Written on 9 August 2017
in Concerts, Irish music
One 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.
in Albums, Celtic music
From left to right, Joseph Mail, Mike Nile, Renee Fine, Sarah Jones, David Potter, Andy Maroney. (Photo courtesy of wildmountaingreengrass.com)
Colorado’s Greengrass band, Wild Mountain, have released a new video of one of their most popular songs, “Rain and on the Run.” If you enjoyed the song on their debut album, “Greengrass,” you’ll love it even more in this dramatic video recording. Check it out at: https://youtu.be/4Qc_6iE3-14
Wild Mountain is a six-piece Americana folk rock band out of Colorado, mixing Celtic-Irish melodies and rhythms with American heartland Bluegrass music. The band had its beginnings in January 2016 when after eighteen years Celtic rock band The Indulgers came to an end and multi – instrumentalist/composer Mike Nile and violinist Renee Fine found themselves looking to start a new band combining the Irish/Celtic music they had been playing with Americana/Bluegrass music.
Written on 11 July 2017
Gob s O’Phun will present a “Performance in the Park,” Wednesday, July 12 from 6.30-8pm. This event will be at Anderson Park, 4355 Field St. Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
This is a free concert, presented by the City of Wheat Ridge, in this outdoor, family-friendly pavilion. The Gobs are known for celebrating traditional Irish and Scottish folk songs, so bring your lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic to best enjoy this event.
Hailing from “County Denver”, Gobs O’Phun is a traditional Irish and Scottish, acoustic folk band that originated in the family living room. Brothers-in-law Denis Sullivan and Martin Lambuth form the duet. They accompany themselves with guitar, bodhran and harmonica.
They are not an instrumental or dance band. They sing songs that tell stories. And because of the universal themes in the songs – whether it’s love, relationships, honor, pride, overcoming adversity, freedom or humorous in nature – their music appeals to all cultural backgrounds. The term “gob” is slang in the Celtic isles for your mouth, befitting a band that is more of a vocal group than instrumentalists. And when they frame their music with historical notes as well as spontaneous, humorous banter, you never know what fun will come out of their gobs!
The “Gobs” are family-friendly (or can pretend to be), tailoring their show to suit the audience. They started their public career performing in pubs, but extended that base to play festivals across the region (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana, as well as the cities of Chicago and St. Louis); public events such as the alcohol-free First Night Colorado New Years Eve and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; private parties and corporate events; schools (elementary-college); senior centers, nursing homes, churches and even a convent.
As you can see, they have a wide demographic appeal.
Although many associate their music with March, the Gobs play year-round — they’re not just for St. Patrick’s Day!
Written on 24 May 2017
in Albums, Celtic music
If you’ve never experienced bluegrass music with an Irish soul, here’s your chance. Wild Mountain, Colorado’s “greengrass” band, born of a fusion between Irish music and bluegrass, are making quite a splash around the Denver area, and their upcoming CD will be no different. Very nearly self-titled “Greengrass,” the album showcases the band’s versatility and musical prowess in a unique way.
The first track, “Stone Blood and Bone” establishes their credibility right away, with the virtuoso fiddling of Renee Fine, joined by the always amazing vocals of Sarah Jones. Once they’ve established the mood, the rest of the band chimes in and uplifts it in this celebration of the ups and downs of human existence.
The second song, “Like a Domino,” jumps right into the country music world with mandolin from frontman Mike Fine, joined again by Renee on fiddle, and lively banjo by David Potter. This one is a very pleasant toe tapper, expertly accompanied by Dave Sweeney on bass and John Ware on drums.
Track 3 is called “Rain and On The Run.” 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.
With “White and Black” we hear more of the Irish background of this talented band, as Renee brings out the double stops on the fiddle, and the men join Sarah with some tight harmony. This is a nice relationship song, but still features some quality instrumental breaks. Makes you want to be someone’s “heart attack in white and black.”
It’s not just the motto of AA, “One Step at a Time” is an encouraging duet, challenging us to help each other bear the burdens of life.
“Wind Blows” is a nice ballad about love and relationships flourishing with tender care. Lots more bass and drums on this one, but it doesn’t get in the way of the flowing feel of the music.
“Midnight Run” establishes with an energetic folk-rock beat, but unlike the 1988 movie of the same title, tells a story about love that didn’t work out. If you remember “These Boots Were Made for Walkin'” or “Hit the Road Jack” you’ll get the idea, but this song has its own take on that classic theme.
With “Lucky Soul,” we get back to more of the bluegrass background of the band. We’ve had love songs and breakup songs, but this one is somewhere in between. How will this relationship turn out? Guess you’ll have to listen a few more times to find out.
Some great guitar work on “Light You Up” as we move into a more hopeful romantic mode. We seem to be exploring all aspects of love and relationships here. Have a told you yet that Mike Nile wrote all these songs? His variety is amazing.
Back to the meaning of life songs with “Trust in Fate,” though it has a relational theme too. Is life determined by outside forces, or our own choices? Listen to this song a few times and make up your mind.
Almost a sixties folk feel with the twelve-string guitar opening of “High Hope.” Still working on the struggles of human existence. I guess Mike has been feeling introspective lately. <grin>
“Dust in the Wind”? “Earth, Wind, and Fire”? No, track twelve is called “Dust Wind Smoke and Fire” (no commas), but it has all the soul of these classics, and once again, Sarah’s vocals reek of blues smoke. A very nice piece.
“That’s Why I Believe” is another song of the innocence of love, with plenty of hope for the future and the now customary quality picking, bowing, and strumming.
We finish up the album with “Because of You” and it’s a fitting conclusion to a collection of music about love, relationships, and life. Mike and Renee have been together for a long time now, and the stability of that relationship seems to inform Mike’s songwriting. Life has its ups and downs, but this album comes out overall as positive and uplifting. It’s time to add it to your collection.
The CD will be for sale online soon, but you can get your own copy even sooner by attending the CD release party this Friday at Clancy’s Irish Pub in Wheat Ridge. This group is well worth listening to on record, but even better live, as they feed on the energy of the crowd. Check it out.
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.
Written on 30 April 2017
in Albums, Celtic music, Irish music
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.
Written on 18 April 2017
in Festivals, Irish music
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!
BUY TICKETS NOW!!
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.
There 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
Written on 15 April 2017
in Albums, Celtic music, Irish music
Colcannon out with a new CD, Wild Orchid.
Photo courtesy of Colcannon.com
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.
Written on 13 April 2017
in Albums, Celtic music
New CD out now!
Colcannon’s new album Wild Orchid is now available.
(Image courtesy of Colcannon.com)
After a long wait, Colcannon have finally released their new CD. It’s called Wild Orchid and they say they’re delighted with it. As well as traditional tunes and songs, there are some covers and tunes by Brian, Jean and Cynthia — several, in fact, by Cynthia. And there’s a wonderful arrangement of a Carolan tune by Mike. Some of the songs they’ve been playing for quite awhile and are finally putting on a CD; some will be brand new to you. The album was paid for in part by pre-orders and donations and they thank all of you for your generosity!
The CD (in both physical and digital download form) is available now on their website. You can also download on iTunes and Amazon; they say they should have the physical CDs available through Amazon soon as well.
So, here’s the list of tracks on the CD:
- Wild Orchid
- The Reason I Left Mullingar/The Left-Handed Mill
- The McFadden Set
- False, False
- Never Too Soon/Blue Ducks
- Botanic Endgame
- Irwin – Fugue on a Theme by O’Carolan
- The January Man
- Shins By The Fireside/Red Stockings
- An Páistín Fionn
- Ah, Surely/The Reconciliation
- Planxty Vicki Levine
Get your copy today!
Written on 11 April 2017
in Celtic music
Wild Mountain returns to Local 46 on 46th Ave. and Tennyson St. this Friday, April 14th at 9:30pm.
Wild Mountain, a folk-rock – Celtic – Bluegrass band out of Denver and Boulder, Colorado, deliver an acoustic-based Americana/Celtic/Bluegrass sound that touches a lot of stylistic bases, from folk to Celtic-Irish to American heartland Bluegrass to rock, all with interesting rhythmic and melodic twists and turns.
Written on 10 April 2017
in Celtic music, Festivals
Angus Mohr at Colorado Tartan Day 2017 Photo by Michael P. Thompson
Tartan Day is a celebration of Scottish culture and heritage. Here is Colorado, we celebrate it on the weekend closest to the official date of April 6. Colorado Tartan Day Festival is an event where we wear the kilt, represent our clans, enjoy the food and drink of Scotland, and mostly just have a great time with our friends of Scottish heritage.
Of course, music is an important part of that celebration, and Angus Mohr has been a supporter of that tradition for many years now. The band describes themselves as playing “Highland Rock and Roll” and they definitely fulfill that description. Angus Mohr revitalizes traditional Celtic music’s brogue with an American blues accent while rejuvenating rock ’n roll’s broad spectrum with bagpipes and pennywhistles. No one is ever going to mistake Angus Mohr for a cover band. Sure, they play songs like “Foggy Dew,” the 1916 Easter Rising ballad, and “Whisky in the Jar,” a sixteenth century tale of love and betrayal, and their set list is peppered with songs penned by Dylan, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, and the Ramones. But you’ve never heard “Ring of Fire” or “I Wanna Be Sedated” until you’ve heard it with the pipes’ spiraling keen.
They kind of defy description, but they’re definitely entertaining and get the crowds rocking and dancing. Their next live performance is at Odyssey Beerwerks Anniversary Party – all day Saturday May 20. Make plans to be there.