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A Bronx tale with Niamh Parsons

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What a glorious night at Beal Bocht Café in the Bronx last Saturday for an evening with the Dublin songstress Niamh Parsons and her partner, accompanist Graham Dunne, on guitar.

She is one of the great voices in the Irish music scene with a wide selection of great story songs redolent of the seminal influences of Frank Harte and the Goilin Singers Club which she carries to a wider world through her touring and recordings. She was in great form as was guitar wizard Dunne for an appreciative audience.

While I’m always bemoaning the lack of real great house with pub atmosphere for Irish music in New York City of a size that would be more conducive to drawing acts here, it is easy to overlook the charms of this cultural clearinghouse in the Riverdale section of the Northwest Bronx.

It’s got food and drink and an ambience as good as anywhere and an intimacy that is better than most places where you will hear music. Tasty trad musicians like John Redmond and Mary Courtney are regulars here on Fridays and Sundays.

Go see and hear for yourself when Finbar Furey makes a return engagement there this Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. Reservations are strongly suggested because only 75 tickets will be made available for each night Contact 718-884-7127 or visit www.bealbochtcafe.com.

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