Celtic Corner
By Decimus Rock

Ashley Phails To Appear

Celtoids were dejected to learn at the last minute that manic fiddler Ashley MacIsaac canceled his fan meet-and-greet and performance at the Irish Rover and Phoenix Hill Tavern respectively due to 'exhaustion'. Thanks to Mark Rosenthal of Cloigheann we locals did get to see a Celt in kilt over the high holy days. Thanks to O'Shea's Pub and the Irish Rover, Louisvillians could actually hear Irish music during the St. Patrick's period. All the other commercial "St. Paddy's" bashes were of the bogus green beer variety . . . May we know them by their limpin'.

The Rte Orchestra Wows Whitney

As Rock predicted, the National Orchestra of Ireland delighted the full house at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Predictability appears to have been a sore spot for the C-J reviewer. Making a program of Irish music accessible to a wider audience is a laudable goal. No good deed goes unpunished. If you want to see more Celtic programming at KCA, by all means give them a call. They will listen.

Irish Family Fest News Leak

Rock's investigative reporting efforts may be seen to be bearing fruit as I have heard from a reasonably reliable source that the 1997 headliners for our Irish Fest is a pretty strong group. Included are trad graybeards Stockton's Wing; the Sligo-based Dervish, representing a new and vigorous generation of Irish musicians and Robbie O'Connell And The Clancys (Liam and Donal), to round out the group with a few household names. Obviously the work of Celtic music meister, Paul Kinder of the Irish Fest Board. Brilliant! Mark your calendars now for September 19-21.

It just keeps getting better every year.

Kentucky Scottish Weekend

The 15th annual KSW is coming up on May 9-11 at General Butler State Park. You will enjoy the many programs and activities planned, including Highland dance competition; solo piping and pipe band competitions; highland games athletics, most notably the caber toss; a British car show; Highland cattle and border collies and the perennial favorite, Scots balladeer Alex Beaton and much more, including, of course, many Celtic vendors and clan society exhibits. Especially impressive is this year's line up of Scottish seminars:

Reenactment: Scottish Rievers/Jacobite Rebellion, a live presentation by characters in costume, Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. and noon; Sunday, May 11, noon and 3 p.m.; Celtic Languages, Saturday, 11 a.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m.; Celtic Spirituality, Saturday 2 p.m.; Scotland's Other and Earlier Languages, Saturday, 3 p.m.; Storytelling: Weefolk, Seafolk and Ghostly Folk, Saturday, 4 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

If you're an outdoorsy type like Rock, you can pitch a tent in the sylvan park campgrounds fully equipped with laundry, toilet and hot water shower houses for cheap.

Scottish Spring Fling

The Tri-state St. Andrews Society of Evansville is hosting the 1997 Spring Fling on Saturday, April 19 from 6:30 to midnight at the Executive Inn in Evansville featuring a full Scottish evening of formal dining with Scottish food, pipe band concert and alternating sets of Scots balladeer, Colin Grant-Adams and the Celtic band Galloglas. Some tickets are still available ($30 per person) by calling Dr. William Ritchie at (812)423-9266. Special room rates are also available at the Executive Inn.

Celtic Cyberspace

Celtic net surfers can drop in on two Louisville groups' new web pages: the Louisville Pipe Band - http://members.aol.com/louavullpb and Galloglas - http://users.aol.com/galaglais/ga2.htm

Feis In Mid June

Get ready for the largest gathering of Irish dancers that Louisville has ever seen. Hosted by our own Bluegrass Irish Dancers, there will be fundraising ceilis between now and then. The last one was a huge success thanks to the contributed musical services of Ten Penny Bit. Watch this space for more info.

Keep those cards and letters coming. Is mise le meas, Decimus Rock