Congratulations to Kimble Howard of Ten Penny Bit. Kimble is one of two Americans chosen by the legendary Scottish fiddler, Alsdair Fraser, to assist him in his fiddling clinic this summer in Scotland. Unfortunately due to my travels, I was unable to get any upcoming gigs for Ten Penny Bit or Tight Squeeze, but if you call Robin Loeffler at 447-0581 for Ten Penny Bit or Henry Austin at 893-3836 for Tight Squeeze, they will impart that knowledge to you.
Drowsy Maggie will be performing in Lexington, KY, on June 4 at 7 p.m. at the "Summer Session" at Woodland Park and on June 11, at 3 p.m. at Thomas More College in Covington, KY, as part of the Northern Kentucky Irish Cultural Feis. Galloglas will also be there, at 5 p.m., as well as at Shenanigan's on June and at the Glasgow Highland Games on June 2 and 3 and at the Rudyard Kipling on June 30.
Congratulations are also in order for the Louisville Pipe Band, which took second place in the Grade IV Pipe Band competition at the Kentucky Scottish Weekend at General Butler State Park. Pipe Major Pat Benningfield has done a marvelous job whipping the pipers into readiness with the band's new competition medley.
News flash! Rock has learned that the legendary De Dannan will remain so, in that they have canceled their appearance at the Celtic Thunder event at the Louisville Zoo on July 8. Additional "thunder" will be heard from the rousing Scottish Celtic/rock group Wolfstone. Next to the Irish Family Fest, this will be the nearest thing to Celtic paradise that the River City is likely to experience.
Rock has just returned from the "Auld Sod," where, by sheer serendipity, great music was heard. No Celtic music lover would admit to traveling to Eire without a pilgrimage to a little village on the west coast of County Clare known as Doolin. Amidst hordes of Germans and Australians, one can hear some mighty traditional Irish music in O'Connor's, McDermott's or McGann's pub. Gussie Russel, the brother of recently deceased tin while legend Micho Russel, wandered into McGann's and set us aright.
While in Derry City (or Londonderry, depending on your politics), Rock happened on a Derryman., Danny Brown, serenading an appreciative crowd in Peader O'Connell's Pub, located just below the Butcher's Gate of the old city wall. If you closed your eyes, you would have thought you were hearing the Irish giant Christy Moore. We may be hearing more of Danny in his own right before too long.
In Limerick city Rock once again stumbled upon some great talent in the group known as A Parcel Of Rogues, who covered the Fureys, Wolftones and other Irish musical heroes with great style and fun. I couldn't get enough of these lads, but "last call" comes at 11:30 p.m. in that part of the world. We may hear them at the Irish Family Fest next year. I know they want to come to Kentucky in the worst way.
If you are looking to play Celtic music, or just listen, remember Celtoids, there is a regular jam session (or sesiun) at the Rudyard Kipling on the first Friday of each month at O'Shea's Traditional Irish Pub every Sunday afternoon. There is also an occasional Friday session at the Irish Rover, which, like sessions everywhere, is sporadic in its participation. In any event, you'll find the craic.