Scotland’s Heron Valley at Bangor Arts Exchange, March 9

Heron Valley is an exciting group of very talented young musicians who hail from various parts of Scotland’s Argyll region. The band name derives from their local area, Strachur, meaning “Valley of the Herons,” said band member Arlene Mackechnie. You can expect to hear a lot of original tunes from their debut album, “ROAM.” Band members joining Mackechnie, who plays piano; are Nick Hamilton, drums and banjo; Abigail Pryde, vocals, guitar; Euan McNab, bagpipes, whistles and guitar; and Callum Cronin, bass guitar.

Heron Valley’s music is inspired not only by tradition, but their love of the wild Scottish landscape as well. “Quite a few of our new songs are influenced by my home,” said Pryde, who is from the Glencoe area of the Scottish Highlands. “Our sets are based mostly on traditional pipe tunes,” she added. “Our songs are more modern. In Scotland there is a modern folk scene going on.” Heron Valley’s songs “are not quite poppy, but not quite traditional either.” “We like that young people enjoy our music,” said Mackechnie, which is also evident when you tour their website.—Independent Record, UK.

Festival crowds love them. The effect of their music “was electric.” They and another Scottish band at the festival had folks “jumping, dancing (and) singing.”—Johnny Whalley, Folk Radio.

The band’s love of what it is doing is patently clear in the crisp, fresh arrangements in the group’s album ROAM.” The mix of songs ranges from “energetic, driving tune sets to thoughtful songs. Their technical ability is beyond good, and everything gels together into a natural-sounding maturity that belies their years. If this is what they’re sounding like now, then the future can only hold great things for them.” —Gordon, Potter, Living Tradition.

Heron Valley — an energy fueled band deeply rooted in Scotland, March 9, 8pm

Heron Valley are an energetic, young folk band from Scotland who have serious enthusiasm for the music they play. Their roots lie in Scottish and Irish traditional music, while taking influence from various Folk, Country and Bluegrass styles. Their style sees traditional Scottish pipe tunes played with a modern twist, along with a varied set of traditional and contemporary folk songs. Their live performances are full of excitement and fire, not to be missed!

Due to their early success, Heron Valley quickly made a strong impact on the folk scene in Scotland. 2016/17 saw the band take to more than twenty festival stages throughout the UK and Europe. With a demand for more, Heron Valley released their debut album ‘Roam’ in May 2017. This was extremely well received by their fan base, and contributed to two successful tours of the USA.

March 9, 8pm!

Second Annual Robert Burns Night

Come join us at our second celebration of the birthday of Scottish bard Robbie Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796). 

We will begin the evening with introductory remarks, followed by piping in the haggis at 6:30, with a recitation of Burns’ Address to the Haggis. A traditional meal of haggis, ‘neeps and taties (turnips and potatoes) will be served and is included in the price of the event. Cash bar.

Following supper we will have entertainment and a raffle. Please bring your favorite Burns poem or song to share, if you play traditional music, you are welcome to bring an instrument. 

We will end the evening with Auld Lang Syne.

So that we can plan to have enough food we recommend tickets be purchased in advance. Your presence at the event supports Bangor Celtic Crossroads Festival.

Richard Wood & Gordon Belsher live at the BAE Ballroom

For the last decade, Richard and Gordon have been performing and touring as a duo. Enthusiastic audiences have been taken on a roller coaster ride of exhilarating – even exhausting – jigs and reels, strathspeys and hornpipes, and beautiful airs, many composed by Richard himself. This is complimented by Gordon’s engaging songs, some humorous and some poignant, warming things up for the next fiddle blaze.

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The Gothard Sisters Irish Music and Dance

Coming up June 14 at 7 pm. Bangor Arts Exchange an exciting program of Irish American music and step dancing. If you’ve seen them before you know what a great show the Gothard Sisters put on. If you haven’t, well here is your chance!

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“The Gothard Sisters’ grasp of style and presentation is big league, even when playing in more intimate settings. This is a trio that comes off like an orchestra.”
– Celtic Beat Magazine.

The Gothard Sisters are a dynamic group of three sisters, whose impressive array of talents have set them apart as one of the most refreshing and compelling acts in Celtic-roots music today. The sisters’ unpredictable and theatrical flair brings a youthful splash to the time-honored tradition of Celtic folk music, bridging the gap between classical, folk, Celtic, world and roots influences with a sunny, optimistic style that has been described as “beautifully arranged, melodic-minded Celtic folk-pop.”

After ten years of playing together and a lifetime of getting to know one another, The Gothard Sisters’ collaborative process and eclectic style has evolved into a jubilant live performance, full of entertaining sibling-banter, Irish step-dancing, foot-stomping tunes, lyrical melodies, storytelling, and a genuine lightness of heart that leaves audiences feeling refreshed and inspired.

Hailing from Edmonds, Washington – in 2006, The Gothard Sisters first began playing together as a violin trio busking for tips at the local farmer’s market, working their way onto stages at local fairs and festivals. Audiences responded with enthusiasm, and over 1,000 performances later the band recently performed at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., completed several national concert tours of the United States, and are well-known musicians on the national Celtic festival circuit. In December 2016 The Gothard Sisters charted on Billboard’s World Music Chart with their latest Christmas album, Falling Snow, alongside notable Irish music phenomena Celtic Woman and Celtic Thunder.

When sisters Greta Gothard, Willow Gothard, and Solana Gothard use their musical talents together, the result is an irresistible mix of spritely violin and fiddle tones, pure sibling vocal harmonies, mandolin and pennywhistle accents, all supported by the powerful and exuberant rhythms of the Irish bodhran, African djembe, and acoustic guitar – creating what Irish Central calls “an earthiness that gives the songs a lively, approachable, down-home sound.”

The sisters have produced two albums, Story Girl, Compass and Mountain Rose- and self-produced, filmed and edited a collection of music videos at beautiful outdoor locations across Washington’s wild landscape, striking chords with hundreds of thousands of Youtube viewers. Since then their music has been featured on NPR’s Thistle and Shamrock program and PBS’s Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour broadcast.

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Two of the Foremost Harpers of Ireland and Scotland Together!

MASTERS OF THE CELTIC HARP

Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson. Coming up March 31, 2018 at 7 pm at Bangor Arts Exchange Ballroom. 193 Exchange St. Bangor, ME.

Tickets $20 ]

Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson are two of the foremost harpers of Ireland and Scotland. Combining their extraordinary talents on harp as well as concertina, tin whistle and bouzouki, The Masters of the Celtic Harp, have been performing all over the country and dazzling audiences with their artistry. Their Two Sides of Celtic show is a special treat.

“…the most creative interpretations of Irish and Scottish traditional music you’re likely to hear.”-IrishPhiladelphia.com

Since 1998 Gráinne Hambly has been touring extensively throughout the United States and has garnered an ever-growing following of devoted harp enthusiasts and has captured the Irish music fan with the taste for the fast, driving reels and jigs of traditional music. A lifelong County Mayo resident, Gráinne has won the senior All-Ireland titles on harp and concertina in 1994 and then the prestigious Keadue and Granard harp competitions. Her three critically acclaimed solo CDs, The Thorn Tree (2006), Between the Showers (1999) and Golden Lights Green Shadows, (2003) are “must haves” for every Irish harp player and fan. She and William Jackson teamed up and began touring as “The Masters of the Celtic Harp” in 2005 and have been traveling together ever since. They live now outside of Claremorris in County Mayo.
William Jackson of Glasgow has been at the forefront of Scottish traditional music for more than 40 years. Besides his stature as one of the leading harpers and multi-instrumentalists in Scotland, William has gained an international reputation as a composer. His “Land of Light” won the international competition in 1999 as the new song for Scotland. William was a founding member and creative tour de force of Ossian in 1976, which became one of Scotland’s best-loved traditional bands. The band, whose music influenced a generation of musicians, extensively toured the U.S. and Europe. Besides harp, he also plays tin whistle and bouzouki. William Jackson and his band Ossian were inducted into Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame Sept. 11, 2015 in Inverness Scotland and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Somerset Folk Harp Festival in July 2016.The Swannanoa Gathering awarded William its Master Music Maker award for Lifetime Achievement in 2004.

Tickets ]

Robert Burns Supper

Come join us at our first ever celebration of the birthday of Scottish bard Robbie Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796).

  • When: January 26, 2018  6-9 pm
  • Where: Bangor Masonic Center 294 Union Street (ample parking!)
  • Tickets: $15 for the event.

We will begin the evening with introductory remarks, followed by piping by Pipe Major Scott Heney of Maine St Andrews Pies and Drums in the haggis at 6:30, with a recitation of Burns’ Address to the Haggis. A traditional meal of haggis, ‘neeps and taties (turnips and potatoes) will be served and is included in the price of the event.

Following supper we will have entertainment and a raffle for Robbie Burns cds. Please bring your favorite Burns poem or song to share, if you play traditional music, you are welcome to bring an instrument.

We will end the evening with Auld Lang Syne.

So that we can plan to have enough food we recommend tickets be purchased in advance.

This is a fundraising event for the 2018 festival.

Cape Breton’s Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald to play Bangor Maine

Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald
Bangor Celtic Crossroads and Launchpad will present Cape Breton’s Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald in concert at the Bangor Arts Exchange located at 193 Exchange Street in downtown Bangor on Nov 14, 2017. Doors open at6:00 show starts at 7:00 pm. [Buy Tickets]

Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald join together, blending the rich traditional sound of the Cape Breton fiddle, with the fiery edge of the Scottish Border pipes. Combining their creative vision with influences from Old and New World Gaelic traditions, they create a powerful sound. Since meeting at the 2013 Celtic Colours Festival, Ben & Anita have toured across North America and further afield, wowing audiences with their captivating blend of driving dance tunes and soulful Gaelic airs.

Ben is an American-born player of Scottish bagpipes.His interest in traditional music stems from his exposure to the pipes at a young age, in his hometown of Queensbury, New York,as well as his family’s strong connections to its Scottish and Irish roots, through both his American mother and Canadian father. He began studying the Highland Bagpipes around age eight, but by twelve he began to shift his focus to the bellows-blown Scottish small-pipes and Border pipes. Ben is also an academic, holding an undergraduate degree in Music, as well as a Master’s degree in Scottish Ethnology, from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies. His repertoire and style draw mainly on the Gaelic traditions of Western Scotland and the Canadian Maritimes, blended with a healthy dash of Irish tunes for good measure.

Anita is an accomplished musician, dancer, and Gaelic singer from Little Narrows, Cape Breton. She began step-dancing in the family kitchen at the tender age of four, and picked up the fiddle a few short years later, at age eight. She has been wowing audiences with her impeccable timing and neatly choreographed steps ever since. Anita’s fiddle playing has a distinctive sound, influenced by the deep roots of her musical family. Her energetic style has put her in demand as a performer and teacher, across Cape Breton and beyond.

Guest artists include Tyson Chen, Ottawa Ontario, on piano and Zak Cormier Wellington PEI, on foot percussion and guitar.

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Launchpad is an Arts Incubator focused on Creative Place-making in Maine through its work with emerging artists & partner organizations.

Isle of Man award winning trio Barrule return to Maine

Bangor Celtic Crossroads will present Barrule from the Isle of Man at The Hammond Street Congregational Church on Friday October 27 at 7:00 pm.

The unique sound of traditional Manx music is the Celtic World’s best kept secret. This has changed with the introduction of Barrule, the Award winning trio dedicated to taking the music of the Isle of Man to a much wider audience.

Named after the famous Manx summit where legend says the ancient Celtic God Manannan MacLir stalked his mighty fortress, Barrule fuses three distinct musical forces – gifted fiddle-player Tomas Callister, accordion wizard Paddy Callaghan  and versatile accompanist Adam Rhodes on bouzouki. Together this versatile acoustic unit creates a powerful and wholly distinctive sound.

With bold but sensitive arrangements, the trio presents a fresh take on traditional and contemporary Manx music. While sharing common ground with its Celtic cousins, as well as the English tradition, Manx music has retained its own particular and inherent Manxness: an atmosphere evoked by the music that speaks of the natural beauty of the island and the lives of its inhabitants.

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