The Louisville Pipe Band is certainly all about bagpiping, but few realize the importance of drumming to the overall sound of a pipe band. Bagpipes are played at one volume level only - loud. The drumming not only provides the pulse and tempo but the musical dynamics as well by their volume expression. There are several rudiments and techniques that are specific to pipe band drumming but anyone with some marching band experience can adapt fairly easily. Rick McKenzie is the president of the Louisville Pipe Band but is also the "lead tip," as the first chair drummer is known. One of the top pipe band drummers in the region, McKenzie began his pipe band drumming career at the University of Iowa and knows how to train young drummers. Anyone interested in learning this art and participating in all the fun with the Louisville Pipe Band should give Rick a call at (502) 894-8856, as groups are forming for free lessons in the upcoming weeks.
10th Annual Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Fest
This is an enormously well-produced festival and well worth the drive north. On Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30, starting at noon and ending at 9 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday, the old Coney Island Park opens up to host four music stages, two dance stages, instrument workshops, Scottish athletics, cultural exhibits, purveyors of fine Celtic goods and traditional Irish, Scottish and Welsh foods and beverages. Admission is $7 for ages 13 and over with kids in free. Parking is $3. This year's lineup of performers is impressive:
Boys of the Lough (Scotland), Danu' (Ireland), Jez Lowe (England), Barachois (Canada), Liz Knowles, Kieran O'Hare, Ged Foley, Ellery Klein & Thri Nua, Michele McCann and French Toast, Kevin and Michelle Crehan, Silver Arm, Murphy's Law, Bridget Fitzgerald, Beth Vaughan, Killashandra, Beyond the Pale (Kentucky), Cincinnati Caledonian Pipes and Drums, Mad Anthony Wayne Pipe Band, Knocknagael, The Portersharks, McGing Irish Dancers, Riley School of Irish Music, Sandy Messerly, Chistine Fraser Ramsey, Horne Family Dancers, Welsh Country Dancers, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Glee Club, Celtic Core, Ceol Mhor, Erickson School of Irish Dance, mill Creek Morris Dancers, Cincinnati Highland Dancers and Dark Moll. There may be four or eight more.
Take I-71 then I-275 east, Exit 72 (10 miles east of downtown Cincinnati on the Ohio River - even the view is spectacular. For more information, refer to their web page: <http://home.fuse.net/cfl>
Ten Penny Bit
Catch the band at a few of their September gigs (no, you can't come to the private parties!). On September 8, they play for the Cincinnati Contra Dancers. On the 21st, they'll be doing a children's program at the Waldorf School and on the 29th and 30th, they will be at the Pine Mountain Great American Dulcimer Convention at Pine Mountain, Kentucky. For more details, check out their website:<www.tenpennybit.com> or call 447-0581.
Clann an Drumma and Galloglas
For a rousing night, don't miss this band from Scotland. With bagpipes and a variety of percussion instruments, they rock the house with their big tribal sound wherever they play. You can catch them right here in River City at O'Shea's Traditional Irish Pub on Baxter Avenue in the Highlands on Saturday September 22. Galloglas will open the show at 8 p.m. and the Clann na Drumma will take the stage at 11 p.m. If weather cooperates, the show will be in the new courtyard.
Galloglas will also be performing from 5 to 6 p.m earlier that day at the Ursuline Art Fair on Lexington Road.
Kitty O'Kirwan's Pub is Now Open
Check out Louisville's newest Celtic hangout. Hardly a hangout, this place is very well-appointed and has the cozy feel expected of a true Irish pub. Chef Jeff McCracken has come up with a winning menu excellently prepared and presented. Drowsy Maggie is the house band and many of their friends sit for impromptus. Located in St. Matthews at 120 Bauer Avenue, it is right across from Tom Payette Jaguar and the Olmstead (Masonic Home). Find out what "tog go boge" means.
Dibs and Dabs
Jez Lowe, who Richard Thompson describes as the best songwriter to come out of England in a long time, will be in town on the heels of the Cincinnati Celtic Fest to do a solo performance at the newly restored Kentucky Theater on Fourth Avenue. John Gage will open the show on Wednesday, October 3. Lowe is a major player on the folk music scene, so don't miss this opportunity.
In November, an Irish band from Chicago called "Crossings" will perform at the Rudyard Kipling. Look for a CD review in the next couple of months.
Four Shillings Short will be at the Rudyard on September 12 at 7:30 p.m. for their only show in Louisville this year.
The Sunday sessions continue at Molly Malone's Pub starting at 4 p.m. All levels of players are welcome.