Denver Celtic Music

Category: Irish music

Colcannon Announcements

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News just in from Mick of Colcannon:

“This Saturday, March 9 we’ll be at the Kathryn Mohrman Theatre inside Armstrong Hall on the Colorado College Campus. Show time is 7:30 p.m. The show is FREE
On Monday, March 11, we’ll be performing in the upstairs lobby and Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver. Show is at 12 noon and is FREE
On Tuesday, March 19, we’ll be at the Boulder Public Library at 12 noon — again, it’s FREE.
All the events above are linked to maps or visit our website calendar for more details —

And now a notice that has been brewing for a while: as of April 2020, Colcannon will be based in Ireland. Jean and I are moving there next year and the band will be based there in the future. We’re excited and more than a bit sad but we do hope to keep playing in the US and most particularly for our home audience — you.”

Mick, Jean, Mike and Brian

5 March 2019     0 Comments

Colcannon in Evergreen

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colcannonColcannon will perform at Evergreen Center Stage on Saturday, November 17, 7:30 p.m.  It’s a lovely, intimate venue and Mick says “We’re greatly looking forward to playing there again.”

The address is 27608 Fireweed Drive, Evergreen CO 80437  and you can get tickets here.or  call  303-674-4002. 

6 November 2018     0 Comments

Wild Mountain warming up for Colorado Irish Festival

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Wild Mountain has announced they are returning to the scene of their last video shoot – Violet’s Venue in Wheat Ridge this Friday – at 9:00 pm. This will be their warm up for the Colorado Irish Festival. Come and check out the band. They will feature some new songs.

12 July 2018     0 Comments

Colcannon’s annual holiday show at Nissi’s

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colcannonMick with Colcannon says he hopes you’re enjoying this Holiday season. He wanted to let you know that they have a concert coming up at Nissi’s. This will be the annual presentation of the Colcannon Christmas Holiday show and will take place on Tuesday, December 19 at 7.30 p.m. So come and have dinner and join them for an evening of Christmas revelry, rascality and reflection! 

Nissi’s is at 2675 North Park Drive, Lafayette, CO (MAP) 

There’s more ticket information here: (TICKETS)

Mick, Jean, Mike, Brian and Cynthia hope you can make it!

15 December 2017     0 Comments

Tune-Song Workshop with Brian Ó hAirt

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Brian Ó hAirt, singer, instrumentalist, and dancer, will be offering a workshop and a concert in Boulder on Saturday, December 2nd.

Brian is the only American to have ever won the All Ireland senior singing competition. He is a fluent Irish speaker, and has an extensive knowledge of the history of the music. His repertoire is largely from the Conamara region. You can read more about Brian on his website, here:

His workshop is not to be missed. A full description of the workshop from Brian can be found below. Highly recommended for both singers and instrumentalists — anyone interested in the Irish music tradition.


Workshop Description from Brian:

Tune-Song workshop

“The vocal music of Ireland encompasses the breadth of human emotion. From heartbreaking laments to songs of emigration and deportation to florid love songs, much of what one encounters within the Irish tradition are songs fully formed and relating a narrative. There are, however, forms of mouth music and ‘silly’ songs that utilize melodies that have either been pulled from the instrumental tradition or have found their way into its repertoire. Often extemporaneous and requiring a nimble tongue and hearty lungs, these songs utilize vocables and humorous language in Irish and English to convey a melody very much aligned with dance music. Come experience both sides of this tradition—the songs and tunes—in a workshop aimed at both singers and instrumentalists. Expand your knowledge and repertoire of the tradition, explore ideas of phrasing and lift, and gain an understanding of the elements of style that can be applied to singer and musician alike. Lyrics and sheet music will be available but emphasis will be placed on learning by ear so please bring a recording device.”


Saturday, 2 December

4:00-6:00 PM Workshop: $35. Plan to arrive a 10 minutes early to park and settle in.

6:00-7:00 PM Potluck Dinner Break: Very casual. Bring a dinner for yourself with the option of sharing.

7:00 Doors

7:30 Concert: $10-$20 Suggested Donation (Free for Workshop Attendees).

1-hour session to follow the concert performance. Bring your instrument and your voice!

Location: The home of Debra and Russell Agee, Sunshine Canyon, Boulder



Space is limited. For Address and Directions, please email Adam with “BRIAN” somewhere in the subject line and include:

›› Your phone number (to reach you in case of last minute instructions)

›› The number of people in your party

›› Whether you will attend the workshop, concert, or both

›› Note: Advance ticket purchase is not required. Please come with cash or check, and consider bringing some extra money to purchase CDs from the artists!

Email Adam with subject “BRIAN”:

Email RSVPs will be accepted up until noon on Friday, December 1. After that, please call or text Adam directly at (720) 975-6232 or(303) 440-4148 (the landline at the venue).


29 November 2017     0 Comments

Mulligan Stew to play Sunday in Golden

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stewatgcb-16One of Colorado’s longer-standing Irish pub bands, Mulligan Stew, will perform this Sunday from 3-7 pm at “In the Zone” sports bar at 44th and McIntyre in Golden. Mulligan Stew have been performing together since 1997, in many various locales along Colorado’s front range, but this may be the first time they’ve held forth at a sports bar. Music will be on the patio, weather permitting.

Mulligan Stew is aptly named, as you’re never quite sure of the ingredients and the spices change from time to time, but the flavor’s just right for a taste of home. Come out and request your favorite Irish pub songs, or just choose from one of the traditional genres, drinking songs, war songs, love songs, or songs about drinking and going to war to forget an unrequited love.

9 August 2017     0 Comments

Wild Mountain release a new track

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Photo courtesy of Wild Mountain.

Rain and on the run” is an excellent example of the talent and musical roots of Wild Mountain, Colorado’s “greengrass” band. Born of a fusion between Irish music and bluegrass, Wild Mountain are making quite a splash around the Denver area, and their upcoming CD, which will feature this track as one of its selections, will be no different.


This song and the way they perform it speak more to the bluegrass side of the band’s repertoire, but the bluesy feel definitely has Irish roots. It’s one of those “meaning of life” songs that could apply to many situations. Well worth a listen. Click on the title above.


Wild Mountain, is an Americana/folk-rock Bluegrass band with Irish/Celtic influences based out of Denver and Boulder, Colorado, delivering an acoustic-based Americana/Celtic/Bluegrass sound that touches a lot of stylistic bases, from folk to Celtic-Irish to American heartland Bluegrass rock music, all with captivating rhythms and melodies that excite both young and older audiences. Wild Mountain is truly a band that can be enjoyed by all ages.

30 April 2017     0 Comments

Colorado Irish Festival headliners announced

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Colorado Irish Festival, July 14-16 at Clement Park in Littleton, has announced the lineup for music at this year’s event. Here are the headliners:


  • The Young Dubliners – Fri, July 14 only
  • The Elders – Sat & Sun, July 15 & 16
  • Gaelic Storm – Sunday, July 16 only
  • Cassie & Maggie – Fri, Sat & Sun
  • Socks in the Frying Pan – Fri, Sat & Sun
  • Pogey – Sat & Sun
  • and lots of group local bands too!


It’s also time to volunteer! Volunteering means donating your time. Event volunteering means being a part of something special. Volunteering at the 2017 Colorado Irish Festival …..a sense you can only get from putting community and cultural pride into action. Over 400 enthusiastic and generous volunteers are the cornerstone of the Colorado Irish Festival.

unnamed-1There are numerous volunteer positions available – front gate, festival store, beverage concessions, security, food/beverage loading stations and MORE! To start the process, click link below and follow the simple steps to complete the process. AS A VOLUNTEER, YOU RECEIVE FREE EVENT ADMISSION FOR THE DAY THAT YOU VOLUNTEER! (If you volunteer Friday night, you receive either Saturday or Sunday free event admission).

Volunteer Registration Now Open

18 April 2017     0 Comments

Colcannon’s new CD is a hit!

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Colcannon out with a new CD, Wild Orchid. Photo courtesy of

Colcannon out with a new CD, Wild Orchid.
Photo courtesy of

Just got the new CD from Colcannon, “Wild Orchid,” and it’s classic Colcannon virtuosity that shines like new.


The opening (title) track sets the tone. Starting out slowly, with some excellent guitar work, it suddenly explodes into a full blown Colcannon instrumental extravaganza. This is quality Irish music music at its best, and really shows off the musical talents of this extraordinary group.


But Colannon are not just talented instrumentalists, as amply demonstrated by track two, that starts off with a touching folk song featuring the band’s frontman, Mick Bolger, called The Reason I Left Mullingar. A classic Irish tale of woe and poverty, it offers the essence of what Irish music is all about, and Mick is the storyteller/bard to carry it off. This is well-paired with another instrumental called The Left Handed Mill.


Track three is a classic reel set featuring McFadden’s Favorite, Castle Kelly, and Buckley’s Fancy, carried off as usual by the talented instruments of Colcannon. This set prominently features the band’s newest member, talented flautist Cynthia Jaffee, well-backed by the rest of the band in energetic fashion.


Then comes the lament. What else would you expect in Irish music? A sad tale of unrequited love, False, False echoes the cry of the jilted lover, and again features the voice of Mick Bolger, who can carry off a sad song as easily as the humorous ones he so enjoys.


Then we’re back to Cynthia’s flute talents, with Never Too Soon, a charming tune that will lighten your spirit, paired with The Blue Ducks, showing off the mandolin talents of Brian Mullins. A pair well worth a listen.


Botanic Endgame is an entertaining song, full of veiled references to the IRA, couched in a song purportedly about a chess match. If you love metaphors, this is right up your alley; and if not, it’s still a great song. See how many layers you can peel back.


Next we come to a fantastic arrangement of Turlough O’Carolan’s tune Planxty Irwin, which the multi-talented Mike Fitzmaurice has arranged into a fugue, and performs on the upright bass for which he is so justly famous. He’s put lovely accompaniment to the simple tune, featuring the very talented Jean Bolger on fiddle, along with Cynthia and Brian on flute and mandolin. If you ever wanted the baroque touch in Irish music, this is it.


If you’ve ever enjoyed an Irish seisún, Highlands will lighten your heart and get your toes a tapping. Quite a rousing set, and features all the band members blending their enthusiasm for this music in a very enjoyable way.


Then we have a contemplative song in the plaintive voice of Mick Bolger called January Man. It’s kind of an ode about the meaning of life, using the seasons of the year as a progressive metaphor to tell the story of the life of a man. This one will get you thinking (and feeling).


Shins by the Fireside and Red Stockings take us back to the instrumentals, but not in the manic mode of Highlands. These deceptively simple tunes really show off a deep appreciation for the heart of Irish music, something this group obviously values.


In An Paistín Fionn, Mick reminds us that he’s a native Irish speaker. This paean to the singer’s one true love speaks of her as the fair-haired one, and is very romantic. Mick carries it well, making the sentiment accessible even to those who don’t understand the Irish. Quite a brilliant song altogether.


Cynthia and Jean start off Ah, Surely, with their usual flair. This old Sligo reel is named after a man named Willie Snee, who purportedly played in as the last tune in a contest to see who had the most tunes. He claimed he had learned it from the little people, and you can hear their spirit in its music. It’s paired with an enjoyable reel called The Reconciliation, played ably by the group as a whole. An enjoyable short set.


We finish off this excellent album with a Colcannon original, Planxty Vicki Levine. There’s got to be a story behind that, which I hope Mick will add to the comments below. It’s a very soothing tune, again featuring all the artists, including Mike on the bass once again. A fitting conclusion to an excellent collection of music.


Visit Colcannon’s web site, where you can listen to and buy their music, and learn more about one of the most talented Irish bands in the Rocky Mountain west; maybe beyond. Their latest offering is only part of a long history of excellent music by this talented group. Check them out.

15 April 2017     0 Comments

Colcannon in Colorado Springs Thursday

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Colcannon always provide excellent music. Photo courtesy of

Colcannon always provide excellent music. Photo courtesy of

Colcannon have announced a FREE concert. On March 30 — this coming Thursday — they’ll be performing at Kathryn Mohrman Theatre, formerly Armstrong Hall in Colorado Springs, thanks to the generous patronage of the Music Department at Colorado College. 

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. and is FREE. 

There are more details on the website calendar.

Hope to see you there.

All the best, 

Mick, Jean, Brian, Mike and Cynthia

Such music-making is a rare thing … Colcannon is on the cutting edge of Celtic music today

John McLaughlin Williams, conductor

2007 Grammy™ award winner

Some of the most exciting and entertaining Celtic sounds being heard today.”                     

 -The Independent

Colcannon plays powerful, original music that embraces tradition and makes it meaningful to a new generation of listeners.”  

–  Knight-Ridder News Service

27 March 2017     0 Comments