Celtic Corner
By Decimus Rock

Kentucky Center for the Arts Rules!

If you have not seen Riverdance, then your excuses will soon run out as there will multiple shows from November 14 through November 19. Tickets range from $23 to $64 and the best seats go early. Call for the show times. This show has invigorated interest in Irish dance (and Irish culture in general) probably because its powerful artistry appeals far beyond ethnic confines. Come fill the Whitney Hall!

One of the undisputed members of the pantheon of traditional Irish bands returns to the Lonesome Pine series on Friday, November 17. Solas is a super group with a V for virtuosity. You don't need power amps and synthesizers. This band brings pure excitement to their instruments for a wonderful show. That is why, dearly beloved, they keep coming back. Rock NEVER misses this show!

Breeder's Cup at Molly Malone's

Ah, sure it will be a mighty weekend of music with the likes of Galloglas (Friday) and Drowsy Maggie (Saturday) . Aimed at the night owls, the shows start at 10 and run to 1 a.m., give or take this and that, by Irish time. Come hang with the Irish jockeys and horse trainers who will be there with the Cup crowd. The first three people to guess (correctly) barman Brendan McCartin's home county will receive a Red Bull and Vodka. For full refunds, call manager Donal Ryan at home (early morning is best to really tick him off) .

It's Ceili Time ! ! ! Paul- I will send this tomorrow

Four Shillings Short

Christy Martin (vocals, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, sitar, etc.) and Aodh Og O Tuama (tin whistles, vocals, gemshorn and loud noises) return to Kentucky in November with a few opportunities to challenge and tease you, all the while entertaining you with their unconventional approach to Celtic music. Their CD titles are telling: Kelptic Odd Ya See and The Boggy Spew. Here goes for the shows:

Four Shillings Short

11/4 - The Heartland Dulcimer Festival, Elizabethtown Community College. Workshops and a concert at 7:30 p.m. (270) 862-9747.

11/8 - The Rudyard Kipling, 8 p.m. 636-1311 (excellent room, good food)

11/10 - Common Grounds, 343 High St., Lexington. 9 to midnight

11/11 Dixie Quince Cafe, 109 E. Dixie, Elizabethtown (270) 234-1469

Louisville Pipe Band Plays for Miss America

Select LPB members piped Mr. & Mrs. Henry down the aisle at the Cathedral of the Assumption, after which the assembled followed more of the pipers and drummers as they marched to the reception at the Seelbach Hotel. Pretty neat, huh? Even better, the band went on their quest to the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. A brilliant venture altogether!

The Louisville Pipe Band was in Scotland for 11 days in early August. The band took part in three competitions while in Scotland and participated in a parade through the streets of Edinburgh. In fact, most members got their  first views of Edinburgh while marching with a group of 10,000 pipers and 4,000 drummers in the shadow of the Edinburgh Castle. The massed pipers and drummers proceeded down the Royal Mile, along Prince's Street, which was lined end to end with throngs of spectators, and ended up in Prince's Street Gardens. The parade was part of a fund raising effort for the Marie Curie Cancer Center.

Later that day the band took part in a competition at Prince's Street Gardens. Prince Charles arrived mid-afternoon to deliver opening remarks. While making his way into the gardens, several LPB members had the  opportunity to meet the Prince. CNN was present and interviewed one of LPB's drummers as part of their coverage of U.S. involvement. The band finished in the middle of the field in the group's first Scottish competition but was the highest-placed U.S. band of the grade.

The next day the band played somewhat better at the games in Bridge of Allen. The games venue is among the loveliest that one might hope to find, with both Stirling Castle and the William Wallace Monument perched prominently on nearby hills. Final results have still not been posted, though the band gave a better performance as the instruments continued to adjust to the Scottish climate. Most members then had a few days to tour the countryside before reuniting in Glasgow to attend the Millennium Concert, featuring four of the world's premier Grade I bands.

The following evening, the band traveled by coach to Edinburgh for the Military Tattoo. The band's final outing was the World Pipe Band Championships on Glasgow Green in the heart of the city. Bands from around the world took part - 234 bands to be precise, a record-sized field. Over 40 bands were in the grade with LPB and over 20 bands in the qualifying heat. With 3rd and 7th place rankings in piping, the band finished in the top 10 overall and 2nd among U.S. bands in the qualifying section. Members were quite pleased with the results, given  the large size of the field and the new experience of international travel for many of the players. The overwhelming consensus was that the band would return and is definitely in the thick of things on a world-class level. The band is proud to have represented Kentucky as the Official Pipe Band of the Commonwealth.

Celtic Christmas at the Rudyard Kipling

It has become a tradition for Galloglas to perform a special concert of Christmas music and certain favorites. Always a sell-out, make your reservations early (636-1311) . This year's program is Saturday, December 16 at 8 p.m. Special guests will include Louisville Pipe Band Pipe Sergeant Karen McKenzie on the Great Highland Bagpipes as well as the Scottish Smallpipes.

Sessions at the Irish Rover

Another mighty session went down at the Rover last week with a couple of uilleann pipers in attendance. Jon Gaffney and his wife, a fine harper from the Chicago area, mixed with local players for a fun night. They are still talking about Brid Cranitch and the session she can inspire! The Rover sessions are serendipitous but splendid!

Comhaltas Group Forming in Kentucky

An open house and session is on for November 19, 2 to 6 p.m. at the home of Daniel Curtin.

Sessions at Molly's

You can still make a Sunday afternoon of it at Molly Malone's from 4 to 7 p.m. Great players like Mark Cannon, Larry Green and John Woodard are usually there as well as members from Scatter the Mudd, Galloglas, Drowsy Maggie and Cloigheann.