As the early evening progressed, the beautiful upstairs venue welcomed the avid Celtic followers of such a genre either to their seats or the quickly filling concession stand all ready for an evening of Scottish and Gaelic influence. The band consisted of Scottish Border pipes, which were not of typical origin, powered by a bellows rather than mouth, two alternately tuned fiddles, and last but not least, the acoustic guitar. This amazing collaboration fueled the stage from the powerhouse regions of such lands with the traditional stomping, to the delicately arranged and near melancholy melodies. Typically, the guitar remains as a rhythm instrument in the Celtic world, but the chains of restraint were broken last night as lead guitar melodies spewed out in a wildly organized manner. The bands speaker, Ben Miller, is apparently quite the knowledgeable historian in matters of the Celtic background stories behind the songs they play which is quite refreshing really since many of the numbers are instrumental in nature and the musical voice does not reveal either the sadness, oppression, or happiness hidden within the musical notes. Anita MacDonald devoured her fiddles with organized abandon. Her quick witted fingers not only kept the pace but superseded in accuracy and speed. Her lively Irish stepdancing not only pleased the crowd, but was very true to form. The music is touching, rambunctious, and and sweet as portrayed on their new CD, “A Day at the Lake” where many of the styles witnessed are ever present and finely recorded. A wonderful evening of Celtic collusion.
Written by John D’Alessandro
Photos by Susan D’Alessandro