Celtic Corner
By Decimus Rock

For Auld Lang Syne

... my dear, and what a year it was: The sixth Irish Family Fest was raised to new levels in attendance and programming; the Glasgow Highland Games celebrated its 10th anniversary; the first Hooley at the Water Tower; First Friday sessions at the Rudyard Kipling stronger than ever; two new bands: The Rashers in Louisville and Fianna Rua in Lexington; brilliant Lonesome Pine Specials; a new pub with live Celtic music (O'Shea'sTraditional Pub); Colin Grant-Adams has taken up residence in Glasgow (Ky.) ... much to be thankful for ... and much to look forward to in '96.

Burns Bicentennial

January will be the 200-year anniversary of the death of the national poet of Scotland, Robert Burns, which adds some excitement to the annual Burns Night Celebration hosted by the Scottish Society of Louisville on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Seelbach Hotel Grand Ballroom. This is an elegant affair (formal wear or killed) not to be missed. Alex Watt, a native Scot and current president of the Caledonian Society of Cincinnati, will make the "Address to the Haggis." Entertainment will include highland dancing by Catherine Greathouse of Lexington, Scottish Country Dancing by Joyce Deddens as well as piping and drumming by an ensemble of the Louisville Pipe Band. A "wee dram" of Scotch is provided to all diners as well as an appropriately branded cash bar. Tickets are $30 per person with a choice of lamb, chicken or vegetarian, and special overnight packages are available through the hotel. For more information call 502- 447-0046.

Altan Returns!

Rock is delirious with the news that Altan, the reputed NUMBER ONE Irish traditional music group will be a Lonesome Pine Special on Friday, March 22. Although the tables were snapped up in a wink, there are still tickets to be had, but do not wait or you may miss this legendary group. Altan has just inked a new record deal with Virgin Records. Celtoids will hear the new sound with button accordion player Dermot Byrne replacing the deceased Frankie Kennedy. Rock prefers Altan to The Chieftains. There, I said it. Do not miss this concert.

Oireachtas 1995

Congratulations to the Bluegrass Irish Dancers for winning third place at the midwest Irish dancing competition in Cincinnati last month. They placed in the Under 16-Dance Drama category for their interpretation of the legend "The Children of Lir." If you are interested in Irish dancing, call Betsy Walsh at 502-451-5628. They practice every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 105 St. Matthews Ave. (corner of Shelbyville Road).

The Rashers at the Rover

If you are looking for the right spot for your "cup of kindness yet," the Rashers will be making music at The Irish Rover on Dec. 31 for New Year's Eve. The O'Culain brothers, Ronan and Noel, play the button accordion and bodhran, respectively, as they learned them growing up on the Isle of Inisheer, one of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay.

Flotsam and Jetsam

There is never a good time, but the holidays are especially hard for losing people. We all suffer the loss of Dr. Kenneth Goldstein, former Professor of Folklore and Folklife atithe University of Pennsylvania, who died in November. Dr. G. had produced and annotated over 600 folk music albums, including the first by Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers.

Note the typesetter's error in the last Celtic Corner. Nollaig Shona Duit is pronounced NULL-ig HUNN-a DITCH (not KITCH). [Mea culpa. The guilty party had just returned from lunch at Lynn's Paradise Cafe. But, if that is a valid excuse, then said person is also a poor speller! — Edit_or.]

For myself and all the Rocks of Rockglen, here's wishing all Celtic Corner readers a prosperous New Year in 1996.