"MAUI CELTIC BLOG" & MAUI CELTIC NEWS ARCHIVE
Monday December 31st - HAPPY HOGMANAY TO ALL OUR SCOTTISH FRIENDS ! ..... AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL !!
Hogmanay is the name for New Year's Eve in Scotland, and is one of the biggest parties in the world. Originally it was a gathering at standing stones to drink to departed spirits, but became a large celebration around village or town market crosses, known as 'Nollaig Beag' (Little Christmas). In the 1500s, the Church tried tried to ban it, which made it move from the community into the home. Many Hogmanay traditions have gone, but one that continues to this day is First Footing. After midnight, the first person to cross your doorway should be a dark haired man carrying handsel, or gifts of food, whiskey, and a piece of coal (to signify the warmth of the hearth for the coming year). An old custom, carried on today as a New Year's Kiss, was for a male to kiss any female they met in the street. The famous anthem of midnight on New Year, the song 'Auld Lang Syne' (roughly 'old times past'), was written by legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788.
Mike Riedel, Roger McKinley and Hamish Burgess piping on Hogmanay
or New Year's Eve, at Fleetwoods on Front St., Lahaina, Maui
photo by Kevin J. Olson © 2012
Hogmanay was well represented in West Maui with bagpipes at Fleetwood's on Front St., on the rooftop bar of Mick Fleetwood's (of Fleetwood Mac fame) restaurant. At sunset there was the nightly traditional Hawaiian blessing, oli (chant), and pu'u (conch-shell) blowing, then Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess with Roger McKinley and visiting piper Mike Riedel opened the evening with slow airs, then uptempo tunes on the Great Highland Bagpipes. A great set, with solos and all three pipes blasting out some tunes together.
The lads played again at 10pm to celebrate the West Coast New Year, jumping onstage with Eric Gilliom and his band to play 'Auld Lang Syne', with Eric leading the countdown and sing-along, and drumming legend himself, Mick Fleetwood keeping the beat for the pipers ! For a wee video of the end of that by Kevin J. Olson, please click here.
Pipers Mike Riedel, Roger McKinley and Hamish Burgess after 'Auld Lang Syne' with Mick Fleetwood and Eric Gilliom - New Year's Eve, on the roof at Fleetwoods on Front St.
photo by Jennifer Fahrni © 2012
The boys were at it again with the New Year anthem on the pipes at midnight Maui-time, lined up in front of the stage with Mick Fleetwood's Island Rumours band, for the countdown then 'Auld Lang Syne', and balloons and New Year craziness, West Maui Fleetwood's style. The craic was mighty in Lahaina town for the start of 2013 !
Sunday December 30th - Hamish was back hosting The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had a Hogmanay/New Year Special, playing 2 hours of new and old seasonal Celtic music, from all the Celtic Nations, with traditions of the time of year. Many of his musical friends from the Celtic music scene overseas sent their recorded greetings, and he was joined in the studio for the Hogmanay Party by Jennifer Fahrni and the Mad Wandering Bagpiper Michael Riedel.
Mike Riedel, Jennifer Fahrni & Hamish on the Hogmanay Maui Celtic Show
Sunday December 30th - over on Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick held their Monthly Irish Movie Night, from 6pm to 8pm in the Celtic Room behind O'Toole's Irish Pub. This month's film was Ondine from 20, starring Colin Farrell as Syracuse and Alicja Bachleda as Ondine.
"Fisherman Syracuse, a recovering alcoholic, lives with his daughter, Annie, in a small village on the Irish coast. One afternoon, a mystifying and beautiful girl, Ondine, gets caught in his nets as he wades along the water. Aboard the boat, Ondine brings Syracuse great luck, seemingly drawing the fish towards his nets. However, the fisherman starts to fear that Ondine may not be meant for this life." More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2nd half of December - a great friend of Maui Celtic, the Mad Wandering Bagpiper Michael Riedel, was on Maui covering bagpiping shifts at Fleetwood's on Front St. for Hamish, who was off traveling with The Irish Rovers. Mike was playing at 6pm in the rooftop bar of Mick Fleetwood's (of Fleetwood Mac fame) restaurant. Michael is an accomplished piper who lived on Maui for years, an avid canoe paddler nicknamed 'Wahunui', but is now based in Portland, Oregon, and competes at Highland Games on the mainland. Also known as 'The Heid' ! .....mahalo Mike.
Bagpiper Michael Riedel and Mick Fleetwood
Saturday December 29th - over on Oahu, The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held A Pre-Hogmanay Ceilidh. An informal party, with games, activities, conversation and a light supper. There were Holiday charades, Christmas crackers to pull, and a wee dram to honour the coming year of 2013. True to ceilidh tradition folks brought a 'party piece' - a song, joke, poem or whatever else they had to share. More details please call Susan at 591-9398 or email email@example.com.
November 20th - December 29th - our Maui Celtic duo Hamish & Jennifer were on the mainland on 'The Irish Rovers Christmas' Tour with legendary Irish (and now Canadian) folk band The Irish Rovers.
Tuesday December 25th - MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL ! Hamish and Jennifer at Maui Celtic wish you all a happy and safe holiday season, and see you next year.
MELE KALIKIMAKA ME KA HAUOLI MAKAHIKI HOU
Scots - Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur
Irish - Nollaig Shona agus Bliain Nua Mhaith
Manx - Nollick Ghennal as Blein Vie Noa
Welsh - Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Cornish - Nadelik Looan na Blydhen Nowydh Da
Breton - Nedeleg Laouen na Bloav Ezh Mat
Galician - Bon Nadal e Bo Ani Novo
Asturian - Feliz Nadal y prósperu Añu Nuevu
Here's a wee bit of Yuletide/Christmas artwork for you...
'THE IRISH ROVERS CHRISTMAS' DVD © Hamish Burgess 2012
'THE IRISH ROVERS CHRISTMAS' DVD © Hamish Burgess 2012. Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece commissioned by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the cover of The Irish Rovers Christmas DVD. It contains fine traditional seasonal songs, as well as great new original songs from the pen of George Millar, and features their rollicking Christmas concert filmed in Chatham, Ontario, and footage in the mountains and pubs of Banff National Park, Alberta. They are joined onstage by old friends and guest musicians Gerry O’Connor, Patrick Davey, Morris Crum, and Irish tenor John McDermott with guitarist Jason Fowler, and on the ski slopes by legendary Olympic skier and Crazy Canuck, Dave Irwin. Two hours of music, fun and LOTS of Extras. It is now available at The Irish Rovers online store.
Sunday December 23rd - Daniel was hosting The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had a Yuletide/Christmas Special, and played 2 hours of new and old seasonal Celtic music, from all the Celtic Nations. Hamish called in from his travels in Canada, to talk about traditions of the time of year, including old customs of Yuletide and Christmas, and the origins of St.Nick or Santa Claus.
Friday 21st December - WINTER SOLSTICE GREETINGS TO ALL !
The winter months of November, December and January are divided by the Winter Solstice (summer solstice in the southern hemisphere) on December 21st.
The ancient Gaulish Druids called their month of November-December "Dumanios", or 'The Darkest Depths'. The Winter Solstice was a celebration of the rising of the sun from it's lowest point in the sky, back to longer days and the lighter part of the year. The sleeping earth was heading toward re-awakening. Evergreen trees were seen as a reminder that spring would bring re-birth. Druids ceremoniously cut mistletoe, and offerings were made to the Gods for the return of the Sun. Mistletoe was sacred, and (as well as an antidote for poisons) had a fertility connection, carried on to this day as the tradition of "kissing under the mistletoe".
In the Viking world of Northern Europe, they celebrated Yuletide with festivals of Fire and Lights, and brought evergreens (holly, ivy, and conifers) into the house, to symbolise the eternity of life. Holly represents the male in folklore, and ivy the female, and the entwining of both in wreaths, and other decorations, symbolised harmony and balance in the home.
'IRISH ROVERS YULE TREE' © Hamish Burgess 2011
That tradition appears in Hamish's Celtic art - the booklet cover for The Irish Rovers "Merry Merry Time of Year" Christmas CD. Very pleased to be involved with that project, as it's a great album of seasonal songs, some traditional, and many new ones from the pen of George Millar. Every image on the album, artwork or photography, is by Hamish. More details on the artwork (his 3rd album cover for the Rovers) on our Gallery page.
More on the band at www.theirishroversmusic.com, and the CD at http://theirishroversmusic.com/ecom/?category=2&product=27#contenttop
Sunday December 16th - Daniel hosted The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui, as Hamish was away traveling. He played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, from all the Celtic Nations, including some Solstice and Christmas seasonal music. Hamish called in from Vancouver BC, and spoke about some traditions of the time of year.
Saturday December 15th - The Friends of St.Patrick held their Annual Christmas Party at Ferguson’s Irish Pub, Downtown Honolulu. 5-8pm. It was open to all, and the first drink was on them ! Folks brought a wrapped gift for the kids at Kapiolani Womens and Childrens Hospital.
More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday & Saturday, December 7th & 8th - Maui harpists performed at the Festival of Harps 2012 in the McCoy Studio Theater of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center at 7:30pm both days. Folks enjoyed preshow dining catered by AK's Cafe in McCoy Courtyard with holiday beverages, including wassail.
One of Maui’s most beloved holiday events, the Festival of Harps returned to the intimate McCoy stage to celebrate the magical sounds of the holiday season. Featuring harps from different ages played by Maui’s finest harpists and the Festival Harp Ensemble, this year’s program created the sound of winter holidays in a journey through time from the Middle Ages to the present.
A benefit for Hospice Maui, this year's program featured harpists Ginny Morgan, Alfred Wolf, Bobbie Jo Curley, Irene Ryding, Elaine Olson and Geoffrey Naylor. Los Angeles-based voice artist Joe Spangler narrated the concert along with Maui actress Jennifer Rose. Also featured was Jackson Maberry, a graduate of St. Anthony High School who recently returned to Maui after graduating with a master's degree in music from Cambridge University in England.
The festival was a benefit for Hospice Maui, in recognition of use of harps in hospice work. Proceeds going to their new building project. For more info, call Ginny Morgan at 879-4453.
Sunday December 2nd and 9th - Daniel Vicars was hosting The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, from all the Celtic Nations. He was standing in for Hamish, who was away traveling, on tour with show underwriters The Irish Rovers.
Friday November 30th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held the Kirkin' of the Tartans at St.Andrew's Cathedral in Honolulu. This event was free and open to the public. A complimentary dinner followed the service in the Von Holt Room. Folks were encouraged to wear their kilts or bring a swatch of tartan to have them blessed. More info on this yearly event from Cesci Perez de Wang @ 808-381-7216 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Friday November 30th - HAPPY ST.ANDREW'S DAY to all our Scottish friends ! Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day is celebrated by Scots all over the world on November 30th. Originally called Andermass, a religious day to remember the first Apostle, it is now a day dedicated to celebrating Scottish traditions and culture. St Andrew's Day festivities in Scotland and abroad often feature Scottish traditional food, music, songs, poetry and dance. It tends to be more popular with Scots who live abroad and there are many St. Andrew's Societies in places where Scots emigrated to. These days, with 28 million people of Scottish heritage around the world, glasses will be raised to toast Scotland and St Andrew on every continent. The St. Andrew's Society in Boston, in the USA, was set up in 1657. There is a "St.Andrew's Society of Hawai'i" in Honolulu - please visit The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii.
Legend has it that the cross St. Andrew was crucified on was diagonal, and is said to be the basis for the Cross of St. Andrew which appears on the Scottish Flag, the Saltire. The flag is said to have originated from a dream of the Pictish King Angus, in A.D.761, the night before a battle with a British tribe. St.Andrew appeared to him, bearing his silver diagonal cross, showing against a blue sky, and promised that he would survive and be victorious in battle. King Angus vowed that if this came true he would adopt Saint Andrew as the patron saint of Alba. The story has it that when the two armies met the next day, that a white cloud shaped like a diagonal cross, or a saltire, formed against the blue sky. This encouraged the Picts to triumph on the battlefield, killing Athelstan and routing the Angle army. The Saltire was adopted as the emblem of Scotland and Saint Andrew became the national Saint. More on St.Andrew on our SCOTLAND page.
Sunday November 25th - The Friends of St.Patrick held their Monthly Irish Movie Night, from 6pm to 8pm in the Celtic Room behind O'Toole's Irish Pub. This month's film was Tristan & Isolde, an action/adventure and love story, based on the Irish and Cornish legend.
More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday November 25th - Daniel Vicars was hosting The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had a St.Andrew's Day Special, standing in for Hamish who was away on tour with show underwriters The Irish Rovers. He played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, from all the Celtic Nations.
Sunday November 18th - Hamish hosted the weekly The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The show was a tribute to two great fiddlers who passed away the previous week, Irish fiddler Martin Fay, and Scottish fiddler Derek Hoy.
Martin Fay, co-founder of The Chieftains
Martin Fay co-founded the Chieftains in 1962, played fiddle and bones, and was with them until 2001 when he retired. He hailed from Cabra in Dublin, was inspired to take up music after seeing a film on Paganini, and first played classical music. He later became hooked on Irish music, became a member of Ceolt�ir� Cualann, and was one of the founding members of The Chieftains. Martin is famous for the beautiful slow air theme to the movie "Barry Lyndon" by the Chieftains. Hamish celebrated his music with tunes from the first "Chieftains" album through many others until "Water Fro The Well". Condolences to the Fay family, and the Chieftains.
(photo courtesy Jock Tamson's Bairns)
Derek Hoy played fiddle with Jock Tamson's Bairns, and Bella McNab's Dance Band, and was a stalwart of the Edinburgh session scene, and a prolific fiddle teacher with Edinburgh's Adult Learning Project Scots Music Group. On radio and stage he collaborated with writer and Scots language expert Billy Kay. Derek's daughter Sarah Hoy and her fiance Fin Moore are good friends of our own Hamish, and have played concerts in Maui before. Hamish celebrated his music with tunes and songs from Jock Tamson's Bairns "The Lasses Fashion", as well as a couple from Fin Moore's band Seudan. Much aloha to the Hoy family and friends.
Hamish finished the show with some new Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Saturday November 17th - The Friends of St.Patrick held a Genealogy & Irish History Meeting at the Celtic Room at O'Toole's Pub. Su Yates talked on the Brehon Laws, the law system of ancient Ireland, and Bill Comerford brought out all of the reference books from the FOSP Library to help folks with their family searches. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
Sunday November 11th - Hamish and Daniel hosted a Veteran's Day/Rembrance Day Special on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Back in the old countries Remembrance Day is also called Poppy Day, and folks wear paper poppies pinned to their lapels.
Poppy field in Europe
They played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, in honour of all military veterans, and current serving personnel, here and in the Old Countries. Hamish also played some songs for Maui Celtic's own Jennifer Fahrni, for her birthday the following day.
Fri, Sat, Sun October 26th-November 11th - the Maui Academy of Performing Arts presented Shakespeare's tragedy MACBETH, also known as "The Scottish Play" at the Steppingstone Playhouse, in the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, Kahului. The show was on Friday & Saturday evenings, and Sundays at 2:00 pm. On Sundays Oct 28th and Nov 4th, folks had a chance to join the director David Johnston and cast for a post-show talk story session.
Maui Academy of Performing Arts production of MacBeth
Our own Hamish went one Friday, and was very impressed with the sword-fighting scenes, choreographed by Daniel Vicars, especially the last battle between MacBeth and MacDuff. He thought the witches were great, with a fantastic cauldron scene....."Hubble bubble toil and trouble..."
Macbeth is the legendary playwrite William Shakespeare's shortest and bloodiest tragedy, and is believed to have written between 1603 and 1607. Set in Scotland, it is a tale of ambition for power and royal murder. In the play, Scottish chief Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland, and spurred on by his wife, he murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself, starting a reign of terror and madness.
More on MAPA at www.mauiacademy.org, or call 808-244-8760.
Sunday November 4th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui, with 2 hours of new and old Celtic music.
He had a special tribute to his friend Anthony Natividad, local kahuna and musician, famous for his traditional Hawaiian nose flutes, who passed away during the week at the far too young age of 48. Anthony was welcoming and friendly to Hamish when he first arrived on Maui and surfed at Honolua Bay fifteen years before, and they had one of Hamish's most fun and memorable surf sessions ever. Much aloha to Anthony's family and friends.
Anthony Natividad with Hawaiian Noseflutes
With the music changing directions, Hamish played some newly released Celtic songs, Daniel Vicars came into the studio, and told Hamish about the loss of the replica tall ship "Bounty" and 2 crew-members, in the Atlantic with the recent Hurricane Sandy, prompting another tribute song. Then they played a couple of humourous songs directed at politicians for the upcoming General Election, from Michael Black and Jez Lowe, and the tune set 'Congress' by Slainte Mhath.
Saturday November 3rd - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held a talk On Scottish Soil at 6:00 pm at Manoa Public Library.
The program featured Billy O'Brien, 2012 SERG recipient just returned from working on four organic farms in Scotland. After Billy spoke, three Caledonian Society members, Chuck Jamison, Rev. Bob Walden, & Chieftain Bruce McEwan, joined him to discuss their experiences and tips for prospective visitors to Scotland. More details please call Susan at 591-9398 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday October 31st - SAMHAIN GREETINGS TO ALL !
The ancient Celtic New Year starts on the evening of October 31st, SAMHAIN (pronounced 'sha-ven' or 'sow-en' depending where you were), the Celtic Feast of the Dead, or the feast to the dying sun, marking the beginning of Winter. In today's world it is called HALLOWEEN. The Christian church called the festival 'The Feast of all Saints', on 'All Saints' Eve' or 'All Hallows' Eve', hence the term "Hallowe'en".
The goddess Bride or Brigit, ended her ruling season, and her straw crosses were put up to proect family and livestock. In Scotland, Cailleach Bheur, goddess of winter, began her reign.
'SAMHAIN' © Hamish Burgess 2010
More details on the artwork above on our Gallery page.
The Celts believed on that night between the passing of the old year, and the arrival
of the new, that the veil between our world and the Otherworld (or spirit world) was
thinnest, and that spirits and faerie folk could visit the human world, and vice versa,
and that you could contact your passed ancestors. That belief has continued with today's
Halloween traditions of witches and ghosts, etc.
The tradition of children 'trick or treating' possibly came from the ancient practise of 'soul caking', when children went round collecting cakes in return for saying prayers for the dead. In later times, children wore masks and carried turnip or pumpkin lanterns, going door to door asking for apples, nuts or money, the disguises originally to stop them being recognised and taken by spirits.
The tradition of a turnip lantern, or more popular today, the "Jack O' Lantern" carved pumpkin, actually comes from the ancient Celtic practice of placing skulls of the dead on poles around the encampment, to drive away evil spirits.
Wednesday October 31st - the SAMHAIN spirit (no pun intended) was alive and well at the annual monster party of Halloween in Lahaina, with 20,000 revellers ! The legendary night was kicked off in daylight with the Keiki Parade, with all the wee ones in fun costumes, led by Pastor Paul Tangonan on the bagpipes.
Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess, Mad Bagpiper Roger McKinley and visiting Wandering Mad Bagpiper Mike Reidel on the bagpipes started playing before sunset outside Mick Fleetwood's (of Fleetwood Mac fame) restaurant and bar, Fleetwood's on Front St., and gathered quite a crowd.
Mike, Vene, Roger and Hamish outside Fleetwoods on Front St., Lahaina Halloween
They then played their nightly sunset ceremony on rooftop bar, with a traditional Hawaiian blessing, oli (chant), and Pu (conch-shell) blowing from Hawaiian kahuna Vene, then Roger piped in with slow airs, then uptempo tunes. Hamish called on Vene for a special tribute to their friend Anthony Natividad, local kahuna and musician, who passed away that week. Vene chanted a special oli for his friend, and Hamish started 'Amazing Grace', joined by the two other pipers for a powerful send off fit for Anthony, on this special night when the veils between our world and the next are at their thinnest.
The pipers then played solo and together for some great sets on the rooftop, and later below in the main restaurant. The lads headed out onto Front Street, jammed with tens of thousands of party-goers in crazy costumes. Mike and Hamish played up and down front street, and gathered such big crowds that they were asked to 'walk and play' by the Maui Police Department to keep the crowds moving !
Sunday October 28th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui.
He started the show with a tribute to great Scottish fiddler Ian Hardie who sadly passed away during the week. As well as a fine solo player and composer, Ian was a founding member of seminal Scots folk band Jock Tamson's Bairns, so Hamish played their music as well as Ian's from his album "A Breath of Fresh Airs".
Ian Hardie also played with Andy Thorburn, and bands The Ghillies, Highland Connection, and most recently Edinburgh ceilidh band The Occasionals. More info at www.ian-hardie.co.uk. Much aloha to Ian's family.
Ian Hardie (photo courtesy Jock Tamson's Bairns)
He also spoke about two other musicians who passed this week, prolific Scottish singer/songwriter Michael Marra from Lochee, Dundee, and Galway-born fiddler Larry Reynolds, a fixture of the Boston Irish music scene since 1953.
Then they had a SAMHAIN/Halloween Special, with songs and traditions of the time of year, the ancient Celtic new year festival of Samhain (see above), known in today's world as Halloween. Special guest in the studio was co-host Daniel Vicars, and they played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, with a few spooky tunes thrown in - songs about headless Ann Boleyn, Faeries, The Old Crone, little blue men, witches, crazy men, and even the devil. There were wee interview clips from The Wrigley Sisters, Carlos Núñez, and Archie Fisher introducing their songs.
Sunday October 28th - on Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick held their Monthly Irish Movie Night, from 6pm to 7pm in the Celtic Room behind O'Toole's Irish Pub. This month's film was High Spirits. "When Peter Plunkett's Irish castle turned hotel is about to be repossesed, he decides to spice up the attraction a bit for the 'Yanks' by having his staff pretend to haunt the castle. The trouble begins when a busload of American tourists arrive - along with some real ghosts. Among the tourists are married couple Jack and Sharon. Sharon's father holds the mortgage on Castle Plunkett, so she's hoping to debunk the ghosts. Jack, on the other hand, after meeting pretty ghost Mary, is very eager to believe. Can there be love between a human and ghost? Jack and Mary are going to try and find out."
More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
October 9th-23rd - our Maui Celtic duo Hamish & Jennifer were in the Canadian Prairies ! They were hanging out on 'The Drunken Sailor' Tour with legendary Irish (and now Canadian) folk band The Irish Rovers. Tuesday 9th they arrived inth old prairie town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to meet the lads before the tour started the next day. They stayed at the grand old Bessborough Hotel, where they met some old friends of the band.
Hamish at the Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
In the morning they accompanied band founder George Millar to the local Global TV station, where he was on 'Global Saskatoon Morning News' talking about the tour and new "The Irish Rovers Christmas" DVD. For the interview click here. Then it was off to North Battleford (named after a battle between native tribes), for a wee cup o' tea with George before the first sold-out concert, where Hamish got to see his artwork on stage on the band's drum-head.
George Millar having a wee cuppa, and Fred Graham with Hamish's Irish Rovers logo
Sean, Fred & George at the Dakota Dunes, Whitecap, Saskatchewan
The next night's concert was in Saskatoon's nearby Dakota Dunes, in Whitecap. The following day it was a drive across the Prairies down through Saskatchewan for more craic ! The open prairies were huge with only a few small towns, and one valley they drove across seemed to be a big break in the endless wheat fields. The convoy saw the biggest flock of migrating geese they had ever seen !
The Craik was mighty in the Canadian Prairies !
That night's concert was in Regina, to a great crowd, and during the autograph signing session afterwards, the Irish Rovers were surprised by a group of ladies from an old folks home who wanted some big knickers signed !
The venue was opposite an unusual mall built right across the main street of Regina, but including the facades of the old buildings inside the modern mall. Hamish found an historic steam engine from 1918 to use as a backdrop for some photos of his pals The Irish Rovers.
The Irish Rovers in Regina, Saskatchewan
George, Ian, Wilcil, Sean, Fred and Morris
All photos © Hamish Burgess 2012
The next concert was in the historic town of Moose Jaw, supposedly frequented by gangster Al Capone during the Prohibition era, to smuggle whiskey down into the US. The Capitol Theatre, opened in 1915, was one of the many Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings in the town, reflecting it's hey day.
Early next morning Hamish & Jennifer took George Millar to CTV Regina, where he guested on 'CTV Morning Live - Regina', and spoke about the Drunken Sailor tour, and our own Hamish's artwork on the new "The Irish Rovers Christmas" DVD. For the interview click here.
Hamish's art with George Millar and host Jonathan Glasgow on CTV Regina
Hamish checked out the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, with an amazing natural history gallery, featuring animals and dioramas of the prairies and surrounding regions, and a great collection of native artifacts. Local nations included Cree, Assiniboine, Dene, Dakota, Blackfoot and Saulteaux. Hamish found the bead and quill work of the Cree and other First Nations to be astounding.
Cree and other First Nations artifacts in the Royal Saskatchewan Museum
He then visited the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in it's Centennial year, a grand building started in 1908 overlooking Wascana Lake. He took a tour and saw the Provincial Saskatchewan Tartan and dress tartan. The colours are representative of local flora, fauna and geology.
Saskatchewan Tartan, Legislature Building, Regina
Saskatchewan Legislature Building, Regina
Then it was off for the last Saskatchewan concert in the town of Yorkton, before heading into the next Prairie province of Manitoba, where Jennifer's Scots/Irish and Swiss ancestors lived. Our Maui Celtic duo saw the manse and church where Jennifer's mum grew up in Forrest, on the outskirts of Brandon, Manitoba. The sold-out concert that night was at the 100 year-old Virden Auditorium, a fine old theatre.
The Irish Rovers at the Virden Auditorium, Manitoba
The following night saw the wildest crowd of the tour in Brandon, with plenty of young folks upholding the theme of the 'Drunken Sailor' tour ! The Irish Society of Western Manitoba was there in full support, and several folks stopped by the hotel for a chat and a few drinks afterwards.
Next day they our duo stopped at Portage Le Prairie to see the old courthouse where Jennifer's grandfather Fahrni was a judge. That night's concert was in Winkler in a converted church, with another great crowd, who arrived after a spectacular prairie sunset.
Prairie sunset outside Centennial Concrt Hall, Winkler, Manitoba
During a couple of day's sightseeing in Winnipeg, our duo took in the Manitoba Museum, with it's dinosaur exhibition, and another great collection of First Nations native artifacts. The surprise was a huge hall housing a period Deptford dockside and buildings, and the replica ketch 'Nonsuch', designed by a Cornishman and built in Devon, UK, before sailing across to Canada, where she toured the nation. The original 'Nonsuch' (meaning 'none such' or 'unequalled') left London in 1668, with Captain Zachariah Gillam at the helm, and was an exploration and trading ship that led to the founding of the Hudson's Bay Company, who had a trading empire before the founding of Canada. The replica ship was commissioned by the HBC to celebrate their 300th year in 1970.
'Nonsuch' replica ketch, Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg
Near the reconstructed dockside with it's dwellings, shops and pub, was a gallery documenting the history of the Hudson's Bay Company, with a fantastic collection of trading and native artifacts. The final hall housed an entire reconstructed prairie town at the turn of the last century.
Hamish found the Scottish links to Manitoba. On a riverside street roundabout near the Winnipeg city centre he spotted a statue to the memory of the Selkirk Settlers, with the father and son in kilts, and the mother in a traditional skirt called an arisaid. In 1812 Lord Selkirk established an agricultural settlement north of the Forks in Winnipeg, for displaced Scottish and Irish tenant farmers. Poor harvests kept the settlers largely dependent on the buffalo hunt in the early years of the colony.
Selkirk Settlers statue in Winnipeg, Manitoba
In the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building, Hamish was pleasantly surprised to see among other historical figures, a statue of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. Three sides of the monument had bronze plaques depicting him as a young ploughboy, at home with family, and finally the characters of his famous poem 'Tam O'Shanter'. The building is a famous local landmark with 'The Golden Boy' statue on the peak of the domed tower.
Robert Burns statue at the Manitoba Legislature Building, Winnipeg
Our Maui Celtic duo were told to go to The Forks, the meeting of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, now a park with monuments, and an indoor market and restaurant area. They saw the artisans stalls and sampled the famous hot mini-donuts, which were made in front of you, and did not disappoint !
The last Manitoba concert was in Winnipeg, again a sell-out with a great local crowd, and a long autograph signing line after the show.
The Irish Rovers at McPhillips Street Station Casino, Winnipeg, Manitoba
The last stop on the tour was in Ontario. The gang drove from the Prairies to the Land of a Thousand Lakes, and stayed the night in the neat old town of Kenora, on the shores of the Lake of the Woods. With interesting wee shops and great views of the water, a great discovery was Ye Olde Chip Truck, where Hamish and Jennifer had the best bag of chips so far in North America ! A must if you are ever out that way.....
Jennifer at Ye Olde Chip Truck, Kenora, Ontario
The crew drove out to the final concert of the Drunken Sailor Tour in Dryden, Ontario. Another great crowd and a sold-out night, like all the dates in the tour. The craic was indeed mighty in the Canadian Prairies with legends The Irish Rovers !
Wilcil, Morris, Sean, George, Fred and Ian rocking Irish Rovers style
All photos © Hamish Burgess 2012
More on the band and their tour dates at www.theirishroversmusic.com
Sunday October 21st - Daniel was hosting The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, while our roving Celtic reporter Hamish was wandering the Canadian Prairies !
Saturday October 20th - over on Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick had a Pumpkin Carving and Costume Contest for the keiki, from 3:30pm to 6pm in the Celtic Room behind O'Toole's Irish Pub. An event for the family....
There was also the Guinness Toast Contest from 7:30pm to 8:30pm at O'Toole's Irish Pub. Everyone who participated got a free Guinness and Glass, and qualified for the chance to win a trip to Las Vegas. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday October 14th - Daniel Vicars was hosting The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, and our roving Celtic reporter Hamish called in from his wanderings on the Canadian Prairies with The Irish Rovers ! Daniel also celebrated the most famous Hawaiian Scot Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn's birthday (Oct 16th), with some tunes and songs, and Jennifer Fahrni of the Princess Ka'iulani Project called in to talk about the young royal's achievements.
Hawaiian Crown Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn
Sunday October 7th - Hamish & Daniel were back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui, with 2 hours of great Celtic music.
They started with songs and tunes from The Rankin Family, as a tribute to Raylene Rankin, the beautiful singer from Cape Breton, who sadly passed away the previous weekend at only 52 years old.
Hamish played the classic "Fare Thee Well Love" for Raylene, then featured her amazing vocal on "Rise Again", then the whole family on the ripping "Mull River Shuffle".
Raylene Rankin, singer from Cape Breton
Photo courtesy of the Rankin Family website.
In addition to performing with her siblings as The Rankin Family, Raylene also released two solo albums. More details at www.therankinfamily.com.
Then they had a Columbus/Discoverer's Day Special, and set the record straight about explorers who visited the New World centuries before Columbus.
They had songs and tunes about ships and sailing, emigration, and of course the early Irish explorer St.Brendan. Also covered were other early explorers, Sinclair Prince of Orkney, Welsh Prince Madoc, and Viking Leif Erickson, not to mention early visitors to the Hawaiian Islands before Captain Cook.
Hamish Burgess, and Tarun Nayar of Delhi 2 Dublin
On the emigration note, Hamish played a wee interview he recorded the night before at the MACC (see below) with Tarun Nayar from Delhi 2 Dublin, about the band and their music and roots. With his folks coming to Canada from overseas, Tarun's heritage is half Punjabi Indian, and half Irish/Scottish, a basis for the band's eclectic sound.
Sunday Oct 6th and 7th - a wee bit of modern electro Celtic/World music hit Hawaii for the first time with the band Delhi 2 Dublin playing on Maui and Oahu.
Saturday they rocked Maui at the Pavilion/Courtyard at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, and Sunday on Oahu at the Leeward Community College, Pearl City.
Delhi 2 Dublin at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului
Our own Hamish Burgess, who had been playing their music on his Maui Celtic Radio Show, went to check them out with local Celtic rocker Bud Clark, and found a few of the usual Celtic suspects there for the craic. From the opening number they had the crowd at the Pavilion going nuts and jumping up and down to their energetic mix of percussion with Bhangra, Celtic, reggae and electronica.
Sanjay Seran was revving the folks up on vocals, backed up by Tarun Nayar also on drums and the backbeat decks. Ravi Binning was rocking on the dohl drum, and kilted Andrew Kim killing it on the electric sitar and guitar ! Celtic content came from Sara Fitzpatrick ripping it up on the fiddle, and stunning the crowd with a beautiful vocal slow air.
Whether you were sitting, standing, or in the jumping dance-floor at the front, no one's feet could possibly stay still for these young Vancouver stars. Non-stop energy from start to finish.
Delhi 2 Dublin rocking the Maui Arts & Cultural Center
"One of Canada’s most buzzed-about bands, Delhi 2 Dublin performs an energetic mash-up of Bhangra, Celtic, dub, Reggae and electronica with global rhythms set to club beats. The five-member band has played at major festivals around the world. Where else can you see a female fiddle player rocking out with a kilt-wearing Korean flanked by two bouncing Bhangra percussionists and a vocalist who looks like he would be at home in a Bollywood music video?'" !
Tarun Nayar, Sanjay Seran, Andrew Kim and Ravi Binning along with touring musician Sara Fitzpatrick are diverse in both their backgrounds and musical influences. The musicians feel that they plug directly into the world’s music and energy. More info on the band at www.delhi2dublin.com
Sunday Sept 30th - our Maui Celtic Radio Show host Hamish headed to the Mana'o Radio fundraiser food booth at the Maui County Fair. This is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for listener-supported non-profit Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He joined station founder Kathy Collins for the lunchtime volunteer shift, helped by visiting pal Chuck Wall from Oahu, and local pipe band drummer Alice Riddle. The pulled pork sandwiches and lunch plates are always a big hit at the yearly fair. Mahalo for supprting Mana'o Radio. www.manaoradio.com
Hamish and Kathy at the Mana'o Radio food booth at the Maui County Fair
Sunday Sept 30th - our Celtic radio duo Hamish & Daniel were back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. They played 2 hours of new Celtic music, and had a wee chat with special guest in the studio, Oahu's Irishman-at-large Chuck Wall, one of the organizers of the St.Patrick's Day Parade in Waikiki by the The Friends of St.Patrick. Also past host Joel Agnew popped in for the craic and to share his latest poem.
Hamish also previewed music from the next weekend's upcoming show with the band Delhi 2 Dublin playing at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (www.mauiarts.org). A wee bit of modern electro Celtic/World music hits Maui for the first time with an energetic mash-up of Bhangra, Celtic, dub, Reggae and electronica ! More info on the band at www.delhi2dublin.com.
Chuck, Hamish, Daniel and Joel in the Mana'o Radio studio
Saturday September 29th - over on Oahu The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held An Autumn Evening with Scottish Folk Tales & Ghost Stories at 1288 Ala Moana Blvd., Ocean Terrace. Folks brought a potluck dish to share. More info please call Susan at 591-9398 or email email@example.com.
Tuesday September 25th - our own Hamish Burgess played bagpipes at a Wedding Industry Lunch at Fleetwood's on Front St. - in the rooftop bar of Mick Fleetwood's (of Fleetwood Mac fame) new restaurant on the West Side of Maui in Lahaina town. Also there entertaining with harp and Celtic music and songs was Maui's newst harp player........
Mick Fleetwood and Hamish Burgess
photo courtesy of Tad Craig Photography
Every night there is a sunset ceremony - following a traditional Hawaiian blessing, oli (chant), and pu'u (conch-shell) blowing, Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess or Roger McKinley open the evening with slow airs, then uptempo tunes on the Great Highland Bagpipes. Hamish is currently playing Sat, Sun, Mon, and Roger Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri. Don't be late or you'll miss the short set ! Great friendly staff, good food, and Mick Fleetwood himself is regularly there to meet people - and you never know if any of his other rock star pals will be there !
Sunday Sept 23rd - Hamish & Daniel were back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. They played 2 hours of new Celtic music, and during the 2nd half, special guest in the studio was ex-Maui girl Molly Bauckham, Celtic harp player and singer, now based in Seattle. Molly graduated from Seabury Hall School in Upcountry Maui, and was back for the opening alumni concert for the school's new arts center. They chatted with Molly about here career since leaving Maui, and played tracks from her album 'Maid on the Shore', available at www.harpmolly.com. Hamish also played a wee section of music from Molly's Celtic musician pals in the Pacific North West, including Hanz Araki, Seumas Gagne, and Colleen Raney & Colm MacCárthaigh.
Daniel, Molly Bauckham and Hamish in the Mana'o Radio studio
Sunday Sept 16th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played a song as a tribute to the 72nd Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and of course some for the Anniversary of 9/11, with special tribute songs by Kitty Donohoe and Liz McNicholl. The rest of the show was 2 hours of brand new Celtic music. Special guest in the studio was Daniel Vicars, another local Celtic music expert.
September 15-17th - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick celebrated Halfway to St Patrick’s Day / Annual Irish Whiskey Tasting / Arthur Guinness Birthday Bash at O'Toole's Pub, downtown Honolulu. Music on the 15th was from Jared Hobgood, then Doolin Rakes; 16th was Jason Owens; 17th Jared Hobgood. Whiskey Tasting was on the 15th - as it was half way to St.Patrick's Day, all the whiskeys were Irish. Then there was the Guinness Toast contest at 7.30pm. The Halfway Trolley ran 7-10pm and went from O'Toole's to the Irish Rose, to Kelly O'Neil's, to Anna O'Briens then back to O'Toole's - 10 min stop at each bar - Jason Owens was playing on board the whole time ! More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday Sept 9th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of new Celtic music, and reporting on his travels in Europe during July - he was in Switzerland and Austria, looking at the origins of the Celts at La Tene in western Switzerland, and the earlier culture of Hallein and Hallstatt in Austria !
Saturday Sept 8th - Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess' artwork was on national TV in North America when George Millar of The Irish Rovers was on a Detroit Public Television Special of "The Irish Rovers Christmas" DVD.
Hamish Burgess' artwork "The Irish Rovers Christmas" on DPTV
The phone operators were kept busy during the entire program, as the lines were alight with pledges in support of Detroit Public Television, in return for the "The Irish Rovers Christmas" DVD. George was having fun with host Cynthia Canty during breaks between film clips from the Christmas special's locations of Banff ski resort, Alberta, and the historic theatre in Chatham, Ontario.
Cynthia Canty and George Millar on the "The Irish Rovers Christmas" on DPTV
Thanks to Norm Dell for the photos.
Today's early preview was a tester of "The Irish Rovers Christmas" that will be broadcast nationally across Canada and the US on the PBS network in December. Available soon at www.irishroversmusic.com. For more of Hamish Burgess' artwork visit our Gallery page.
Tuesday Sept 4th - Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess' artwork was on national TV in North America when The Irish Rovers 'Merry Merry Time of Year' CD was featured on the QVC channel during a 'Rose of Tralee' and 'Luck Of the Irish' special.
Hamish Burgess' artwork on The Irish Rovers' 'Merry Merry Time of Year' CD on QVC
There was a live performance from The Irish Rovers - well, half the band - founder George Millar, Wilcil McDowell, and Ian Millar. The lads were almost too much for QVC when they broke out the rowdy 'Drunken Sailor' song, and were told to "keep it clean" by the host ! 'Merry Merry Time of Year' and the other featured CD 'Home in Ireland' are available now at www.irishroversmusic.com. It contains fine traditional seasonal songs, as well as great new original songs from the pen of George Millar. More details on Hamish's artwork above on our Gallery page.
The Irish Rovers on the QVC channel
Sunday Sept 2nd - Hamish had a Labor Day Special on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, mainly on the theme of working, and talked about some of the Irish connections with Labor Day in North America. He also featured a wee interview from Stef Sigfalk and Brendan Wade of Swiss Celtic band Bow Triplets, introducing the emigration single 'Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears'.
Blue Shamrock Kilted Classic 2012 on Oahu
Photo courtesy of The Siant Andrews Society of Hawaii
Tee time was 11.50am, with an all day silent auction, a cocktail hour at 5pm, and dinner and awards at 6pm. A hole-in-one won a week trip to Scotland for two players and rounds of golf at St.Andrews ! There was a Best Kilted golfer prize, and more. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - email@example.com.
Sunday August 26th - our roving Celtic reporter Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, and started with a tribute to Scottish American astronaut Neil Armstrong, with an Armstrong song and legends of the clan, and songs and tunes about the moon. The aerospace hero passed on Saturday aged 82.
Hamish played some more tracks from the Breast Cancer fundraiser double-album Celtic Pink Ribbon, produced by The Audacious Divas, which has raised around $75,000 for charity.
The Celtic Pink Ribbon CD for Breast Cancer
He also aired part of an interview with legendary northern Irish songwriter Tommy Sands, and other music from his recent travels in Europe - he was in Cornwall and Ireland, then Switzerland and Austria. He was looking at the origins of the Celts at La Tene in western Switzerland, and the earlier culture of Hallein and Hallstatt in Austria !
Wednesday August 23rd - Lahaina in West Maui was the happening place to be, with a legendary rock 'n' roll night kicked off by our own Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley on the bagpipes at the Grand Opening night of Fleetwood's on Front St., Mick Fleetwood's (of Fleetwood Mac fame) new restaurant and bar. Front Street was looking like Hollywood, with folks lined up to see rock 'n' roll royalty invade the little town, for the $500 and $350 a head benefit for Childhelp on Maui.
One of the star rockers was Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, who met the pipers Hamish & Roger downstairs before their opening, and had a quick chat with them. He said how he likes the bagpipes, and had once bought a set planning on learning to play, but lost them in a fire and missed the chance. Our pipers are both big Aerosmith fans, Hamish last seeing them in the UK in 1990 at Donnington Monsters of Rock, a gig that Steve remembered well !
It all kicked off on the rooftop bar with a traditional Hawaiian blessing, and P? (conch-shell) blowing from Manu, then the pipers opened the evening on the Great Highland Bagpipes, with some uptempo Scottish tunes, with the crowd going nuts ! Mick's mum is Scottish, and he was born in the Celtic area of Redruth, Cornwall.
Then Mick Fleetwood and his pals Willie K and Jerry Byers took the rooftop stage, later joined by Steven Tyler playing ukulele and singing 'Little Grass Shack' and the Aerosmith classic 'Dream On', himself on keyboards and Willie K on ukulele.
Roger McKinley, Steven Tyler, and Hamish Burgess at Fleetwood's
The sea wall along Front Street in Lahaina was lined with folks who could certainly hear the music on the rooftop speakers, and through the open windows of the main restaurant and concert room. The fun moved downstairs for an introduction from co-owner Jonathan Todd, followed by Hawaiian traditions from Manu, then Roger and Hamish on the bagpipes with more Scottish tunes in honour of Mick's mum. Then Mick Fleetwood's Island Rumours band rocked the house with some blues, and early Fleetwood Mac numbers.
Mick Fleetwood's Island Rumours with Jonny Lang and Steven Tyler
Fine vocals from former Fleetwood Mac member Rick Vito, and local stars Willie K and Eric Gilliom, and Rick was joined on blistering guitar by blues rocker Jonny Lang. The night finished in epic rock mode with frontman Steven Tyler moving from blues numbers to Aerosmith classics such as 'Sweet Emotions' and 'Walk This Way' with the crowd going beserk ! A legendary night of rock 'n' roll in Lahaina, West Maui. The craic was mighty ROCK STYLE in the middle of the Pacific.
Steven Tyler at Fleetwood's on Front St., Lahaina, West Maui
There will be piping at Fleetwood's on Front St. every night before sunset at 6pm - Hamish is currently playing Sat, Sun, Mon, and Roger Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri. More details at www.fleetwoodsonfrontst.com, or call 808-669-MICK (6425) for more information and reservations.
Tuesday August 22nd - on the West Side of Maui in Lahaina town Maui's own Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley played bagpipes at the pre-opening night at Fleetwood's on Front St., Mick Fleetwood's (of Fleetwood Mac fame) new restaurant and bar. The night was for all the investors of the great new venue.
On the rooftop bar there was a traditional Hawaiian blessing, oli (chant), and P? (conch-shell) blowing from Manu, then the pipers opened the evening on the Great Highland Bagpipes, with the usual slow version of 'Amazing Grace' followed by a rocking one, then an uptempo version of 'Scotland the Brave' with the crowd clapping along ! Mick's mum is Scottish, and he was born in the Celtic area of Redruth, Cornwall. There will be piping every night before sunset at 6pm - Hamish is currently playing Sat, Sun, Mon, and Roger Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri.
Mick Fleetwood was there to meet visitors and locals, before the fun moved downstairs.
Hamish Burgess, Mick Fleetwood, Jonathan Todd and Roger McKinley at Fleetwood's
photo courtesy of Dave Armbrust
There the joint rocked out to the sounds of the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, with some classic blues and even a couple of early Fleetwood Mac numbers. The band featured Mick Fleetwood on drums, Rick Vito singing and guitars, Lenny Castellanos on bass, and Mark Johnstone on keyboards and voclas. They were joined by hot young blues rocker Jonny Lang to finish the night !
Mick Fleetwood and Rick Vito at Fleetwood's on Front St.
More details at www.fleetwoodsonfrontst.com, or call 808-669-MICK (6425) for more information and reservations.
Sunday August 19th - Hamish was on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui - playing 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, and reporting on his travels in Ireland, then Switzerland and Austria. He was looking at the origins of the Celts at La Tene in western Switzerland, and the earlier culture of Hallein and Hallstatt in Austria !
The show was dedicated to our underwriters Anne & George Millar (of The Irish Rovers), on their 2nd wedding anniversary, with some approriate wedding and anniversary songs and tunes.
Hamish played some tracks from the Breast Cancer fundraiser double-album Celtic Pink Ribbon, produced by The Audacious Divas, which has raised around $75,000 for charity.
He also aired part of an interview with legendary northern Irish songwriter Tommy Sands, that he recorded in Rostrevor, County Down, and played some of his songs. They talked about Tommy's long musical career and song inspiration.
Hamish Burgess and Tommy Sands in Rostrevor, Co.Down
There were more tales
of Switzerland where he was looking at the origins of the Celts at La Tene in western Switzerland and words and music from Stef Sigfalk and Brendan Wade of Bow Triplets, with their Swiss Celtic music - another busy show !
Saturday August 18th - over on Oahu, The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii and The Friends of St.Patrick held a Sunset Sail on the Makani Catamaran (www.sailmakani.com).
They met at Kewalo Basin Boat Harbor (corner of Ala Moana & Ward) in front of the Makani Catamaran, for the 2 hour sunset sail, with heavy pupus (appetizers), and a couple of free drinks ! For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org. Also details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
Sunday August 12th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, and reported on his travels in Europe during June/July, this week focusing on Ireland, with a tribute to the late great Tommy Makem, who passed on 5 years ago, with some words from fellow northern Irish songwriter Tommy Sands about a song he wrote about his friend Makem, followed by some songs from the man himself. There was some interview from Briege Murphy, from the Hills of South Armagh, on her life and songwriting. He also reported on the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCo), and played music from many of the artists at the week-long festival in Derry and Donegal. He played a track from New World Champion Bagpipe Band, The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, from Lisburn in Northern Ireland, who won the title the previous day in Glasgow, Scotland. Also competing there was Maui's own 10 year-old piper Innes Asher, playing with the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band, who came 3rd in the Novice Juvenile grade (more below) - well done Innes !
He had some new interview from show underwriter George Millar of The Irish Rovers, on why he and his wife Anne support Hamish's popular radio program, The Maui Celtic Radio Show, broadcast locally on Maui, and worldwide on the internet.
George Millar - from Co.Antrim to Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island
He featured tracks from a re-release of 2 live albums by legendary Scottish band Silly Wizard, the "Live Again" album new from Birnam CD in Dunkeld, Scotland.
He finished the show with tales of Switzerland where he was looking at the origins of the Celts at La Tene in western Switzerland ! With some words and music from Stef Sigfalk and Brendan Wade of Bow Triplets, there was fine Swiss Celtic music - to be continued next week. A busy show indeed !
Sunday, August 12th - Over on Oahu there was a Scottish film at The Movie Museum - they had screenings of THE LITTLE KIDNAPPERS at 12:00 and 1:45pm.
THE LITTLE KIDNAPPERS aka The Kidnappers (1953-UK) 90m. D: Philip Leacock. Jon Whiteley (HUNTED), Vincent Winter, Adrienne Corri, Theodore Bikel, Duncan Macrae, Jean Anderson.
When two young Scottish orphans Harry (Whiteley) and Davy (Winter) are sent to live in Nova Scotia with their grandparents (Macrae and Anderson), the boys want a dog to keep them company. They instead find an unattended baby and care for the child in a shed. This film won an award from the National Board of Review, and Whiteley and Winter won honorary Oscars for their delightful performances. Call 735-8771 for more details.
Saturday August 11th - Maui's own 10 year-old piper Innes Asher was the 1st Hawaii resident to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green in Scotland. He was playing with the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band, who came 3rd in the Novice Juvenile grade - well done Innes and the lads ! The band train at The Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, under the eye of regular Maui visitor Jack Lee, who has been teaching Innes for a few years now. The several time World Champions SFU Pipe Band came 3rd in the Grade 1 competition, which was won this year by The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, from Lisburn in Northern Ireland.
Sunday August 5th - our roving Celtic reporter Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He was playing 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, and reporting on his travels in Europe during June/July - he was in Cornwall and Ireland, then Switzerland and Austria, looking at the origins of the Celts at La Tene in western Switzerland, and the earlier culture of Hallein and Hallstatt in Austria !
From Cornwall he played an interview recorded in Port Isaac in June, with Jon Cleave from Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends, and also played some of their sea shanties. From a pub-singing group in a sleepy Cornish fishing village, the ten friends have hit the charts in the UK and are now playing at venues like the Albert Hall. An amazing phenomenon for a bunch of folk singers ! (see the June entry below)
Hamish & Jon Cleave of Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
Then great singer and storyteller Máirtín de Cógáin called in to talk about his latest Kickstarter project, a DVD travelogue of his home area of Cork, with the traditional songs of that part of Ireland. Check out his project here.
Máirtín de Cógáin the Cork singer and storyteller
Hamish also featured music from folks he met in Ireland, namely The Irish Rovers, Mary Black and the Black Family, John McSherry & Donal O'Conor, Oonagh Derby and PJ McDonald.
The second hour featured a hook-up to Scotland with Liz Clark of Celtic Music Radio in Glasgow, who were running a Radiothon, and trying to become Scotland's first listener-supported radio station, like Mana'o Radio is for Maui. Hamish donated Maui band Finn McCoul's CD "On The Shoulders Of Giants" to CMR's fundraising auction, and played several tracks of Celtic music from Maui for airing in Scotland !
Saturday, August 4th - on the West Side of Maui in Lahaina town Maui's own Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley played bagpipes at the soft-opening night at Fleetwood's on Front St., Mick Fleetwood's (of Fleetwood Mac fame) new restaurant and bar.
On the rooftop bar there was a traditional Hawaiian blessing, oli (chant), and P? (conch-shell) blowing from Vene, then the pipers opened the evening with slow airs, then uptempo tunes on the Great Highland Bagpipes. Mick Fleetwood was there to meet visitors and locals, and Hamish met musician Davey Johnston, the Scottish guitarist of Elton John's band, visiting Maui and a guest of Frank and Blake Rizzo, who Hamish knows from his Maui pipe band days.
Roger McKinley, Mick Fleetwood and Hamish Burgess
Mick's mum is Scottish, and he was born in the Celtic area of Redruth, Cornwall. There will be piping every night before sunset at 6pm - Hamish is currently playing Sat, Sun, Mon, and Roger Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri. More details at www.fleetwoodsonfrontst.com
Saturday, August 4th - over on Oahu there was a screening of a Scottish film at The Movie Museum with THE LITTLE KIDNAPPERS shown 3 times that afternoon. See details above.
Call 735-8771 for more details.
Thursday, August 2nd - on the West Side of Maui in Lahaina town Maui's own Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley played bagpipes at a special pre-opening night at Fleetwood's on Front St. for the Lahainluna Football Team. On the rooftop bar of Mick Fleetwood's (of Fleetwood Mac fame) new restaurant there was a traditional Hawaiian blessing, oli (chant), and P? (conch-shell) blowing, then the pipers opened the evening with slow airs, then uptempo tunes on the Great Highland Bagpipes. Roger had them singing along to 'Hawaii Aloha', then they sang their own alma mater. Mick Fleetwood was there to meet the local team, and our pipers got to hang out with the Redruth, Cornwall-born rock drumming legend ! Not to mention the great friendly staff, and amazing food....
There will be piping every night before sunset at 6pm - Hamish is currently playing Sat, Sun, Mon, and Roger Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri. More details at www.fleetwoodsonfrontst.com
Tuesday July 31st - LUGHNASADH GREETINGS TO ONE AND ALL !
The great wheel of the year turns again on the evening of July 31st, with the Celtic festival of LUGHNASADH, as the last in the cycle of the four seasons of the Celtic world.
Lughnasadh is named after the Celtic Sun God Lugh, ‘The Bright or Shining One’, God of the Harvest, who also presides over the arts and sciences. Lunasa in modern Irish is the name of the month of August.
This feast marks the beginning of Autumn or Fall, and the harvesting season - crops were harvested in August, fruit in September, and meat in October.
The Christian church also started a feast day, where loaves of bread were baked from the first of the harvested grain, and placed on the church altar on the first Sunday of August – it was called Lammas, from an Anglo-Saxon word ‘hlaef-mas’, which meant ‘loaf mass’.
'LUGHNASADH' © Hamish Burgess 2011. Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the July/August 2011 issue. The last of a series of four seasonal works. More details on the artwork above on our Gallery page.
Sunday July 29th - our roving Celtic reporter Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He was celebrating the ancient Celtic festival of Lughnasadh (see above) with a special show of seasonal traditions and 2 hours of new and old Celtic music. He spoke of his travels in Europe during June/July, and will have an extensive report with music during the next weeks - he was in Cornwall and Ireland, then Switzerland and Austria. Mahalo to Joel Agnew, Dr.B, and Tony for spinning the tunes while he was away.
Sunday July 29th - - on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held their 'Monthly Movie Night' as usual on the last sunday of the month in the Celtic Room,O'Tooles Pub downtown Honolulu.
Tonight's Irish movie was 'Rory O'Shea Was Here' (2004) (original title 'Inside I'm Dancing') a comedy drama. "When the kinetic Rory moves into his room in the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, his effect on the home is immediate. Most telling is his friendship with Michael, a young man with cerebral palsy and nearly unintelligible speech. Somehow, Rory understands Michael, and encourages him to experience life outside the confines of home."
More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 26/27/28th - over on Oahu the Irish Reunion Band played three dates.
Featuring William Greene fiddler, Curtis Vanderloop banjo/guitar/bazouki, Lawson Cannon guitar, and Susan Reinhart bodhran. This group of very talented Irish music performers, played gatherings in Honolulu, first on Thursday 26th late afternoon at Foster Gardens, followed by Celtic Pipes and Drum of Hawaii. Then the morning of Friday 27th at Morning Brew Coffee, Kailua, and finally Saturday evening at Ward’s Rafter’s, Kaimuki, with a guest appearance by Irish Dance Hawaii.
Saturday July 21st - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held an Irish Travel meeting at the Celtic Room at O'Toole's Pub, Downtown Honolulu. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
Wednesday July 18th - over in Honolulu, The Friends of St.Patrick held a Whiskey Tasting at the Celtic Room at O'Toole's Pub, Downtown Honolulu. The 25 guests enjoyed an Irish glass of Danny Boy and 12 year-old Tullamore Dew, a Scottish dram of 12 year-old Dewars, and an American shot of Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniel's Single Barrel. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday July 8th, 15th & 22nd - Mana'o Radio's own Tony was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice', which he originated on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He was playing 2 hours of new and old Celtic music from his own collection - a huge mahalo to Tony who was standing in for Hamish while was away in Switzerland and Austria. Our roving Celtic reporter Hamish was looking at the origins of the Celts at La Tene in western Switzerland, and the earlier culture of Hallein and Hallstatt in Austria.
Tuesday July 3rd-17th - our Maui Celtic duo Hamish & Jennifer escaped the lovely Irish rain and were in Switzerland & Austria, to find Jennifer's family on her dad's side, and to look at the origins of the Celts at La Tene in western Switzerland, and the earlier culture of Hallein and Hallstatt in Austria !
After 12 days of rain in Ireland it was nice to arrive in warm and sunny Geneva, Switzerland. With no hotel booked for the night, the car rental agents advised our travelers that hotels were about half the price in France, only 15 minutes away, than staying in Geneva. Off they went to look for a hotel, but realized after 20 minutes driving in the countryside that they had headed the wrong way......lost in France ! They ended up in Annemasse with no vacancies to be found at any of the hotels, even the seedy ones, and the same in Gaillard with it's colourful roundabouts.
They gave up and drove into Geneva, the most populous city of the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The city is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, in a beautiful location, and divided by the River Rhone.
They first stopped by accident while looking for somewhere to park, and saw the The Restaurant H�tel du Parc des Eaux-Vives, a historical 18th century building in a beautiful park where you could have drinks or snacks, with a grand view of Lake Geneva - and free parking !
Our couple took a walk down the lakeside boulevard to see the city's most famous tourist attraction, the 459 feet/140 metres high fountain the Jet d'Eau. It was originally installed in 1886 as a safety valve for a hydraulic power network, reaching about 98 feet/30 metres high. 5 years later it was moved and was 295 feet/90 metres high, the present fountain being installed in 1951.
Swans and the Jet d'Eau, Geneva, Switzerland
There's a flock of tame, hungry swans by the cafes along the lakeside.
They walked across the Rhone bridges and back up for lunch in the Old Town, with it's a gothic maze of cobblestone streets, medieval buildings, many fountains, old shops, and the 12th century Cathedrale St.Pierre (St.Peter's Cathedral). They stopped at the Place des Nations, with kids playing in the rising and falling fountains, and folks walking under the massive 'Broken Chair', a monument to land mine victims, opposite the United Nations Building with it's many flags.
United Nations Building, Geneva
Hamish & Jennifer did in fact stay in France for the night, in Prévessin-Moëns, at about half the price of staying in Geneva.
The next morning it was back into Switzerland, and along the lakeside drive by Lake Geneva (Lake Léman in French), the largest lake in the Alps. They stopped for coffee in Coppet and passed spectacular poppy fields near Nyon, the setting for Hergé's Adventures of Tintin 'The Calculus Affair' book, which Hamish grew up with (staple reading for kids in Europe).
Poppy field near Nyon, Switzerland
They stopped in the heart of the La Cote wine-producing area at Rolle in the Canton of Vaud, to visit the tourist office for some maps, and had a wander round the lakeside Château de Rolle, a triangular castle built around 1261-1264 by the Mont family, then passing into the possession of the Counts of Savoy.
Hamish at the Château de Rolle
Hamish took a wee detour to show Jennifer a classic castle he had seen in the guide book at Vufflens-le-Château, a small village of less than 1000 folks surrounded by vineyards and dominated by the massive Vufflens Castle, one of Switzerland's most magnificent Gothic fortresses. It was built by Henri de Colombier in 1425 on the site of an earlier medieval castle of the lords of Vufflens, of which nothing remains. Of his re-building, the donjon, several towers, outbuildings, the surrounding wall and the gate house remain, although in 1530 it was set on fire by Bernese troops. In 1641 it was acquired by the de Senarclens family, and now is privately owned and cannot be visited.
Vufflens Castle, Vufflens-le-Château, Switzerland
Our exploring duo drove through the old town of Morges, the busy marina shadowed by a waterfront castle, on to the city of Lausanne. They headed for the waterfront suburb of Ouchy for lunch, now a busy tourist destination, with boat trips on Lake Geneva. Of the many cafes and restaurants, the visually most impressive is the Hôtel Château d'Ouchy, an old medieval castle that has been converted into a hotel. It was first constructed by the Bishop of Lausanne as a tower around 1170, then rebuilt a century later as a fortified residence for bishops. The castle was abandoned and burnt in 1609. The castle was rebuilt in neo-gothic style between 1889 and 1893 and converted into a hotel, leaving only the old tower.
Jennifer by Hôtel Château d'Ouchy, Lausanne
Hamish was excited to get to the Canton of Neuch�tel, driving along the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, below the ridges of the Jura Mountains, getting closer to one of his objectives, to find the origins of the Celts of La Tène. They arrived in the ancient town of Neuchâtel in the late afternoon, and headed to the tourism office, where the staff were fantastic, and found our couple somewhere to stay at a busy time of year.
The area was pre-historically settled in 13,000 BC, a Neolithic village with stilt-houses in 3571 BC, followed by early iron-age Hallstatt evidence, then a hub of the later iron-age La Tène culture which flourished from 450 BC to Roman conquest in the 1st century AD. 7th century Merovingian treasures have been found locally, then in 1011, Burgundian King Rudolph III presented a new castle on the lake shore to his wife Irmengarde, giving the town the name of Neuchâtel, which in 1214 was officially named a city. The modern city is a university town, and owes it's wealth to watch-making and precision-engineering.
Château de Neuchâtel and old town statue
For over 1000 years the Château de Neuchâtel has been the seat of authority, and today still houses the cantonal government and law courts. Hamish and Jennifer explored the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, with it's yellow sandstone buildings, and many squares and fountains.
The tourist office sent them out to stay in the nearby village of Le Landeron, by the end of Lake Biel at a guest house in the Old Town run by Jean-Louis Quellet. Our travelers were not expecting to be knocking on the door of a house from the 1500s, in a town that could be a medieval movie-set !
Le Landeron, Switzerland
La Portette, the southern gate of old Le Landeron
The next morning was one Hamish had long been waiting for.....a visit to La Tène, one of the ancient sites of the early Celts.
Our Maui Celtic couple's first stop was to Hauterive, a suburb of Neuchâtel, to visit The Laténium archaeology museum and park, named after the second Iron Age Celtic culture of La Tène, which spread across Europe to Romania in the east and Ireland in the west. At the foot of the Jura Mountains, La Tène was a nearby lakeside settlement where many artifacts were found, dating from 500 BC to the 1st century AD.
Built in 2001, The Laténium is a museum and waterfront park, featuring re-constructions of a La Tène house, a Celtic bridge, a Gallo-Roman ship, and a pond raised to the level of the lake before the artifacts were discovered. Showcasing 500 centuries of history, the museum displays items from the Paleolithic era (including the remains of a Magdalenian hunting camp) through the Celtic La Tène era, the Roman empire, and into medieval times. The museum building also houses the canton's archaeological service and the University of Neuch�tel's Institute of Prehistory, with artifact storage, a library, laboratories, and a lecture hall and conference room.
Top - centre is Mont Vully, fortress of the Helvetii, and beyond are the Alps
Wooded area by spit left of Lake Neuchâtel is the ancient La Tène settlement
Foreground - The Laténium archaeology museum and park, Neuchâtel
photo © Laténium, Neuchâtel - Yves André.
After a coffee at the cafe, with it's terrace overlooking the park, they were shown around the 'Les Celtes de La Tène' gallery, the main Celtic floor of the museum by Curator Denis Ramseyer. He first took them to a large window overlooking the grounds and lake, and pointed out the site of the ancient La Tène settlement, where most of the artifacts were found, now behind a wooded point of land seen in the photo above (at left). He also explained that the large hill across the lake, Mont Vully, was the fortress of the powerful Helvetii tribe, active in the 1st century BC and inhabiting most of the Swiss Plateau at the time of Roman contact, and that local archaeologists had re-constructed a section of the fortress wall where it once stood. The tribal name Helvetii is associated with Helvetia, the female personification of Switzerland, seen on modern Swiss coins and stamps. The abbreviation for Switzerland, CH, comes from 'Confoederatio Helvetica', Latin for the country's full name the Swiss Confederation.
Hamish in 'Les Celtes de La Tène' gallery of the Laténium
Maui Celtic at La Tène, and a wooden shield with iron boss
Mons. Ramseyer graciously went to find some maps and info for them to take, then returned to show Hamish & Jennifer around the Celtic gallery, explaining some of the most important finds of La Tène artifacts, discovered under the silt in the shallows of Lake Neuchâtel. Many objects were well preserved in the oxygen-free mud, even though they were several hundreds of years earlier than La Tène treasures in the museums of Britain and Ireland. Most surprising were the intact wooden objects, such as an ancient shield, and a complete chariot wheel and carriage fittings.
Maui Celtic's Hamish amazed at a complete chariot wheel and carriage fittings
There were photo albums of the original archaeological digs at the site of the ancient lakeside settlement at La Tène, and archaic wickerwork baskets, clothing, fibulae or brooches, glass bracelets, ceramics and household objects, as well as ceremonial vessels and Celtic coins, and even parts of ancient Carnyx trumpets. There were cabinets of fantastically preserved Celtic weapons, including many spearheads, daggers, swords and scabbards.
La Tène era Celtic spearheads at the Laténium
The sword hilts were in fabulous condition, most with curling spirals forming the pommel, but one outstanding example of an anthromorphic figure, his legs forming the hand guard and raised arms forming the pommel. Several scabbards were inscribed with amazing early Celtic La Tène artwork, with swirling curvilinear shapes, an art form that spread all over Europe, becoming part of the ancient Irish and Britons' Celtic culture.
Anthromorphic sword hilt and scabbard with La Tène artwork
Fantastically stylized animals featured on many objects, especially coins, and sword scabbards. The horse was a common motif, with horsemen and chariots being an important part of Celtic society and warfare. The horse featured on many Celtic coins from all regions, a tribute to the horse-goddess Epona.
Scabbard with stylized animals, and Hamish checking out La Tène artwork
In the water-themed gallery is the Bevaix Boat, a Gallo-Roman ship found in the Bay of Bevaix, Lake Neuchâtel, in 1970. It was used for shipping limestone from the Jura to the Roman colony of Aventicum (now Avenches) for their monuments. It is nearly 20 metres/63.6 ft long and around 3 metres/9.5 ft wide, and built from large oak planks felled in 182 AD. The flat-bottomed vessel had no keel, with low sides almost a metre/3ft high at the centre of the boat. It was unusually caulked between the planks with string, moss, and wooden lath strips. The gallery also has two ancient dug-out canoes.
The Gallo-Roman 'Bevaix Boat' in the Laténium
Another gallery, of the Middle Ages, had a collection of buckles from a local 7th century cemetery of the Merovingian culture, with Celtic knotwork not unlike that seen at the same time in Pictish, Irish and Briton art. A princely collection of ten buckles shows the importance of this area, long after the La Tène era.
7th century belt buckle made of iron, with brass and silver Celtic decoration
Stepping back in time 'Les Lacustres' or 'Lake Dwellers' gallery is home to a fine Neolithic to Bronze Age collection, with ancient woven baskets, clothing, pottery, a solid wooden chariot wheel, and bronze casting moulds and artifacts.
It is also home to the enigmatic Bevaix Treytel Menhir, a carved standing stone nearly 11 feet/3.30m high and almost three tons, discovered in 1996 during motorway excavations in Treytel near Bevaix. It was part of a vast megalithic site with twelve standing stones in a long alignment, dating to the Middle Neolithic period, between 5th-4th millennia BC. Of the thousands of menhirs across Europe, it is unknown why this one has a carved face, and what appear to be hands and other markings.
Bevaix-Treytel Menhir, Latenium, Neuchatel
The galleries also have interesting reconstructed faces of local lakeside dwellers through the ages, and early artifacts including a Mesolithic 15th century BC flute made from mutton bone, and a Neolithic 3500 BC arrowhead made of clear rock crystal.
A new exhibition 'Chantier Autorisé' showed hands-on exhibits of the archaeological work and findings.
Our Maui Celtic couple headed outside to the park, which shows landscapes, sites, monuments and dwellings that succeeded one another at this place over 15,000 years. They saw a landscape from that long ago, represented by a moulding of a Cro-Magnon camp that was found nearby, with hearths, stone seats, bones and flint-working. They then saw posts marking the pilings of the original Neolithic village found in 1984, with six large houses, and many outbuildings dated around 3800 BC, three of which are re-constructed on site.
Bronze Age house, Latenium, Neuchâtel
Next they looked at a great re-construction of a late Bronze Age house with a raised floor to safeguard against flooding, frequent here 3000 years ago.
A platform allows a look at the interior of the house, with replica tools and household objects.
Bronze Age house interior at the Latenium, Neuchâtel
Nearby is a copy of a middle Bronze Age barrow mound, or burial chamber, dating from 1400 BC and found locally in 1937.
The large elevated fish farming pond is raised, to show the level of the lake before the La Tène artifacts (500 BC to 1st century AD) were discovered by Hans Kopp (looking for antiquities for Colonel Frederic Schwab) in 1857, when prolonged drought had lowered the waters of Lake Neuchâtel by about 6.5 feet/2m. Before water levels in the 3 lakes at the foot of the Jura Mountains (Lakes Neuchâtel, Bienne and Morat) were reduced between 1869 and 1891, they were as high as the artificial pond here, although 3000 years ago Lake Neuchâtel was even lower than it is today.
A boat slip houses the re-contrstruction of the Gallo-Roman lighter the Bevaix Boat, with a modern research vessel berthed there also, with the shore lined with Erratic boulders of Alpine or Jurassic rock, once carried long distances by glaciers.
There is a re-constructed Celtic bridge to cross, with the design taken from the remains of a much larger bridge in the area. The original was 90m/290 feet long, and spanned the Thielle River at Cornaux-Les Sauges. It stood from the 3rd to 1st centuries BC, connecting the Swiss Plateau with the Jura.
Finally there is a small Roman garden, representing a new era in the area, not to mention a kids' playground with mammoth-shaped slides and a Celtic house.
Hamish on the Celtic bridge, Latenium, Neuchâtel
The Laténium has an amazing collection of Celtic and pre-historic artifacts, and is a fantastic resource for adults and children. They regularly tour school parties, and the kids are taught the ancient and Celtic history of Switzerland. There is also a good shop, with the books mainly in French and German. Opening hours are 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday. More info from www.latenium.ch.
Many thanks to the Latenium staff and Curator Denis Ramseyer for a great day and more leads !
All the above photos © Hamish Burgess and Jennifer Fahrni, except the top aerial shot credited.
Hamish & Jennifer took the advice of Mons. Ramseyer and headed to Marin/Epagnier to the nearby site of the original La Tène excavations, now a campsite by a serene bay on Lake Neuchâtel.
The bay behind the spit of land is La Tène on Lake Neuchâtel
The quiet Camping de La T�ne holiday park is on the reed-lined bay where the treasures of the ancient Celtic culture were found, with a story-board display case on 'Les Celtes de La Tène', with photos and maps of the excavations, and some replicas of various La Tène artifacts found here.
La Tène, Lake Neuchâtel
With only a campsite shop and a restaurant, and grassy plots for trailer-homes, motor-homes and tents, the bayside area is fabulously unspoilt. If the ancient La Tène Celts were to see their old home today, 2500 years later, we think they would thankfully recognize it !
After a walk along the bay-shore, Hamish felt moved enough to jump into the hazy blue waters of La Tène for an energizing swim to celebrate finding the roots of the ancient culture !
Hamish swimming at La Tene, Lake Neuchâtel
Then again following the museum curator's advice they drove around the end of the lake and to the top of Mont Vully, to find the old fortress of the powerful Helvetii Celtic tribe, who once inhabited most of the Swiss Plateau. They parked at a look-out spot with a great view of La Tène across Lake Neuchâtel. After walking through some fields they found the ancient embankments of the oppidum of the Helvetii dating to 200 BC. It was probably destroyed by fire in 58 BC when the tribe departured to Gaul. Local archaeologists have re-constructed a section of the fortress wall where it once stood. You can access the fortress by road after leaving the summit of Mont Vully.
Reconstructed section of the Helvetii fortress on Mont Vully overlooking Lake Morat
MORE TO COME............Swiss adventures.
After an amazing time in beautiful Switzerland, our Maui Celtic duo Hamish & Jennifer drove through southern Germany and arrived in Austria, with a mission to find the very early Celtic culture of Hallein and Hallstatt.
Hamish was stoked to be driving through the scenic Tyrolean Mountains, which he had often thought of while playing the famous bagpipe tune 'The Green Hills of Tyrol' or the folk song of the same melody 'The Scottish Soldier'.
Coming from the north they arrived first at the ancient town of Hallein, which instantly impressed Hamish with the words Kelten Hallein on the roundabout, topped with a huge sculpture of an ancient Celtic artifact that was found locally (see below). The town was also home to the composer of the carol "Silent Night", Franz Xaver Gruber, and there is a Silent Night museum there.
Kelten Hallein roundabout, Hallein, Austria
The name Hallein is derived from the ancient Celtic word hal for salt. The area has been settled for at least 4000 years, with folks attracted by the salt deposits above the town on the Dürrnberg plateau. One of the main centres in Europe, a Celtic community thrived here from 600 BC until the Romans took over the kingdom of Noricum, a federation of twelve tribes, in 15 BC. The town prospered in medieval times with it's salt works, and the trade gave it's name to the city and state of Salzburg, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The mineral salt has had a huge influence in human history, and is vital to our bodily functions, although it is now thought that too much salt is bad for us. For thousands of years it has been a valuable food and preservative, at one time as valuable as gold. Now salt is important in the manufacture of glass, the chemical industry, and in medecine.
Salt Miner with saltblock and firebrand, Hallein
A helpful young lady in the Hallein tourist office, in full traditional dress, found our travellers a nice guest house Pension Sommerauer on the edge of town, but within walking distance of the old town center. They crossed the bridge over Salzach River and headed into town for a fish dinner at the open-air restaurant in the town square, surrounded by centuries old buildings.
The next day, after a great breakfast from pension hostess Christina, they drove up the mountain to Bad Dürrnberg on the plateau above Hallein, with the Salzach River valley down below, always in sight of the well-known landmark, the Barmsteine limestone rock pinnacles.
The Barmsteine from Bad Dürrnberg above Hallein
They were there to visit the Hallein Salt Mine, also known as Salzbergbau Dürrnberg. The earliest settlers gathered surface deposits of salt, but underground mining began around the 5th century BC. The Hallein salt industry reached it's height in the 15th century, out-matching all other salt producing areas for 100 years, due to the easy access of the Salzach River as a transportation and trade route. The salt works were monopolized by the Archbishops of Salzburg, virtual princes of the region, who became extremely wealthy, and even had Salt Wars with neighbouring regions.
Although commercial salt mining ended here in 1989, the mine is maintained for historical tours by Salzwelten Hallein, and has been open to visitors as long ago as the 17th century. Our duo went on a 90 minute guided tour which covered 1 km underground. First they put on white coveralls to protect their clothes inside the mine, and boarded an electric train for a 400m (1,300 ft) ride into the mine.
Salt Mine guide and film at the Saltzwelten Hallein, Austria
In various chambers, the knowledgeable guide covered historical points in German, Italian and English, before showing a film with actors portraying the characters of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich (1559-1617) and his servant Jakobus. They told the story of the mine throughout history, and the rise and fall of the archbishop, shown in parts as they went around the mine.
At one point they crossed the Austrian/German border underground ! In 1829, a treaty was created between Austria and Bavaria because of that, stating that up to ninety Bavarian farmers were allowed to work in the mine.
There are two sets of 42m (138 ft) wooden slides, the traditional way of getting quickly from one level of the mine to a lower one. Visitors straddle two wooden rails and slide on the padded seat of their coveralls, and are told not to put their feet down to brake !
Jennifer & Hamish on the slide at the Saltzwelten Hallein
photo courtesy of Foto Sulzer at the Saltzwelten Hallein
There is a camera that takes your photo near the bottom of the slide, creating an often hilarious keepsake that you can buy at the exit. Hamish and Jennifer slid at nearly 16km an hour, but some kids were reaching the high 20s !
Along the tour route our duo saw mine tunnels from all ages, with various displays of period lights, tools, and mining contraptions, as well as life size models of miners showing their ways of extracting the salt. There is even a reconstruction of 'The Man in the Salt', one of two mummified Celtic miners found in 1573 and in 1616, who had been buried in the salt in a tunnel, with his shoes, clothing and wooden pick-axe intact. He was removed for a local burial, when of course his well-preserved body soon decayed in the air.
Medieval salt block casting at the Saltzwelten Hallein, Austria
Early mining was done by hand, with the Celtic era miners chipping salt rock crystal from the rock as a solid, which they carried out of the mine in backpacks. The earliest written record of the mine dates back to 1194. Medieval miners formed the salt into blocks by using wooden moulds, to be transported in carts out of the mine.
A later technique to improve efficiency was the use of leachcaves, the earliest known in 1268. Water was introduced to caverns, which absorbed salt from the walls for several weeks, creating brine water which was then extracted, and boiled in pans leaving the salt. In more recent times the brine was pumped out to a processing plant in Hallein. Hamish and Jennifer took the boat trip across one of these eerie, but beautiful, underground lakes on the tour.
Leachcave and brine lake at the Saltzwelten Hallein, Austria
Our duo thought it was a fascinating tour of an historic salt mine from ancient Celtic days, through it's medieval times, right up until the modern era. The final chamber contained memorials to saints and benefactors, and some paintings from the 1700s of the coat-of-arms of local nobles and princes.
Coat-of -arms paintings in the Saltzwelten Hallein
After emerging from the labyrinth of mine passages into the light, our Maui Celtic duo visited the nearby Celtic Village, with reconstructed buildings and objects found during excavations. The focus is not on the village at present, due to be rebuilt soon, as new evidence has been unearthed that the hut roofs were actually made of wooden shakes, a more advanced construction technique than the thatch that was first thought covered the buildings.
Reconstructed house in the Celtic Village at the Saltzwelten Hallein, soon to
be rebuilt with a roof of wooden shakes, after new evidence of that practise
The village used to be peopled with actors who would portray the ancient folk, each building showing a different aspect of the life of the Celts.
One building houses informative story-boards and great illustrations on the Celts of the Dürrnberg, who settled there and mined the mountain from around the 6th century BC until the 1st century AD. At the centre of the village, carved poles overlook the Dürrnberg plateau, with a great view of the unusual Barmsteine limestone rock pinnacles, the well-known landmark of Hallein.
Hamish in the Celtic Village by the Saltzwelten Hallein
Carved triscele and Celtic warrior poles in the Celtic Village Hallein
At one time the Celts only worked the mountain during the cold season, as the vital circulation of air only functioned well in the winter ! But they must have overcome that and worked the mines year round, as there is evidence of summertime activity found in debris buried in the salt.
They lived in log huts or cabins, and buried their dead under nearby burial mounds. A reconstructed mound houses a life size model of the chariot burial of a chief, richly furnished with grave objects, some of the originals now housed in the Keltenmuseum Hallein.
Chariot Burial model in the Celtic Village at the Saltzwelten Hallein
After a good look around the village, our Maui Celtic duo went to the offices of the Salzwelten Hallein and met the helpful Margarethe Brandner and Stv. Standortleitung (dpt. site manager) Manfred Mader to chat about the Salt Mine and Celtic Village. From behind the admisitrative building there was a great view of the Dürrnberg plateau and the Barmsteine pinnacles.
Many thanks to them for their hospitality, and help contacting folks for our couple's next visits to the Keltenmuseum Hallein, and the Saltzwelten Hallstatt.
Salzwelten Hallein opening hours are daily from 9am-5pm, guided tours start regularly - ticket includes entrance fee and English guided tour through the saltmine, free entrance to the Celtic Village onsite (get an audioguide in English), and to the Keltenmuseum in Hallein. More info at www.salzwelten.at
The Barmsteine from Bad Dürrnberg above Hallein
Back down the mountain, the next stop was the Keltenmuseum Hallein, established in 1970, and housed in Hallein's largest secular building known as the Pfleg, on the banks of the Salzach River. Built in 1654, the former Salina administration building also held the shipping, building and forestry offices, and salt-drying rooms, for over three centuries.
In over 30 rooms, the museum showcases the history of the Celts of 2500 years ago, with a fantastic collection of artifacts from the mines and burial grounds of the Dürrnberg, as well as historical objects and paintings of the salt mining industry of Hallein and the rise to wealth and power of the Prince Archbishops of Salzburg.
The Keltenmuseum Hallein, Austria
Hamish & Jennifer met Registrar Mag. Dr.Anna Holzner, and Leiter Mag. Florian Knopp who gave them a special guided tour of the entire museum. Dr.Holzner showed them around the Celtic galleries explaining the significance of some ancient artifacts, and an overview of the combined culture of the Celts of Hallein and Hallstatt and beyond, which became known as the Hallstatt culture. They were joined by Leiter Knopp between his meetings, who highlighted the treasures of the museum (see below).
From the riverside glass atrium with the fine museum shop, the first gallery they were shown to featured a life size model of a charging ancient Celtic War Chariot and horses. The chariot driver wore a helmet and armour, while the spear-throwing warrior had his hair spiked with lime paste, and was depicted skillfully riding the chariot yoke. All the weapons, armour, chariot and fittings, and clothing are based on actual archaeological finds or pictorial rederings from friezes, gravestones and other period objects.
Celtic Chariot and Warriors at the Keltenmuseum Hallein
The gallery showed the history of the Celts and their migration throughout Europe, and their confrontation with the Romans. A nearby gallery held stone and marble replicas of Celtic and Roman statues, friezes, and gravestones from around ancient Europe, including a copies of the Celtic Prince statue 'The Keltenf�rst of Glauberg' of Hessen in Germany, and the famous Roman 'Dying Gaul' and the 'Ludovisi Gaul' statues.
There was a collection of pre-historic and Celtic era salt-mining tools and surprisingly intact leather clothing, such as shoes and hats that had been well preserved in the salt, and a reconstructed section of a period mine. There were surviving fragments of striped and trartan cloth, and a full size replica of an ancient loom. An extensive collection of Celtic belts and buckles, weapons, armour and fittings, helmets and a very unusual shield.
Cloth fragments and sheild at the Keltenmuseum Hallein
There were cases of wood, bronze and ceramic household items, some with detailed artwork of period scenes, or with abstract shaped patterns. There were hair-cutting shears and shaving blades, and even surgical tools. There were many items of personal jewelry - glass and metal bracelets, armbands, necklaces and torcs, and also jewelry for clothing. An unparalleled collection of various sized fibulae or brooches, ranging from plain pins to realistic and fantastic renditions of animals, with fish, birds, boars and strange double-headed beasts. The most unusual were tiny shoes brooches, and a miniature man in ancient clothing, which had to be viewed with a magnifying glass to see the detail.
Actual size replicas of some of the brooches are available in the museum shop - Hamish couldn't resist the 'Widder', or double-headed beast, shown below.
Fibulae or brooches at the Keltenmuseum Hallein
Fibulae or brooch pins, and glass beads at the Keltenmuseum Hallein
The Celts buried their male or female chiefs or royalty in chambers richly furnished with grave objects, ceremonial vessels, weapons, jewelry and even chariots. Archaeological digs last century, at burial mounds on the Dürrnberg plateau above Hallein, revealed many treasures, some now housed in the Keltenmuseum Hallein.
One display case held a paticularly fine hoard from a 25-30 year old prince's chariot grave on the Moserstein, including a sword, spears, arrows, a conical helmet, and an unusual round bronze flagon on legs. It is 52cm/1.7ft high and holds about 18 litres/4.74 gallons and contained residue of a spicy southern European wine. Wine was quite rare and the Celts are said to have exchanged a slave for a barrel, making the volume of this vessel correspod to 'half a human life' on that scale !
Celtic Treasures of the Keltenmuseum Hallein
The hoard also contained the metal decorations of another beaked flagon, a wooden vessel long since gone, but with the small but famous image of a bearded man, the 'Celtic Mask' which has become the symbol of the 'Salt-City Hallein'.
Celtic Mask at the Keltenmuseum Hallein
By good fortune they saw a visiting exhibit, normally kept in the Salzburg Museum, although it was found here in a Dürrnberg burial. One of the masterpieces of Celtic art from the second half of the 5th century BC - the famous bronze beaked flagon known as the 'Schnabelkanne' or the 'Flagon of Dürrnberg'. The 46cm/1.5ft high vessel was found buried and almost intact in 1932, by Salzburg archaeologist Olivier Klose and his colleague Nora Watteck, in a grave that had been robbed in antiquity. The strange beast on the handle of the jug is said to represent Taranis, one of the gods of Celtic mythology, and appears to have a human head, or is holding one in it's mouth. It was Celtic made, but likely influenced by the style of more southern Etruscan art.
Schnabelkanne, Keltenmuseum & Salzburg Museum
Schnabelkanne photos courtesy of Salzburg Museum via Keltenmuseum Hallein.
Schnabelkanne handle animals, and rear face and palmette design
The obviously wealthy grave burials lasted about three generations here on the Dürrnberg, from 450-350 BC, then the sites are more difficult to recognize as a 'princely' burial site. One later exception contained a very small model of a ship with oars, made of gold sheet, about 6.6cm/3 inches long.
Gold model boat at the Keltenmuseum Hallein
The second floor had galleries concerning Hallein's more recent town life and salt mining history, in the building from 1654 onwards, with 73 paintings by Benedict Werkstötter commisssioned in 1757, adorning the walls of the Green, Yellow, and Red Staterooms, where the visiting Prince-Archbishops would have held local court. The paintings cover every aspect of the Austrian salt mining industry.
Hamish thought this was a truly remarkable collection of Celtic artifacts from the Celts of the Dürrnberg, and the salt mining industry of Hallein. Thanks again to Keltenmuseum Hallein Registrar Mag. Dr.Anna Holzner, and Leiter Mag. Florian Knopp for their hospitality and time showing our duo the museum. Opening hours are daily from 9am-5pm, with more info at www.keltenmuseum.at
All above photos © Hamish Burgess, except Saltzwelten slide and Schnabelkanne shots credited.
Hamish & Jennifer headed east 50km on a winding road through the mountainous Tennengau region until they reached Lake Hallstatt or Hallstätter See in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. Their destination was the remote ancient town of Hallstatt, which gave it's name to the very earliest of Celtic cultures, the early Iron Age Hallstatt culture.
At the foot of the Plassen Mountain, part of the larger Dachstein, Hallstatt is a remote ancient lakeside settlement that prospered due to the world's earliest known salt mine. Surprisingly, the first road to the village was only built in 1890, it previously being accessible only by track or boat. Now the road runs through tunnels in the cliffside above the village, coming down to the lake level on the other side - there are even parking spots in the tunnel that look down on the medieval buildings.
Hallstatt village, Salzkammergut, Austria
Like Hallein, the name Hallstatt is derived from the ancient Celtic word hal for salt. The area has been settled for over 7000 years, since the begiining of the Neolithic period, with folks attracted by the salt deposits in the hanging valley above the village. Underground salt mining can be traced back to the 16th-15th centuries BC. Another early centre in Europe, a proto-Celtic community thrived here from 800-450 BC, with their wealth from the salt, and buried their dead with lavish grave goods in a huge cemetary in the high valley by the mines. The town prospered in late medieval times and by 1595 brine from it's salt works was being transported 40km via a pipeline to Ebensee, and salt is still extracted today in an unbroken tradition.
Hallstatt is an important archaeological site, and the village and region were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The village is a picturesque cluster of lake and cliff-side medieval buildings, and has been used for several movies.
The village square - Hallstatt, Austria
Our Maui Celtic duo arrived in Hallstatt late in the day, and managed to drive into the normally car-free village centre to look for a hotel. It may have been cheaper to stay outside the village, but they found a great guesthouse just off the village square - the 15th century Gasthof Simony, and were made very welcome by friendly host Valentin Eybl, whose grandmother Susanna Scheutz is the owner. On his suggestion they headed to the welcoming door of the Brauhaus restaurant for dinner, and were to look out for his uncle Arnold, a local woodworker he thought they might like to meet. He wasn't around, but they had a great dinner under the dragon-headed chandeliers !
The Brauhuas Restaurant and Gasthof Simony, Hallstatt, Austria
The next morning was rainy, so after breakfast it seemed a good time to make a two minute walk to the Museum Hallstatt, a privately run museum where they met Elisabeth Schwarz who arranged with Director Rudolf Gamsjäger for our duo to explore the building and photograph the artifacts. The museum houses objects from the Stone Age to the present day, from the oldest salt mine in the world, and the world famous Hallstatt cemetery that gave it's name to an entire early culture period from 850-500 BC - the Hallstatt Culture. It tells the sory of the native people, possibly Illyric tribes, then the Celts, Romans, the Middle Ages, and into the modern period.
Mueum Hallstatt, Austria
The first gallery displayed ancient mining tools, firebrand torches, fragments of clothing, kneepads and leather salt-mining backpacks, hats and shoes, in amazingly good condition, from between 14th-8th centuries BC. A Hallstatt culture era family were portrayed in clothes based on a period frieze.
Ancient leather Salt Backpack and 8th-4th century BC cloth, Museum Hallstatt
A Hallstatt culture era family, Museum Hallstatt
Audio visual presentations told the story of the Iron Age culture now called Hallstatt. Many artifacts were unearthed in the large prehistoric necropolis in the valley high above the village, used from 800-500 BC, and discovered at the foot of the salt mine.
There were cases of well preserved ceremonial axeheads, daggers, spearheads and swords. There were buckles, fibulae or brooches, bracelets and armbands, and bronze, gold and glass jewelry.
Swords in the Museum Hallstatt
The incised patterns of Hallstatt era art are geometric, with ocasional stylized amimals, and much different to the curvilnear style of the later La Tene art. Pendants in particular were intricate, but almost mechanical looking, with wheels and chains. Whether the style was native to the pre-Celtic folk of the region (possibly Illyric tribesmen), or acquired by trading the riches of salt, and adopted by the locals, is open to speculation.
Treasures of the Museum Hallstatt
The richest grave burial from the necropolis contained massive bronze situla, or urns, bronze buckets, vases, and bowls, also animal models, a ceremonial axehead, helmet, swords and knives, and needles, pendants, and medals.
Treasures of the Museum Hallstatt
Further galleries dealt with the Roman history of Hallstatt, the first contact being in the 2nd century BC, with their arrival to settle when they took over the kingdom of Noricum in 15 BC. They built luxurious villas with underfloor heating and glass windows, but preferred to like down on the lakeside. Also covered was Medieval local history, the fortunes of the salt mine, the Salt Wars, and the Hallstatt fire of 1750 when 35 houses in the village were destroyed.
After picking up both the books in English at the good museum shop, it was time to head outside. Thanks to Elisabeth Schwarz and Director Rudolf Gamsjäger for their hospitality at the Museum Hallstatt. Opening hours summer 10am-6pm, winter 11am-3pm (closed Mon/Tues). More details at www.museum-hallstatt.at
Hallstatt village, Salzkammergut, Austria
Hamish walked Jennifer to the guesthouse, and decided it may be his only chance to see the famous pre-historic necropolis of Hallstatt, so picked up an umbrella and headed up the mountain in the rain.
On the edge of town is the base of the funicular railway which takes only 3 minutes to reach the Hallstatt upper valley, 838m/2750ft above the village. Even in the rain there were many tourists, with little Japanese ladies pushing and jumping ahead of folks in line. Thanks to the folks of Salzwelten Hallein who had called ahead and arranged for Hamish's visit to Saltzwelten Hallstatt, who run the funicular and the salt mine tours. The views from the top were great, even in overcast weather. The valley mouth is dominated by the historic Rudolfsturm Tower, now a restaurant, previously serving as home of the director of the mines, but once a fortification during the Salt Wars. It also houses an exhibition on the work of Johann Georg Ramsauer.
Rudolfsturm Tower, Hallstatt upper valley, Austria
The crowds had raced off to the salt mine, leaving Hamish a quiet walk in the serene valley that is home to the burial grounds.
Info-boards along the path tell the story of the early Iron Age cemetary, used from 800-400BC, and 'discovered' in 1846 by Johann Georg Ramsauer (1795–1874). The presence of antiquities was known before, with mine workers finding ancient objects as early as around 1600 AD, and artifacts ending up in private collections and museums for the next 200 years. One bronze hoard from the 13th century BC was discovered in 1830 and sold for scrap and melted down ! However Ramsauer was the first careful and methodical excavator, and between 1848 and 1863 he uncovered 980 burials, and measured and drew each excavation, with a detailed watercolour sketch, before removing any objects, leaving a fascinating archaeological record. Scholars wrote papers on the subject, and in 1874 Swedish archaeologist Hans Hildebrand introduced the term Hallstatt Culture to describe the period from the 8th-5th century BC.
The number of excavated graves reached 1500 by 2007, and there are estimated to be some 5000 people buried there, almost half of them cremated. Those inhumed were lying on their backs with a view of the valley's exit.
There are no visible graves to see in the valley now, just a beautiful quiet place befitting one of the Old World's largest burial sites. A small building along the path houses a reconstruction of a princely burial, with replica rich grave goods. The very first grave excavated is the only one marked with a memorial and a water fountain, alongside the pathway.
The first excavated grave memorial, Hallstatt upper valley, Austria
Further up the valley is a reconstructed hut with a sunken pit, which shows how the ancient folk ran a pre-historic meat industry. Eight of these buildings are known of, dating from the Bronze Age around the 13th-12th century BC. They are believed to be curing or salting tubs for pork, due to the many pig bones found around each structure. Large quantities of pork was salted, with possibly 150-200 pigs being cured in the tubs during a single process.
Pork Curing building, Hallstatt upper valley, Austria
Around 330 BC a disastrous rock fall and massive mud-slide buried the eastern working mine and high-lying settlement, sparing only the valley necropolis, after which a newer mine and settlement was started further west.
There is an archaeology building up near the salt mine, housing a research and educational facility, open from July to September.
"Mankind can do without gold, but not without salt"
Cassiodorus, Roman scholar and statesman, 6th century AD.
It was time for Hamish to tour the Saltzwelten Hallstatt, with it's thousands of years of continuous salt-mining tradition, quite a bit more crowded than the counterpart in Hallein. The tour group donned blue coveralls, and waited quite a while for a private group to get ahead of them into the mine. The group walked into the mine, and the guide covered very basic points in 3 languages, but mainly let the high-tech audio-visual displays tell the history of the mine.
Saltzwelten Hallstatt video screen, upper valley Hallstatt, Austria
There were many more technical shows in the mine here, than were in Hallein, with almost every chamber having an innovative shaped screen showing a film. As in the other Saltzwelten, there are two wooden slides, the traditional way of getting quickly from one level of the mine to a lower one. This one was quite long at 64m/209ft - visitors straddled two wooden rails and slid down on the padded seat of their coveralls - Hamish reached 25.3km/hour, and some kids were in the high 30s !
The slide at the Saltzwelten Hallstatt
As in Hallein, early mining was done by hand, with the Hallstatt then Celtic era miners chipping salt rock crystal from the rock as a solid, which they carried out of the mine in backpacks. Medieval miners formed the salt into blocks by using wooden moulds, to be transported in carts out of the mine.
This mine also had a 'The Man in the Salt', a mummified Celtic miner found in 1734, dating to around 1000 BC, who had been buried and preserved in the salt in a tunnel.
A later technique to improve efficiency was leaching, first mentioned in historical documents in 1311 AD. Water was introduced to caverns, which absorbed salt from the walls for several weeks, creating brine water which was then extracted, and boiled in pans leaving the salt. By 1595 brine from the mine here was being transported 40km via an early pipeline to Ebensee, and salt is still extracted today in an unbroken tradition.
There was a very good laser sound and light show in one of the leachcaves, illustrating the miners struggle since ancient times. The final leg was an electric train ride through quite a narrow tunnel, before bursting out from underground into the sunlight - it had stopped raining.
Both the Salzwelten Hallstatt and Hallein had good tours, but our historian Hamish actually preferred the less touristy, less high-tech experience, and more knowledgeable guide of the Hallein Saltzwelten. All the details at www.salzwelten.at
With most of the tourists gone now this late in the day, Hamish enjoyed the quiet pathway through the Halstatt burial grounds once more, this time without the umbrella.
Hamish at the Hallstatt pre-historic burial grounds, Austria
With the sun now out for the late afternoon, the views from the Hallstatt upper valley, 2750ft/ 838m down to Lake Hallstatt and the medieval village were truly spectacular. There was now a clear view of the surrounding mountains, and the village of Obertraun across the lake.
Hamish with a view of Obertraun from Hallstatt upper valley
Hallstatt and the Hallstätter See
Hamish hiked down the switchback path from the mountain, which turned out to be a lot longer than it looked on the wee map ! A local pastime seemed to be racing off-road dirtbikes up the steep gravel pathways...
On the way down he took a breather at a lookout by the Mühlbachschlucht, the Mühlbach Gorge Falls, the waterfall directly above Hallstatt village, once used to power mills, which runs through the town and into Lake Hallstatt.
The Mühlbachschlucht, Hallstatt
There was a local brass band in the village square that night, which brought out a lot of locals and tourists, then our Maui Celtic duo had a nice dinner at Gasthof Zauner, seen in the back corner of the photo below, before a walk through town.
Hallstatt band in the village square
They went by the Brauhaus, and heard the sound of bagpipes coming out of the upstairs window ! Intrigued, they popped in and asked for their host Valentin's uncle Arnold, the local woodworker he thought they might like to meet. Arnold Lobisser was not only a woodworker, but a musical instrument maker and teacher of that art, and the bagpiper they had heard, with many sets of his own making. He invited them into his workshop, an amazing place steeped with years of tradition, and he and his friend shared the evening and some nice local wine with Hamish and Jennifer. He brought out many dudelsack, or bagpipes, of his own creation, German, Bohemian, Italian and more, and Hamish tried a few tunes on these unusual pipes.
Hamish and Arnold Lobisser with dudelsack, Hallstatt, Austria
Arnold Lobisser's workshop in the Brauhaus, Hallstatt
The craic was mighty in the Brauhaus, Hallstatt ! Back at Gasthof Simony, the brass band from earlier in the evening was playing in the hotel basement, much to Hamish's amusement, as he was slightly the worse for wear with the wine......
After breakfast the next morning, with no rain our duo explored the medieval village and did a bit of shopping. They saw both churches, the more modrern Protestant Evangelical one by the lake, and the imposing Catholic Church of Maria Himmelfahrt (Mary Ascension), also known as 'Maria am Berg' (Mary at the mountain, sitting up on a hill. The gothic built church from 1505 has a neatly kept graveyard overlooking the lake.
Catholic Churchyard overlooking the Hallstätter See
Due to the cemetery's small size there was not enough room for all Hallstatt residents to be buried there. In older times the graves were opened up after ten to twenty years, and skulls and other bones removed, and transferred to the Charnel House, or Beinhaus (Bone house), located in the 12th century chapel St. Michaelskapelle. The skulls were cleaned and bleached in the sun, and from 1720 AD it became a tradition to paint them with the name of the person, the year of death, and other decorations such as flowers and crosses. There are over 1200 skulls in the Charnel House, with 610 of them painted and arranged according to family names. The last skull put in the Beinhaus was in 1995 the last request of a lady who died 1983.
The Charnel House or Beinhaus, Hallstatt
As the rain came down again, our Maui Celtic duo were sorry to leave the incredible village of Hallstatt. The ancient working salt mine, archaeologically unparalleled burial grounds, museum and medieval village, not to mention outstanding natural beauty, make it clear to see why the region was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
MORE TO FOLLOW.......
Saturday July 14th - over on Oahu The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held a potluck Family Day Picnic at Moanalua Gardens, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, with music, and fun and games for the children. The Gardens are located just off Puuloa Rd. near Tripler Army Medical Center. More details from Susan MacKinnon at 591-9398, or email email@example.com.
Wednesday July 4th - over on Windward Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick marched in the Kailua 4th of July parade. They marched 'wearing the green' and then cooled off at a Pool party on the route. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday July 1st - Mana'o Radio's own Dr.B was standing in for Hamish while was away in Ireland on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The Doc was playing 2 hours of new and old Celtic music from his own collection, and some that Hamish left him to spin. Our roving Celtic reporter Hamish was at a Chieftains concert in Buncrana, Co.Donegal, part of the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention.
Wednesday June 20th-July 2nd - our Maui Celtic duo Hamish & Jennifer were in IRELAND. First stop after flying into the George Best Belfast City Airport (named after the legendary footballer of the 1970s) was Belfast to meet Anne & George Millar of The Irish Rovers, to see a preview of the "The Irish Rovers Christmas" DVD, that our Maui Celtic duo were involved in last November. A fun evening catching up with the band, production team and guest musicians, accompanied by beer and fish & chips - the craic continued untill the wee hours !
The following rainy day they went with George & Anne to The Titanic Belfast centre, a fantastic new museum at the site of the original slipway in the Harland and Wolff shipyard, where the famous ship was built and launched on 31st May 1911.
The Titanic Belfast Centre
They toured the museum, with fantastic huge period photographs, artifacts from the ship, and reconstructed cabins. Then a long line took them to an elevator and the top of one of the huge pillars of the Arrol Gantry to start the Shipyard Ride – a gondola ride that uses special effects, animations and life-scale reconstructions to recreate the building of the Titanic in the early 1900s. The final galleries detail the sinking of the ship at 11.40pm on April 14th 1912 south-east of Newfoundland, near Nantucket Shoals, then the aftermath of 1,514 people losing their lives. The last stop is a multi-level gallery, where you can experience Dr. Robert Ballard’s high-definition underwater footage from the wreckage, nearly two and a half miles (4kms) below sea level.
George Millar with Alex McGreevy and Claire Bradshaw of Titanic Belfast
The four had a cup of tea in the cafe, and browsed the shop, then were met in the lobby of the high-tech building by Alex McGreevy and Claire Bradshaw of Titanic Belfast, for a special tour. They were taken up to the private banqueting hall of the centre, to see the re-constructed main staircase of the Titanic, normally only accessible at functions. More info at www.titanicbelfast.com
Hamish and Jennifer on the reconsructed Titanic main stairs
The next day after a birthday weekend breakfast in Belfast for Hamish (thanks George & Anne) it was off to Donegal in the rain ! Hamish and Jennifer drove up through Co.Antrim and across the Sperrin Mountains in Co.Derry and onto the Inishowen peninsula in Co.Donegal.
The destination was the small town of Culdaff near the northernmost point of Ireland, to meet friend and regular Maui visitor Michael Black, and see a rare Black Family concert. They checked into the Cee Cliff House B & B, glad to get out of the rain, and were straight away treated to tea and biscuits, from helpful hosts Anne & Mick Lynch. Hamish went out to meet Michael Black rehearsing with accordion player Nigel Davey in a fantastic music venue McGrory's of Culdaff, where the hospitable McGrory family hooked Hamish up with some local musicians CDs for his Maui Celtic Radio Show. He aslo got a sneak preview of that night's concert at the Blacks' soundcheck, in The Backroom at Mc Grory’s - one of the top venues for live music in Ireland.
After a fabulous dinner courtesy of the Black Family, Hamish recorded a great interview with Irish superstar Mary Black about her life and career as one of Ireland's best-loved singers.
Hamish and Mary Black at McGrorys of Culdaff, Donegal
The Black Family concert that night was brilliant. The Black Brothers Shay and Michael sang some fine traditional Irish songs, with sisters Frances Black and Mary Black singing some of their more contemporary hit songs, which the crowd all recognized instantly, including Mary's iconic "Song For Ireland". With them all singing, and Mary and Frances on bodhrans, Michael on banjo, Shay on guitar, and with great musical backing from Nigel Davey on accordion, and John O'Laughlin on guitar, the Black Family sound was fantastic - the traditional tunes rocked the house. The craic was mighty at McGrory's in Culdaff that Friday night !
The Black Family at McGrorys of Culdaff, Inishowen, Donegal
Frances Black and Mary Black at McGrorys of Culdaff
The craic continued into the wee hours in Mc Grory’s Front Bar which is famous for its traditional Irish music sessions. Neil McGrory was playing with several folks including amazing harmonica player Tom Byrne. A great start to the early hours of Hamish's half century !!
Neil McGrory is also the author of "Inishowen: A Journey Through Its Past - Revisited", which his sister gave Hamish, very helpful over two weekends looking at the ancient stone monuments of the Insihowen peninsula.
Anne McGrory told Hamish about another Celtic artist nearby, so our duo had another birthday breakfast, then said their goodbye's to the Blacks, and headed off into the wilds of Inishowen to find the village his workshop was in. After checking out the local surfing possibilities and the fabulous sandy beach near Culdaff, it was up over the hills and off the beaten track to find the village of Carrowmenagh.
Carrowmenagh, Inishowen, Donegal
Here Celtic artist John Quigley produces his fabulous Celtic art at his Ard Rua Studio, out in the country lanes past the village. He was happy to meet Hamish, and they chatted about eachothers' work, exchanging gifts of artwork - a fine birthday present for Hamish.
John has a great collection of work, with originals, prints, cards, posters, and a book. He draws inspiration from Irish mythology, Irish Celtic manuscript decoration, and the local landscape and stone mouments of the Inishowen peninsula. He collaborated with renowned Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick for a decade, to produce a body of work that has adorned greeting cards, calendars, prints, place mats and album covers.
John Quigley at his Ard Rua Studio in Carrowmenagh, Inishowen, Donegal
John told our couple about a great spot for Hamish's actual special birthday dinner, so our Maui Celtic couple headed to the shores of Lough Foyle (from the Irish Loch Feabhail, meaning 'Lough of Feabhal') and to Greencastle, named after it's ruined Northburg Castle, built by Richard de Burgh, the Red Earl of Ulster in 1305. Jennifer found and treated Hamish to the fabulous Hilltop Lodge B&B that night, run by gracious hosts Loretto and Roy Crawford, with amazing views over the mouth of the lough to Magilligan Point and the distant heights of Binevenagh.
View from Hilltop Lodge, Greencastle, Donegal to Magilligan Point, Co.Derry
Another treat from Jennifer was his 50th birthday dinner at one of Ireland's best seafood restaurants, Kealys Seafood Bar in Greencastle, a busy wee fishing port. After a fabulous mixed seafood starter then delicious John Dory dinner, an unexpected treat was a session of tradititonal music from some players from Derry, who Hamish had a chat with before their session.
Kealys Seafood Bar traditional music session, Greencastle, Donegal
After a lovely breakfast it was off on the ancient monuments of Inishowen trail, starting just south of Moville at Cooley, to see the ruined early church yard, founded by St.Finian in St.Patrick's time, where stands the Cooley Cross, and the unusual Skull House.
Skull House, Cooley, near Moville, Inishowen, Donegal
Back to near Culdaff, it proved more difficult to find the Bocan Stone Circle, on pasture land on a hill above the St.Mary's Church in Bocan. Hamish of course trekked through the muddy pasture in the only shoes he remembered to bring, suede of course, soaking wet in the rain that started again as he approached the monument. The ruined cairn is surrounded by a stone circle around 65-75 feet in diameter, which originally had around 30 standing stones of unusal shapes. Probably built between 3000 and 1500 BC.
Bocan Stone Circle, Culdaff, Inishowen, Donegal
Nearby down in the valley was the ruined church of Cloncha, built by St.Boudan in the 6th century. The Cloncha High Cross stands 4m high, and is an indication that the original monastery founded here became quite important. The cross is intricately carved with Celtic knotwork, and ancient Christian figures, most likely scenes from the scriptures.
Hamish by the Cloncha High Cross, Culdaff, Inishowen, Donegal
Not far from the town of Malin our duo had a visit with artists Tim Stampton and Ros Harvey at Ballagh Studio. Ros is a painter, and Tim a printmaker, illustrator, artist and book maker - his work quite often shows themes of Celtic mythology and local history. Born in the UK, he moved to Canada at an early age, then to Ireland with Ros in 1989.
Malin, Inishowen, Donegal
The town of Carndonagh was once a very important ecclesiastical centre, home to the Carndonagh Cross, one of the oldest stone crosses in Ireland. The Donagh Cross (or St.Patrick's Cross) dates from the 7th century, and has Celtic knotwork and Christain figures, almost worn away by the weather. It is flanked by two pillar stones, with stylized human figures, one playing a harp, supposedly depicting David the Warrior, and David the Harpist, and a monk carrying a book, crozier and hand-bell. The sides are decorated with early La Tene style Celtic art. There is another famous cross-slab, the Marigold Stone in the nearby church yard.
Carndonagh Cross and Pillar Stones, Donegal
It was time to head back to Co.Antrim and to Ballymena, hometown of The Irish Rovers, where Jennifer was helping edit the upcoming "The Irish Rovers Christmas" DVD. Our duo stayed at the very nice Tullyglass House Hotel, a former 'Big House' or country residence dating from 1890 which as a hotel has retained its former style and character.
That night our duo were invited to a big event in Belfast, the end of season concert at the Waterfront Hall for for music teacher (and Irish Rovers' piper/whistler) Patrick Davey's students from the Davey Music school of traditional Irish music.
Davey Music student concert at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast
photo courtesy Davey Music school
There were at least 75 young trad players from the school, led by Patrick, as well as singer Kat Reagan, The Lisburn Flute Orchestra, the Ballynafeigh Dancers, and Gerry O'Neill's great Celtic band Beyond the Pale, who played Gerry's new Titanic song 'She was Alright', with The Ballynafeigh Dancers joining in for the reel at the end. For a video of that click here. Thanks to Patrick, and well done for continuing the traditions !
The next day Hamish was on the loose and headed to Belfast to interview musicians D�nal O'Connor and John McSherry. After a great lunch (thanks Dónal) they recorded an interview for broadcast on the Maui Celtic Radio Show, about the lads Belfast life and music careers, Dónal as a top fiddler, and John (founding member of Lunasa) as one of Ireland's best young Uilleann pipers and whistle-players. Both are music producersand composers. Thier latest joint project is the band At First Light, with a new album "Idir" currently gaining rave reviews.
John McSherry and Dónal O'Connor, Belfast
After a great afternoon's craic, Hamish took the lads advice and headed to the Falls Rd to the Gaeltacht Quarter of Belfast check out the Cult�rlann McAdam � Fiaich, an Irish language cultural centre, in a converted old church. They have an art gallery with exhibitions by Irish artists, language workshops and a great Irish language bookshop, as well as traditional and contemporary music sessions, céilí’s, and concerts.
Dónal also sent Hamish to meet Uilleann piper, composer, and BBC Ulster radio host Neil Martin, for a chat about his music and group The West Ocean String Quartet - with Seamus McGuire and Niamh Crowley on violins, Ken Rice on viola and Neil Martin on cello - who have gained a reputation for combining traditional and classical music.
Our Maui Celtic duo then moved hotels to Galgorm Manor, where they were 2 years ago helping with The Irish Rovers "Home In Ireland" DVD, with several shots taken in the grounds of the resort by the River Maine. While Jennifer was back to video editing, Hamish drove an hour-and-a-half in the rain from Ballymena to one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Ireland, the ancient walled Derry City.
He was there to see part of the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCo 2012). An amazing 6 days of workshops, talks, sessions and concerts with the best fiddle players from around the world. It had all kicked off at McGrory's of Culdaff, Donegal the night before with 'A Taste of NAFCo' featuring Blazing Bows (Ireland), Lau (Scotland), Habadekuk (Denmark), Troy MacGillivray, Shane Cook and Jake Charron (Cape Breton/Ontario), Majorstuen (Norway) and Andrea Beaton, Janine Randall with Dawn and Margie Beaton (Cape Breton).
Hamish at NAFCo 12 in Derry
After heading to the NAFCo base at the Millennium Forum Theatre to meet Tom Sherlock, who hooked Hamish up with access to the festival (many thanks), he caught the lunchtime concert 'A Tribute to Eugene O'Donnell' at the Cult�rlann U� Chan�in in Derry. The revered Donegal fiddler was hosted by Irish musician and historian Mick Moloney, and also featured Liz Carroll, Dermot McLaughlin, Peter Tracey, Frank Gallagher and Maurice Bradley, with special guest Seamus Egan of the band Solas.
Seamus Egan, Eugene O’Donnell, Mick Moloney, Liz Carroll at NAFCo 12
After the show about Eugene O'Donnell's life and music, Hamish met the great fiddler and also interviewed Mick, Seamus and Liz for for his Maui Celtic Radio Show.
Then it was off for a look round the ancient city, the Irish name Daire or Doire meaning 'oak grove'. Derry is the only completely intact walled city left in Ireland, and was the last walled city to be built in Europe. The walls were built during 1613-1619 as defences for early 17th century settlers from England and Scotland, are completely intact, and form a walkway over the seven gates around the inner city. A torrential downpour hurried Hamish to Peadar O'Donnell's Bar for a pub session and radio interview with the band Goitse, four young players from Ireland and one from the US who met at Limerick University.
Goitse at Peadar O'Donnell's Bar in Derry for NAFCo12
Some fish & chips from a local chipper, then it was time for wander down by the River Foyle to Sandino’s, the venue for the night's concert 'A Feast of Fiddles', a celebration of fiddle music and dance from around the North Atlantic. Kicking it off with a bang was one of Ireland's top fiddlers, Martin Hayes and guitarist Denis Cahill, who are fine recording artists, but their stage set was truly remarkable, and one of the best Irish fiddle sets Hamish had ever seen or heard. Ranging from beatiful slow airs to ripping jigs and reels, the half-hour non-stop set was utterly brilliant. They were joined by American step-dancer Nic Gareiss, who stunned the crowd with some amazing footwork.
Nic Gareiss, Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill at Sandino’s, Derry for NAFCo12
Next up were Eric Favreau and Friends from Quebec, with a great set on fiddle and accordion, and joined with fabulous percussive traditional dancing by Pierre Chartrand. No strangers to Maui next, ace Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and long-time musical partner cellist Natalie Haas played a brilliant set of traditional tunes and their own compositions, sometimes accompanied by the flying feet of dancer Nic Gareiss. The great duo finished as usual with an incredible foot-stomping set of Scottish tunes. Irish locals Four Men and a Dog took the stage next, delivering a fantastic show of traditional tunes, songs and originals. On totally traditional instruments this 5 piece had the place rocking, with the energy level through the roof !
Four Men and a Dog at Sandino's, Derry for NAFCo 12
Finishing off the amazing evening of music was Habadekuk from Denmark, a young lively nine-man band with a modern take on folk music. They mixed old Danish dance melodies up with jazz, rock, and even salsa, and had the late night crowd going wild to a big band Celtic sound !
Hamish was about to head home, but bumped into Sean O'Donnell from the Battlefield Band, who lives in Derry and was there checking out the music. He introduced our roving reporter to Conor O'Kane of the local Ard Ri folk rock band, so the late night went on ito the wee hours - the craic was mighty in Derry City.
Habadekuk from Denmark in Derry at NAFCo 12
More great concerts at the NAFCo 2012 were....... 'Fiddle & Feet' in Derry, a spectacular evening of fiddle music and dance, featuring a specially commissioned piece from Shetland islander Chris Stout featuring Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Nollaig Casey, and Zoe Conway. There was Frikar dance company from Norway, Donegal’s acclaimed band Fidil, and more music and dancers.......'Strathspey Stories' in Glenties, Co.Donegal explored the musical links between Donegal, Scotland and Cape Breton Island, featuring fiddlers, pipers, singers and dancers from each region. With Tommy Peoples, Fidil, Paul Anderson, Andrea Beaton, Janine Randall, Dawn and Margie Beaton, Frank McConnell, Mary Anne Kennedy, Paddy McMenamin, past Maui visitor our friend Finn Moore, and more.......'Women of the Fiddle' in Letterkenny, Co.Donegal featured some of the most highly acclaimed women in traditional music from around the North Atlantic including the international all-star String Sisters, Orkney's Wrigley Sisters, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan and the Cape Breton ladies above........'Fiddles of the World' in Derry included Shetland & Scotland's Chris Stout & Catriona MacKay, the Canadian Pierre Schryer Trio, Ulster Scots Willie Drennan, American Dan Trueman and Ireland's Caoimh�n O Raghallaigh, Galician Alfonso Franco and more.......not to mention lunchtime concerts and sessions, workshops, masterclasses, fiddle films, book launches, the NAFCo Conference, and a Ceili ! The full line up of events at www.nafco2012.com.
The next day our Maui Celtic Radio Show host was off to the County Down to interview one of Ireland's legendary songwriters. He headed down to Carlingford Bay, where the majestic Mountains of Mourne do in fact "sweep down to the sea" as the famous songs tells us.
The Mountains of Mourne at Carlingford Bay, Co.Down
He went to the town of Rostrevor to the home of Tommy Sands, singer, songwriter and peace activist, legendary in his own lifetime. Many artists have covered his songs, known throughout the world. They talked about his long performing careeer, from traditional Irish to contemporary folk, first with the Sands Family, up to his new album with himself on guitar and vocals, daughter Moya on fiddle, whistle, bodhran and vocals, and son Fionan on banjo and mandolin. They aslo talked about his role in the peace process, specifically when he helped to save the Good Friday Agreement talks when they were on the verge of breaking down, by taking children and musicians from both 'sides' to the talks at Stormont, and playing music including the song 'Carry On', outside the windows, showing the arguing factions that there was much more at stake than the talks, with the lives and hopes of future generations to consider. Thanks to Tommy for his important work, and a memorable afternoon !
Tommy Sands by Carlingford Bay, in Rostrevor, County Down
Then Hamish headed to Forkhill, in the beautiful Hills of South Armagh, to meet the singer and songwriter Briege Murphy, whose songs have been covered by some of Ireland's most famous singers. Inspired by her upbringing in a truly spectacular part of the country, many of her songs are about the local area, including the lovely 'Hills of South Armagh' and 'Cloghinne Winds', written about an area close to her house.
The Hills of South Armagh from Slieve Gullion
After they recorded some interview for the Maui Celtic Radio Show, it was time fore a wee drive. Between torrential rain showers, Briege and Padraig showed him around the Ring of Gullion driving up to the top of Slieve Gullion for amazing views across Co.Armagh and Co.Monaghan and Co.Louth. They also stopped to see the over 5,000 year old Ballykeel Dolmen, known locally as 'The Hag's Chair', once a burial chamber under a cairn or massive mound of stones and earth, long since removed, leaving only the uprights and capstone of the chamber.
Ballykeel Dolmen, Ring of Gullion, South Armagh
Thanks to Briege and Padraig for their unparalleled South Armagh hospitality !
Our Maui Celtic duo took a day to enjoy the facilities of Galgorm Manor, with it's beautiful grounds by the rushing River Maine, and outdoor hot tubs and spa. Even Hamish had a birthday treat of a manly day at the spa with relaxing massages ! Then a fun video-editing wrap-up party of The Irish Rovers upcoming "The Irish Rovers Christmas" DVD, with director Steve Hanly - great craic involving a very late night and a bottle of Bushmill's Black Bush (thanks Andy Cooper) !
After a hearty breakfast at Gillies Bar & Grill it was goodbye to Ballymena and off across the Sperrin Mountains to Derry City. Back to the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCo 2012), there was an all-day event on Queen’s Quay on the river, 'Fiddles on the Foyle', with the premiere of newly commissioned piece '100 Fiddlers at 55° North' by composer Neil Martin performed by fiddlers from the NAFCo International Youth Camp. Neil introduced Hamish to Scottish acoustic guitar legend Tony McManus, who he has played many times on the Maui Celtic Radio Show. Tony, one of the top Celtic guitarists in the world, is now based in Canada.
Tony McManus and Neil Martin having fun at NAFCo 12 in Derry
That evening there was a performance by More Strings Attached, an international group of young traditional musicians led by Scotland’s renowned musician Brian McNeill.
Hamish & Jennifer went to see the Bloody Sunday Memorial in the troubled Bogside area of Derry. The memorial is dedicated to the memory of the civil-rights protesters killed on 30th January 1972 by soldiers of the British Army during what is known as Bloody Sunday, one of the most significant events in the Troubles of Northern Ireland, which thankfully seem to be predominantly over. As an artist, Hamish was also interested in the giant wall murals around Free Derry Corner, with their poignant messages of past strife and future hope and peace.
Free Derry Corner, Derry City, Ireland
Murals in the Bogside, Derry City
Then it was off across the Inishowen peninsula into Co.Donegal, stopping in Fahan at the site of the ancient Abbey of St.Mura, founded in the early 7th century. In the graveyard by the ruins our travelers saw the weather-worn St.Mura's Cross, a slab carved with unusual early Celtic knotwork crosses and figures, said to mark the saint's grave from 654 AD.
The ruined Abbey of St.Mura, and St.Mura's Cross, Fahan, Co.Donegal
Just up the road is the town of Buncrana, on the shores of Lough Swilly, a flooded river valley stretching 40 kilometres into County Donegal from the Atlantic Ocean. The name comes from the Irish Loch Súilí, meaning 'Lake of Shadows' or the 'Lake of Eyes', with legends of the multi-eyed sea-monster Suileach, eventually said to have been dispatched by Saint Colum Cille.
Our Maui Celtic duo arrived in time to catch a traditional session at O'Flaherty's Bar, part of the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCo 2012), due to end in the town with a big concert the next night. They had a nice dinner at the Ubiquitous Restaurant on Main Street.
Trad session at O'Flaherty's Bar, Buncrana, Co.Donegal
They stayed on the edge of town in Lisnakelly, at the Caldra B&B, a fine house with a stunning view over Lough Swilly, run by the very nice and helpful Marie & Gerry Vaughan. After a great breakfast, it was off for a drive in the rain ! They checked out the outside of Fort Dunree, a Napoleonic period fort, now home to a military museum and several massive World War I coastal defence guns. Then up through the high moorlands to check out the north coast surfing beach of Ballyliffin, where they met local Derry surfers Twig and Billy for a chat about the surf conditions.
Back in Buncrana with the rain stopped, Hamish took an afternoon walk down by the Crana River to see the peat coloured water flowing down to Castle Bridge which leads to Buncrana Castle, actually an early 18th century manor house, the earliest of the 'big houses' in Inishowen.
The Castle Bridge over the Crana River in Buncrana, Donegal
The much older castle closer to the river is O'Doherty's Keep, built between 1410-1430 by the Gaelic lords of Inishowen, the O'Dohertys. A fine example of a late medieval tower house, it was renovated in the 1600s by Hugh Boy O'Doherty, but burnt out after Cahir O'Doherty's rebellion, then passed on to the Vaughan family, owners of the nearby more modern manor house.
Caste Bridge and O'Doherty's Castle, Buncrana, Donegal
Our Maui Celtic couple checked into the modern Harbour Inn, just out of town and across the dunes and street from the beach. Before tonight's big concert there was time to walk the main street in Buncrana and catch an afternoon traditional music session with Josie Harrington, Liam Joyce and friends, who played some ripping instrumentals and Josie sang some nice songs.
Josie Harrington, Liam Joyce and friends, in Buncrana for NAFCo 12
That night was the big final concert of the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, in the old Plaza dancehall on Main Street, Buncrana. The night opened with Danish ladies trio Fiolministeriet, Ministry of Fiddles, with two fiddlers and a cellist playing some nice intrumentals and a couple of songs from Denmark.
Six time Grammy winners The Chieftains celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2012, and staged a history of their music for the NAFCo 2012 closing show entitled 'The Chieftains Welcome'. The long-time line-up of the Chieftains were all there, founder uilleann piper/whistler Paddy Moloney, fiddler Se�n Keane, bodhrán player/vocalist Kevin Conneff, and flautist Matt Molloy. They were joined by regular harpist Triona Marshall, Alyth McCormack on vocals, Tim Edey on box and guitar, and fiddler/Ottowa Valley stepdancer Jon Pilatzke, and new to Hamish was the spectacular hot fiddling of Deanie Richardson from Tennessee.
The Chieftains and friends, Buncrana for NAFCo 12
Starting with their early material, they worked through a lot of their albums, and were joined by their long-time Irish dancer Cara Butler, and regular guests Ottowa Valley stepdance brothers Jon & Nathan Pilatzke.
Each of the four Chieftains showed their skill on their instruments with a solo piece, with a couple of songs from Kevin Conneff, and more from fabulous singer Alyth McCormack. Fiddler Annbjorg Lien from Norway joined them on Hardangerfiddle, then dancers from the Coyle School of Irish Dancing. Next was the big sound of the Chieftains and the Colmcille Pipe Band from Derry, followed by a jam with (past Maui visitors) Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, ripping on some Scottish tunes ! Then a set from young local musicians from the Inishowen Music Project, and visiting Cape Breton fiddlers Troy MacGillivray, Andrea Beaton, and Pierre Schryer and Friends (Canada).
The grand finale had all the dancers up, the Colmcille Pipe Band back in, and lots of the audience up for a Breton style finger-dance around the hall and along the aisles, all ending up on stage !
The Chieftains and Colmcille Pipe Band at the Plaza, Buncrana, Donegal for NAFCo 12
Hamish again bumped into Sean O'Donnell from the Battlefield Band, who introduced our roving reporter to Scotland’s talented musician Brian McNeill, founder of that band many years before, who he had always wanted to chat to. Off the gang went to The Final Fling Festival Club at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel, where Hamish and Brian recorded some interview for the Maui Celtic Radio Show, then it was party time for Hamish & Jennifer with some of the musicians, notably Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, and Australian fiddler Catherine Fraser and friends. With a choice of a trad session in the bar with Alasdair Fraser and friends, or the late night festival club hosted by Four Men and a Dog, the craic was mighty in Buncrana until the wee hours that night !
What an amazing week of great music at the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention around Derry and Donegal - thanks again to Tom Sherlock and his crew. More details at at www.nafco2012.com.
Next day our Maui Celtic duo headed south in County Donegal to Burt to see an increbibly intact ancient monument. The Grianán of Aileach (Grianán Ailigh in Irish) is a ringfort built atop the hill of Grianán at 800 feet/244 metres.
Grianán of Aileach, Burt, Donegal
In legend the fort was built by the Tuatha de Danann around 1700 BC, and certainly important to the Aileach northern kings of Ireland from 400 AD until the 14th century. From the fifth until the 12th century, it was the royal capital of the northern Ui Neill. The Kingdom of Aileach was under attack by the 12th century, and the fort was destroyed in 1101 by Muirchertach Ua Briain, King of Munster, but later rebuilt. Substantial restoration work was carried out in 1870. From the top of the ancient stone walls, 4.5m thick with passageways inside, there are amazing views of Lough Foyle, Lough Swilly and the entire Inishowen peninsula, and much more of Co.Donegal, Co.Derry and Co.Tyrone.
Jennifer viewing Lough Swilly from the walls of Grianán of Aileach, Burt, Donegal
After lunch in the old town of Antrim it was time for Hamish & Jennifer to bid farewell to a brilliant time in Ireland over Hamish's 50th birthday. Time to fly out of Belfast International Airport to Manchester, England. They stayed the night near the airport in Styal at Willow End B&B where gracious host Anne Beswick got up really early to feed them and drop them at the airport.
Next stop the ancient Celtic sites in Switzerland and Austria ! (see above)..........
Sunday June 24th - back on Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick held their Irish Movie Night at 6pm in the Celtic Room. An Irish Themed Movie on the last Sunday of every month. This month's movie was The Guard - An unorthodox Irish policeman (Brendan Gleeson) with a confrontational personality is teamed up with an uptight FBI agent (Don Cheadle) to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
Saturday June 23rd - in Honolulu, Oahu, The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held their Annual General Meeting, with a Luncheon and Program. 12:00 at Kapiolani Community College. More details from Susan MacKinnon at 591-9398, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday June 10th, 17th, 24th - back on Maui, Joel was standing in again for Hamish on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Joel was playing new and old Celtic music from Hamish's collection. The 1st week Hamish and Jennifer called in from Newquay in Cornwall, from the Cornish household of good friends Julian Holmes and Helen, on their daughter Sewena's 6th birthday, with wee Jed running around in the background. The 2nd week they were out for dinner at the 13th century Carn Brae Castle, with only candle-light, and certainly no internet access !
The third week they were at a great concert in Belfast, N.Ireland, with over 75 students of traditional Irish music at Davey Music School's end of year bash.
Mahalo to Joel for spiining the discs while Hamish was away !
June 16th - on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held The Hangover meeting, where they gathered at the Celtic Room behind O'Tooles to put affairs and records in order. They organized the files, library, books and cds, and their merchandise inventory. Bloody marys for those who required medication from the night before ! More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
Friday June 15th - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held the annual Finnegan’s Wake (Pub Crawl) & Bloomsday Celebration. The annual Pub Crawl started at O'Toole's at 4:30pm, moving to Murphy's after 5pm, on to Ferguson's around 5:45, then off to JJ Dolan's around 6:30 - finally back to O'Toole's around 7:30pm. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday June 2nd - 20th - our Maui Celtic duo Hamish & Jennifer were in England, and mainly in CORNWALL. They started near London in Surrey, visiting Hamish's oldest pal Neil, and his wife Claire and son Liam. Their first day was spent catching up, with a good feed and a beer at a local pub.
It was a big weekend in the UK, with the Queen's Diamond 60th Jubilee, with public holidays on Monday and Tuesday, and a myriad of events across the country.
Sunday it was time to get dressed up for a special lunch. Neil is Grand Master of his local Masonic Lodge, and today he was hosting their Widow's Lunch at Redhill & Reigate Golf Club. They needed to be 'suited and booted', so Neil had to find Hamish a jacket and tie, as he didn't bring his usual kilt attire on this trip. Looking through Neil's closet, they found an old red tweed jacket that Hamish left Neil after the rock 'n' roll days of their youth. After last wearing it 28 years before (baggy in those days), Hamish actually got into it !
Claire, Neil, Hamish and Jennifer out for Jubilee weekend lunch in Surrey
After an interesting lunch at a special head table, it was back to Neil's to tune in to The Maui Celtic Show on Mana'o Radio back on Maui. Joel was standing in for Hamish, dealing the craic and playing new and old Celtic music that Hamish left him to spin, while he was away in the UK. Our roving Celtic reporter called in from Surrey, England, where the whole country was celebrating the Queen's 60th Jubilee, in full swing in London with a flotilla of 1000 boats on the River Thames. A myriad of small boats preceded the Royal Barge. They watched it on Sky News TV in the warm with cups of tea, rather than battling the crowds on trains to the City of London, and standing in the rain !
The Queen's 60th Jubilee Flotilla on the River Thames, London
The following day, bank holiday Monday, was spent at the Surrey County Fair, a big agricultural fair with show-winning bulls and cows, sheep and goats, show-jumping horses and even birds of prey, not to mention vintage cars and craft booths.
Neil took Hamish & Jennifer to visit the old stomping ground of the lads' youth, around Beckenham, Kent. They visited the street Hamish (in those days called Jamie) lived in, and his Scottish grandparent's house, which seemed much smaller 30 years on ! The current resident's kindly invited them in for a look round the house and garden.
That night it was back to the TV with more tea, for a look at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert, held in front of Buckingham Palace in London, with quite the spectacular lght show and fireworks.
Bank holiday Tuesday morning Hamish & Jennifer said goodbye to Neil at Gatwick airport, the only place to rent a car on the long Jubilee Weekend. 45 minutes later they were at the south coast town of Brighton, and old Victorian seaside resort, where Hawaii's Princess Ka'iulani visited in the early 1890s. They had a look at the Royal Brighton Pavilion, a summer playhouse for royalty built between 1787 and 1823, and had a seafood lunch on the historic Brighton Pier, built in 1889 after a great storm destroyed the orignal one (1824).
Royal Brighton Pavilion
As the rain settled in, our duo headed to Chichester, and the nearby Fishbourne Roman Palace, where they escaped the now torrential rain, several days later to cuase terrible floods along the south coast. The 1st-3rd century palatial Roman villa was possibly inhabited by the Celtic King Cogidubnus, chief of the Atrebates tribe who was allied to the Romans. Only one wing of the four originals, and half of the re-constructed ornamental gardens, is accesible to view, as the rest lies under the modern road and houses ! The large building covers the remains of the North wing of the palace, with many rooms and amazing floor mosaics in their original postions. The earlier 1st century ones are black and white and geometrical, with the more advanced 3rd century ones multi-coloured and with knotwork, foliage, and mythological designs.
Hamish fascinated by the mosaics at Fishbourne Roman Palace, Sussex
Next our duo continued along the south coast stopping at the historic Lulworth Castle, then to the water to look at some of the amazing rock formations of the Jurassic Coast of Dorset, first at Lulworth Cove, quite crowded with tourists this early in the season, then went on the sea arch of Durdle Door.
Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast, Dorset
They spent the night in Poole, at the South Rising Guest House, coincidentally (or not) after the day's Roman villa visit, run by archaeologist and ancient Roman historian Peter Keller, who had some facinating stories at breakfast time.
Nearby in Bridport is the home of the great Celtic artist Courtney Davis, an inspiration to Hamish for many years. They met up for a cup of tea and a chat about their respective artwork. Courtney began his Celtic art path in 1977, and recently completed his 50th book. Hamish wrote the forward for his 'Celtic Tattoo Workbook' Vol 2, which can be read at the end of our Celtic Art page.
Hamish Burgess and Courtney Davis in Bridport
Our Maui Celtic duo then headed onto Devon, and nearby the resort of Torquay, Hamish took Jennifer to see a memory from his childhood holidays, the thatched village of Cockington, with it's famous forge dating from the 11th century. The village was the inspiration for Hamish's cover art on the Irish Rovers' "Merry Merry Time of Year" CD.
Finally that night they ended up in Cornwall, very glad to see Hamish's mum after a long day's driving. The old fishing town and tourist resort of Newquay on the North Cornish coast, was their base for the next 2 weeks.
Newquay has been settled since at least the Bronze Age around 3500 years ago, with the clifftops in the far left of the picture having barrows, or burial mounds to this day. Nearby at the natural cliff-top defences provided by Trevelgue Head are the barely visible mounds of an Iron Age hill fortress. By the 15th century the fishing village was called Towan Blystra, and after local officials secured funding for building a modern quay for the thriving pilchard fishing industry, the town acquired it's present name. Still a working fishing harbour today, it is known for the sport of pilot-gig rowing, as well as being a busy tourist resort. With good surfing beaches all around, it has become the busiest surfing town of the UK.
Newquay Harbour, North Cornwall
The next fortnight was spent around Cornwall, with visits south to see old friends in Gweek, and to Penzance (of Pirates of Penzance fame), now a busy port and market town. Until the 17th century it was overshadowed by its near-neighbour Marazion, opposite the spectacular old monastery and castle of St. Michael's Mount, reached on foot by a man-made causeway at low tide, or by boat at high tide. Nearby the stopped to check on the latest silver and pewter Celtic jewelry and goodies from our Maui Celtic suppliers, with a fresh crab lunch in Penzance at the amazing Admiral Benbow pub - which inside is the interior of an old ship.
In the far west, near Sancreed, on the Penwith peninsula, Hamish & Jennifer visited the ancient Celtic settlement of Carn Euny, occupied from the 5th century BC, for some 900 years, from the Iron Age until late Roman times. As well as the many stone hut bases and courtyards that have been uncovered, there is a large underground passageway, more than 65 feet (20 metres) long, known in Cornwall as a fogou. It is roofed with massive stone slabs, with a large chamber on one side. The purpose of these fogous is still a mystery, with ideas ranging from storage, a habitation or refuge, or for ritual practices.
Hamish at the ancient village of Carn Euny, West Cornwall
Not far away is the curious Lanyon Quoit, a dolmen on the road from Madron to Morvah, thought to be a burial chamber of an earthen barrow, long-since uncovered and the mound removed.
Also close-by is the iconic stone circle of M�n-an-Tol, with it's famous holed stone - Mên-an-Tol in the Cornish language literally means "the hole stone". In folklore the stone was said to have healing properties, and for centuries, children with rickets were passed through the hole in the middle stone nine times, hoping for a cure.
Mên-an-Tol, West Cornwall
The scenery of the West Cornwall is quite unique in Britain, and more reminiscent of the west of Ireland.
Several trips along the north Cornish coast took our duo to Padstow to the Elizabethan manor house of Prideaux Place, with an 8th century Celtic Cross in the grounds. The Prideaux family is an old Cornish clan whose origins go back to the 11th century and descend from such diverse characters as William the Conqueror, King Edward I and Queen Eleanor of Castile. Fourteen generations of the family have lived at Prideaux Place since 1592, when the house was completed. The Prideaux estate is home to the oldest deer herd in the UK
Hamish by an 8th century Celtic Cross at Prideaux Place, Padstow, Cornwall
They also went to King Arthur's legendary birthplace of Tintagel, with it's Celtic shops and famous castle, and to the nearby village and harbour of Boscastle, famous for it's Museum of Witchcraft, and the terrible flood that partially destroyed the village several years ago. It has been re-built and is thriving again.
They visited the Royal Cornwall Museum in the small capital city of Truro, where Hamish was checking out the ancient Celtic artifacts found in Cornwall. Also on temporary display was an exhibition of the art of Patrick Woodroffe, of great interest to Hamish and his brother Dudley, as they had books of his iconic fantasy art in their youth in the 1970s, notable the famous "Mythopoeikon".
Hamish at the Patrick Woodroffe exhibition, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro
A great escape from the torrential rain that day in Cornwall, the museum has local artifacts as well as international exhibits, and temporary displays.
Not to mention an interesting shop and cafe !
Another longer day-trip took them up to the surfing areas of Devon, to Croyde and Braunton, new home of the Museum of British Surfing. They met Pete Robinson, founder and curator, and heard all about his mission to research the introduction of surfing to Britain, with new evidence of that 30 years earlier than previously known.
Hamish and Pete Robinson - Museum of British Surfing, Braunton, N. Devon
Letters recently discovered by historian Sandra Kimberley Hall, from Hawaiian Princes David Kahalepouli Kawananakoa Piikoi and Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Piikoi to the Hawaiian consul Mr. Armstrong, show that the Princes made wooden boards and surfed in September 1890 in North Sea off England at Bridlington. More info on that from the Museum of British Surfing.
They also have a replica of Hawaiian Crown Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn's wooden surfboard, much to the interest of our own Jennifer Fahrni of The Ka'iulani Project - thekaiulaniproject.com.
Pete Robinson and Jennifer Fahrni - Museum of British Surfing, Braunton
On the way home our travelers stopped for a bite to eat in the picturesque village of Clovelly, with it's steep cobbled streets heading down to a small harbour tucked below the cliffs. The quay is around 600 years old, built by the Cary family, providing the only safe harbour on a long stretch of coast from Devon to Cornwall. The village was famous for smuggling in the early 1800s, and grew in popularity with tourists in 1855 after the publication of Charles Kingsley's 'Westward Ho!'.
Jennifer at Clovelly village and harbour, North Devon
One Friday night it was off to the fishing village of Port Issac to see the 10 Cornishmen who have become a singing phenomenon in Britain, Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends. The local seamen were singing sea-shanties in Port Isaac, and were noticed by a national record label, who propelled them to stardom in the UK, with a chart-topping album, and the possibility of a film about their story ! Just before their concert, down on The Platt in the harbour, Hamish recorded an interview with Jon Cleave and Peter Rowe from the singing group for broadcast on his Maui Celtic Radio Show. The once quiet fishing village is also famous as the location of the popular TV series Doc Martin.
Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends on the Platt in Port Isaac, Cornwall
Our duo took Hamish's mum and nephew Luke for a traditional pub lunch in Cubert at the Smuggler's Den, a 16th century thatched pub hidden away down some narrow Cornish lanes.
They also went to Perranporth to meet with Andrew Morris of The Celtic Link, a pan-Celtic website, resource and gathering place for Celtic artists, musicians and enthusiasts. They are just about to release the first issue of a printed magazine which looks fabulous, and Hamish & Jennifer talked about future articles and joint projects.
Another night they went with good pals to the amazing Carn Brea Castle restaurant, with great food prepared by Jordanian chefs, the Sawalha Family - dinner was in medieval style with only candlelight, with a quick break for sunset rooftop views around Camborne in central Cornwall.
Carn Brea Castle, Camborne - now a restaurant
The hilltop of Carn Brea has been settled since at least 3400 BC in Neolithic times, and was an Iron Age hillfort much later. Carn Brea Castle is a stone twin towered fortress, built originally as a chapel in 1379, perched on top of huge uncut boulders, which make up some of the inside walls - it was rebuilt by the Bassett family as an old hunting lodge in the 18th century.
Carn Brea Castle, Camborne, Cornwall, UK - now a restaurant
The all-too-short visit finished with a family day out to St.Ives for lunch, a picturesque harbour town. The resort of St.Ives, with its steep old wynding cobblestoned streets, and great beaches, is also another good surfing town. Renowned for its number of artists and galleries, it is very busy with tourists in the summer.
That night was a big farewell and birthday dinner for Hamish and sister-in-law Amanda at a nice restaurant near Newquay - good food and fun company - a great way to end the first leg of the trip, although sad to say goodbye for now to family.
Many thanks to Hamish's mum and brother Dudley and Amanda for their hospitality in Cornwall, as always.
Next morning it was up at the crack of dawn to Newquay airport for a couple of flights to Ireland (see above)......
Saturday June 2nd - on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held the annual Golden Pratie Golf Tournament at 12 noon at Navy Marine Golf Course. At the Annual Match Play tournament against the Wild Shamrocks, the Golden Pratie was recaptured by the Friends by a score of 4-2-1. Proud FOSP participants were Bill Comerford, Will Comerford, Fred Remington, Kevin Kelly, Nelson Lampert, Mike Tierney, Travis Branch and Leo Hannigan. After the match they all gathered in the Celtic Room for traditional 19th hole antics and a Pasta Dinner. More info on next year from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
Sunday May 27th - Hamish was back with a a Memorial Day Weekend Special on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He was joined by show regular Joel Agnew for the craic, and they played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music about soldiers, in honour of the fallen and veterans. There was also a set of tunes and songs for friends Roger and Leili McKinley on their 6th anniversary.
Sunday May 20th - Hamish had a fun time on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' - Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui - playing lots of new Celtic music, ranging from very traditional to avant-garde Celtic jazz, and funky modern Celtic dance tracks ! He was be joined by show regular Joel Agnew for the craic.
Saturday May 19th - The Friends of St.Patrick held an Irish History and Language Meeting - at the Celtic Room, O'Toole's Pub. Who are the Irish ? - Bill Comerford spoke on the pre-History of Ireland and the myth and legend of the 'Book of Invasions'. This is where myth and history mingle to match what modern anthropologists and historians put the picture together of what constitutes early Irish history. Bill brought folks the wide spectrum of the peoples that comprise today's Irish. Raffle this month was a copy of 'The Story of the Irish Race' by Seamuis McManus. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday May 19th - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented Scots in Hawaii stories, arranged by Elspeth Kerr, in the afternoon at the Penthouse, 1001 Wilder Ave, Honolulu.
Memories of R. Alex Anderson by Leith Anderson - Leith Anderson recalled the life & times of his father, Hawaii-born composer R. Alex Anderson (1894-1995) in the early 1900's in Hawaii. Named Caledonian Society Scot of the Year in 1992, Mr. Anderson was a major figure in 20th Century hapa-haole music. He composed over 200 songs including "Malihini Mele", "Lovely Hula Hands", "White Ginger Lei", and the famous Christmas song "Mele Kalikimaka". More info from Elspeth Kerr at 599-2799.
Sunday May 13th - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all Mum's and Grandma's !
Hamish had a Mother's Day Special on The Maui Celtic Show on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of new and old Celtic music, featuring songs for and about mothers and grandma's. He dedicated the show to 2 Scottish ladies in his life, his mother Sheila Burgess, and his grandma Cecilia Strachan, a huge influence on his passion for all things Scottish and Celtic. He was joined by show regular Joel Agnew.
Hamish's mum Sheila and grandma Cecilia
Saturday May 12th - the Isle of Maui Pipe Band performed at the Seabury Hall Craft Faire at the yearly event above Makawao town, always held the day before Mother's Day.
For more information contact Pipe Major Allison Jackson at email@example.com
Saturday May 12th - over on Oahu The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held their annual fun Celtic Pub Crawl in Honolulu. They started at 4:30 pm in Murphy's Bar & Grill side room for some drinks & pupus, then took a wee walk with bagpipers up to JJ Dolan's on Bethel Street for some more drinks & pupus. Then the limousines picked folks up there & drive them around the town while partaking in a few wee drams & fellowship before they hit the dance floor to boogie ! Kilt-wear was order of the night for the 32 pub crawlers ! For more details on this yearly event contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday May 6th - Hamish was back with new Celtic Music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The show was also a Cinco de Mayo Special, featuring Spanish Celtic music from Galicia and Asturias in northern Spain (flags below), and Venezuela. Not to mention tracks from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, America and even Sweden and Germany, and even Celtic music from Outer Space ! He was joined by show regular Joel Agnew.
Sunday May 6th - Maui Celtic's own Hamish was interviewed on video by Steve Behrens of Celtic Music Promotions company 67 Music, who was visiting Maui with his lovely wife Cat. He interviewed Hamish about his Celtic art, Maui Celtic, his work as host and producer of the Maui Celtic Radio Show, bagpiping in Hawaii, the Hawaii Tartan, and Princess Ka'iulani. Check out Portland's 67 Music at www.67music.net.
Wednesday May 2nd - local traditional Celtic music group Upcountry Celtic performed a free concert at 6:30pm at Makawao Public Library. Folks heard lively foot-tapping Celtic music for all ages, with Elaine Olson on harp, concertina and banjo, Mary Lee on fiddle, Bruce Butler on penny whistle and singing, Katie Romanchuk on guitar and harp, and Barclay Hill on mandolin. The concert began with harp music, followed by Celtic tunes and songs on a variety of instruments. A fun evening of music ! For more information please call the library at 573-8785.
Check out Upcountry Celtic on YouTube.
Maui's own traditional group Upcountry Celtic
Monday April 30th - BELTAINE GREETINGS TO ALL !
BELTANE is a May Day eve festival, dedicated to Bel (also called Beli and Belinus), the sun god, marking the beginning of Summer. Beltane means 'the fires of Bel'. In ancient times, Druids would kindle the Beltane fire, and two seperate bonfires were made, with people and animals being driven between them, to cleanse them of diseases and bad luck form the dark part of the year, winter. Household hearths were re-lit from the Beltane fire, having been extinguished for the occasion. The festival tradition has continued to this day in Britain and Ireland, in the form of May Day celebrations.
“BELTAINE” © Hamish Burgess 2011
More details on the artwork above on our Gallery page.
Sunday April 29th - Hamish celebrated the 250th edition of The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The show was also a Beltiane Special, featuring Celtic music of that ancient celebration, signalling the start of summer in those olden days. He was joined for the big 250th show by regular Joel Agnew, who read a great poem about the show composed that morning ! Maui Celtic's other half Jennifer Fahrni called in, as did show underwriter George Millar of The Irish Rovers. Hamish covered music from the Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Galicia, and Asturias (flags below), as well as from Canada, America, Australia, Sweden and even Poland and Russia ! The craic was mighty in the studio that morning !
Saturday April 29th - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held an Irish Movie Night at the Celtic Room, O'Toole's Pub, Downtown Honolulu. This month was The Commitments (1991) a comedy/drama with music. The travails of Jimmy Rabbitte to form the "World's Hardest Working Band," The Commitments, and bring soul music to the people of Dublin, Ireland. Starring Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne and Angeline Ball.
More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
Sunday April 22nd - Hamish had unusual Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He presented an ANZAC Day Special, featuring Celtic music from and about Australia and New Zealand. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, commemorated by both countries on 25th April every year, and honours the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli during World War I. These days it commemorates all those who died serving their countries in any wars.
Saturday April 21st - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held an Irish Music meeting at the Celtic Room, O'Toole's Pub. The historic Honolulu brick building has a great atmosphere for Irish gatherings. Flute player Clark Ratliffe from local traditional band Celtic Waves explored the subject of traditional music with various instruments and Irish songs.
Clark Ratliffe of Celtic Waves at the Celtic Room of O'Tooles Pub (photo courtesy of Nancy Smiley)
More details on monthly Irish meetings from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday April 15th - Hamish had a Titanic 100th Anniversary Special on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The show featured 2 hours of new Celtic music from around the world, as well a a set of songs and tunes about the famous RMS Titanic, the mighty ship that sank 100 years ago this day, originally built in Belfast, Ireland. The tracks concerning the ship were from Jimmy Crowley, Gaelic Storm, Moving Hearts, Tommy Makem, and The Irish Rovers, with a wee interview from George Millar about his composition 'The Titanic'. As he shares the same birthday as the event, and is from the same part of Ireland, the whole show was a birthday celebration for George, one of the show's underwriters (Anne & George Millar and The Irish Rovers).
'THE IRISH ROVERS - THE TITANIC' © Hamish Burgess 2012
More details on the artwork above on our Gallery page.
Sunday April 8th - Hamish was back with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had a special tribute to a legend of Irish music - Barney McKenna, great tenor banjo player and founding member of The Dubliners, who went to the grand Ceilidh on the other side this week (see below) - lots of Dubliners tracks featuring 'Banjo Barney'. Thanks for the brilliant music, and much aloha to his family and friends. Aloha 'Oe Barney.
He had reports and music from last weekend's 31st Annual Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games in Honolulu (see below), and the show was an Easter Special, with traditions and Celtic music of the season. Happy Easter to all !
Celtic Tree of Life by Hamish Burgess
Easter takes its name from Eostre, or Ostara, the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people of Northern Europe. The 'Goddess of Dawn' was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, fertility and the rising sun. The female hormone estrogen comes from her name. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox, the same time that the Christian festival of Easter is now held. Her sacred animal was a hare, represented now by Easter Bunnies. One legend associated with Eostre was that she found an injured bird on the ground at the end of winter, and to save it's life transformed it into a hare - but the transformation was not complete and the hare retained the ability to lay eggs, which she would decorate and leave as gifts to the goddess. The ancient Celts decorated eggs, and rolled them down hills in imitation of the movement of the sun. The Christian Church remodelled this custom and the cycle of death and re-birth of Spring, to symbolise the death and resurrection of Christ at Easter.
Friday April 6th - was National Tartan Day in North America. Tartan is commonly known as 'plaid' in America.
We hope you all joined us in wearing an item of tartan material that day to remember our heritage. The contribution of the immigrant Scots upon North America is considerable and throughout Canada
and America Scots and their descendants have taken the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath (1320) as their national date to celebrate their Scottish roots.
The full story of the Hawaii Tartan, created by Douglas Herring on Oahu in September 1997, can be read on our Hawaii Tartan page. As well as the previously available made-to-measure Scottish wool Kilts, it is now available in a lightweight blend in Sashes, Shawls, Fly Plaids, Head Wraps, and Sport Kilts - you can find these items in our "Online Store".
Thursday April 5th - A sad day for Ireland and the traditional music world. A legend of Irish music, Barney McKenna, great tenor banjo player and founding member of The Dubliners, went to the grand Ceilidh on the other side. Thanks for the brilliant music, and much aloha to his family and friends. Aloha 'Oe Barney.
(right) "Banjo Barney" McKenna of the Dubliners
Bernard Noël McKenna was an Irish musician who played the tenor banjo, mandolin, and melodeon. He was born in Donnycarney, Co.Dublin, a member of The Dubliners from 1962 and the only remaining member of the original line-up. He is credited with spreading the popularity of the banjo in Celtic music. (photo right courtesy Wikipedia)
Sunday April 1st - Joel was back with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He read some of his own fine poetry on Celtic subjects, and played some great Celtic music, while Hamish was away for the weekend on Oahu at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki (see below).
Sat-Sun March 31st-April 1st - the Scottish event of the year in the Hawaiian Islands took place on Oahu. The Hawaiian Scottish Association presented their 31st Annual Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games at Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, a beautiful location under the shadow of Diamond Head. The park was originally landscaped by Scotsman Archibald Scott Cleghorn, father of Hawaii's Crown Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn. There was a Pipe Band, traditional music, dancing and Highland Games.
Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii and guests on Parade at 31st Hawaiian Scottish Festival
Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, and Diamond Head beyond
Maui Celtic had a huge booth of fine Scottish imports, classic Maui Celtic logo wear (with brand new cool Celtic knot Island Map shirts), plaid items - Hawaii Tartan sashes, shawls, and head wraps (do-rags). We represented Sportkilt again this year, with the biggest selection of tartan to be seen in Hawaii for a year.
Hamish & Jennifer at the Maui Celtic booth - Hawaiian Scottish Festival 2012
Thanks for visiting us at the Maui Celtic booth, and supporting your only local Celtic business.
Next door there was the usual great selection of Celtic CDs from Rampant Lion Celtic Traders. Nearby was the Clan tent, where you could find out more about your family history, and visit the The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii, The Caledonian Society of Hawaii, and the The Friends of St.Patrick booths. There were also spinning and tartan weaving demonstrations for the ladies of the Hawaii Handweavers Hui.
Tartan weaving on a hand loom by the Hawaii Handweavers Hui
There were of course the usual tasty food booths - tea and great scones and fish & chips. A children’s tent had entertainment specifically geared for the younger set, including a bouncy castle, Nessie Bean Bag Toss, and golf-related games.
The Saturday was in full Celtic musical swing after the Celtic Blessing by 9.30am with traditional Irish dancing and singing from The Celtic Keiki, followed by the headliners visiting Celtic rock group Mythica from Delaware (for a clip of them the day before on KGMBs Hawaii News Now click here).
The Joan S.Lindsey Hula Studio took the main stage, followed by the US Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band.
Meanwhile on the stage in the vendor tent, folks heard local fiddler Lisa Gomes, joined by (ex-Maui and now Oahu) drummer Peter Della Croce. Both Lisa and Peter are drummers in the Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii, with Lisa sometimes accompanying them on the fiddle. Peter is a great drum instructor.
(right) Peter Della Croce and Lisa Gomes
They were followed by the new Oahu band Celtic Hearts, with some long-time local Celtic musicians.
The focus at noon was on the march of the Parade of the Color Guard, Pipe Bands and the Scottish Clans, leading into the Opening Ceremonies with MC Ian Laing, who previously ran the Games for 15 years, before current Chieftain Dan Peddie.
Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii and Flags at the opening parade
Visitors Okemos High School band from Michigan took the main stage, followed by local long-established Oahu pipeband The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, with the dancers of Irish Dance Hawaii. There was a fine display of traditional Scottish dancing from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii, then Celtic music from local traditional band Celtic Waves.
Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii
Meanwhile the vendor tent heard the sounds and dancing of The Celtic Keiki, and more Irish dancing from Irish Dance Hawaii, then a nice set from guitarist Michael Tanenbaum. Closing the day in front of the mainstage was a display of sword-fighting from the Society for Creative Anachronism and the Musketeer Fencers, and finally visiting Celtic rock group Mythica at the bandstand (see the Ceilidh post below).
Running all weekend was the men's and women's Highland Games heavy athletics competition, with braw-looking kilted strong lads and lassies - featuring tossing the caber, throwing the light and heavy hammers, putting the stone, and throwing the weight for height. Sunday saw the Masters events, for the over 50s, and the fun traditional 'Housewife Games' including throwing a Frying Pan and Rolling Pin for distance.
Heavy athletics lads hammer throwing near Diamond Head
Sunday started with a Celtic Mass with Father Rubie on the bandstand mainstage, then the Celtic Keiki, Scottish country dancing from the RSCDS of Hawaii, and hula from the Halau Ka Pa Hula 'O Ka Lei Hulu Hiwa, and more dance from Irish Dance Hawaii.
The noon Parade featured the The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, with guest pipers Hamish Burgess from Maui, and Ed from the L.A.Scots in California, and led into the day's Welcome Ceremony. The local pipe band took the mainstage with a great set, followed by visitors Mythica, and more sword-fighting displays from the local martial groups. Next were local institution The Royal Hawaiian Band, playing some classics, and even "The Hawaiian Scotsman", followed by traditional music group Celtic Waves.
Celtic Waves on the main stage
Celtic Hearts on the vendor tent stage
The small stage saw the return of Lisa Gomes, Celtic Hearts, and The Celtic Keiki, a dance lesson from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii, then Irish Dance Hawaii, then Mythica.
Running all weekend was the yearly Highland Dancing Competition, featuring Highland dancers of all ages, from Scotland, Canada, Australia and the US Mainland. Dancers from The Margaret Rose School of Dance traveled from Helensborough, Scotland for the event for the 6th year running. The Hawaiian Scottish Association flew in an accredited FUSTA judge Karen Shelton-Johnson (Washington State), to judge the competition - and accredited bagpipe player Mark Elliot from Alberta, Canada to play the music - the Highland Fling, Sword Dances, strathspeys and reels.
Piper Mark Elliot and Highland Dancing Competition
Mahalo to Dan & Mary Peddie and all at the HSA for staging the Festival, and to Jason and Alison, and Ming, Skye, Harley and Pam for all their help on the Maui Celtic booth. A brilliant weekend of Scottish culture and fun !
More info on the annual event from The Hawaiian Scottish Association - from Chieftain Dan Peddie at 808-626-3559 and at www.scotshawaii.org.
Friday March 30th - on Oahu The Hawaiian Scottish Association presented their Taste of Scotland Ceilidh at the Willow's Restaurant, on Hausten Street in Honolulu. An early start at 5pm gave members of the Scottish community and visitors to the Games plenty of good time to socialize. There was a sampling bar with wine, several whiskys and unusual beers, with a fine array of real ales and porters, and Scottish themed food.
Local fiddler Lisa Gomes got the party going, and also played as a duo with drummer Peter Della Croce. They then joined their band-mates in Oahu's pipeband The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, and played a great set of tunes, with a highlight being a rousing version of 'Local Hero'.
The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii at the Taste of Scotland Ceilidh
Headliners were visiting Celtic rock and fusion group Mythica from Delaware, originally from Denver, Colorado. They play Irish, Scottish, French, folk rock, and World fusion music, blending genres from around the world. Erin Flynn plays the fiddle, Melissa Cox sings lead, but also plays guitar and mandolin, Matt Smith plays the bass, and John Lindsay plays the drums.
Mythica at the Taste of Scotland Ceilidh at The Willows
At dusk some visiting young Highland dancers from the Margaret Rose School of Dance in Scotland put on a fine display, with dance tunes on the pipes from expert bagpipe player Mark Elliot from Alberta, Canada.
Highland Dancers at the Taste of Scotland Ceilidh
More info on this yearly event at www.scotshawaii.org.
Thursday March 29th - on Oahu The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented their yearly sunset Tribute to Princess Victoria Kawekiu Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Ka'iulani Cleghorn at Mauna ‘Ala, the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii, in Nuuanu Valley (2261 Nu‘unau Avenue), Honolulu. Princess Ka'iulani (October 16, 1875 – March 6, 1899) was half Hawaiian (her mother being Princess, Miriam Likelike) and half Scottish (her father was entrepreneur, Archibald Cleghorn, last Royal Governor of O'ahu). She was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii at the time of the illegal overthrow of the monarchy.
Highland Dancers at the Princess Ka'iulani Memorial
There was fine weather for the sunset memorial, with the whole tribute held outdoors in the serene grounds of the Royal Mausoleum. Caledonian Society Chieftain Bruce McEwan hosted the evening and spoke about the Princess, wearing the Hawaii Tartan as were our Maui visitors Hamish & Jennifer and several other folks. Nanci Munroe read Robert Louis Stevenson's famous poem that he wrote in the princess' own book, and Lynn Bruce also read a poem about the Princess.
Jacob Kaio piping and hula dancing from Aysha Limatoc
Hawaiian piper Jacob Kaio provided the haunting music, and young local hula dancer Aysha Limatoc performed a special dance written for the Princess. A fine perfomance of the hula, and wearing a dress befitting of the Princess herself !
Maui Celtic's own Jennifer Fahrni of The Ka'iulani Project was invited to update the crowd on her play about Princess Ka'iulani, and spoke about the rise in awareness of her story. "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose" by writers Jennifer Fahrni and Carol Harvie-Yamaguchi, is still looking for funding - please email your interest to Jennifer at email@example.com.
Jennifer Fahrni of the Princess Ka'iulani Project speaking at the Royal Mausoleum
Visiting young Highland dancers from the Margaret Rose School of Dance (see above) in Scotland put on a fine display, with dance tunes on the pipes from Jacob Kaio.
Finally Jacob Kaio piped the group down into the crypt where the Hawaiian-Scottish crown princess and her family lie at rest, for the presentation of a lei by her tomb. Well wishers were allowed to pay their respects to the Princess and the Hawaiian Royal Family down in the crypt itself, with Maui Scots represented by Hamish Douglas Burgess and Jennifer MacKay Fahrni of Maui Celtic.
Thursday, March 29th - over on Oahu, Celtic rock group Mythica were in full swing on their Hawaii tour, playing at Anna O'Brien's Irish Pub up near the University. Visiting for the second time from Delaware, originally from Colorado, the group fronted by singer/songwriter Melissa Cox, plays Irish, Scottish, French, folk rock, and World fusion blending genres from around the world. Voted Best Celtic Fusion band of 2007 by Celtic MP3 Music Magazine. Melissa Cox not only sings lead, but also plays guitar and mandolin. Erin Flynn plays the fiddle and whistles, Matt Smith plays the bass, and John Lindsay plays the drums, cajon and djembe. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, March 25th - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held their usual Monthly Movie Night - An Irish Themed Movie on the last Sunday of the month, at the Celtic Room, O'Toole's Pub, downtown Honolulu. This time the film was The Departed. An Irish Mob crime drama - two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Massachusetts State Police and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy's identities. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
Also Celtic rock group Mythica (see above) started their Oahu tour when they played a benefit at the Unity Church of Hawaii.
Sunday March 24th - Hamish was back, although a wee bit late, on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Joel Agnew valiantly came in at no notice to start the show, as Hamish was delayed, having trouble with his Celtic Chariot in West Maui. Joel played some great Celtic music, until Hamish & Jennifer Fahrni arrived with some reports of St.Patrick's Day in Honolulu and Maui, after the national saint's day of Ireland the weekend before.
right - Hawaii Irishman Ian Wilson
The show was dedicated to grand Hawaii Irishman Ian Wilson who passed away Friday morning on Oahu, far too young - a sad loss to the Hawaii Irish community. Hamish played some of his favourite tunes. See the tribute below. Aloha 'Oe, Ian. ..........
Saturday, March 24th - over on Oahu Melissa Cox, singer of Celtic rock group Mythica, was playing solo at Kelly O'Neill's/O'Toole's. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday March 23rd - over on Oahu, The Hawaiian Scottish Association presented their Grand Scotch Tour III, an evening of Whisky Tasting at the Willows Restaurant, in Honolulu. Folks enjoyed delicious cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Jay Matsukawa, and a selection of 20 acclaimed Scotch whiskys, including Aberfeldy, Ardbeg, Balvenie, Caol lla, Chivas, Dewars, Famous Grouse, Glenfiddich, Highland Park, Laphoraig, Maccallan, Signatory, Singleton and many more!
Grand Scotch Tour III - Whisky Tasting at the Willows
Photo courtesy of Nancy Smiley
Always a good time with informative whisky experts. This is the main findraiser for the year for the HSA, who put on the Hawaiian Scottish Festival and Highland Games (see our Events page, Oahu section). More info from Dan Peddie at 808-626-3559 and at www.scotshawaii.org.
Friday March 23rd - a sad loss to the Hawaii Irish community - Ian Wilson passed away this morning on Oahu, losing his battle with health problems. He was a grand Hawaii Irishman, and friend and supporter of Maui Celtic, and will be missed. Ian was a devout Catholic, born December 29th 1956 and raised in Wahiawa, and lived recent years in Kaimuki. He was a Paramedic for the City and County of Honolulu, and was a past President of The Friends of St.Patrick and the The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii. An avid historian, and Civil war re-enactor, he donated his library of Celtic books to the Friends of St.Patrick now in the Celtic Room of O'Tooles Pub, and enjoyed a wee dram of Jamesons. Ian, you passed away way too young, and will be missed - God bless you. May you walk in the fine company of your ancestors, and share a dram of Jamesons with them ! Be at peace now......Aloha 'Oe mo chara.
Ian Wilson and Hamish Burgess, Dressed to the Kilt - Oahu 2008
This Sunday the Maui Celtic Radio Show will be dedicated to Ian Wilson.
Sunday March 18th - Joel Agnew was playing 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great new and old Celtic music on part 2 of a St.Patrick's Special, to celebrate the national saint's day of Ireland (the day before), with some ripping Irish songs and music. Hamish & Jennifer called in from Honolulu where they had been running a Maui Celtic booth at the Honolulu St. Patrick's Day Block Party (see below).
Saturday March 17th - HAPPY ST.PATRICK'S DAY TO ALL OUR IRISH FRIENDS ! St.Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, and Irish around the world celebrate their culture today - the Hawaiian Irish too (see below) !
'ST.PATRICK' © Hamish Burgess 2012. Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the March issue.
The art shows St.Patrick in later life wearing clerical robes, with his famous bell in one hand, and his treasured staff or crozier and a shamrock in the other. He is depicted with a clerical tonsure, or shaved head, possibly referred to by his opponents the druids, who prophesied his converting the pagan folk of Ireland: “Across the sea will come Adze-head, crazed in the head, his cloak with hole for the head, his stick bent in the head. He will chant impieties from a table in the front of his house; all his people will answer: "so be it, so be it.""
Behind him is the Paschal fire he lit to challenge the High King of Ireland, and the cross represents an invisible circle of divine protection, that he invoked with a chant which is now called “St.Patrick’s Breastplate”. It changed his own party into deer to escape the pagan warriors, and became known as “The Deer’s Cry”.
In the air around him are the ‘serpents’ of Ireland, in tradition likely referring to paganism, and two dragon-like creatures he is said to have cast down, the Caoránach, and the Oilliphéist.
More details on our Gallery page.
Saturday March 17th - MAUI CELTIC WAS OVER ON OAHU FOR ST.PATRICK'S DAY !
Hamish Burgess & Jennifer Fahrni started the day early as radio guests on The Perry & Price Saturday Morning Show on KSSK 92.3fm Oahu, at the Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant in the Ala Moana Center. They met Dan & Mary Peddie of the The Hawaiian Scottish Association at the live radio show breakfast buffet, to talk on their behalf about the upcoming Scottish events. It was a busy show with musical and talk guests, and Sweetie Pacarro out and about interviewing the diners. Appropriate for the Irish day was a surprise intro for our duo - the title track of the new Irish Rovers album 'Drunken Sailor', which had the packed room clapping and singing along.
Jennifer & Hamish on The Perry & Price Saturday Morning Show, KSSK Honolulu
Michael Perry & Larry Price were keen to know what a Scottish fellow with the name Hamish was doing today on Oahu with a company called Maui Celtic, talking about upcoming Scottish events on an Irish St.Patrick's Day !! So Jennifer & Hamish filled them in on the Maui Celtic booth at today's downtown blockparty, and their Irish Rovers' connections - Jennifer on the management team (www.theirishroversmusic.com), and Hamish as their resident Celtic artist for album covers (www.mauiceltic.com/gallery). Then they got to the job in hand, promoting the upcoming HSA fundraiser the Grand Scotch Tasting (March 23rd), and the Hawaiian Scottish Festival (March31st/April 1st).
At noon The Friends of St.Patrick held their 45th annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade through Waikiki. Green clad folks gathered for the Parade which ran on Kalakaua Ave fronting Fort Derussy and ended at Kapiolani Park by the bandstand. Led by the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, the Parade this year featured Noel Trainor as Irishman of the year.
The Friends of St.Patrick 45th annual Waikiki St.Patrick's Day Parade
Photo courtesy of Nancy Smiley - The Friends of St.Patrick
The Post Parade Party started straight after at Kelley O'Neils Pub in Waikiki, with live Irish Music from Celtic Waves followed by Irish Kevin from Key West Florida. The menu of course had Corned Beef and Cabbage, and also Chowder, Beef Stew and 'Bangers and Mash' !
Meanwhile downtown.....the annual Honolulu St. Patrick's Day Block Party was getting going - the biggest Hawaii Irish bash and the last place on the planet (this side of the dateline) to celebrate St.Patrick's Day ! Every year Murphy's Bar and Grill sponsors a FREE all afternoon/evening block party in downtown Honolulu's Irish Corner at Nuuanu Avenue and Merchant Street - www.gomurphys.com
Maui Celtic was there with a booth at the blockparty, open 12 noon until 9pm, with Irish jewelry and other Celtic goodies, the popular green Maui Celtic and Hawaii Celtic T-shirts, Hawaii Tartan (plaid) clothing, and All Ireland plaid noggin wraps (do-rags) too !! New shamrock green St.Patrick's Day limited edition Maui Celtic T-shirts (with the Island chain as Celtic knots) were a hot item of the day, as well as some crazy hats ! Mahalo to Honolulu folks for supporting your local Celtic business.
Maui Celtic booth at the Honolulu St.Patrick's Day Blockparty - the 2012 crew rocked !
Jim, Jemma, Hamish, Jennifer, Ming and Skye (and Harley m.i.a.)
The party started around noon right there on the Irish corner, there was traditional Irish music live in O'Toole's Pub (www.irishpubhawaii.com) - starting at one with the Kaimana Ceili Band, followed by Kieran Murphy the Irish troubador from NY, who played a killer set for several hours. Kieran's singing was amplified outside the pub and across the block party for thousands to hear ! The night was topped off with Honolulu’s own Celtic rockers Doolin Rakes.
In the closed-off parking lot there was great food - tasty fresh oysters, corned beef and cabbage, fish & chips, salmon and spuds - and of course plenty of Guinness and Jamesons Irish whisky at the outdoor booths, not to mention in Murphy's and O'Tooles Pubs ! Local fiddler Lisa Gomes played a marathon session near the Maui Celtic booth, and our own Hamish Burgess played the bagpipes in the lot, Murphy's Bar, O'Tooles Pub and in the streets ! He even played the pipes live on KUMU 94.7 FM radio, and was interviewed by host Greg Endo, then later on had an on-air chat with host Bruddah Bryan about Maui Celtic.
Hamish after piping by the Jameson booth, with the lovely Jameson ladies
The party was really going after 5:30pm as the streets were closed on Nuuanu, Merchant and Marin Lanes, with live music from the Doolin Rakes and Piranha Brothers on stages in the streets. The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii arrived downtown after sunset, playing at J.J.Dolan's Pub and at the Maui Celtic booth. There were thousands of folks wearing the green, and some wild looking leprechaun costumes ! Honolulu's biggest party wound down around 10pm.
The local Oahu pipeband had a busy day with eight gigs around Honolulu !
The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii at the downtown Honolulu blockparty
Across the street from the blockparty, the Aloha Tower Marketplace had The Celtic Keiki dancers and musicians with the “Magical Music of Ireland” in the Center Atrium for an evening filled with singing and dancing with a traditional Irish sing-along and Ceili dance, not to mention The Rowdy Redhead Contest ! There was also traditional Irish music from local band Celtic Waves at the Gordon Biersch Brewpub.
Over in Waikiki The Irish Rose Saloon hosted singers Irish Kevin from Key West Florida, and Jason Owens, and the band Elephant until late.
Meanwhile at Anna O'Brien's near the University, there was more music with Whiskey Starship, Nathan Emmans, Jason Owens and Irish Kevin from Key West.
The criac was indeed mighty in Honolulu ! Thanks to our Maui Celtic duo's hosts Pete & Jemma Della Croce for their hospitality.
ST.PATRICK'S DAY ON MAUI !!
SOUTH MAUI had the biggest bash with the annual St. Paddy's Day Party at Mulligan's on the Blue in Wailea. Maui's best Irish party !! The day started early at 7am with a St.Patrick's Day Golf Tournament to benefit local charities. The live music started at 12 noon and the craic went on until late ! Kicking it all off was Mad Bagpiper Roger McKinley and Celtic Hart, followed by house band The Celtic Tigers, then at sunset The Isle of Maui Pipe Band with special guest champion piper Jack Lee. This was the only chance this year on Maui to see the world famous bagpiper perform !
Jack Lee and the Isle of Maui Pipe Band at Mulligan's on St.Patrick's Day
Photo courtesy of Patty Kyle Hood and Isle of Maui Pipe Band
Another great set followed from The Celtic Tigers, and The Free Radical Projekt rocked on until the wee hours.
CENTRAL MAUI saw new local band Celtic Hart playing at the Kahului Ale House from 5-8pm. Featuring Mad Bagpiper Roger McKinley on pipes, Mark John on fiddle and Evan on guitar.
NORTH SHORE had local Maui group Upcountry Celtic playing at the Paia Bay Cafe from 6pm-8pm. They had a great outdoor covered space for music, and folks could catch traditional Celtic music with musicians Bruce Butler, Barclay Hill, Elaine Olson, Julie Potter-Dunlop, Katie Romanchuk, and Mary Smith. For more details call Donnie McGean at Paia Bay Cafe on 808-283-8457.
Friday March 16th - over on Oahu St.Patrick's Week was in full swing with the return of wandering Irish minstrel Kieran Murphy, back from New York to play traditional Irish music (and some of his originals) in Honolulu pubs. The hard-working young singer is a feature here in Hawaii at this time of year, taking a break from the chilly north-east to entertain our local Irish crowd.
Kieran Murphy is a singer and songwriter whose music ranges from traditional folk to contemporary originals and even electronica ! He is New York born, but with a heritage deeply rooted in the culture of New England and the mysticism of his Irish ancestors. Check out his award winning website at www.kieranmurphymusic.com.
right - Kieran Murphy at O'Tooles Pub, Honolulu
Kieran Murphy was playing in O'Toole's Pub downtown Honolulu, followed by Irish Kevin from Key West Florida.
Meanwhile Jason Owens played at Kelley O'Neils (311 Lewers St) in Waikiki - 5-8pm. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
March 15th-18th - the Isle of Maui Pipe Band presented its 9th consecutive Maui Bagpipe Workshop with one of the world's best bagpipers Jack Lee. The four-day workshop was held at the beautiful Makawao Union Church, just outside Pa'ia on Maui's north shore - all genres of bagpiping light music were explored with a touch of piobaireachd as well. On the Saturday night the student pipers performed with Jack Lee and Isle of Maui Pipe Band on St. Patrick's Day at Mulligan's on the Blue restaurant and pub in Wailea (see photo above).
For more information contact Pipe Major Allison Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maui Bagpipe Workshop with Jack Lee - Makawao Union Church
Photo courtesy of Pipe Major Allison Jackson and Isle of Maui Pipe Band
THE INSTRUCTOR, PIPE SERGEANT JACK LEE - Jack Lee is among the world’s elite pipers, as a soloist and leader of one of the world’s finest bands. Jack has won top prizes at Oban, Inverness, London, Glenfiddich and other major events, as well as six World Pipe Band Championships as Pipe Sergeant of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. He has also directed the Robert Malcolm Memorial band to wins in the World Juvenile Championships, with solo students winning Gold and Silver medals in Scotland. Jack’s enthusiasm and teaching skills are unsurpassed and all pipers can benefit from his teaching. His latest venture is Lee and Sons Bagpipes - bagpipe reed and bag making with his sons Andrew and Colin - www.leeandsonsbagpipes.com
March 12th-15th - on Oahu visiting musicians were there for St.Patrick's week.
Monday 12th Kieran Murphy the Irish troubador from NY (see above) played at Kelley O'Neils on Lewers St in Waikiki, and Tuesday 13th at O'Toole's Pub (Nuuanu) downtown, while Jason Owens played at Kelley O'Neils. Wednesday 14th saw the Finals of the Guinness Toast Contest being held at O'Toole's Pub downtown Honolulu - folks heard the finalists compete for a trip for two to Las Vegas. That was followed by Kieran Murphy from NY, and Irish Kevin from Key West Florida. Meanwhile Celtic Waves then Doolin Rakes played at Kelley O'Neils in Waikiki ! Thursday 15th Irish Kevin from Key West Florida played at Kelley O'Neills in Waikiki. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com
Sunday March 11th - our own Hamish was a radio guest with Sonia Fabrigas on Oahu's K108 1080am 'The Celtic Arts' radio program , co-sponsored by Maui Celtic.
The show was a Celtic special broadcast from the Chinese Cultural Plaza on a weekly Sunday show 10-11am on Peace of the Rainbow Radio. Other guests were Clark Ratliffe from Celtic Waves, and Dr. Darrow Hand of Whiskey Starship and The Contra Dancers of Hawaii.
They chatted about the Celtic Nations, the similarities between the Scots and the Irish, and their traditional music and dance. They discussed Celtic art and it's history, and meaning of the symbols, curves, spirals, and knotwork. They also covered St.Patrick and his story, the 'wearing of the green', and the shamrock, and Maui Celtic's upcoming visit to Honolulu for the St. Patrick's Day Block Party.
Sunday March 11th - Hamish had a big morning on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' with a St.Patrick's Special, on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Sunday, March 11th also marked 10 years on the air for Mana'o Radio, so it was party time in the studio, with guests Joel Agnew and Jennifer Fahrni !
They were playing some great new and old Celtic music on the St.Patrick's Special, to celebrate the national saint's day of Ireland on March 17th. There was some words from legendary Irish singers, and some ripping Irish songs and music. Local Maui Irishman Mike O'Dwyer, owner of Mulligans on the Blue, stopped by to tell us his music line up at Maui's biggest Irish party on St.Patrick's Day (see above).
Joel Agnew, Mike O'Dwyer, and host Hamish Burgess on the Maui Celtic Show
Sunday March 11th - over on Oahu Kieran Murphy the Irish troubador from NY was playing at Kelley O'Neils (311 Lewers St) in Waikiki. More details above or from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday March 10th - also over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held their annual Emerald Ball in the Manoa Grand Ballroom, at the Japanese Cultual Center in Honolulu. Cocktail hour then entertainment from Pipe Major Dan Quinn from CPDH, Celtic Flute by Clark Ratcliffe, and Kieran Murphy the Irish troubador from NY ! Irish Dance and song by Caleigh and Delia Fabro of the Celtic Keiki. Presentation of 'Irish Person of the Year' was to newly appointed Honorary Irish Consul, Noel Trainor. An Irish menu for the evening featured Corned Beef and Cabbage, Roast Pork Loin and Baked Salmon. The Silent Auction and raffle benefitted the Scholarship Fund.
The Celtic Keiki and Kieran Murphy at the Emerald Ball
photo courtesy of Nancy Smiley
Also the Kaimana Ceili Band played at Kelley O'Neils in Waikiki - 5-8pm. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
Saturday March 10th – Baroque/Celtic band Ensemble Galilei with a concert entitled First Person: Seeing America with Neal Conan and Lily Knight will play the University of Hawaii Hilo Performing Arts Center (200 W. Kawili Street, Hilo) at 7:30pm. More on the band at www.egmusic.com
Friday & Saturday March 9-10th - over on the Big Island of Hawai'i - a rare treat for the Islands when early music/Celtic band Ensemble Galilei came for a visit. Their concert entitled First Person: Seeing America with Neal Conan and Lily Knight played the Kahilu Theatre in Kamuela on the 9th, and the University of Hawaii Hilo Performing Arts Center in Hilo on the 10th. March 7th and 8th they were doing Outreach Programs for local schools.
Early music/Celtic group Ensemble Galilei came to Hawaii
More performance and band details below on their Maui visit review....
Monday March 5th - HAPPY ST.PIRAN'S DAY TO ALL OUR CORNISH FRIENDS ! St Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall, and tin miners, and Cornish around the world celebrate their culture on March 5th, St.Piran's Day. The Cornish flag, St.Piran's Cross, is said to have come from the patron saint showing Cornish tin over black rock, represented by the white cross on a black field.
Sunday March 4th - Hamish had a St.Piran's Day Special on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He was celebrating the national day of Cornwall, St.Piran's Day (March 5th) with some ripping Cornish music, playing some great new and old Celtic songs and tunes from that ancient region of Britain.
Saturday March 3rd - over on Oahu The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held The Movie and the History: Princess Ka'iulani at St.Clements Parish Hall in Honolulu. Dr. Paul Field, retired Windward Community College professor of Hawaiian History, was their authority on the historical events in the life of the princess and in Hawai'i. More details from Susan MacKinnon at 591-9398, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday March 3rd - a rare treat for the Islands when Baroque/Celtic band Ensemble Galilei came for a visit to Oahu. Their concert entitled First Person: Seeing America with Neal Conan and Lily Knight played the Leeward Community College Theatre in Pearl City. On March 5th and 6th they were also doing Outreach Programs for local schools. More performance and band details below....
Friday March 2nd - early music/Celtic band Ensemble Galilei started their Hawaii tour on Maui. Their concert entitled First Person: Seeing America with Neal Conan and Lily Knight played in the Castle Theatre at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. On March 1st they were doing an Outreach Program for local schools.
Neal Conan and Lily Knight and Celtic group Ensemble Galilei at the MACC
Ensemble Galilei, with NPR’s Neal Conan and actor Lily Knight presented a fabulous audio-visual evening with photographs from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The musicians of Ensemble Galilei were truly brilliant, playing everything from early music the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland, and new compositions. Featuring Hanneke Cassel and Ginger Hildebrand on fiddles, Kathleen Keane on whistles and flute, Sue Richards on the harp, Jackie Moran on bodhran and banjo, and Carolyn Surrick on viola da gamba. All the musicans played solo, as well as with the group. A highlight was a ripping Celtic set from duo Jackie and Hanneke.
Celtic group Ensemble Galilei at the MACC
NPR’s Neal Conan and actress Lily Knight masterfully brought people, events and places to life, with the words of Jim Harrison, Dexter Filkins, Frederick Douglass, award winning poet Lucille Clifton, James Agee, and others. Combined with historical photographs by Walker Evans, Edward Curtis, Edward Stieglitz, Paul Strand, WeeGee and Thomas Eakins this evening was a feast for the senses ! They covered events that shaped a nation – The Civil War, the Great Depression, slavery and emancipation - and places from the sidewalks of New York to the majesty of Yosemite. Great photographers captured it all – hardship, war and despair, and the gritty determination of extraordinary people in a magnificent land. Amazing portraits of Native Americans, and the faces of rural Americans as they struggled to survive the times, and enjoyed others. "This is what these extraordinary photographers saw – First Person: Seeing America".
From 1990, Ensemble Galilei has redefined the boundaries of chamber music, mixed it with Celtic music, and developed innovative projects that explore combinations of images, words, and music. More on the band at www.egmusic.com
Thursday March 1st - HAPPY ST.DAVID'S DAY TO ALL OUR WELSH FRIENDS ! St.David is the patron saint of Wales , and Welsh folks all around the world celebrate their culture on March 1st, St.David's Day.
Sunday February 26th - Hamish had a Welsh music radio show St.David's Day Special, with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great new and old Celtic music, and to celebrate the national day of Wales on March 1st, he had a St.David's Day theme with traditions and some ripping Welsh music.
He also had the musicians of Ensemble Gallilei calling in for interviews before their tour of the Hawaiian Islands (see above). Founders Sue Richards (harp) and Carolyn Surrick (viola de gamba) talked about the group and their upcoming show First Person: Seeing America with Neal Conan and Lily Knight, and introduced tunes from the group. Jackie Moran spoke about his role as bodhran and banjo player with the band, and also his work with the brilliant Celtic group Comas.
Sunday February 26th - over on Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick held their usual Monthly Movie Night - An Irish Themed Movie on the last Sunday of the month, at the Celtic Room, O'Toole's Pub - this time the film was Leap Year. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email email@example.com.
Sunday February 19th - Hamish had a surprise guest visiting Maui - top Irish fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada stopped by The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He brought in a World Exclusive for Hamish, with the first radio airing of his new duet album, hot off the presses, aired in Maui before even at home in Ireland - "Le Chéile/Together" by Seamus Begley & Ois�n Mac Diarmada - and a fine album it is too ! Traditional tunes and some beautiful songs - now available at www.ceolproductions.bigcartel.com. He also played some brilliant Irish trad music from the ten year career of Oisin's band T�ada, and some by Oisin's musical friends.
Hamish and Oisín Mac Diarmada on The Maui Celtic Show at Mana'o Radio
Not to mention some Irish Music Cruises artists, with music and a few words from some of the artists on board the recent trip to the Caribbean.
He also had a few birthday songs for his brother Dudley listening in Newquay, Cornwall - Hamish's older brother has been an inspiration to him for many years - a great Celtic tattooist in Cornwall UK, well known for his Celtic art and portraits. Folks come from all over the world to get his work at DNA Tattoo Studio www.dnatattoo.co.uk.
Saturday February 18th - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held The Hooley - an Irish Matchmaking Party at the Celtic Room at O'Toole's Pub. The Road to Lisdoonvarna ? Followed by the Guinness Toast contest, with a free glass full of the black stuff while you gave your Toast. More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday February 12th - Hamish was back from his Caribbean adventures with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great new and old Celtic music, and reported on the Irish Music Cruise to the Caribbean, with music and a few words from the host of great artists on board. He also had a few Valentines Day songs and traditions, with a special set for his own Valentine Jennifer Fahrni.
24th January - 8th February - Our Maui Celtic duo Hamish and Jennifer headed to the south-east and were in Florida and the Caribbean. Our travelers were first in Plantation near Fort Lauderdale for some fine Irish hospitality with old friends Willie, Cari and Aisling Lacey, before heading out on the Irish Music Cruise (see below).
They saw an excellent exhibition at the Museum of Art, called 'Offering of the Angels: Old Master Paintings and Tapestries from the Uffizi Gallery' featuring some fabulous tapestries and paintings by some of the greatest artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, all religious works, some 400 or even 500 years old.
A fun time was spent next day with Willie and Cari in the Everglades, where they took an air-boat out into the vast swamp, the powerful air-propellor driven boat racing along mangrove and reed-lined canals, and skimming straight over the lily pads, as there are no props or rudder under the boat.
Airboat in the Everglades, Florida
They stopped in several spots to see alligators in their natural environment, very well camoflagued among the reeds and lillies, as well as local birds the Turkey Vulture and the colourful Purple Gallinule. Their local boat captain and guide had been coming out to the Everglades since he was a boy, was entertaining and knowledgeable, and had a horrific story about being stuck out here at night in a broken-down boat with his uncle, and being covered all over with mosquitos until he had to jump overboard into the black night-time alligator infested waters to get rid of them !
Alligator in the Everglades, Florida
After the ride they checked out some alligators rescued from urban zones, who now are kept in a reserve, as they are deemed 'problem' beasts that wander into human areas. Alligator wrestler Ashley put on a good show handling some huge animals for the tourists.
The Irish music craic started Saturday night at a great local Irish pub The Field in Dania, one of the most authentic pub atmosphere's anywhere in America, with good traditional music from Ade Peever and Friends.
Ade Peever and Friends at The Field in Dania, Florida
Hamish recorded a wee interview for the Maui Celtic Radio Show with singer/guitarist Ade Peever(from Crewe, UK) about his music - solo and with house band Celtic Bridge. A bunch of the next week's Irish Music Cruisers headed there for the evening to kick the week off in Celtic style. The criac was mighty at the Field, as it is the other 2 nights of Irish music a week.
Thanks to old pals Willie, Cari and Aisling Lacey for their hospitality and great company - not to mention a few Jamesons !
29th January - 5th February - Hamish and Jennifer were cruising in the tropics with the Irish Music Cruise to the Caribbean, presented by Debbie Casey (www.irishmusiccruises.com) 1-888-56IRISH. They joined a host of talented singers and musicians - The Wolfe Tones, Archie Fisher, The Makem & Spain Brothers, Máirtín de Cógáin, Tom Sweeney, Seamus Kennedy, Jez Lowe and Andy May, Hanneke Cassel, Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty, and Ciaran Sheehan.
Sunday lunchtime all the folks in several different hotels, and musicians from Ireland, Scotland and England, descended on Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, where we boarded Holland America's MS Nieuw Amsterdam, our floating home for the next 7 days.
MS Nieuw Amsterdam - Irish Music Cruise to the Caribbean
After setting sail, and a sunset view dinner, the Sunday night started the concert series in fine style, introduced by one of the MCs for the week Seamus Kennedy.
First up was Tom Sweeney, from Omagh in the north of Ireland. Tom is a great ballad singer, and sang some Irish classics including a beautiful version of 'Carrickfergus', as well as his own 'Anthem for the Children', which he was invited to sing at the Whitehouse for President Clinton on the occasion of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
Tom Sweeney and Archie Fisher on The Irish Music Cruise 2012
Next up was a legend in the folk music world, Scottish singer songwriter Archie Fisher. Also a brilliant open-tuning guitar player, his fine melodies accompanied his original songs, with the great witty stories behind them told in-between - a true master of his craft. Archie is also a broadcasting icon - he had a 27 year-running radio programme Traveling Folk on BBC Radio Alba. Check out his latest album 'Windward Away'.
Closing the night's concerts was the powerhouse Irish duo, well-known in the Canadian Maritimes, Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty, with their usual mix of humour and good music. The lads are a popular Canadian Maritime duo of Irishmen, now in their 26th year performing together. They started a memorable set by inviting guests the Makem & Spain Brothers, Seamus Kennedy, and Máirtín de Cógáin, to the stage for a rousing version of 'The Auld Triangle', the name of their pub in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Then it was a raucous set of traditional and original songs, with the approproate sea-shanties thrown in, as we headed into the Caribbean.
Kevin Evans and Brian Doherty, and guests
Then for some it was on to the Piano bar for a late night session of songs, sea-shanties and much more, with Andy May on the piano and Hanneke Cassel on fiddle for some tunes. A very late one indeed, going on until past 4am, with Seamus Kennedy the life and soul, and ending up 'three sheets to the wind'........
Monday we anchored off Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, a private island owned by Holland America. Original inhabitants of the region were the Arawaks, then Caribs - they gave us the words "Caribbean', 'hammock', and 'buccaneer' - derived from the name of their open fire cooking grills called 'boucans'.
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Hamish & Jennifer went ashore to lounge on the white sand beach, and swim in the crystal clear waters, and found Archie Fisher and his lovely lady doing the same. There were other watersports, and horseback riding, not to mention beach bars and cafes, and even a chance to get in the water with stingrays !
Our duo had a BBQ lunch then headed back to the beach, but stopped to look at a hobie catamaran for rent. The Bahamian operator was maybe a wee bit surprised when they took off easily at a fair rate, after asking Jennifer if she knew what she was doing ! Jennifer is an experienced sailor so they went for a few spins round the bay, picking up a fair speed a few times. Hamish loved his first time sailing a hobie cat, especially surfing the cat ahead of some small waves out in the blue waters !
Right - 'Captain Jennifer' in Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Back on the ship, and for our Maui Celtic duo, time for a wee nap before the evening's festivities. That started late afternoon with the welcome cocktail party for the Irish Music Cruise gang - a chance to catch up with old pals in the 'Crow's Nest' bar, high up above the ship's bow. Then after our sunset dinner with a backdrop of dramatically coloured sunlit clouds, it was time for the concerts.
A brilliant opener was a set from singer storyteller Máirtín de Cógáin from Cork. This man has an amazing stage presence for his age, and is already a master of his craft. Great songs from his native Cork area were accompanied by his expert bodhran playing. There were amusing introductions to all his songs, and hilarious tales as features themselves, including the great "Tea Man" story, on Máirtín's latest album 'From Cork With Love'.
Máirtín de Cógáin, and Seamus Kennedy, cowboy style
Next up was Belfast singer Seamus Kennedy with a set of traditional Irish songs, broken up with crazy jokes and amusing song intros. He was joined for a great set of tunes by fiddler Hanneke Cassel, and our bodhran playing Máirtín, with Seamus picking Celtic style on the guitar. He then donned a cowboy hat and neckerchief for a set of Western songs from his latest album 'Sidekicks and Sagebrush', and then a fine set of sea shanties.
Hanneke Cassel, Seamus Kennedy and Máirtín de Cógáin
The closing concert was by a legendary Irish folk group The Wolfe Tones, who are in their 49th year of performing ! With an impressive visual backdrop of historical and scenic slides of Ireland projected onto a big screen, the trio of Brian Warfield, Noel Nagel and Tommy Byrne, covered lots of their well known songs, many of them written by frontman and founder Brian. From patriotic ballads to rousing rebel songs, their chart topping "Helicopter Song" to newly written numbers, and the sing-along "Celtic Symphony", the veteran singers put on an interesting show.
The Wolfe Tones - Brian Warfield, Noel Nagel and Tommy Byrne
It didn't end there though, as the craic continued in the Piano bar into the wee hours, with the customary after-hours session where anything goes......
Tuesday was a day at sea, heading south through the Caribbean between islands of Cuba and Haiti. The craic started with the Pub Quiz with teams of Irish Music Cruisers and musicians answering two sets of difficlut questions from quizmaster Seamus Kennedy.
Next was a talk by Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess on Celtic Mythology of the turning seasons, based on his series of 4 seasonal prints of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine and Lughnasadh, which can be seen on our Gallery page. Very appropriate timing, as the same evening was the start of Imbolc, the sacred day of the Irish mother goddess Brigid, subject of Hamish's latest art piece. He covered the traditions and mythology of the seasons, and some Celtic art history.
Hamish Burgess with his 'Brigid' art - Andy May and his Northumbrian Smallpipes
Then came an informative workshop with piper Andy May on the Northumbrian Smallpipes, with expert playing on the complicated pipes he made himself, and an amazing chanter he developed with more notes and octaves available than usual, allowing him to keep up with the range of a fiddle ! Andy also played the Irish Uilleann pipes, and was joined by our own Hamish with a tune on the Scottish Smallpipes, and a wee look at the Great Highland Bagpipe.
The gang congregated upstairs for the afternoon's Celtic music, with a Session in the Crow's Nest.
Session on the Irish Music Cruise
All the musicians took turns with songs and tunes, unusual ones they don't often perform during concerts, and a few guests including Mike Casey and Mike Allfrey had a few songs. Maui Celtic'c own Hamish played a few tunes on the smallpipes.
It was the first formal dinner night on the ship, with everyone dressed to the nines, including our Maui Celtic couple Hamish and Jennifer, himself sporting his Douglas family tartan kilt, and herself a lovely peacock dress. Also in formal kilt attire was the dapper Seamus Kennedy from Belfast. That night they were the only men in kilts on the ship, but later in the week the ship was surprising alive with kilts eveywhere, with a large group of Scots from Toronto on a yearly reunion. After seeing so many kilts, and having to ask about the occasion, Hamish found out that one gentleman was a radio show host, who knew Archie Fisher quite well ! A small Celtic world indeed, for folks to run into eachother uears later on a ship in the Caribbean !
Hamish & Jennifer, and Seamus Kennedy
The night's first concert was by Geordie master songwriter, singer Jez Lowe, a musical ambassador for his native North East England. He featured many of his own brilliant compositions, with the stories behind them. Jez Lowe has more than a dozen albums and countless live performances around the world over the last twenty years. Many famous Celtic singers and groups have covered his songs, including Liam Clancy, The Dubliners, The Tannahill Weavers, Cherish The Ladies, The McCalmans, The Black Brothers, Fairport Convention, and literally hundreds of others.
He was accompanied by multi-talented musician Andy May on the Northumbrian Smallpipes, piano and whistle. Andy is a member of Jez's regular band The Bad Pennies, as well as a great solo recording artist and member of another band Baltic Crossing. They were also joined for some numbers onstage by expert bodhran player Máirtín de Cógáin.
Andy May, Jez Lowe and Máirtín de Cógáin
Next to take the stage was Dubliner Ciaran Sheehan with some beautiful Irish classics. He was accompanied by Andy May on piano, and joined by Hanneke Cassel on fiddle and Rory Makem for some songs made famous by his father, the great Tommy Makem. He was then accompanied by Kevin Evans on guitar for some songs, before tenor Ciaran showed folks his real vocation with some Broadway songs, from his years of experience there in his role as the Phantom of the Opera. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Rory Makem, Ciaran Sheehan and Hanneke Cassel
The Makem & Spain Brothers ended the night onstage with a blistering set of rousing Irish songs, sea shanties, and some new material. Irish music's wall of sound - Conor and Rory Makem, and Mickey and Liam Spain - powerhouse 4 man vocal harmonies, backed by guitars, mandolin, and banjo, with witty banter in-between. They were joined by their cousin Tom Sweeney on songs and whistle, Hanneke Cassel on fiddle and Máirtín de Cógáin on the bodhran, for some great final numbers.
The Makem & Spain Brothers and friends
Then off to the Piano bar into the wee hours.......
Wednesday morning the ship anchored off Grand Cayman, alongside 3 other cruise ships ! This was old territory for Hamish, as he worked here two different times as a scuba-diving instructor, 20 and then 18 years ago. Leaving the crazy traffic in the island's capital Georgetown, much busier than in Hamish's days there, he & Jennifer rented a car, and along with Archie Fisher and his lovely partner Stephanie, went off to explore the island.
Georgetown, Grand Cayman, BWI
They checked out Hamish's old apartment at South Sound, a beautiful location on water next to the island's best surf spot, where he and the few surfers here at that time enjoyed uncrowded waves in crystal clear water. Along the south coast lagoon until the road cut north across the centre of the island, with the bright green Cayman Iguanas running across the road, until they reached the north coast and a few miles on to Rum Point.
right - the sign at Rum Point, Grand Cayman
Even with a concrete jetty built since the old days, the corner of the lagoon is still a quiet haven away from the masses of the cruise ships. Palms and other shady trees hang out over the clear blue waters, and our gang spotted a Southern Stingray looking for food in the shallows. Off in the distance far out in North Sound they could see boats clustered around Stingray City Sandbar, there to take tourists to feed and pet the wild stingrays. Hamish used to work out there as a guide and stingray handler, and at that time there were about 60 of them, some very friendly.
After a lunch at Rum Point, including the local delicacy Conch fritters, it was a race back to Georgetown airport to drop the rental car off, and get a ride back to the dock. Our gang cut it a bit fine, getting back for the last ship's tender with only minutes to spare ! Not as close a shave as singer Brian Doherty's son and mother-in-law, who missed the tender, and had to be ferried out to the ship after it had got underway.
That night's concerts started with another great set of songs from Scotsman Archie Fisher. Hamish had interviewed him during the day about his music, for airplay on his Celtic music program, the Maui Celtic Radio Show. He was explaining his song choices to suit the evening, being followed by a couple of uptempo acts. Archie's stories between his brilliant songs make for a fine evening of Scottish culture.
Scottish singing legend Archie Fisher
Next up was Tom Sweeney with another great set of Irish songs, and a few fun stories too. After a solo set, he invited the ever-popular fiddler Hanneke Cassel and Kevin Evans and Brian Doherty up for a few songs. Then Evans & Doherty stayed on stage for the final act of the night - the duo of Irishmen now living in the Canadian Maritimes. They also had Hanneke play a few tunes with them on the fiddle.
Tom Sweeney and friends - Kevin Evans, Hanneke Cassel, and Brian Doherty
Then it was off to the Piano bar for some tunes. Tonight's late session was all instrumental music with Hanneke Cassel on the fiddle, Andy May on the Northumbrian smallpipes, our own Hamish Burgess on the Scottish smallpipes, and Máirtín de Cógáin on the bodhran. The session got fast and a bit wild at times, with Hanneke and Andy leading the tunes !
Hanneke, Andy, Hamish and Mairtin late night tune session
Thursday saw the ship docked in Mahogany Bay, Roatan, in the Bay Islands of Honduras, with torrential rain as soon as folks got off the ship. Our Maui Celtic duo Hamish & Jennifer met Máirtín de Cógáin and Seamus Kennedy, and headed off in a cab to the nearby town of Coxen Hole. They wandered the shops and market stalls looking for bargains, and had a fine lunch of 'Groper Fingers' in a local restaurant.
Shipwreck in Mahogany Bay, Roatan, the Bay Islands, Honduras
'Groper Finger' lunch for the gang in Coxen Hole, Roatan
Then it was back to the ship for Mairtin to get ready for a Ceili dance session. Hamish & Jennifer walked out to the private island of Mahogany Beach by the cruise ship dock, with its own chair lift to take you above the trees across to the island.
Mahogany Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras
Teeming with tourists and loud bars, Hamish found a peaceful escape for an hour or so. He rented a stand-up paddleboard, and cruised the glass-flat estuary behind the island all the way out to the open sea, passing pristine mangrove forests with only the sounds of exotic birds breaking the silence. He caught a couple of tiny waves inside the reef, and on the way back passed a fenced-off nurse-shark pen, and a turtle pen, and had a chat with the surprised local turtle wranglers.
Hamish stand-up paddling the estuary behind Mahogany Bay
After dinner on the ship the concerts began with the inimitable Dub and Broadway star, tenor Ciaran Sheehan. He was accompanied by guitarist Kevin Evans, then joined for a song by Rory Makem, and some more as a trio with fiddler Hanneke Cassel. Ciaran's variety show continued with Andy May on the piano, and he was joined for a song or two by Geordie Jez Lowe.
Next up was the Belast-born Seamus Kennedy, with some great songs and crazy jokes and stories in between. A highlight was a hilarious tongue-twisting song with the words arranged out of order, punctuated by noises for the points of grammar. He was then joined by our own Hamish Burgess, for Scottish smallpipe accompaniment with the audience singing along to 'Amazing Grace', followed by the rousing anthem 'Scotland The Brave'.
Seamus Kennedy and Hamish Burgess
To close the night's concert were the legendary Wolfe Tones, with a great set of patriotic Irish songs - some ballads and some rousing sing-alongs. They ran another slide-show of fine historical photographs, sang some new songs from their latest album "Child of Destiny", and many of their well-known hits. Finally they had the crowd on their feet with the classic anthem "A Nation Once Again", and their signiature song "On The One Road".
The Wolfe Tones - Brian Warfield, Noel Nagel and Tommy Byrne
But it wasn't over for the night yet.......off to the piano bar for a late singing session led by Andy May on the piano. There for the craic were Ciaran, Hanneke, Kevin, Seamus, the Makem & Spain boys, and many of the cruisers, all up for a song. Not to mention Mairtin and his scary alter-ego reflected in the mirror-like piano. A very late night ensued somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico......
Ciaran, Hanneke and Andy in the Piano Bar - with Mairtin and his other self
Friday the ship docked at Costa Maya on the lower part of the Yucatan Penninsula of Mexico. Another torrential downpour of course at the exact time all the trips were leaving, with a long walk down the huge pier. Hamish missed the lads he was going ashore with, but ended up on a coach with Archie and Stephanie heading to the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins, a huge complex of pyramids and plazas on many different levels, some restored and others still overgrown, for a guided tour by some knowledgable guides. The 10 acre complex that is uncovered, is only part of this larger settlement that rises above the flat plains of the Costa Maya.
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins, Costa Maya
The rain stopped in time for the tour, leaving it a bit muddy walking between the pyramids. Not a bother for the monkeys making their way through the forest high up in the trees.
Back on the ship it that evening was the much anticipated session night, with all the musicians and any musical guests joining in on tunes and songs. Even the trio of The Wolfe Tones joined the craic, and belted out a few songs. Our own Hamish warmed up the Great Highland Bagpipes for a set of traditional Irish tunes.
Irish music session at sea
Folowing the session, the fun stepped up a notch with a Ceilidh Dance session led by fiddler Hanneke Cassell, and featuring Andy May on the piano, with Máirtín de Cógáin as caller for the dances. A good criac with plenty of dancers up, some experienced, and some novices being taught the moves by Máirtín, obviously and old hand at hooleys ! After the dancing, the music continued late with an impromptu session from a brand new trio - Hanneke on fiddle, Andy on the piano, and Máirtín on the bodhran - and a wild combination of tunes it was too !
Ceilidh Dance with Máirtín, Hanneke and Andy
Not quite done for the night, folks were treated to singing into the wee hours, with Irish barber-shop quartet stylings from Seamus Kennedy, Brian Doherty, Tom Sweeney, and friends.
Saturday was a full day at sea, heading north-east across the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida. A highlight of the day was a Songwriting Workshop featuring Jez Lowe and Archie Fisher, both great songwriters and legends of the English and Scottish folk scene. With parts of songs all through the 2 hour session, they explained their techniques and styles of compositions, with brilliant stories from Scotland and England, and their travels in Ireland.
Jez Lowe and Archie Fisher at their songwriting workshop
Even some of the other singers came to learn from these masters of the craft, who finished off with a full song each.
Next up was an enthralling Storytelling Workshop and session from almost unrecognizable newly-shaven Cork native Máirtín de Cógáin. From animated and dramatic to downright hilarious stories, Máirtín demonstrated the mastery of his craft learnt from his father. A great singer and seanachie, the lad is well on his way to being a legend of Irish tradition.
Máirtín de Cógáin telling a great story at his workshop
The young Cork star Máirtín de Cógáin was back on stage that night with the first concert, where he invited piper Andy May, guitarist singer Jez Lowe, and fiddler Hanneke Cassell straight up onstage for his first set of songs. Then solo accompanied by his bodhran, he belted out some great numbers, before being joined again by Andy and Hanneke, then Jez, for some more craic.
The Northern English lads were up next with some of Geordie singer from Newcastle Jez Lowe's brilliant compositions , and some amazing Northumbrian piping from Andy May.
Andy May and Jez Lowe
Then a cool new band formed on the spot, with Andy May on pipes, Jez Lowe on mandolin and vocals, Máirtín de Cógáin on bodhran, Hanneke Cassell on fiddle, and Conor Makem on the bass. What a great sound for some of Jez's best songs !
Andy May, Jez Lowe, Máirtín de Cógáin, Hanneke Cassell and Conor Makem
Next up were the powerhouse quartet of The Makem & Spain Brothers, with classic ballads, rousing rebel songs and rollicking sea-shanties. They were joined by good friend Brian on the bass, while Conor was playing the concertina, and by the fabulous Hanneke on fiddle.
The Makem & Spain Brothers with Hanneke and Brian
This was just a warm up for the Irish Music Cruise 2012 Grand Finale, when all the performers got onstage for a major sing-slong with the crowd. All the Irish classics came out with the amazing all-star line-up only ever seen at these events ! Even our own Hamish got up and sang along with his stage partner Seamus.
Noel, Andy, Brian, Tom, Brian, Jez, Hamish, Mairtin, Liam, Rory, Kevin, Brain, Mickey, Archie, Tommy, Hanneke and Conor at the Grand Finale of the Irish Music Cruise 2012
But the fun wasn't quite finished......off to the bar for a few nightcaps ! We said our farewells that night, and many dispersed to the far corners of the globe the following day.
A brilliant week of great company, laughs, fine food, Caribbean adventures, and world-class Irish music - the craic was indeed mighty on the High Seas of the Caribbean ! For a look at previous year's trips go to our News Archive pages by the year, and scroll down to Jan/Feb.
Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess, belting one out with Seamus Kennedy, Mairtin de Cogain, Rory Makem and the gang at the Irish Music Cruise Grand Finale 2012
Thanks to Debbie Casey of IRISH MUSIC CRUISES CONCERTS AT SEA - and a special thanks to Samantha for all her hard work on this year's cruise.
For details of next year's IRISH MUSIC CRUISES LAND CRUISE IN THE BAHAMAS check out www.irishmusiccruises.com or contact Debbie Casey at freephone 1-888-56IRISH for more info.
Back on Maui... .................................................. Philip Boulding harp workshop in Kula
Sunday February 5th - Celtic duo Magical Strings played at St. John's Episcopal Church in Keokea, Kula, up on the mountainside of Haleakala.
The crowd in the historic church heard the fine Celtic harp and hammered dulcimer of Philip and Pam Boulding, at times augmented by violin, cello, pennywhistle, percussion and various instruments from around the world. Folks were captivated by a combination of traditional Celtic arrangements, and original compositions, not to mention Philip's slack-key harp ! There was also a harp workshop that same day - Philip held an interesting session "From Ireland to Hawaiian Slack Key!", where you could learn slack key guitar styles and techniques transposed to the Celtic harp, centered around Philip's composition "Warm Island" which he recorded with Keola Beamer on Magical Strings' CD "Islands Calling". More details on the day's events from Elaine at 808-878-6958. More info on the musicians at www.magicalstrings.com.
Sunday February 5th - Joel was sitting in for Hamish with 2 hours of great Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He was playing some great new and old Celtic music, while Hamish was away piping on the Irish Music Cruise to the Caribbean.
Saturday Feb 4th - onver on Kauai they held their yearly Robert Burns Night on Kauai.
The Burns Supper was run by West Kauai Rotary Club, at Waimea Plantation Cottages (9400 Kaumualii Highway, Waimea, HI 96796). For more info call 808-639-2061.
This is West Kauai Rotary's most important fundraiser for its Youth Vocational Scholarships and other West Kauai youth programs.
Saturday February 4th - the Isle of Maui Pipe Band played in Makena for the Run for the Whales Marathon, bright and early beginning at 7:45am. Contact the band for details through www.isleofmauipipeband.com
Wednesday February 1st - IMBOLC GREETINGS TO ALL !
Imbolc - the coming of Spring – a time to honour the feminine aspect of the divine. The great wheel of the year turns again on February 1st, with the ancient sacred day of the Celtic goddess Brigid - Mother Goddess of Ireland and daughter of The Morrigan and the Daghda. She was also called Brigit, Bride, Brighid, Brig, and Brigantia.
'BRIGID' © Hamish Burgess 2012
'BRIGID' © Hamish Burgess 2012. Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the February Imbolc/St.Brigit's Day issue.
The root of her name means 'bright' or 'exalted', and possibly 'firebrand'. Tradition has it that she walks the earth Imbolc eve, and the portrait shows Bride with her white wand and open mouth said to “breathe life into the mouth of dead Winter, and bring him to open his eyes to the tears and smiles, the sighs and laughter of Spring” (Carmina Gadelica Vol.1).
More details and traditions of the day on our Gallery page.
Sunday January 29th - the Maui Scottish community celebrated Robert Burn's Night a few days after the Scottish poet's 253rd birthday (on 25th Jan) at ‘Mulligans on the Blue’ in Wailea. The evening starts with folks sitting down for dinner, just in time for Piper Roger McKinley to ceremoniously pipe in the Haggis, in procession with Cameron Keys, the honorable Whisky Bearer, and the Traditional Haggis Bearer. The "Address to the Haggis" was by master of cermonies Prakash MacKay, long-time Maui resident from Glasgow, reciting the famous poem then dramaticallly stabbing the beast with a sgian dubh ! There followed all the whiskey toasts, including the Loyalty Toast to "Scotland, Ireland and Hawaii", and the 'Toast to the Lassies' by the men, and the 'Reply to the Lads' by the ladies. Lots Burns poetry, and good craic, served up to an appreciative full house. What a fun night ! Then the music......
Robert Burn's Night on Maui at Mulligans
The Chancers were the musical entertainment for the evening - they are an Irish band based out of Portland, Oregon. Originally formed in 2001 after a Guinness-fueled quest to drive across Oregon on a St. Patrick’s weekend, the band has continued to grow and mature, building on their childhood experiences of listening to and playing music in their native Ireland.
Sunday January 29th - Joel was sitting in for Hamish with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great songs and music, with the poetry of Robert Burns set to fine Celtic music, as the Scottish National Poet would have his 253rd birthday on 25th January this year (see below).
Sunday January 29th - over on Oahu there were Scottish Movies at the Movie Museum - "I Know Where I'm Going" (1945).
Starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey, and features Pamela Brown, Finlay Currie and Petula Clark as a child. Young middle-class Englishwoman Joan Webster is determined to have the finer things in life, and to that end she plans to marry Sir Robert Bellinger, a wealthy, middle-aged industrialist whom she does not love. En route to the Island of Killoran (mythical), where her future husband resides, Joan is stranded on the nearby Scottish island of Mull. Inclement weather keeps her grounded for a week, during which time she falls in love with young naval officer Torquil McNeil. Ignoring the dictates of her heart (not to mention common sense), Joan stubbornly insists upon heading out to sea towards her marriage of convenience, but the exigencies of Mother Nature finally convince her that her future resides on Mull.
Sunday January 29th - still on Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick held their Monthly Movie Night with Waiting for Dublin at 6pm at the Celtic Room behind O'Tooles (Dontown Honolulu). An Irish Themed Movie every month on the last Sunday of every month - a no cost movie on the big screen in the Celtic Room.
Waiting for Dublin. On New Year's Eve 1944, American pilot Mike Clarke inadvertently bets Al Capone's nephew $10,000.00 that he can shoot down five enemy aircraft. Later, forced to land near a remote village in Ireland after running out of fuel, Mike learns that he is cut off from the rest of the world with no way to rejoin the war and shoot down his fifth plane, which is the only way he can win the bet and save his own life. With nowhere to go, he eventually befriends the colorful villagers and meets a fiery red-head named Maggie who shows this pilot that combat can take place on the ground just as well as in the air. It doesn't take long for Mike and Maggie to grow close as she helps him figure out how to win his bet while winning her heart in the process.
Saturday January 28th - legendary Irish ballad and rebel song singer Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones played at the Irish Rose Saloon in Waikiki. Immediately following the concert, the entertainment continued with the local Irish stylings of the Doolin Rakes, who carried on the torch til 1:30 am. Events sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey and Killians Irish Red Ale. More details from Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
Nominated in 2009 as Ireland's Best Traditional Irish Folk Group, touring over 400 concerts in 2010 and 2011, throughout 10 different countries, Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones are known throughout the world for their quality musical presentation of Irish Patriotic Songs & Traditional Irish Music with top class fiery introductions from their lead singer, song writer and storyteller, Derek Warfield. He enjoyed success for some 40 years with the Wolfe Tones, before heading on the road with his current band - he is now joined on stage by some of the finest Irish musicians and singers from a younger generation.
Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones in Honolulu 2011
Damaris Woods plays the tenor Banjo, hails from Co. Meath, and is one of the finest musicians and teachers in Ireland.
Talented Singer-guitarist Alan Murray hails from Glasgow in Scotland and his love for the Glasgow Celtic Football team means that he is no stranger to Irish Traditional Music and Irish Patriotic Songs.
The lineup is completed by the appearance of the youngest member of the band Dan Lowery who hails from Co. Dallas in Texas ! Dan is a multi- talented Flute and Tin-Whistle Player, guitarist/ singer and vocalist who hails from a family rich in musical tradition, song and sport and Dan's family hail from Co. Cork.
Saturday January 28th, 2012 - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held their annual gala Robert Burns Night - "We'll take a cup o' kindness yet". 5.30-8:30pm at the Oahu Country Club (150 Country Club Road, Honolulu).
Folks celebrated the life & work of Scotland's poet laureate, Robert Burns, in the lush setting of the Oahu Country Club in Nu'uanu Valley in the newly remodeled dining room. Master of Ceremonies this year was KITV's Keoki Kerr. Cocktails were served to start the evening, followed by the traditional "Address To The Haggis". Toasting this year was done with a unique new whiskey, special to the Caledonian Society!
Please contact Susan MacKinnon for details at 591-9398, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday January 27th - legendary Irish ballad and rebel song singer Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones played in the McCoy Studio Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Show started at 7pm with Irish Band The Chancers and 8pm the headliners.
The night opened with The Chancers, who are based out of Portland, Oregon by way of Ireland. Originally formed in 2001 after a Guinness-fueled quest to drive across Oregon on a St. Patrick’s weekend, the band has continued to grow and mature, building on their childhood experiences of listening to and playing music in their native Ireland.
Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones were next (see above for their biography), rocking the full house with patriotic Irish ballads and rollicking rebel songs, not to mention some brilliant instrumentals.
Wednesday January 25th - legendary Irish ballad and rebel song singer Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones played at Anna O'Brien's (2440 S. Beretania, Honolulu) - an all-ages show, and under 18 can get in free ! Ticket proceeds from this show went towards the the The Friends of St.Patrick's annual Honolulu St. Patrick's Day Parade. Immediately following the concert, the entertainment continued with the local Irish stylings of the Doolin Rakes, who carried on the torch til the wee hours. All sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey and Killians Irish Red Ale. More details from Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997
Wednesday January 25th - happy Robert Burns Night to all our Scottish friends at home and abroad ! Folks all around the world celebrated the king of Scots poetry tonight.
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) is Scotland's national poet, and his 200 year old verse has become part of Scottish heritage celebrated all over the world on January 25th. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, and is the most widely translated poet in the world, even more than William Shakespeare. He was born in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1759, into a poor farming family. At age 27 he published his first volume of poems, which was a huge success, and his humour and wit became legendary. He moved to Edinburgh, and received critical acclaim. He wrote about everyday things, philosophy, and about his loves, which contributed to his popularity. 2 years later, he married and moved to a farm in Dumfries, working as an exciseman while still continuing to write poetry and songs. He died at 37, in 1796.
Sunday January 22nd - Hamish was back with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great Celtic music, set to the poetry of Scottish National Poet Robert Burns, as his 253rd birthday is on 25th January this year. He also had a live in-studio interview with George Millar of The Irish Rovers with a WORLD EXCLUSIVE of tracks from the upcoming "Drunken Sailor" album, due out in March. George talked about his emigration as a young lad to Canada, the start of The Irish Rovers, and his songwriting process, and introduced 11 tracks from the upcoming naughty nautical themed album. Soon available at www.theirishroversmusic.com
George Millar and Hamish Burgess in Mana'o Radio Studios, Wailuku, Maui
Joel Agnew came in and shared a poem about the Maui Celtic Radio Show, and show underwriters, George & Anne Millar and The Irish Rovers, one of his 365 poems he is writing this year !
Saturday January 21st - over on Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick held their Ceade Mille Failte - 100,000 Welcomes where they honored New Members from 2011 and invited prospective members for 2012 to attend.
Monday January 16th - the Isle of Maui Pipe Band pipers marched in the Martin Luther King Jr Day Parade beginning at Hope Chapel near Iao in Wailuku, at the early hour of 8:30am ! Contact the band for details through www.isleofmauipipeband.com
Sunday January 15th - Hamish was back on air with The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great new Celtic music, and had a phone interview with Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones, live from Co.Kildare in Ireland. They chatted about the band's upcoming Hawaii concerts this month, and Derek's singing and songwriting career, with some fine songs and tunes in-between. Another guest was Mike O'Dwyer from Mulligan's, who (with sponsor Maui Celtic) is bringing the band to the MACC, as well as Irish Band The Chancers, opening for Derek, and playing this years Mulligan's Robert Burn's night. They played some fun tracks from The Chancers. Show regular Joel Agnew came in and shared a poem mentioning Hamish, one of his 365 poems he is writing this year !
Derek Warfield and Hamish Burgess
Friday January 13th - the Scottish documentary "You've Been Trumped" premiered at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. At the pre-screening reception, special guest speaker was Anthony Aalto, journalist, writer and Chair of The Capitol Watch (the Sierra Club’s lobbying arm), as well as local eminent domain lawyer Robert Thomas.
Director: Anthony Baxter. UK, 2011. 95mins. The film is a gripping investigation into how one of Donald Trump's billion dollar resort developments has impacted the residents (and eco-system) of a close-knit Scottish community on the rugged northeast coast of Scotland. It's a fantastic and important film, but has yet to find US distribution, so it's really exciting that the director is allowing the theatre to screen it in Hawaii! More details at www.honoluluacademy.org. More on the film at www.youvebeentrumped.com
Sunday 8th January - Hamish was back with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great new Celtic music to kick off the New Year, with some tunes from artists at Cornwall's Lowender Peran Celtic Music and Dance Festival, and Scotland's Dougie MacLean’s Perthshire Amber Festival. There was also a competition to win a promotional Wolfstone DVD, courtesy of Wolfstone and Dave Hogg, their manager.
Scottish Celtic rock band Wolfstone
Sunday January 8th - over on Oahu there were Scottish Movies at the Movie Museum - "I Know Where I'm Going" (1945). Starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey, and features Pamela Brown, Finlay Currie and Petula Clark as a child.
Young middle-class Englishwoman Joan Webster is determined to have the finer things in life, and to that end she plans to marry Sir Robert Bellinger, a wealthy, middle-aged industrialist whom she does not love. En route to the Island of Killoran (mythical), where her future husband resides, Joan is stranded on the nearby Scottish island of Mull. Inclement weather keeps her grounded for a week, during which time she falls in love with young naval officer Torquil McNeil. Ignoring the dictates of her heart (not to mention common sense), Joan stubbornly insists upon heading out to sea towards her marriage of convenience, but the exigencies of Mother Nature finally convince her that her future resides on Mull.
Sunday 1st January 2012 - Hamish was up early on New Year's Day to broadcast 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Of course on New Year's morning, there was a seasonal theme of New Year music, called Hogmanay in Scotland (see below) - the biggest party of the year. He played some great songs and tunes for the time of year, and had some words on the traditions of the season. He also had a competition to win a promotional Wolfstone DVD, courtesy of Wolfstone and Dave Hogg, their manager.
Joel Agnew and Hamish Burgess at Mana'o Radio
Show regular Joel Agnew came in to wish everyone a Happy New Year !
Sunday January 1st 2012 - over on Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick held their Monthly Movie Night - An Irish Themed Movie on the last Sunday of every month - this month The Boys and Girl from County Clare, a great comedy featuring traditional Irish music :
The All-Ireland Traditional Music Competition attracts the best musicians from all over the country -- and a few from beyond the shores of the Emerald Isle as well. As John Joe and his band prepare to capture the band trophy with their County Clare jigs and reels, Irishman Jimmy bends his Liverpudlians away from jazz toward the time-honored strains of Celtic music. As the musicians make their way towards the competition, trouble rears its head for both sets of challengers: the Liverpool Shamrock Ceilidh Band and the defending champions from Clare and at the heart of this adversity lie the vengeful interventions of two estranged brothers, Jimmy and John Joe.
More details - Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 808-223-3997.