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News, Features, & Events
Scan our feature articles below, or as always, you can click here to check the next month of listings on our website.
Album Review: Different
Cormac Gannon | self-release | 2017
Irish folk singer Cormac Gannon was born in County Mayo, in the west of Ireland, and moved to San Francisco in 1991. It was here with like-minded musicians that Gannon formed Orla and The Gas Men, and began playing traditional Irish folk ballads, with himself singing and playing bodhrán, guitar, and eventually uilleann pipes.
Cormac's vocals and lyrics bring to mind the '1960's Anglo-Irish invasion', and such songs as the Beatles Michelle, albiet an Irish flavored Merseyside.
"After a few years of recording a number of songs in the back room of my house using a computer, I have finally managed to put them on a CD. I have recorded a couple of songs written by my friends Vince Keehan and John Hoban, a song by Pádraig Stevens, one by singer/songwriter John Spillane, a few traditional Irish songs, a couple of songs from England, a couple of songs from the United States, and one I wrote myself."
Writes Jamie Robash @Vanpelt78:
For more information, email Cormac Gannon at email@example.com.
Review of the United Irish Cultural Center
A Place for all things Irish
2700 45th Avenue (at Sloat Boulevard) San Francisco CA 94116
The United Irish Cultural Center of San Francisco, Inc. (UICC) is a California nonprofit corporation built and organized to provide its members and their guests with beautiful dining and banquet facilities for social, recreational, athletic and cultural activities. Just three short blocks from Ocean Beach, and just accross Sloat from the San Francisco Zoo, the UICC has provided these services to the Irish, Irish-American and related communities in San Francisco since 1973. Last year, UICC reorganized and is now a IRS 501c3 tax-exempt organization, so all dues and donations are tax-deductable, and we hear they are planning some Capital improvements soon.
Facilities include full service restaurant, bar and lounge, catering kitchens, a comprehensive library, and several meeting rooms. There is a small stage area and dance floor in the bar area, and a large stage in the HUGH St. Patrick Ballroom and St. Francis Rooms where the UICC hosts many functions.
Nearby attractions include the San Francisco Zoo, Harding Park Public Golf Course, Lake Merced Recreational Facility, Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park. There is a small parking lot behind the center and abundant on-street parking--a rarity in San Francisco. It's also a lot easier, and less stressful, to drive to the UICC than to many other destinations in San Francisco.
Our personal experience with the UICC restaurant is that the mix of traditional and California styles is quite good, and we recommend the Prime Rib dinner and Shrimp Louie salad in particular. The prices are reasonable and the service is excellent. The staff has been are very kind to us older persons who have smaller appetites and slowing metabolisms and they have allow us to share larger meals. On the first Saturday of every month is the Saturday evening Session of local and regional amateur to professional Irish music musicians in the bar area from 7:00 to 10:30 PM. It makes for a very nice and lively evening when combined with dinner in the adjacent restaurant.
The UICC currently has over 800 members, but welcomes more, from among Irish immigrants and Americans of Irish descent, or mixed descent with some Irish who are interested in enjoying the facilities and the many programs and activities the UICC offers. In recent years, the UICC has employed Donagh McKeown as Membership and Events Director and he has introduced a number of new social activities, and regular arts and cultural performances, and live music every Friday and Saturday evening.
The UICC also supports the Irish Literary and Historical Society (ILHS), and Irish dancing, regularly host Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) functions and they have the Leo T. Walsh scholarships, and the Irish Immigration Pastoral Center of San Francisco to provide various forms of assistance as needed to Irish students and recent immigrants. The Pastoral Center was instrumental in organizing the support for the students and their families who were affected by the 2015 balcony collapse in Berkeley, which killed several students and seriously injured others.
For more information, check the website https://irishcentersf.org or call 415-661-2700.
Charmas New Album Songs of the Sea!
Charmas Concerts in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, & San Francisco
Charmas 19-track album, Songs of the Sea!, is now available on CD Baby and they have and more concerts coming up in the next weeks.
This unique sea music collection includes traditional Celtic and Afro-Carribean sea chanteys, Scottish boat songs, sea-themed sailors' ballads, Irish pub songs, Canadian folk rock, instrumental water music, and one original sailor song.
Charmas Upcoming Performances
• Saturday June 24, 12:00 - 3:00 pm & Sunday June 25 12:00 - 3:00 pm at the Silver Mountain Winery, 269 Silver Mountain Dr, in Los Gatos.
Listen to more samples or download your copy of the CD today by visiting Songs of the Sea!
Julie Horner needs help
Crooked Road Ceili Band and Session Leader
Boulder Creek home at risk
Many of you know local Irish musician Julie Horner. Julie Horner lost her tech writing job in late January, and now can no longer afford to pay the mortgage on her home in Boulder Creek, California. She has been very diligent in looking for work, but as of late, she has been unable to find a suitable replacement. Julie has always been the one who gives to those in need, and who are less fortunate, and now that she is the one in need, let's all step up to the plate, and lend Julie a helping hand.
Julie's friend, William Welsh, of Scotts Valley has set up a Crowd-Funding campaign to make this easy. Just click here https://www.gofundme.com/help-julie-horner-save-her-home and make a contribution in Julie's support.
Erin Ruth Thompson @ Sláinte
with David Chadwick | Saturday, June 24th, 7:30 PM
Sláinte Pub, Jack London Square, 131 Broadway, Oakland
Sláinte (slahn-cha) is an authentic Irish pub offering a menu of traditional Irish cooking and classic cocktails in the heart of Jack London Square.
The menu features Irish cuisine from Irish-born Executive Chef, Jackie Gallanagh, with dishes that include both imported & local ingredients. Owner and Beverage Director, Jenny Schwarz, of Oakland's popular restaurant, Hopscotch, offers a bar menu with classic cocktails, a well-stocked selection of whisky, premium spirits, and local & imported beers.
Sláinte is open Tuesday - Sunday : 12pm-midnight Closed Monday. Contact them at (510) 823-2644 @slainteoakland or check the website https://slainteoakland.com. Sláinte also features some of the finest local and regional singers and musicians, in live, acoustic performance.
Rising star vocalist Erin Ruth Thompson came to the Bay Area in late 2012 from Tucson via Hawai'i and makes her home in Albany. With encouragement from Jack Gilder at the Plough & Stars Irish Pub in San Francisco, and Shay Black at the Starry Plough Irish Pub in Berkeley, Erin quickly fell in love with Celtic music, and has followed her heart, building an impressive repertoire traveling this path ever since. Erin is also an accomplished songwriter, keyboardist, and guitarist.
Noted Santa Cruz guitarist and mandolinist David Chadwick will accompany Erin.
Click on these links to see video samples:
Erin Thompson singing, Hard Times at the KKUP studios in March 2017 accompanied by The Black Brothers Band.
Friday, June 30, 6:30 PM @ UICC
The Crooked Road
United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Ave, San Francisco
Join the Crooked Road for a wonderful evening of lively traditional Irish melodies and songs! The Crooked Road is Jack Gilder, Concertina & Flute, Doug Lowder, Fiddle, David Chadwick, Guitar & Mandolin, Julie Horner, Hammered Dulcimer and vocals and features vocalist, Erin Ruth Thompson.
The Crooked Road is a San Francisco Bay Area traditional Irish group that has played for Irish set dances at the Plough and Stars Pub regularly for several years. Their repertoire is made up mostly of lively dance tunes with a few waltzes and occasional slow airs. The members of the band are all stalwarts of the traditional music scene in San Francisco and bring their long experience with the music to their audiences when they play concerts with their vocalist.
Crooked Road vocalist, Erin Ruth Thompson, came to the Bay Area in late 2012 from Tucson via Hawai'i. With encouragement from Jack, Erin quickly fell in love with Celtic music, and has followed her heart, building an impressive repertoire traveling this path ever since. Erin is also an accomplished songwriter, keyboardist, and guitarist.
Check the Facebook event, or the The Crooked Road facebook page for more info. For more on Erin Thompson, check her website http://erinruthfolk.com and sample tracks at Erin's Soundcloud site soundcloud.com/erinruththompson.
The UICC serves delicious food! Be sure to reserve a table in advance! Call: (415) 661-2700
New Book by Shannon Warto
Hurley the Hippo - On Sale NOW!
Illustrated by Kelly Haller
Last week, Monterey and SF Bay area Celtic singer Shannon Warto, published her first children's book, Hurley the Hippo.
It's a charming tale of a young hippo with a passion for the harp, and the lengths to which he’ll go to learn to play it, despite being discouraged by friends and family. It’s a wonderful little story about inspiration, resilience, and to 'never judge a book by its cover'.
Here is an excerpt:
"Hurley removed the harp's cover with care,
Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant
198 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant, is a bustling SoMa spot with Irish pub grub & beers on tap plus sports on the satellite TV.
This local Irish Pub brings the culture of Ireland to San Francisco, offering a full bar, Happy Hour specials, and a full Irish restaurant menu, including favorites like fish and chips which goes with any style of sport, music or fun.
"I am in the city every 2-3 months and The Chieftain is an absolutely integral part of every trip. Mark runs an amazing, authentic Irish pub. Major plus, the only place I know of in northern California to get Kilkenny!!"
The Chieftain regularly hosts live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and AmeriCeltic readers will be particularly interested in the live Irish traditional music and song session every Sunday evening. Here is a sample from 2009: Live Irish Music at the Chieftain.
Folk Music Camps!
Boulder Creek Scout Reservation
2:00 PM Friday night, June 30 - Monday, July 3, 2017
Three Times Through
Eclectic Celtic Music
Based in Grass Valley
Three Times Through, based in Grass Valley, California, plays music of Ireland, Scotland and America on instruments including hammered dulcimer, fiddle, mandolin, concertina, bouzouki, banjo, and guitar. The emphasis is on eclectic Celtic music; spirited instrumentals, engaging vocals and haunting melodies.
These four musicians started performing together during the Carter administration. Half of the quartet, Jeff and Gale Peach, moved to Nevada City in 1985. The other half, Greg and Margie Mirken, remained in Southern California, owned and ran a guitar store and continued performing. In 2008, the Mirkens moved to Nevada City, and the four are having the time of their lives playing music together again.
Here is a sample video: The Blarney Pilgrim - Three Times Through
Three Times Through Appearances
• July 2nd at 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Matteo's Public, 300 Commercial St, Nevada City. Check http://matteospublic.com
Chloë Agnew at the UICC Saturday, July 8th, 8:00pm
Pre show from Ryan Doyle at 7:15pm
The United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Ave, San Francisco
United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Ave, San Francisco, presents Chloë Agnew. It will be a great night, with songs from Chloë's wide repertoire and include songs from Celtic Woman, of which she's been a part for many years. Vince Keehan & Friends will join in support.
You can purchase tickets online at a "secret sale price" by visiting the ticket website here http://irishcentersf.us11.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=c98b40a8bef8fcf94f2ab00b1&id=15413c8e74&e=bd4c153ee0
Tickets are available from the center and online from https://sfirishcenter.vbotickets.com/events
Chloë Agnew has gained international fame for her integral part as one of the original, and youngest members of the internationally acclaimed music group 'Celtic Woman' since she was 14 years old. Chloë spent ten years performing worldwide with them, and is now based in Los Angeles touring her solo show internationally.
Modesto Celtic and Renaissance Festival
FREE ENTRY TO THE PUBLIC
July 8th, 2017 10am-5pm at Graceada Park, 401 Needham St, Modesto, CA
The First Annual Modesto Celtic Renaissance Festival will have Fire Eaters, Sword Fighting Knights, The King's Feast, The Artisan Market, Jesters, Jugglers, Games, Music, Dancers, Falcons and more going on!
Come join us for a fun filled day of Food, Crafters, Farmers Market, Artists, and well the list is too long to list here!
Please feel free to costume it up and have a great day with us!
Lark In The Morning's 37th Lark Camp
Music, Song & Dance Celebration July 28 - August 5, 2017
Worldwide Workshops, Including Extensive Celtic Music and Song!
Unique in California, Lark Camp provides an open forum for the exchange of creative ideas between musicians, singers, dancers and composers. The Lark Camp experience is enhanced by motivational instructors and inspired students, who also share their passions and skills with the rest of the participants, while have one @&%!** of a good time!
Lark Camp Adult & Family Camp features Music and Dance from the World Over
Lark Camp 2017 Registration Is Open Register Now to save your place.
Imagine idyllic days & nights in the magical redwood forest filled with all the music, dance, and good times you could possibly stand, and that's kind of close to what Lark's Music Celebration is like. You are free to take as many or as few of the workshops offered as you like; jam sessions 24 hours a day, big dances every evening. Plenty of good food, new friends, and musical stimulation. Truly a unique total immersion into the joys of nature, music and dance. Many workshops for the professional as well as the beginner!
To review the Lark Camp Music & Dance Staff 2017, Click Here. For pictures and videos of past Lark Camps Click Here, or check the history, layout, what happens at camp, and much more, at the Lark Camp website, larkcamp.com.
152nd Scottish Highland Gathering and Games
Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton
Labor Day Weekend, September 2nd & 3rd, 2017, 9AM to 6:30PM
What if you gave a party and EVERYBODY came?
Come join us for some Celtic Craic! Saturday September 2nd and Sunday September 3rd at the enormous Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton, the Caledonian Club of San Francisco presents The 152nd Pleasanton Scottish Highland Games, two glorious days of fun and entertainment for the whole family from 9am to 6:30pm.
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