Celtic Corner
By Decimus Rock

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Or as they say in the Gaeltacht, Nollaig Shona Duit! Remember your friends this Christmas with a gift of Irish music. Hawley-Cooke and ear X-tacy have plenty of titles and most of the holiday theme collections by Windham Hill, Narada, et al are very good. Louisville groups Ten Penny Bit and Galloglas also have recordings.

Drowsy Maggie

DM will be whipping them up at Molly Malone's on December 11 and will also be entertaining on New Year's Eve at The Rudyard Kipling. Make reservations now at 636-1311.

Galloglas

The G people will hold their annual Celtic Christmas at The Rudyard Kipling on Saturday, December 19. The last several years have been sell-outs, so get your reservations in now.

Cloigheann

Mark Rosenthal and his band or merry melody makers will be at The Irish Rover for "Boxing Day."

What About the Day After Christmas?

Looking to escape Aunt Ethel with the bad breath and Uncle Lou's war stories repeated for the umpteenth time? You can escape the day after anyway to The Irish Rover or Molly Malone's where they are celebrating traditions from the United Kingdom and Ireland, respectively. Both offer breakfasts/brunches with music. The Irish Rover will have Ten Penny Bit, Cloigheann and The Rashers. Molly Malone's will have a "St. Stephen's Day" celebration complete with Wren Boys and the music of Galloglas.

The Year of the French is Over

The last of '98 is December's grand parade of Irish music offering a range of styles of play, all lumped into a category called "celtic music" at the music stores, or for some, an annoying "British Isles Music." It traverses the spectrum from "head-banging celtoid rock" to "celtic aural wallpaper" and the best of it (in DR's humble opinion) lies whatever side of the middle one might fancy.

Commemorating the 1798 Rising

While the bicentennial of this watershed in Irish history is still observed, we are compelled to suggest to our readers that it has spawned a number of musical products varying in quality but for the most part worthy of the peoples' ears. Having serious County Wexford roots, DR is stirred mightily by the '98 canon of music and song. Much of it is of Victorian revival vintage but nevertheless coveys a spirit very accessible to all those inspired by the spirit of resistance. The 1998 Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann was held in Ballina, County Mayo, where the French expiditionary force landed on its ultimately ill-fated invasion 200 years ago. A great work is Danny Doyle's The Gold Sun of Freedom(Universal Music MCD60056).

Molly's Dance Card is Nearly Full in December

Friday, 12/8 • Brigid's Cross returns from Cleveland to wow all assembled with the fiddle pryrotechnics of of Paul Baker.

Friday, 12/11 • River City's own Drowsy Maggie has its own Roz Carothers in reply.

Friday, 1218 • Lexington's Liam's Fancy delivers its pure drop of traditional fare.

Saturday, 12/8 • The Rashers, the bad boys of Kentuciana's celtic music scene, will show "they play like they mean it."

Saturday, 12/26 • Galloglas celebrates St. Stephen's Day with their glossy pan-celtic theories.

Boxing Day at the Irish Rover

The IR takes the day after Christmas seriously as well. Its annual celebration will include Cloigheann, featuring the mighty voice of Mark Rosenthal and the great highland bagpipes of Roy Livingston, and The Rashers, fronted by banjo wiz John Woodard. The food is great and the craic is mighty. Make reservations by calling 899-3544.

Scottish Society Auction

The annual auction to benefit the Scottish Society of Louisville is set for Saturday, December 5, 1998, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Parkway Medical Center, 1155 Eastern Parkway. While you're browsing the Scottish Goods table, the pipes will be playing.

Auld Lang Syne

Drowsy Maggie will be ringing it in at Molly Malone's and The Rashers will kiss you at midnight at The Irish Rover. It has been a very good year for myself, Louisville Music News, celtic music in Louisville, for Ireland and for America. DR wishes you and all who dwell within your hearts a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year.