Also in full flight in December is DANU with their Christmas in Ireland Tour 2013 that takes them to 13 venues starting at Notre Dame University on the 1st. This tasty outfit of like-minded soulful Irish musicians with a bent for the Irish tongue once were real road warriors touring months at a time, but as real life and the economy caught up to them they now make strategic and significant forays twice a year.
It also is indicative of how the market has grown for Irish Christmas shows as Danu will follow Cherish the Ladies into Fairfield, Connecticut on Sunday, December 8 at the Quick Center at Fairfield University.
But there are also two opportunities to catch them in New Jersey on Saturday, December 7 at Raritan Valley Community College in Somerville (phone 908-725-3420 or rvccarts.org) or Sunday, Dec. 13 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank (phone 732-842-9000 or countbasietheatre.org).
Longtime fans of Danu have enjoyed the brilliant musicianship of Benny McCarthy, Eamonn Doorley, Oisin McAuley and especially the singing of the enchanting Muireann nic Amhlaoibh and the splendid guitar work of founding member Donal Clancy, son of the late Liam Clancy and heir to the legacy of the Clancy Brothers.
Clancy has a new CD, Songs of a Roving Blade, proving that the gene pool is well intact. He has a fine set of pipes (vocal cords) of his own that have now been unleashed as he is determined to keep many of the songs in the Clancy canon alive through his own interpretation.
We are used to seeing the touring veterans Teada led by Oisin MacDiarmada in the area with their production “Irish Christmas in America” which has featured their latest addition in recent years in box player and sean nos singer supreme Seamus Begley, but they won’t be hitting the New York metropolitan area this time around.
Their 18-gig-tour from coast to coast is impressive and once again buttresses the surge in interest for Irish music at this time of the year. Joining them on most of the tour are Lumiere, the gorgeous vocal tandem of Eilis Kennedy and Pauline Scanlon from Dingle (neighbor of Begley) save for a slight detour when Lumiere grace the stage of Carnegie Hall with another show on December 5. For more info visit.irishchristmasinamerica.com.
There is another Irish Christmas show on the road this year also produced by the harping duet of Moya Brennan (of Clannad fame) and Cormac de Barra, who have done a lot of work and touring together in recent years.
Brennan will bring her unique vocal stylings to the Northeast and Midwest including visits to the Skye Theater in East Dixfield, Maine (4th), one of the most active venues for Celtic music in the U.S. and also the venerable music club the Iron Horse in Northampton, Massachusetts on the 5th.
Before hitting Washington, D.C. for two shows at the National Geographic Theatre on the 7th, they stop at the Sellersville Theatre in Pennsylvania on the 6th. On the 8th they appear at the Strand Center for the Arts in Lakewood, New Jersey (732-367-7789). More info at moyabrennan.com.
I’ll have some more recommendations next week for other Irish Christmas shows.