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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...2/28/19
By Danny Coleman
originally published: 02/28/2019
"We're absolutely thrilled to be coming back to the States! We absolutely love coming over to see you guys and you're always so lovely to us and always give us such a warm lovely reception," says Mairead Carlin of the phenomena that is Celtic Woman.
Launching a U.S tour in support of their recently released "Ancient Land" CD, an 18 track masterpiece which takes you from traditional Irish and Gaelic roots to newer sounds along with some original works; this Grammy nominated/multi-platinum selling group continues to wow audiences every stop along their way.
"I guess the idea behind this album was to go back to our roots and really delve into that treasure trove of Irish history and find songs that people have not heard in quite a while," stated Mairead (Pronounced MA-Raid). Songs like "Mna Na hEireann" which is a traditional Irish song which means, "Women Of Ireland," which we thought was very apt for us considering we are women of Ireland ourselves (laughs). Our fans have been asking us for quite a while to give them new music as well so we really wanted to do that with this album. We reached out to some fabulous Irish writers from all across Ireland and we have some new original music on there which we are really thrilled by and one of our own girls, `Eabha McMahon has a song on there; it's a really exciting time to be part of Celtic Woman and we're really proud of this album."
Carlin has been with the group for a bit more than six years and her involvement came as she attempted to craft her own music career; a path begun by her love of folk music.
"I loved Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny and Eddi Reader." she said as she recounted her influences. "I was signed when I was 21 to Decca Records and one of the samples that I used as a reference point was Celtic Woman. I remember having a meeting with the managing director of the label and he said, "You know, you'd be a perfect fit in Celtic Woman" and I remember saying out loud, "That'll be the day" and I never thought in a million years that I'd be here. It just makes you realize that the world is a small place and anything can happen.They (the styles of music) kind of go hand in hand because we're very honest performers in Celtic Woman so I'm basically myself when on stage but the music that I love to sing is folk music which is what I get to sing in the show."
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With an album like "Ancient Land" which has such depth, reflection and great production involved, one may wonder how the group chooses their material and who has the final say; according to Mairead it's a total team effort.
"We're very lucky in the sense that we have such an amazing team around us that really listens to us as artists and people; sometimes I say that they know us better than we know ourselves when it comes to our voices because sometimes we think of songs that may really not be for us and they say well gee it really doesn't fit," she said with a giggle."There's a big pot and we throw in ideas, there's constant e-mails saying I love this song or I'd love to sing this song at some point and then our producers will come back and say; have you thought about this song? I think it really fits you. So it's a very open kind of way of choosing the songs and it makes it very organic for all of us. I think for all of us as artists all really need to feel connected to a song and to the music; if we don't feel what we're singing about then it's very difficult to sing something like that. We're really encouraged to give our opinions and throw in ideas. I remember sitting down at the piano with our music director who had a big list of songs, things he had put together as options for me and he started playing this melody on the piano. I didn't know the melody but I was completely drawn to it and I said; what was that? I need to know what that song is! It was a song called "Cranky Down" and I'm from Northern Ireland and "Cranky Down" is in Northern Ireland so I immediately said I have to sing that song; so it's nice to sit around and really talk about things."
Celtic Woman has been built on a changing core of performers, vocalists and stage productions but with every addition or subtraction the unit remains cohesive and unabashedly excited. Some may feel that this affects the group but Carlin says that is not the case and with the recent addition of vocalist Megan Walsh her point is well proven.
"No, we are very open about the fact that Celtic Woman has always had a fluency in their members. The group has been going for 14 years, I don't know if I can name many bands that have been together for that length of time. People have wanted to move on and do their own thing and our lovely Susan McFadden left just before Megan joined to have a gorgeous little baby so we found ourselves in the position to find someone new. So we put out the feelers and we came across the wonderful Megan Walsh who was studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London and she's an absolute dream and so talented; we're very lucky to have her."
"Ancient Land" is also available on DVD and Blu-ray where you'll hear songs from the disc performed in front of the historic Johnstown Castle located in County Wexford, Ireland. Full of all the wonderful pageantry that make their shows spectacular and with a backdrop of this magnitude; how did Carlin feel about performing on such a grand stage?
"Oh my goodness yes," she gushed when asked if it was exciting. "I grew up watching and being a huge fan of Celtic Woman and they are known for those spectacular castle specials and I never thought in a million years that I'd get to be a part of one. So when we were told that we were doing it again I was completely overwhelmed and I remember walking into the grounds of the castle and just bursting into tears because it was very special and not everyone gets to be involved in something like that; I guess it's something we will remember for the rest of our lives."
February 28 sees the start of another tour in Nashville, TN and the U.S portion winds up in May with a show at Red Rocks in Colorado. There is a one off performance in Canada as well but two particular ones of interest are a March 24 appearance at the NJPAC in Newark, NJ and one in Philadelphia, PA at the Academy of Music. There is very little time off which is surprising given the fact that the ladies were just here in the U.S a short time ago but their enthusiasm for America and these two venues doesn't wane.
"A couple of months ago we finished our symphony tour; we did a tour all across the States in December with a different symphony orchestra every night performing Christmas music. It was really fun; it was a special thing to get to perform with a different symphony orchestra every night and that's something that you can only ever dream about and we absolutely cherished every single moment of that."
"Honestly? These venues are two of my favorite venues in the world; I have family in New Jersey and they always come to the New Jersey concerts so I love doing that gig and Philadelphia is one of my favorite places in the entire world and I love that venue so they are going to be two great nights for us. I would say that it's a great experience and it takes you on a journey through Ireland. That's what we really wanted from this album and from this show, was to take people on a journey, the ups and downs and everything in between. We have a full stage production, beautiful gowns as people would expect, drummers, percussion, bag pipers, dancers and lots of old music as well as new music."
What started as a supposed onetime event has turned into a fabulous representation of history, tradition, culture and music; all brought to life by the beauty of Ireland. Mairead sees no slowdown in sight for the band and embraces the thought of continuing their journey.
"As far as I'm concerned, Celtic Woman is just growing and growing and moving forward. I've been in the group for six years and it's amazing to see the progression within the music industry. All around us the industry is changing and the amazing thing for us is to see people still coming to our shows and still wanting to hear our music. So for as long as people want to come and hear us perform we are more than happy to do that; we feel very lucky to do what we do. Yes I'm an artist as a person but I feel as much of my identity in Celtic Woman as I do in my own stuff; I'm so proud to be a part of Celtic Woman and want to do it for as long as they will have me."
To discover more about Celtic Woman and/or purchase tickets to the NJPAC or Academy of Music shows, please visit www.celticwoman.com.
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That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!
This week's event listings
Alchemist & Barrister
28 Witherspoon Street Princeton
Thurs. "Pasta and Sinatra Night"
Wed. 10 p.m. (TBA)
Allentown Presbyterian Church
20 High Street Allentown
Sat. 6:30 p.m. "Jazz and the Gospel" w/ Enoch & Friends
19 Everett Alley Trenton
Fri. 5:30 p.m. YAL "I Am More Than"
Bill's Olde Tavern
2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton
Thurs. 9 p.m. Trivia
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33 Hamilton
Sun. 7 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Jam
Wed. 7 p.m. Karaoke
11 Amboy Road Bordentown
Fri. 6 p.m. "Burger Night" feat. Just Us. $6
1600 River Road New Hope, PA
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Dave Dales Trio
Fri. (4 p.m.) Ottmar (8 p.m.) Andy Prescott
Sat. 7 p.m. Dave Dales Trio
Sun. (12 p.m.) Ottmar) (6 p.m.) Lorenzo
Mon. 6 p.m. Andy Prescott
Tues. 6 p.m. Ryan Shubert
Wed. 6 p.m. Lovey Williams
Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room
19 E. Union Street Burlington
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Byrd
Wed. 7 p.m. Quizzoholics
Broken Goblet Brewing
1500 Grundy Lane Bristol, PA
Thurs. 8 p.m. Mike Estabrook
Sat. 9 p.m. Stealing Fame w/ Jay Skull ("Osmium" CD Release)
Wed. 8 p.m. Quizzo from the Darkside
143 East State Street (Suite 4) Trenton
Thurs.-Sat. 11 a.m. "Common Threads Sanctuary 7"
BT Restaurant & Tavern
2031 Route 130 South Burlington
Fri. 8 p.m. Big Country & The Finger Pickin' Good Band
24 Passaic Street Trenton
Thurs. 6 p.m. Thursday Night Blues Jam
Sat. 3 p.m. (TBA) $10 (cover charge/$10 Minimum includes buffet)
Tues. 6 p.m. "Tuesday Jazz Jam" Open Session feat. James Stewart / Tom Littwin Trios. $5 (Lite appetizers)
661 Route 33 Hamilton
Sat. 8 p.m. Judy Torres with DJ/MC John Rossi. $25
931 Chambers street Trenton
Mon. 8 p.m. "Art Chill Night"
Tuesday 8 p.m. "Jam Night" Hosted by Nikki & Caleb
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night
Wed. 9 p.m. Quizzo Trivia
510 Highway 130 South East Windsor
Fri. 9 p.m. Kindred Spirit
Mon. 9 p.m. "Malibu Mondays"
Tues. 9 p.m. Trivia w/ Jessie & Chelsea
Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" w/ Rich Genoval
125 South Main Street Hightstown
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. M.A. Tappan
Common Sense Brewing
102 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Sat. 6 p.m. Paul Plumeri & Jerry Monk
2 North Main Street Yardley, PA
Fri. 9 p.m. Joe Rebl
Sat. 9 p.m. Jack Capik & Friends
411 Hobart Avenue Hamilton
Fri. 6 p.m. The Blue-Eyed Balladeer
Diamond's of Hamilton
661 Route 33 Hamilton
Fri. (6 p.m.) Tymes 2 (10 p.m.) DJ Frank Oliveti
Sat. (6 p.m.) Jessica DiDonato (10 p.m.) DJ Frank Oliveti
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
Thurs. 8 p.m. Brian & Jenny
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch" (9 p.m.) Gypsy Mother
Sun. 11 a.m. "Sunday Brunch"
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Country Night" Hosted by Jeremy Line Dance. (FREE event)
Fri. 9 p.m. In The Groove
Sat. 9 p.m. Jim Delre Band
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Joe Vadala, Falcey & Marc Hoffman
German American Society
215 Uncle Pete's Road Hamilton
Sat. 6 p.m. "Annual 2019 GAK Dinner/Dance Tricky Tray Fundraiser" $40
Sun. 12 p.m. "Schlachtfest"
90 South Main Street New Hope, PA
Tues. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night Hosted by Sam Ryan Music
Grounds For Sculpture
80 Sculptors way Hamilton
Thurs. 5 p.m. "Sing Along with Sculpture" w/ Seward Johnson
Grover's Mill Coffee House
Princeton-Hightstown Road Princeton Junction
Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Anker
4617 Nottingham Way Hamilton Square
Sat. 7 p.m. John & Carm
Hamilton Tap & Grill
557 US Route 130 North Hamilton
Fri. 9 p.m. DCDUO
Tues. 8 p.m. "Super Hero" Trivia Challenge
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.
Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Rocky & His Friends
Fri. (8 p.m) "St Baldricks Cancer Fundraising Head Shaving Event" feat. Bigg Romeo (12 a.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sat. (8:15 p.m.) Steve Forbert. $25 (SOLD OUT check for ticket availability) (11 p.m.) DJ Dance Party
Sun. 1 p.m. Midnight Sun Orchestra
Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 8 p.m. Funk 'N' Blues Jam Hosted by Sidewinder Blues Band
Wed. 8 p.m. "Local Original Music Showcase" Hosted by Pat Foran feat. Michael Duck
5 South Greenwood Avenue Hopewell
Sat. 8 p.m. "Comedy Night" feat. Dina Hashem / LeClerc Andre. $34.12
Hopewell United Methodist Church
20 Blackwell Avenue Hopewell
Sat. 7 p.m. "Shamrock and Thistle" feat. Fiona Tyndall. $20
Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn
15 East Broad Street Hopewell
Fri. 8 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
Thurs. 6 p.m. John & Carm
Fri. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. The Jackolopes
Sat. 6 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Rainbow Fresh
Sun. 2 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Alex Otey Trio
Hurricane Jacks Bar and Grill
7759 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paul Kircher
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula & Sam
Irish Rover Station House
1033 Bellevue Avenue Langhorne, PA
Fri. 9:30 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Sat. 9:30 p.m. All Tuned Up
Sun. 2 p.m. Live Broadcast w/ "Philly Pressbox Radio"
Tues. 7:30 p.m. "Paint & Sip"
Wed. 7 p.m. "Guinness Night"
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
Thurs. 9:30 p.m. Karaoke
Fri. 9 p.m. Cover Up
Sat. 9 p.m. Asylum Choir
All shows 21+
869 Bustleton Pike Richboro, PA
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Ladies Night"
Wed. 8 p.m. Trivia Night
Jimmy's Firestone American Grill
140 Route 130 South Bordentown
Thurs. 8 p.m. "Bar Games and Trivia"
John & Peter's
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa
Thurs. 9 p.m. The Antics
Fri. 9 p.m. Hogan Hill Restoration Project
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic
Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
2677 Nottingham Way Mercerville
Sat. 10 p.m. Radio Fiction
Killarney's Publick House
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton
Thurs. "Girls Night Out"
Sun. 10 a.m. "Sunday Brunch"
Mon. 7 p.m. "Paint Nite" Plant Night
Wed. 8 p.m. Drop the Beat Bingo
85 Archertown Road New Egypt
Thurs. 6 p.m. "Girls Night Out"
Fri. 6:30 p.m. "Laurita Wedding Show"
Sat. 1 p.m. Deb & Mike
Sun. 1 p.m. Chris Roselle
10 West Ferry Street New Hope, PA
Thurs. 6 p.m. Bonnie Boland
Fri. 7 p.m. Lauren Marsh
Sat. 7:30 p.m. James Popik
Sun. 11 a.m. "Jazz Brunch" feat. Justin DeUmberto Trio
Marcellos Coal Fired Restaurant & Pizza
206 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Sun. 10 a.m. "Blues Brunch"
1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Hip Hop Thursdays" w/ Enki
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke
McStews Irish Sports Pub
5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
Thurs. 10 p.m. Beer Pong Night"
Sat. 9 p.m. 44 Fridays
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo hosted by Mike
Wed. 9 p.m. "Karaoke Time" w/ Kirchner Entertainment
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
Fri. (6 p.m.) "First Friday" Hosted by Unc Elroy. Feat. Raymond Strife, DJ Flea Market/DJ Jonathan Silva, artwork by Robert Lowe II / Andrew Wilkinson. (8 p.m.) Hot Blood ("Fear of a Unified Public" CD Release), Houston & The Dirty Rats, Over Everything, The Barren Marys, SophistiPunX.
Tues. 10 p.m. "Local Artist" Hip Hop, Experimental EDM and Bass Music Showcase
New Hope Winery
6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA
Fri. 8 p.m. Lucas Bohn. Doors open at 7 p.m., $20
New Jersey WeedMan's Joint
322 East State Street Trenton
Fri. 8 p.m. "420 First Friday / Fire Friday"
Sat. 8:30 p.m. "Jazz Night"
Sun. 4:20 p.m. "Sugar Magnolia Sundaze" feat.
Wed. 8 p.m. "420 Game Night"
2043 Route 130 South Florence
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Tuesday w/ Quizoholics
9 Mercer Street Hamilton Square
Thurs. 9:30 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Super Dave
Fri. 9 p.m. Uneverno
Sat. 9 p.m. The Polish Nannies
Tues. 5 p.m. "Mardi Gras Celebration" w/ Chris Barlow
Old Town Pub
135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Thurs. 8 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia
Fri. 9 p.m. Gypsy Mother
Sat. 9 p.m. Ess Gees
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Road Hamilton
Thurs. 8 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21 +
1339 River Road Titusville
Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night w/ Sean Cavalier
Fri. 8 p.m. DT & the Burnerz
Sat. 8 p.m. Joe Robinson
Wed. 7 p.m. "Quizzo
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
Fri. 9:30 p.m. The Suspects
Sat. 9 p.m. SpringWood
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Sat. 8 p.m. Jeffrey Gaines. All ages, $25
River Cat Cafe`
142 South Main Street New Hope, PA
Mon. 6 p.m. "Monday Night Jazz"
Rossi's Bar & Grill
2110 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton
Thurs. 7 p.m. Ernie White
Salt Creek Grille
1 Rockingham Row Princeton
Fri. 8 p.m. Keith Franklin
Sat. 8 p.m. Jackie Jones
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-4377 x2
Sat. 8 p.m. Rick Fiori Jazz Trio
(Trenton Community Store)
102 South Warren Street Trenton
Sat. 3 p.m. Open Mic
101 Scotch Road Ewing
Fri. 8 p.m. "Simply Timeless" w/ Jay Daniels. $20
Sat. 8 p.m. Liz Hogg. $20
Sun. 3 p.m. Red Door Chamber Players. $20
Wed. 7:30 p.m. Nate Philips. $20
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
Fri. 9 p.m. Funk Point 5
Sat. 9 p.m. Black Rose
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night
5 South State Street Newtown, PA
Thurs. 7 p.m. Blues Open Mic Hosted by Steve Guyger
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo
330 Cold Soil Road Princeton
Sun. 1 p.m. "Winery Sunday Music Series" feat. Brooke DiCaro
The Birdhouse Center For The Arts
7 North Main Street Lambertville
Fri. 7:30 p.m. Hoot and Holler
The Cool Cricket
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. ArHouse
The Cure Insurance Center
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
Check website for upcoming events
34 North Main Street New Hope, PA
Fri. 7 p.m. Thomas Johnston
The Five Four Bar & Grill
8919 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
Fri. 9 p.m. The Fredz
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Mikey Junior Band
Wed. 7 p.m. "Lyrical Conundrums" w/ Cara & Righteous
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street Bordentown
Fri. 8 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Tues 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau Street Princeton
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
Fri. 10 p.m. Paper Shakers
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Darius The 1st
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. 10 p.m. "Wednesday Wheel Night Spin To Win Karaoke" w/ DJ Rockn Ron
The Pines Tavern
6217 North Radcliffe Street Bristol, PA
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Flashback
Sun. 3 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Bill Monach Jr.
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Sat. 8 p.m. Vinny Martell w/ Rock Gold feat. Pete Bremy & TC Tolliver / Peg Pearl. All ages, Doors open at 7:30 p.m., $20 (Advance)
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke
The Sticky Wicket
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Throwback Thursday" w/ DJ Chillio
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke
The Sycamore Grill
255 North Sycamore Street Newtown, PA
Thurs. 8 p.m. Steve Tesluk
Fri. 8 p.m. Stage Left
Sat. 8 p.m. Monique and RJ
The Union Firehouse
18 Washington Street Mount Holly
Thurs. 7 p.m. "Live & Local" Hosted by Jake Falana
Fri. 7 p.m. The Extensions, Wax Wav, Rrhea, Mums The Word. Ages 21+, $10
Sat. (1 p.m.) "St. Patrick's Day Parade After-Party" w/ Retroglyphs (FREE event) (8:30 p.m.) Rolling Stones Tribute" w/ "Brown Sugar." Doors open at 7 p.m
Tues. 7:30 p.m. Open Jam w/ Blue Light Digital Sound
Third State Brewing
352 High Street Burlington
Sat. 7 p.m. Jon Pheasant
Tir Na Nog
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton
Sat. 12 p.m. "St Patrick's Season Kick-Off Party" w/ Kevin McCloskey
Sun. 3 p.m. "Irish Sessions" Hosted by McDermott's Handy
All Shows 21+
702 Pine Street Trenton
Fri. 8 p.m. Live Band & Open Mic.
Sat. 10 p.m. "Buzzed Saturdays" w/ Bockman
449 South Broad Street Trenton
Thurs. 5 p.m. "Happy Hour" Hosted by Jay Kountree
Sat. 9 p.m. Julia Kirk
Tues. 7 p.m. "Social Musicology Series"
Wed. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton
Triumph Brewing Company
(New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
Thurs. 8 p.m. Trivia
Fri.10 p.m. Nate Bohach and the Grove Syndicate. $5 (cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. Stranger Than Normal. $5 (cover charge)
Triumph Brewing Company
138 Nassau Street Princeton
Fri. 10 p.m. Challenged Accepted
VFW Post 491
9 Fisher Place Yardville
Sat. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night
All shows ages 21+
2572 Pennington Road Pennington
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock Night
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia
Working Dog Winery
610 Windsor Perrineville Road Hightstown
Sat. 1 p.m. Ginger Coyle
Yardley Inn Restaurant & Bar
82 East Afton Avenue Yardley, PA
Sat. 8 p.m. Mike Meade
Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.