SOUTH CARTHAGE – New England Celtic Arts will host an amazing lineup of world-class Celtic bands at The Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in September and early October.
Included in the schedule will be Beoga from Ireland (pictured above) on Sept. 3; the highly acclaimed Tannahill Weavers from Scotland on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11; Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies from the UK on Sept. 15; Findlay Napier and The Bar Room Mountaineers from Scotland on Sept. 17; Cara from Germany on Sept. 23; Wendy MacIsaac from Cape Breton on Sept. 25; Cantrip from Scotland on Sept. 30; and six beautiful young ladies from Ireland called Liadan (pronounced LEE-a-dun) on Oct. 6. All shows start at 7 p.m. All shows feature Skye’s trademark pre-show jam starting at 6:15. Audience members are encouraged to bring instruments and jam for a few minutes with the artists.
Skye Theatre has gained a reputation as “the place to play” in Northern New England, a result of several years of networking with major Celtic based festivals in the US, Canada, and Europe. Skye Theatre director Phill McIntyre has been able to arrange and book mid-week dates with these “head liner” bands traveling through the region to the larger metropolitan areas. Many of the touring groups remain for several days at the Skye Theatre facility saving themselves much of the expense of normal touring.
First up in this stellar late summer series is an award-winning band from Northern Ireland called Beoga. Beoga (Irish word for ‘lively’) are a five-piece traditional band based in County Antrim, Ireland. The band was drawn together after ‘jamming’ in a ferocious music session at the All-Ireland Fleadh in August 2002. Their unique sound features the twin dueling accordians of Seán Óg Graham and Damian McKee, along with four times All-Ireland bodhrán champion Eamon Murray and pianist Liam Bradley. In 2005, Irish Music Magazine nominated Beoga for the best traditional newcomer’s award. With the addition of one of Ireland’s premier young singers, Niamh Dunne, Beoga are confirming their reputation as one of the most exciting acts to emerge from Ireland in recent years.
The band released their debut album ‘a lovely madness’ in September 2004, to critical and popular acclaim in Ireland, Europe and America. Describing Beoga as a ‘phenomenon’ and their music as ‘madcap genius’, Irish music magazine predicted they would make a big mark on the Irish music scene.
The bedrock of Beoga’s music lies firmly within the Irish tradition, but they are not afraid to incorporate other genres’ nuances into their music. From bluesy riffs to Astor Piazzola-style jazz, to a raunchy New Orleans jamboree vibe, their music always returns to a wonderfully bouncy traditional sound. With a repertoire of fresh self-penned tunes and inventive arrangements, the debut album ‘a lovely madness’ earned 9/10 in Ireland’s Hot Press music magazine and was one of the Top Trad/Folk Albums of the year.
The group’s 2007 release Mischief’ has also received excellent reviews across the board, including a phenomenal 9.5/10 rating from Hot Press. The album is tipped by Irish Music Magazine and US based ‘The Celtic Connection’, among others, as a contender for 2007 album of the year. The Chicago American Times proclaims “super vocals, a terrific staccato beat to the rhythm, with a real sense of style and wit. This is a major major band to be reckoned with.” The Irish Echo describes Beoga as “perhaps the most audacious band rooted in trad today” ranking them with Irish group Grada, as the two most promising bands launched in the new millennium.
Over the last few years Beoga have performed at major Celtic and Folk festivals throughout Europe and the USA, including the All-Ireland music Fleadh, Dranouter, Tonder, Boston, Kansas and Milwaukee Irish Festivals. Beoga’s popularity continues to flourish, as they captivate audiences on a global scale with their blend of passion, energy and vitality.
Skye Theater is located 3 miles West of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Rd and US RT. 2 in South Carthage. Ticket price is $10 at the door. Call New England Celtic Arts at (207) 562-4445 for reservations and directions. More information at: http://www.necelticarts.com