We've Always been

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Sidebar

01
Mon, Mar

Tools
Typography

It would be easy to head into August feeling quite depressed knowing we would, any other year, be in the midst of music festival season with the grand dame, Milwaukee Irish Fest, getting ready to open its gates for us.  Thanks to many musicians and fest committees, there have been lovely online opportunities for us to participate in and enjoy.  Milwaukee is offering its fest school online August 8th – 11th with top notch instructors including Fergal Scahill, Daithi Sproule, Kevin Crawford, Joanie Madden, Shane Hennessy, and Rory Makem to mention just a few.  Classes include various instruments, dancing, history-- you name it and it’s available.

The Fest at Home will be live online from the 13th – 20th.  You can head to Milwaukee Irish Fest at Home to get the lineup. All concerts are free, although the fest committee has been running a donation drive to cover costs.  It will be great if you can chip in!

Several new albums have recently been released, and we’ll get to two of them this month.  First is the lovely singer Eilis Kennedy’s So Ends the Day.  Happening upon letters, books, and logs in the New Bedford Whaling Museum telling the stories of everyday lives, traditions, dangers, and pains of separation of whalers and their families, she was inspired to compose and perform this moving tribute to them.

Eilis has always lived on the edge of the ocean and is intimately linked to it. She was part of the album Beal Tuinne at St. James Church, a stunningly beautiful collection of her father’s poems about fishermen put to music produced by Shaun Davey and performed by she, Seamus Bergley, Rita Connolly, Eoin Begley,

Daithi O Se, and Jim Murray.  She has included a favorite of mine from this album, “Ciumhais Charraig Aonair” which personifies a rock telling of all it has witnessed from the sea.  Her album Westward also celebrates life living on the shores of the Atlantic.  She and her husband, John Benny, own a restaurant and pub on Dingle Harbour.  The sea is in her blood.

From the opening song “When I Sleep” where a wife sings of her dreams and relief at receiving her fisherman husband’s letters letting her know he is well to “A Sailor’s Trade” and the despair of a young woman who finds her love has drowned, Eilis takes us on a stirring trip through the hard lives of whalers who, while passionate to be at sea, more than not, ended up poorly compensated for their hard work and perils experienced.  Their women understood the draw to the sea, but lived in daily fear of hearing of the ship going down or their love’s drowning.  

In addition to her ethereal singing which floats you along as if her voice was the boat taking you on this voyage, Eilis has included detailed liner notes explaining the background of each song.  So Ends the Day is a voyage through the lives of these hardy men and women gifted to us by Eilis.  Treat yourself to it and pour that whiskey and sit by the fireplace to take this trip.

Opening with a hearty sea song “South Australia,” Drops of Green’s much awaited album WHEN THE TIME COMES gets your toes tappin’ and arm swinging up toasting with your Guinness.  This group has expanded to five with the addition of Robbie Campion on guitar joining brother Lee Campion on guitar, banjo, and bodhran; Ross Hennessy on lead vocals, mandolin, bodhran, and whistles; James Ring on lead vocals, bass, guitar, and whistles; and Sean Kearney on accordion, guitar, and bodhran.  All are talented vocalists and their harmonies are awe-inspiring.  The first time I saw them was here in Chicago several years ago.  I have been in love with those harmonies ever since.  They are so exceptional, that at times, the listener gets that buzz when a chord is played perfectly. Their songs are so much more interesting because of their ability to sing together with such artistry.  

Back to the album, the lads have a varied and well produced collection of ten selections.  After getting your toes tappin’, they ease into “Beautiful Affair,” a heartfelt song of hope.  Their tender arrangement of “Streets of London” has many saying they now own the song.  The chorus of “Home to Donegal” will have you unable to resist singing along with great relish.  They have made many happy by including the popular “Bee’s Wing” doing an engaging version of it.  They cleverly snuck in bluegrassy “Say You Love Me,” and it is a winner!  I have never been a fan of “McAlpines Fusilliers,” but they have me enjoying it with their harmony and strength without bull shouting it.  The last two songs on the album are heart wringers with “Come My Little Son” singing of telling a wee lad about his Da who is seldom around, and “On the Carousel,” a poignant tale of an old man’s memories and the circle of life.  “The Jewels of the Ocean Set” is the only tune selection on the album.  All accomplished multi instrumentalists, you’ll be wanting more.

The album is outstanding and will have you hoping for our world to straighten out so that you can see them live.  A favorite band of mine, Drops of Green are talented, special, and their album will be oft listened to in your collection.
Take care and be safe!

Join the Irish Book Club!

Become a Book Club Member

Chicago irish Film Festival 2021

N-17 Song Done Differently!

SUBSCRIBE: Buy 1 get 2 - Buy 2 get 3! - Buy 3 get 6 years!

SUB SPECIAL

Advertise

Paying For
Instructions

February Linked Edition

January Digitally Linked 2021

 

December 2020 with ad links

Irish Ann

Irish Book Club

Advertising Rates 2020

Shop Irish!

ARTIST
Bryan Boylan
ASSISTED LIVING
Aishling Companion Homecare
Homecare Angels

ATTORNEY

Murphy & Smith Ltd
Dwyer and Coogan
Healy Law

Miller & McGing Law Firm 773-467-8000
BAGPIPERS & DRUM CLASSES

Chicalba Bagpiping

BAKERY
Doughs Guys Bakery
BANKS
First National Bank of Brookfield

Marquette National Bank
BANQUETS
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
BEAUTY SALONS
Appearances Pk Ridge
 847-825-7615
Hair by O'Hara & Friends-Hometown
BOOKS - IRISH
TheIrishBookClub.com
BRICK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CARPET CLEANER
Sheila's Carpet Shampooligans
CATERERS
Harrington's Catering & Deli
Unforgettable Edibles
CHARITABLE ORG

Mercy Home
IrishCommunityServices
CAULKING & SEALING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CHIMNEY REPAIR

Shamrock Tuckpointing

CHOIR
Irish Heritage Singers
COTTAGE RENTAL
Cottage Mary Rose
Dingle Cottage: 312-399-8793
Gurtenard Hse - Listowel Co Kerry
CRUISES

Andy Cooney
Phil Coulter Tranquility Cruise
CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago Gaelic Park

iBAM!
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Irish Am Society Co Will
Irish Heritage Singers
DANCE SCHOOLS

McNulty School of Dance
Trinity Irish Dance
ENTERTAINERS

Chicalba Bagpiping

Paddy Homan
The Larkin Brothers
Catherine O'Connell
Joe McShane
Whiskey Mick Irish Rock
FESTIVALS

Arlington Heights
Dublin

IAHC
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Milwaukee
Naperville Aug 7-8 2020
FINANCIAL PLANNER

Corrigan Financial
FLORIST

Garland Flowers
FUNERAL HOMES

Blake-Lamb

Gibbon's Funeral Homes
Roberty J Sheehy & Sons

GAELIC YOUTH FOOTBALL
773-719-2847 Jerry
GARBAGE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
GOLF COURSES
Palos Golf
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Coyle 773-343-7268
GROCERIES/MEAT

O'Connor's Market

Winston's

HOTELS

The Irish Cottage 1 866 CU-IRISH
HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT
James Fitzgerald
IMMIGRATION SERVICES

IrishCommunityServices
IMPORT SHOPS
Ann's Irish Gifts

Celtica Gifts 773-784-7712
Donegal Imports
Gaelic Imports
Irish Shop
INSURANCE

American Family-Joan McKee
Riordan Insurance
JEWELERS

H. Watson
MUSIC SCHOOLS
Chgo Academy of Piping/Drumming
Irish Music School of Chgo
MYSTERY SHOPPER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654

PARTY PLANNERS
That Special Event

PENNY WHISTLES
Michael Burke
PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURING
Memoirs for Me
PHYSICAL THERAPY
SPORTS-ORTHOPEDIC
Athletex
PLASTERING

William McNulty & Son
708-386-2951
PUB/RESTAURANT RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar
PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Ashford House
The Celtic Knot
Clancy's Pizza Pub
Corcorans
Emerald Loop
Fifth Province
Fiddler's Hearth
The Galway Arms
James Joyce Irish Pub
Lizzie McNeill's
Mickey Finn's Brewery
Peggy Kinnanes
R
ed Apple Buffet
Six Penny Bit
Vaughan's Pub

REALTORS
Dreamtown - Patrick Carney
Koenig & Strey
Mary Ellen Considine  773-769-2500
RESTAURANT/HOSPITALITY RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654
SPORTS CLUBS

Chgo Celtic Soccer Club
stbrigids.chicago.gaa.ie
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Parade
SWEATERS

Anne's Irish Knits
TABLE RUNNERS
All 32 Counties
TELEVISION-CABLE

Irish Journal 708-366-4665
THEATRE
Late Nite Catechism
TOURIST ATTRACTION
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
TRAVEL /TOURS
Authentic Irish Tours
BestIrishTours.com
Gadabout Travel
Shay Clarke - Inter Trav Corp
TUCKPOINTING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
VACATION RENTALS
Dingle Cottage
Cork - Cottage from $450 weekly
Don at 608-274-1180
WASTE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
WEDDING PLANNER
That Special Event

WEDDING VENUES
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Palos Country Club
WOOD FLOOR SPECIALIST
The Sexton Group