March 2nd, 2010


Poem for Tuesday and IONA-Ocean Concert

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I had a very enjoyable day -- lunch with vertigo66 at The Corner Bakery, a couple of brief stops while in that area to return some things at Target and buy a gift, home to get some chores done, then dinner which apaulled decided should be Welsh rarebit in honor of St. David's Day. Then to further celebrate Celtic culture we abandoned our children and went to see my two favorite local folk groups performing at an Institute of Musical Traditions concert at St. Mark's Presbyterian Church -- IONA and Ocean. I assumed they would do separate sets, so I was doubly delighted when IONA joined Ocean's quartet on the last several songs. Stylistically, they're quite different -- the musicians in IONA all play multiple folk instruments (sometimes at the same time) and they often have a Celtic dancer with them, as they did tonight, while Ocean has an electronic keyboard and a more contemporary ethereal sound -- I love them both but I never thought about how they'd sound together before, and they sound fantastic.

IONA went on first, performing songs from all over the Celtic world -- Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Galicia -- woven together, so that an English song and an Irish reel might be played together with a Spanish dance in a tempo that works with banjo and fiddle. They had Kathleen Larrick with them performing Irish step dances and an original modern dance to one of their songs, plus they had the audience get up and dance around the hall (where at the intermission there were very good brownies for sale). Ocean didn't bring the full orchestra to this concert -- it was Jennifer Cutting, Lisa Moscatiello, Rosie Shipley and Bob Mitchell on keyboards, lead vocals/guitar, fiddle and bagpipes respectively -- and they did many of their seasonal/wishing for spring songs, including the Green Man song with Steve Winick in costume. It was really a lovely evening.

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