudoune Duvetica[/b][/url], where it seeps into the village water supply with predictable results. Memorable one-liners abound, funny stuff, but a pity it was filmed in the south of England.
Pure Mule is an RTE mini-series set in County Offaly. It focuses on the weekend carryon of young locals at the height of the Celtic Tiger and then revisits them years later for an extra episode, "The Last Weekend." Brilliant characters and brilliantly written. Ship of Fools, Fintan O'Toole's book about the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger came highly recommended and should be compulsory reading for Irish and Irish Americans alike. Backhanders, bribery and corruption on a grand scale as our politicians, bankers and developers made a "pig's mickey" out of our developing economy. The fallout will go on for years.
The Fethard-on-Sea Boycott by Tim Fanning chronicles the tale of the Cloney family in rural Wexford. 1957… The Catholic Church… a small village… a mixed marriage. It's a great story of a time when a mixed marriage had consequences. It became at the time a national scandal and more recently the subject of the feature film, A Love Divided.
YouTube has more Irish music than you can shake a stick at, but check out Bright Blue Rose/Four Courts filmed at the IAHC in March by IAN's Cathy Curry and Weekend Irish/Barleyjuice which was filmed at Irish festivals last summer by Kay Brewer. Both are brilliant.
World CupIt was my favorite World Cup ever,[url=http://discountnikesoccershoes.webmium.com/][b]http://discountnikesoccershoes.webmium.com/[/b][/url], full of surprise, excitement,[url=http://duveticaukoutlet.halod.com/][b]Duvetica Jackets UK[/b][/url], heartache and shock. As we watched France, Italy, England, USA, Brazil and Argentina go home early. Talent beat out hype and the cream rose to the top. Spain reigned in South Africa and deserved the final victory. My tinnitus is beginning to fade along with the sound of the pesky vuvuzela.
Bits And PiecesRingo turned 70, Hugh Morrison's new album Robert Burns Rocks is brilliant. Kasir, a Danish/Irish trad band will be at Milwaukee Fest and will play several gigs in the Chicago area. St. Alexander's Catholic School in Villa Park are having an Irish Festival the weekend of August 13th, 14th and 15th.