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Celtic performances at KCPA – Irish musical stars Sharon Shannon & The High Kings release new albums before performing live at the Kirtland Center March 18
The true heirs of Ireland’s folk heritage, The High Kings, this month released their finest album to date, “Grace & Glory,” on Caroline Records. While Sharon Shannon’s February release “Sacred Earth” is a cheerful mix of unexpected styles from around the world. Both artists take the stage for CelticFest at the Kirtland Center for the Performing Arts Saturday, March 18, at 7 p.m.
The High Kings have taken up the Irish contemporary folk baton and continue a tradition that brings Irish music to thousands of fans worldwide. They are charting a new course for Irish music – equal parts rousing and reflective, energetic and insightful. “Grace & Glory” features ‘The Boys Are Back in Town,’ the bands’ tribute to Dublin musician Phil Lynott and the band Thin Lizzy. The song is on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Music writer Colleen Taylor of The Irish Echo says, “The High Kings make traditional Irish music new, fresh, and alive. Everyone should listen to this album.” Their show at KCPA is part of their “Grace and Glory” Tour starting March 3rd in Texas and culminating in New York City on March 19.
It’s a free-wheeling approach that makes Sharon Shannon so exciting. And she puts it all down to the time she spent working with The Waterboys, when there were “no rules as to the type of music played…we could move very easily from a punk song to an old timey American waltz to Irish jigs and reels and onto New Orleans-type blues”. As a soloist, she has continued that approach. Justin Adams, who co-produced “Sacred Earth,” said, “ever since a latenight music session at her house in Galway, I’ve been aware of the joy and openness that goes alongside Sharon’s rootedness in tradition.” Sharon had a solidified her reputation as a premier Irish performer back in the 1990s when she worked as a member of the Waterboys and as an accompanist to the legendary singer Christy Moore. Now, says AllMusicReviewer Rick Anderson, her innovative approach to her instrument — along with her tremendous energy and prodigious chops (have created) a groundswell of interest outside of Celtic music circles as well.” Primarily hailed as an accordion player, she is a prodigy on the fiddle and whistle, too. Sharon will be accompanied by a four piece band and is expected to perform an encore with the High Kings before the night is over.
Ticket for CelticFest on March 18 are $35, reserved, with discounts for seniors and groups of 12 or more. Tickets are available online at www.kirtlandcenter.com or from the box office at 989-275-6777, M-F, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
For more information on both of these fine artists, go to kirtlandcenter.com