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Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal--Over the St. Patrick’s season you would have noticed the Tourism Ireland campaign slogan to “Go Where Ireland Takes You” with its underlying premise that the Emerald Isle holds many great treasures, especially for those who experience the real Ireland when they veer off the most-well traveled roads.
For those who wish to drink from the well of the pure-drop of the tradition, there are any number of opportunities to drop in on festivals of varying durations and come away with an appreciation for those tradition bearers who keep it alive, not to mention a world of knowledge even for those of us who think we know a lot already.
There are some Irish music bands that fly a little too far under the radar for no real fault of their own, and it can lead to their being overlooked when it comes to discussion about bands that bring a lot to the tradition and its performance values.
One of those bands is Danu, who came through the greater New York area this past weekend including a wonderful Sunday afternoon matinee up at the Quick Center for the Arts on the campus of Fairfield University in Connecticut where I was in attendance.
When you are 25 years on the road, no matter how good you are, you have to come up with some new ways to help widen your appeal or at least enhance what you have done that allowed you to stay in the game that long. Just go and ask Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains.
Even though, Altan -- the quintessential contemporary trad band -- has a live stage presence second to none and a driving sound and enchanting vocals by founder Mairead ni Mhaonaigh that have pleased audiences around the world for a quarter of a century, it helps to try a new approach.