Arts and Entertainment

The return of all-star fiddle ensemble Childsplay – which plays at the Somerville Theater on Nov. 20 – highlights Boston-area Irish/Celtic music events these next several weeks. Childsplay comprises some two dozen musicians – many from Boston or elsewhere... Read more
Altan, “The Gap of Dreams” • One of Donegal’s greatest natural resources returns to the firmament with this, its 13th studio album. Where Altan’s previous release, “The Widening Gyre” (2015), was Irish-Americana fusion (with guest stars like Alison Brown... Read more
by R. J. DonovanSpecial to the BIR From the time he was a small boy growing up in Marblehead, Lucas McMahon set his sights on becoming a commercial theatrical producer. Even when he was performing in a show, he was focused on what was going on backstage... Read more
It’s not just the regular influx of high-profile, established acts – Lúnasa, Dervish, The Chieftains, Altan – that make Greater Boston such an Irish/Celtic music fan’s dream. Area venues also frequently host performers who have attained a solid following... Read more
The Boston-area Irish harpist and singer Áine Minogue has a certain philosophy about brainstorms: If you have one, don’t get in the way – just let it happen and then figure it all out afterwards. So, a few years ago, Minogue found herself in what she... Read more
Gloucester native Emerald Rae has been singing for about as long as she has been fiddling, which is since childhood. But it’s only just now, she feels, that she has found her voice. A mainstay of the Greater Boston area’s Celtic/folk music scene for... Read more
In today’s world of Facebook, dating apps, and rampant catfishing, it’s hardly a surprise when someone creates a fake profile online. What may be surprising is that the practice isn’t all that new. In Oscar Wilde’s 1895 play “The Importance of Being... Read more
Early on, New York City-based fiddler-composer-arranger Dana Lyn got the message that playing music was about more than, well, just playing music. “My classical violin teacher was all about interpretation and expression,” recalls Lyn, who will appear at... Read more
The High Seas, “The High Seas” • One of the more captivating albums of recent years, not just for its content but also its context: Young performers hitting that sweet spot in presenting Irish music with skill, and respect for the tradition, and showing... Read more
Dan Gurney, “Ignorance Is Bliss” • A native of New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley, Gurney is a cross-platform app developer, co-founder of the live web-broadcasting site Concert Window, and not so incidentally, one of the country’s finest traditional Irish... Read more
Celebrated singer/songwriter talks about ‘Unfinished Business,’ among other things Paul Brady, a prominent figure in Irish music for nearly five decades, will come to the City Winery in Boston for a solo concert on Sept. 12. A native of Strabane, Brady... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH BIR CORRESPONDENT It’s been a heady last five years or so for Scottish Fish, a fiddles-and-cello quintet of five young Boston-area women who play traditional and original music in the Scottish and Cape Breton style. During that period, the... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR Shakespeare stands as one the world’s most famous writers, yet much of his personal life lies blurred in mystery. The Bard had only one son, Hamnet, born in 1585 and named for a local friend. The playwright reportedly... Read more
Connla, “The Next Chapter” • The second full-length album from this young Northern Ireland quintet shows a band that has distilled numerous traits of the Irish folk revival: a bit of Flook here, some Moving Hearts there, traces of Solas, Lúnasa, perhaps... Read more
It’s opening night for Disney’s “Aladdin” at The Boston Opera House. A distinguished looking gentleman with silver hair stands in the lobby with friends. Several thousand ticket holders pass by him, never realizing the subtle impact he’ll have on their... Read more
The Irish Cultural Centre located in Canton, MA is a mecca for touring Irish musicians, dancers and up and coming Irish band. At their recent festival they hosted Ireland’s leading bluegrass group “JigJam” and Super trad group from Galway “BackWest.”... Read more
Medford native Eric McDonald, 31, has become one of the more prolific performers in the Boston and New England folk/traditional music scene. Now based in Portland, Me., McDonald – an accomplished guitarist, mandolinist and vocalist – has played in a duo... Read more
Make no mistake: Christine Hatch, Aisling Keating, Melinda Kerwin, and Nancy Beaudette are grown-up women, with families and jobs and other adult stuff like that. But every so often, the four are happy just to be girls. Kelly Girls, that is. Based west of... Read more
Where music is concerned, the Irish music trio Open the Door for Three – Maine-based spouses Liz Knowles (fiddle) and Kieran O’Hare (uilleann pipes, flute, whistle) and their friend, Irish-born Chicagoan Pat Broaders (bouzouki, vocals) – takes it... Read more
Reagle Music Theater in Waltham continues its 50th anniversary season with the Cole Porter musical “Anything Goes,” which will be playing from July 5 to July 15. Set on a luxury liner sailing from New York to London, the breezy, tap-dancing spectacular... Read more

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