Enya - Wild Child (Click her photo at right for web site)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dublin Irish Festival - 2011

The Dublin Irish Festival is an annual event held in Dublin, Ohio which is right outside of Columbus. This three day event is claimed to be the second largest Irish festival in the world. The music performers are local, national and even from Ireland. One can not only listen to music, but also take in world champion Irish dancing, Irish education on music and history and Irish food. This is my second year attending the DIF and I look forward for next year already. I will share with you some of the performers that I had the chance to see, but this is not the complete list that was actually there.  Also, I will share a few pictures here, but if you go to the link provided, you can see more pictures of each performance that I mention here. This year I did not get to watch many of the Irish Dancing like I did last year so I do not have many photos of that. There are also groups that I heard but not mentioned here. I listened to one guy play “Wipeout” on the fiddle. He really made it sound great.

See all photos

The Ladies of Longford
I am going to start with this group because they are one that I went in knowing nothing about and came out as a fan. It consists of five women and they can play. I was really impressed the moment I started to hear them play. Though they all participated as backup singers to all the songs, three of them also had their own songs as a lead vocalist. The mother, who I believe has two daughters in the group played the acoustic guitar and sang, One daughter also played the congo drum and sang. The other daughter sang and played the bass guitar. I am not sure of the fiddle players name and the one on the site is not the one I saw here. This lady is blonde and she performed a song titled “Fiddlers Dispair.” She was magnificent on this song. After the show when I went to purchase a CD, I wanted the one with that song but was told it was not released yet. Well, I will be watching for it. The drummer who I believe is Molly, was also awesome. But the last song she came out and played the bass guitar and just blew me away. Needless to say, this group has my vote and I will make every effort to see them perform every time they come to my area. Please check out their sites.

Tartan Terrors
I saw this group last year and was impressed and made sure to see them again this year. Their bagpipe player is a two time world champion player and I can see why. Very talented group with a sound that I think is unique. They are very interactive with the audience and have no problem speaking directly to a specific fan in the audience. They also are comical. They love to tell stories and joke with the fans around the world. It is all is good taste and the fans seemed to enjoy it.  But their sound is not what I call Irish rock but they do have a fast and upbeat sound to them. Another great point about Tartan Terrors is that a portion from all CD sales goes to breast cancer research. They mentioned last night that over $100,000 has already been donated.

Liz Carroll
I have heard of Liz many times but never sat down and listened to her music. In all the pictures I have seen of her see always looked so serious. Liz is the first Irish/American to be nominated for a Grammy which I thought was cool. Before every song she would share a story and tell us about the song. Liz was full of smiles and very interesting to hear her talk and play. She has a young gentleman travelling with her that does some tapping to specific songs. She told us that awhile back she was doing a show and saw this young boy off to the side dancing away to the music. He impressed her enough that today he is now dancing right alongside of her and has created his own style of dance and tap. Her music was beautiful and I think her warm personality added to her wonderful sound.

Moya Brennan
Another warm and talented artist. Moya has a voice that would awe any person who could hear. She did a version of “She Moved Through The Fair” that was so angelic. I admit that other than Moya, Orla Fallon is the only one I have heard sing this but the styles were on total different ends of the spectrum. Moya had a keyboard player that echoed a slow, inviting sound that just added that special touch to the song. So who do I think did a better version. I love Moya and Orla’s version because as I said, two distinct styles. Moya also did her own version of Dulaman. But Moya went into details about the song and the seaweed. It is about one who sells seaweed and one who buys it. The guy who buys the seaweed was in love with the daughter of the one who sold it. He wanted to buy her things but she and her father were not impressed with this. When you look at the photos, you will see a woman playing the guitar. This is Moya’s daughter. For those who remember her first cd and the baby on that CD are one and the same. Yes, this is her daughter today all grown up.


Gaelic Storm

What can I say. This group rocks!! This is my second year hearing them perform. Gaelic Storm is the DIF main performer and they fill the tent to the maximum. It was a hot night and there is no sitting when you watch them unless you go way outside the tent. So you can imagine everyone shoved in like sardines on a hot and muggy night. But if you are inside, you will stand! I am not going to say a lot because if you love Irish music, than you know about Gaelic Storm. My daughter went to the festival this night because she has never heard of them and I wanted her to check them out. She left the tent before the last song so she could get us a spot in line to meet them after the show. When I got out there I noticed she already bought herself a CD. So I knew right there that she liked them. While in line I told her about last year when they asked me who was on my shirt (Máiréad Nesbitt). When we got up to them they asked me again. It was funny. I told them that I just was telling my daughter about last year. They had a laugh too and said,. “we are predictable.” I started up a chat with Steve and Jesse than moved down to Pete and Ryan and had problems getting my camera to work right. I got the picture finally. At the end I spoke to Patrick than moved on so others could have a turn. It looked like a long night for them. I believe this was the eleventh year at the DIF so I bet they will be back next year. They did mention they will be back in Columbus around St. Patrick’s day so if you have not seen them – you must!





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