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Hamish Burgess and Jennifer Fahrni near Airdrie, Calgary, Alberta - December 2010 December 9th - January 1st - Hamish was in up in the frozen north for the Holiday Season with Jennifer in Canada. They met up in Calgary, Alberta, where Jennifer Fahrni was a morning radio host on CKIK 107fm, presenter of a Alberta skiing television show 'Ski 10', and involved in the production of the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics. They also visited Hamish's old friends, Trevor and Chris, from his Cayman Islands days at Surfside Watersports in the early 90s, working as a scuba-diving instructor in the Caribbean. Out on the prairies near Airdrie, it was sunny and no wind made the days pleasant at -16c/3.2f, but as soon as the Chinook winds came in, they raised the temperature, but it felt really cold with the wind chill !

A Hawaiian friend joked with Hamish he should be in slippahs and boardshorts for a photo.....so, always up for a lark, a wee frozen surf photo session started !

Saturday 11th the gang headed into Calgary for breakfast at the legendary 1886 Buffalo Cafe, originally a site office for the Eau Claire Lumber Mill in the late 1800s - what a great breakfast spot - Jennifer used to hang here in her radio days. Then it was off to The Irish Rovers afternoon concert at The Deerfoot Inn & Casino. The lads, well into their sold-out Irish Christmas tour of Canada, rocked the packed house, with Irish jigs and reels, their classic hit songs, and some Christmas songs too. The autogaph line lasted an hour, with 3 generations of fans eager to meet the boys and have CDs signed - one lady even had a t-shirt from 1975 on ! The tour line up was band founder George Millar, John Reynolds, Ian Millar, Sean O'Driscoll, Fred Graham and guest Goeffrey Kelly. Geoffrey Kelly is a great player on flutes and whistles, has played with the band many times, and was drafted in as Wilcil McDowell could not be on this tour. He did an amazing whistle version of the Scottish tune 'Dark Island', which spellbound the audience.

The Irish Rovers - Irish Christmas Tour, Deerfoot Inn, Calgary, Alberta

The Irish Rovers Christmas Tour, Deerfoot Inn and Casino, Calgary Dec 11, 2010

Sunday 12th started near Airdrie in the snow, and ended in Edmonton - thanks Trevor for driving our duo up there in dodgy conditions, and thanks to Trevor and Chris for their hospitality ! Monday our travelers checked out the 'biggest mall in the world', West Edmonton Mall, 40 city blocks complete with a balmy beach and wave pool, replica Spanish galleon, aquarium with submarine rides, funfair with 4 storey high roller-coaster, and ice rink ! Back to the real reason for being there - The Irish Rovers evening concert at the Edmonton Century Casino. Another packed house loved the legendary 6 man powerhouse of Irish music, with the boisterous crowd singing along all their favourite songs, and clapping to the wild instumentals. They also went nuts for the hits 'The Unicorn', 'Wasn't That A Party' (written by Tom Paxton after a night out with the lads), and 'Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer' ! Another long autograph signing line.......

The Irish Rovers - Irish Christmas Tour, Century Casino, Edmonton

The Irish Rovers Christmas Tour, Century Casino, Edmonton Dec 13, 2010

Monday 13th started way too early with a flight to Vancouver, a drive to Horseshoe Bay for the ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, for the final concert of the Christmas Tour. During the sailing, Hamish interviewed Rover's guest musician, flute and whistle (and bodhran) player Geoffrey Kelly for the his Maui Celtic Radio Show (Mana'o Radio, Maui). He normally plays as a founding member of Canadian Celtic bands Spirit of the West, and now The Paperboys. Above the harbour stands the Nanaimo Bastion, built by the Hudson Bay Company between 1853 and 1855 to defend its coal mining operations in Nanaimo. Opposite, the Coast Bastion Hotel adjoined the Port Theatre, so Hamish could escape the wet, cold weather to see The Irish Rovers soundcheck - the lads are very serious about their sound and music. Another full house, with a few band relatives here, and George and John both live on Vancouver Island, with Ian's family living in Vancouver. A great concert to finish the tour - beautiful slow airs, classic Irish songs, Rovers' hits, some ripping jigs and reels, new songs from the new album 'Gracehill Fair', and the usual show closer of the crowd sing-along 'The Drunken Sailor', which has been getting millions of hits on YouTube recently !

The Irish Rovers - Irish Christmas Tour, Port Theatre, Nanaimo

The Irish Rovers Christmas Tour, Port Theatre, Nanaimo Dec 14, 2010

Another long autograph signing line.......then off next door to the hotel bar for a wee tour wrap-up party ! A fun few days with The Irish Rovers in Canada. Check out their new website with artwork by Hamish, and buy the new album 'Gracehill Fair' at www.theirishroversmusic.com


Back in Vancouver, Hamish & Jennifer caught up with Jack Lee, champion bagpiper and Pipe.Sgt. of the 6 time World Pipe Band Champions the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. He comes down to Maui every year, and was keen to catch up on the Maui news. Up in Vancouver, he has a new company making bagpipe chanter reeds, Lee & Sons Bagpipes.

December 21st - WINTER SOLSTICE GREETINGS ! This year's winter solstice (summer solstice in the southern hemisphere) occured on December 21, at 11:38 pm GMT/UTC.

The winter months of November, December and January are divided by the Winter Solstice - 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".

They also visited with talented Celtic leatherworker Rudi Diesvelt, also a fine jeweller and Celtic renaissance man. Rudi had a booth in the maketplace down on Granville Island (seasonal - check his website www.celticempire.com for current locations).

Rudi Diesvelt at his Celtic Empire booth, Granville Island

Rudi Diesvelt, silversmith and leatherworker, at his Celtic Empire booth, Granville Island, Vancouver, Dec 2010

Hamish sells some of Rudi's leather work (see Maui Celtic at locations on our Contact Us page). Rudy also crafts one-off custom items of museum quality, in silver and leather.

Hamish, Jennifer, Tim and Neasa went to see a great British film set in 1968, "Made In Dagenham", starring Sally Hawkins and Bob Hoskins. It is about the women workers at the Ford Motor Company's London plant, and their struggle and strikes for equal pay with the men. Check it out at www.paramountpicturesintl.com/intl/uk/madeindagenham/

Tim Readman and friends, Cafe Montmatre, Main St., VancouverThey also caught up with inimitable Geordie singer-songwriter Tim Readman, at his regular Thursday night gig at Cafe Montmatre (Main St). He was joined tonight by Craig McKerron on mandolin (who he plays with in the duo The Eventually Brothers), and by Gerard Kerr on bodhran (one of his old bandmates in Fear of Drinking). They played a fun set on traditional, contemporary, and even some Christmas tunes and songs. Check out Tim's music at www.timreadman.com - also Tim and Craig's duo (with guests) the Eventually Brothers www.myspace.com/eventuallybrothers

Hamish & Jennifer went downtown Vancouver to meet with the powerhouse ladies behind the award-winning Celtic Connection newspaper, publisher Maura De Frietas and Catholine Butler. One of the best reads in the Celtic world, both our Maui Celtic duo have contributed articles to the magazine, and Hamish's artwork has featured on the cover ('Samhain' piece on our Gallery page). Distributed in the Vancouver and Seattle areas, you can subscribe to the paper and have it sent to you anywhere.

Hamish and Jennifer of Maui Celtic, Christmas 2010

Saturday December 25th

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !

Hawaiian - Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Scots Gaelic- 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 ha Blydhen Nowydh Da
Breton - Nedeleg Laouen na Bloav Ezh Mat
Galician - Bon Nadal e Bo Ani Novo
Asturian - Feliz Nadal y prósperu Añu Nuevu

Mahalo (thankyou) to all our friends and customers who supported Maui Celtic this year. All the best to you and yours for 2011 - see you then !



Thursday December 30th - The Maui Celtic couple and a few friends went to the best party of the Holidays - with local Vancouver Celtic rock band the Town Pants, at their legendary New Year's Eve Eve party, the night before New Years ! Now the 12th year this infamous concert at the Blarney Stone, downtown Vancouver, has been running for those tired of paying ridiculous cover charges at events on New Year's Eve. A full-blown wild Celtic party with countdown, balloons, the whole nine yards ! Hamish recorded a fun interview with Aaron Chapman and Dave Keogh of the band to play on his Maui Celtic Radio Show. Town Pants at www.thetownpants.com

The Town Pants - New Years Eve Eve Party, The Blarney Stone, Vanvouver

The Town Pants at their New Years Eve Eve Party, The Blarney Stone Pub, downtown Vanvouver. Dec 30th 2010

December 31st - HAPPY HOGMANAY to all the Scots - and Happy New Year to you all !! Mahalo (thankyou) to all our friends and customers who supported Maui Celtic this year. All the best to you and yours for 2011 - see you then !



Sunday December 12th/19th/26th - Tony was back on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of great Celtic music, and even some Celtic Holiday tunes ! Hamish was away on The Irish Rovers Christmas tour and in Vancouver BC for the Holidays. A huge Mahalo to Tony for hosting the show.

Sunday December 19th - The Mad Bagpiper's Yuletide Show rocked ‘Mulligans on the Blue’ in Wailea, when Roger McKinley was playing airs, marches jigs and reels on the Highland Pipes and Smallpipes. Folks came out to celebrate the season Celtic style, with familiar and ancient carols on the pipes. Followed by our own local Irish music with The Celtic Tigers, and Mulligan's own Eileen Nic Shamhradhain, an Irish Dancing National Champion, with group Irish Dance lessons. Call 874-1131 for more weekly details.


Saturday December 18th - over on Oahu The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii played a morning set in Waikiki at the Hale Koa, complete with a fiddler and dancers !

Saturday December 18th - Oahu saw the 5th Annual Winter Solstice Concert with local band Celtic Waves at Hawaii Public Radio’s Atherton Theatre (738 Kaheka St., Honolulu). "Add a Celtic flavor to your holiday season and join us at our annual Winter Solstice Concert. To our ancestors the shortest day marked the lowest ebb of the year, when survival to spring was still uncertain. It also marked the day when the sun was reborn, gradually growing in strength. This important time of the Celtic year, which later became the Christmas season, was celebrated with bonfires and music. While there won’t be any actual flames at the Atherton there will be plenty of “fiery” music on tap. We are especially pleased to announce that we will be joined by two guest artists from Ashland, Oregon with whom many of you are familiar, William Greene of Irish Hearts fame and his wife Kat."

Celtic Waves on Oahu (photo courtesy Celtic Waves)

Celtic Waves on

Saturday, December 11th - A special event took place in Haiku - The Ancient Celtic Circle Of Music For Healing - For Massage Therapists, Harpists, Musicians, Caregivers, and potential harp players - by harpist Christina Tourin. Folks could get an amazing foot massage and see how the use of music enhanced the process!
"The harpers of ancient Ireland were required to have three strains of music at their command: Suantraighe - to create slumber and repose; Goltraighe - to bring about valor and bring a person to tears; and Gentraighe - to set the foot a-tapping and create joyous atmosphere. Christina Tourin works with massage therapists at the San Diego Hospice performing the ancient technique of Celtic massage while she plays the circle of music around the patient. You will learn about the qualities of these strains, how to link the music together in a seamless journey, and how to modulate from one mood to another. A set of modulations will be given to each participant. This workshop is for harpists (bring harps) and for those interested in learning how to play the harp. It also carries over to general music guidelines for other musicians and healing therapists."
A great opportunity for caregivers and musicians and those wanting to learn harp! For more details contact Irene Ryding at (808) 573-2188, or (808) 280-0062, or email irene@mauiharper.com

Saturday December 11th - Lots of Celtic events over on Oahu.......
The Friends of St.Patrick Annual Christmas Party was rocking Ferguson's Irish Pub in Honolulu. Folks at the Pot Luck Dinner brought wrapped gifts for the Children at Kapiolani Womens and Childrens Hospital - they annually donate toys to those unfortuante children who are hospitalized at Christmas time. More details from Bill Comerford at bill@ejlounge.com, or call 808-223-3997.
The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii marched in the Manoa Parade in Honolulu.
The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii presented their Annual Investiture at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki. More details please call the society at 808-381-7216 or email - saintandrewsociety@hawaii.rr.com

Thursday December 9th - the real winter season started for Hamish and Jennifer of Maui Celtic on a visit to sunny but snowy Alberta, Canada (see above).

Hamish Burgess and Liam ClancySunday December 5th - Hamish had a special on the Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. A year yesterday since the passing of Irish singing legend Liam Clancy, Hamish and lovely guest Jennifer Fahrni recalled times with Liam, while playing rare interview clips recorded for this show, and some classic and unusual songs by the Celtic song-master. They threw in some new Celtic tunes and..... a wee bit of Scottish music as Hamish was still in St.Andrew's Day mode from last week ! To cap it off was a ripping set of Solstice/Christmas songs and tunes to end the Maui Celtic Show year with a bang ! ............................Hamish with Liam Clancy

Saturday December 4th - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band played at the Haleakala Waldorf Holiday Faire in Kula - followed later by band members duo of Maui Pipe Dreams. Both acts then zipped over to West Maui to play at the Holiday Lighting of the Banyan Tree in Lahaina. The new duo are piper Allison Jackson and drummer/guitarist Cary Ritt, who play ripping renditions of their favorite jigs and reels and every other type of bagpipe tune imaginable with accompaniment on either guitar or drum. They were joined for some tunes under the tree by local West side bodhran player Bud Clark.

Saturday December 4th - Over on Oahu, The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii marched in the City Lights Parade in Honolulu. With wee lights adorning their bagpipes, they played their rousing sets of Scottish and Irish tunes.

Tuesday November 30th - ST.ANDREW'S DAY GREETINGS 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.

St.Andrew's Day, Maui Celtic style

Celtic Chariot by Hamish Burgess, St.Andrew's Day 2010, Maui

Originally a religious day, called Andermass, to remember the first Apostle, 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 also a branch of The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii in Honolulu.

THE SALTIRE OF SCOTLAND - ST.ANDREW'S FLAGThe Scottish flag, the Saltire, also the term for a diagonal cross, is St.Andrews Cross. 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. Legend 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. The flag represents the silver cross (now in white) on a blue field.

Tuesday November 30th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii presented a Kirkin’ O' the Tartans at Saint Andrew's Cathedral, Honolulu at 5.30pm. Folks wore their tartan and had it blessed ! The ceremony was about 30 minutes, and then SASH provided dinner in the Von Holt room. For more details please call the society at 808-381-7216 or email - saintandrewsociety@hawaii.rr.com

Hamish Burgess tuning up at Pipefest 2010, EdinburghSunday November 28th - Hamish was back on the Maui Celtic Show on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He was playing some new Celtic music, first on the theme of Thanksgiving, with historical facts about the American holiday, and then a St.Andrew's Day Special, with lots of Scottish music, folklore and traditions of the National Scottish Day in honour of the patron Saint of Scotland (see above). He featured the music and song of Greentrax Records, one of the biggest traditional music labels in the world, and interview clips with founder Ian Green, recorded earlier this summer during Hamish's visit to Edinburgh.

Saturday November 27th - The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii marched in the Hawaii Kai Xmas Parade over on Oahu.

Sunday November 21st - Hamish had a very special guest on the Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He and George Millar, founder of the legendary band The Irish Rovers, introduced some new Irish music, and had a great interview about the new Irish Rovers album "Gracehill Fair", and the story of the filming of the new DVD "Home in Ireland". They also chatted about some Rovers history, the hit single "The Unicorn" that made them famous, and George's prolific songwriting. Check them out at www.theirishroversmusic.com

Hamish Burgess and George Millar, Mana'o Radio Studios, Wailuku

Hamish Burgess and George Millar, Mana'o Radio Studios, Wailuku, Maui - November 2010

Saturday November 20th - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band played at the Kula Elementary School Harvest Festival (Kula, Upcountry Maui) at 2:30pm. The festival was open all day with music, crafters and food booths - the event raises funds for school functions.

Saturday November 20th - A Celebration of Andrew Carnegie's 175th Birthday was held on Oahu on the Hawaii State Library Lawn. The Hawaii State Library presented an late morning celebration of the birth of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, featuring entertainment provided by the The Caledonian Society of Hawaii, a non-profit educational and cultural organization founded to further interest in Scotland, the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (Hawaii Branch), and The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii. The 30-minute program was suitable for all ages. For more information, please call the Library's Language, Literature & History Section at 586-3499. The Caledonian Society of Hawaii members then had lunch together at 12:30pm, continuing the Andrew Carnegie birthday celebration at a downtown restaurant located in the Honolulu State Art Museum building.

November 20th - Also over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick Genealogy & History Meeting was held at the Celtic Room behind O'Tooles Pub with a Social immediately following. Host Su Yates broiught in a 1960s National Geographic article about Ireland -- its culture and history. The article predates the troubles of the 70s and omits many newer findings in archealogy and genetic studies. Bill Comerford told about his recent Genealogy based trip to New England and Prince Edward Island. Then of course a Session in the bar and the Guinness Toast contest !


Thursday November 18th - Andrew Carnegie - The Man Who Built 2500 Libraries was the program on Oahu at the Hawaii State Library. Rebecca Knuth, a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, author and noted library historian, discussed the life and legacy of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Knuth has written two books: "Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the 20th Century" (2003) and "Burning Books and Leveling Libraries: Extremist Violence and Cultural Destruction" (2006). The one-hour program will include a question-and-answer session and is suitable for ages 12 and older. This event was sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Hawaii. For more information, call the Library's Language, Literature & History Section at 586-3499.

Evans & DohertySunday November 14th - Hamish was back on the Maui Celtic Show on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui, with some new Celtic music, and a great interview with Brian Doherty of the popular Canadian Maritime duo of Irishmen Evans & Doherty, now in their 25th year performing together ! Brian chatted about their musical partnership, and introduced some songs from throughout their career, starting with the award-winning 'Silver Sea' by Kevin Evans, and ending with new songs, featuring Brian Doherty (photo far right) on lead vocal, from the latest album '25 Years...and They Said It Wouldn't Last'. More info at www.evansanddoherty.com

Saturday, November 13th - Maui Celtic was proud to present the return of a favorite Irish singer to Maui, this time with another great musician - Michael Black & Jon Sanders - for the first time on West Maui ! A great evening of acoustic Celtic music was held at a house-concert in West Maui, at the home of Rev. Paul Tangonan in Lahaina. Folks were treated to a rare intimate evening of fine music, with unusual traditional Irish songs, tunes and stories from Michael on Voice, guitar and banjo, accompanied by Jon on bouzouki and ukulele with traditional tunes, and some of his own masterful compositions. A fun party atmosphere with drinks and pupus, the packed house rocked and sang along with the two masters of their craft - great singer Mike, and Jon "The Bard of the Bouzouki and the Duke of Uke". The lads were also joined on several numbers by Maui's best bodhran player Bud Clark, for some fancy goatskin playing. The finale featured the above trio, and local young singers Lily Telford and Kieran Clark for a rousing version of the shanty 'Billy O'Shea'. Thanks to Pastor Paul of the United Methodist Church for his hospitality and support of live Celtic music. The gang continued to celebrate the birthday of Maui Celtic's own Jennifer Fahrni from the night before, with another cake ! Lahaina's hottest night of Celtic music this year !

Bud Clark (bodhran), Jon Sanders & Michael Black - Lahaina house concert

Michael Black & Jon Sanders, with guest Bud Clark, Lahaina house concert November 2010

Friday, November 12th - A busy day started when Hamish took Michael Black & Jon Sanders to Wailuku for a morning radio show. Joel Agnew’s ‘Aloha Friday’ Show at 11.10am on 1101 AM KAOI, featured a fun interview and great live session from our hot Irish music duo. Joel asked Hamish about the two upcoming Maui Celtic concerts, and the visiting players about their music and careers, between several songs from Michael and tunes fron Jon, including an acient Irish piece on the ukulele. What a hoot ! Cheers, Joel and Lisa !

Joel Agnew & Lisa, Jon Sanders, Michael Black - "Aloha Friday Show' on 1110am KAOI

Michael Black & Jon Sanders on Joel Agnew's "Aloha Friday Show' on 1110am KAOI

That night Maui Celtic was proud to present the return of a top Irish singer to 'Mulligan's on the Blue' in Wailea, this time with another great talent - Michael Black & Jon Sanders played a dinner show at the busy Irish pub on the Blue Golf Course. The evening kicked off with a fabulous special chef's dinner, with the start of the show heralded on the Highland bagpipes by Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley (the Mad Bagpiper from Mulligan's regular Sunday night of Celtic music). Then came the hot duo of Michael on guitar, vocals and banjo, and Jon with traditional tunes, and some of his own masterful compositions on bouzouki and ukulele. "The Bard of the Bouzouki and the Duke of Uke" rocked from Ireland to Afghanistan and back on his left-handed instruments, and Michael treated the attentive audience to unusual songs in the Irish tradition, a few mad stories, and some hopping jigs and reels. The gang celebrated the birthday of Maui Celtic's own Jennifer Fahrni tonight with a cake (thankyou Paul and Jen), and the obligatory sing-along. The craic was mighty in Mulligans !

Jon Sanders & Michael Black at Mulligans on the Blue, Wailea

Michael Black & Jon Sanders at Mulligans on the Blue, Wailea, Maui - November 2010

Michael Black is a great Irish singer of the famous Black Family (Mary, Frances, Shay, Michael and Martin) and The Black Brothers from Dublin, and has rejuvenated his solo career, starting right here on Maui with shows in 2007 and 2008. With guitar and banjo and his fine tenor voice he'll be singing traditional Irish songs and telling stories. The legendary Liam Clancy saw him perform at Mulligan's and loved it - he was thrilled with the unusual Irish songs Michael has in his repertoire, and even joined him on-stage for a song !
Based now in San Fransisco, Michael has performed with many of Ireland’s best musicians including Nollaig Casey, Paddy Keenan, John Whelan, Liz Carroll and John Doyle, and at the Celtic Colors Festival in Nova Scotia. His solo album Michael Black (2007), produced by John Doyle was voted “Album of the Year” by Celtic Connections radio show.
There's enough pristine music tucked inside this solo collection ….to power a rocket." - The Irish Times
This is an album that’s beautifully simple and simply beautiful….Michael’s voice shines through on every track” - Irish Music Magazine.
Featured on the album are Mary, Frances, Shay and Martin Black, John Doyle, Liz Carroll, John Williams, Dirk Powell and Seamus Egan, amongst others. Michael continues to play guitar and banjo, but his real love is the songs. Michael believes that songs and music “are good for the soul” and this inherent love of music continues to give him an emotional lift that can only inspire musical endeavors in the years to come.

String wizard Jon Sanders & great Irish singer Michael Black on Maui

Michael Black & Jon Sanders, Lahaina house concert November 2010

Jon Sanders is recognised as a leading exponent in drop D and DADGAD guitar playing, a virtuoso bouzouki player and  tenor ukulele player. The New Zealand & Co.Kerry resident is a long-time regular of the Dingle traditional Irish music scene, playing with accordianist/singer Seamus & Brendan Begley, Michael and Mary Black, singer Eilis Kennedy, and Uillean piper Eoin Duignan, to name only a few. In NZ he is a member of  Taistealai, a  irish trad/nu-folk Auckland band. Jon's new album Twigs of the Neem Tree has received culpable praise across the music industry in its first week of release. Jon: “Bouzouki is probably my favourite instrument, leaping effortlessly over so many musical boundaries and genres - you’ll hear classical, jazz funk and contemporary acoustic styles here. And the tenor ukulele makes a perfect platform to transpose music from other instruments and bring a smile to the audience at the same time - I’ve arranged music as diverse as Irish polkas and ancient harp tunes alongside blue grass meltdowns on this album!”
"A bold explorer and an original thinker.. quantum leaping. A canny musical curiosity that refuses to be boxed in" - Siobhan Long, The Irish Times reviewing the Latitudes album.
"The whole album is a therapeutic journey through music that shows Jon's love for the bouzouki and ukulele. If music is indeed therapy then Jon Sanders has a degree in it. The Bard of the Bouzouki and the Duke of Uke" - Mike O'Hare, West Kerry Live.

Jon Sanders and Michael BlackSunday November 7th - along with new Celtic music on the Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui, Hamish had a great interview with Michael Black & Jon Sanders, coming to Maui for concerts the next weekend. Michael Black is a great Irish singer of the famous Black Family. Jon Sanders is recognised as a leading guitar player, a virtuoso bouzouki player and  tenor ukulele player, being called the "The Bard of the Bouzouki and the Duke of Uke". The lads chatted on the 'phone from San Fransisco about their solo music and careers, and their musical partnership. Michael is about to make his third visit to Maui, and Jon his first (see above for concert reviews).

right - Jon Sanders and Michael Black

Sunday October 31st - SAMHAIN GREETINGS TO ALL ! - HAPPY CELTIC NEW YEAR. Hamish was back on the Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The show was a Samhain/Halloween Special, with Celtic music for the time of year, and folklore and traditions of the season. Special guest actress Jennifer Fahrni told some of the Samhain traditions (see below).

'SAMHAIN' © Hamish Burgess 2010. Original Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the November issue. The first of a series of four seasonal works. More details and explanation on our Gallery page.

'Samhain' by Hamish Douglas Burgess © 2010
The start of each season was marked by a major festival, starting with the Celtic New Year 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, marked the beginning of Winter, with the harvesting finished and the start of stockpiling fuel and produce. Bonfires were lit, and household fires extinguished to be rekindled later from the ceremonial fires, to welcome returning souls of the dead. Young folk would jump thru the fires to cleanse themselves for the new year, or run sunwise around the fire, getting closer each time till it became too hot, the bravest having the best luck in the coming year.
The ancient Druids believed the Lord of Death, Saman, gathered together evil souls, and so the Irish called this evening Oiche Samhna (The Vigil of Saman). In Manx it was Savin , or Hop Tu Naa (this is the night), and in Welsh it was Nos Galan Gaeaf (winter's eve), and in Breton it was Nos Kentan 'r Bloaz (the first night of the year). 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.
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 Christian church placed a festival on the same day, dedicated to Saints who did not have their own specific day - 'The Feast of all Saints' - with the night before being 'All Saints' Eve' or 'All Hallows' Eve', hence the term "Hallowe'en".
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, likely comes from the ancient Celtic practice of placing skulls of the dead on poles around the encampment, to drive away evil spirits.

October 30th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held a Samhain Party in Honolulu. More details please call the society at 808-381-7216 or email - saintandrewsociety@hawaii.rr.com

Friday October 29th - Oahu's traditional band Celtic Waves played at Wards Rafters in Honolulu.
Celtic Waves celebrated "Samhain", with the Celtic “New Years Eve.” This is the day that became "Hallowed Eve" and is when the veil between the dead and the living is said to be thinnest. The custom of “disguise” developed to keep the ghosts who were out and about from recognizing the revelers. The band honored dear, departed loved ones with an evening of music, song and laughter, Irish style - they prepared new songs and new instrumentals especially for this performance.

Patrick Ball as O'CarolanFriday, October 29th - Maui folks had a rare treat when the brilliant Celtic harp player Patrick Ball came to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center with his one-man play with music, "O'Carolan's Farewell To Music". A great performance, to a full house at the McCoy Studio Theater, saw seasoned stor-teller Patrick in the role of Charles McCabe, recounting his travels with friend and legendary Irish composer and harpist Turlough O'Carolan. The scenes were complimented by fabulous harp tunes by O'Carolan from Patrick.
Patrick Ball is one of the premier Celtic harp players in the world and a captivating spoken word artist. In playing the ancient, legendary brass-strung harp of Ireland with its crystalline, bell-like voice, and in performing marvelous tales of wit and enchantment, he not only brings new life to two cherished traditions, but blends them in concert to create "a richly theatrical and hauntingly beautiful performance." Patrick's tour of Hawaii also included shows at UH Manoa's Orvis Auditorium on Oahu, and at the University of Hawaii in Hilo, Hawaii (Big Island). Above photo by Pat Crowe.

October 27th-30th - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii sponsored some lectures of the VISAWUS (Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States) annual conference in Honolulu. Conference organizer was Dr Richard Fulton, a Caledonian Society member. The Caledonian Society co-sponsored the lecture “When Jesus Surfed to Hawai‘i: How a Queen Was Deposed and a Scots-Hawaiian Princess Martyr Was Created” by David Finkelstein (Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh) on Wed Oct 27th in the Old Archives Building at ‘Iolani Palace. Also the series of panels on Robert Louis Stevenson on Sat Oct 30th at the Pacific Beach Hotel – Robert Louis Stevenson Plenary, Ahi Room. Including: "Robert Louis Stevenson: the Victorian Scot in Oceania" by Barry Menikoff (University of Hawai‘i); Robert Louis Stevenson - Arnold Schmidt (CSU Stanislaus), Moderator; ‘Who shall say’ who is who in The Isle of Voices? How Robert Louis Stevenson Viewed Pacific Islanders’ Perceptions of Victorians and of Themselves by Sylvie Largeaud-Ortega (Université de Polynésie Français - Tahiti); Illustrating Island Nights’ Entertainments: The Problem of Exotic Authenticity by Richard Hill (Chaminade University); Photography and Realism in In the South Seas by Carla Manfredi (Queen’s University - CA).

Also of Scots interest - on Friday Oct 29th during - The Wyllie, Robert Crichton by Bud Clark (University of Glasgow - UK); Light in the Garden: an Alternative Biography of Ka‘iulani by Ralph Lalepa Koga (University of Hawai‘i at Manoa).

Wednesday October 20th - The Hawaii Bar Owners Association hosted a fundraiser with their 2nd Annual Scotch, Steaks and Stogies Whiskey Tasting at the Honolulu Celtic Cultural Center (6 Marin Lane - behind O'Tooles).

Jez Lowe, by Kathryn PottsSunday October 17th - Hamish was back on the Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The first hour of the show featured a live 'phone interview with prolific Geordie singer/songwriter Jez Lowe from the UK, who was on tour in New England. They had a great chat about his home area, music, and stories behind his songs. Recognised as a musical ambassador for his native North East England, 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. In 2006 Jez participated in a hugely successful series for the BBC, entitled THE RADIO BALLADS, which went on to be honoured with two SONY RADIO ACADEMY Awards and Jez himself was nominated as 'FOLKSINGER OF THE YEAR' in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2008.
The show also had a dedication to newly-wed friends Liam & Maluhia Cooney on Kauai (see below). Above - Jez Lowe - photo Kathryn Potts

Lahaina Royal Hoike 2010Saturday, October 16th - an historic event took place on Maui this day - the LAHAINA ROYAL HO'IKE - From the Keiki to Ka'iulani and the Crown - a celebration of the Hawaiian Kingdom Bicentennial (1810-2010), honoring the most famous Hawaiian Scot Princess Victoria Ka'iulani on her 135th birthday, and Queen Keopuolani at her resting place, the Historical and Sacred Grounds of Waiola Church on Wainee Street in Lahaina. An experience of Lahaina's Royal Past and the vibrant culture of Hawai'i, at the House of Keopuolani, the wife and mother of Kings, to honor those who came before.
An all-day free event showcasing Hawaiian music and culture, with a wee bit of Scottish content in honor of the Princess. The day started at Kahului ariport, where the only official portrait of Queen Keopuolani, carried by the Hawaii Royal Order of Guards from Honolulu, was met by a salute from Maui's Royal Hawaiian Guard - not entirely smoothly when the visiting Guards were stopped during a traditional chant or Oli. The Royal Guards escort the portrait of Queen Keopuolani to the Lahaina Royal Hoike

The Royal Hawaiian Guard, and Hawaii Royal Order of Guards escort the portrait of Queen Keopuolani to the Lahaina Royal HoikeAfter the official arrival and procession of the painting to the Queen's tomb, folks enjoyed Hawaiian music and hula, with a spectacular backdrop of the West Maui Mountains. Hawaiian talent included Kahikolu (the Davis Ohana from Big Island), The Krueger Ohana, The Kahaiali’i Ohana joined by local falsetto legend Richard Ho’opi’i, and Na Kamali'i O Ke Akua, as well as Hawaiian nose-flute expert Anthony Natividad and Native American flute music from Kamama. There was Scottish bagpiping from Hamish Burgess, and Celtic music from Maui's newest band Celtic Hart.

Not to mention Hawaiian military historian and author Neil Dukas, UH and the University of Glasgow's Bud Clark (who specializes on the life of Scotsman Robert Crichton Wyllie, who served under three King Kamehameha's), Maui Historical Society and Bailey House Museum, as well as guided tours by the Friends of Moku'ula of the neighboring Sacred grounds of Moku'ula, where Maui College archeologists are uncovering the spring-fed waters of Loko o Mokuhinia. As well as childrens' activities, there were many local food booths and Hawaiian craft artisans there were Scottish booths Maui Celtic and historian John Crowe's Celtic Heraldry Creations, and local action group Save Honolua.

Below right - The Hawaii Royal Order of Guards with the portrait of Queen Keopuolani and Princess Ka'iulani at the Lahaina Royal Hoike

The Hawaii Royal Order of Guards with the portrait of Queen Keopuolani and Princess Ka'iulani at the Lahaina Royal Hoike The Ka'iulani Project presented Lu'au o Ka'iulani at sundown - an authentic Hawaiian feast prepared by The Royal Order of Kamehameha, while folks enjoyed the fine music of Grammy winning Richard Ho'opii, and could bid on the silent auction of cool donations from local businesses. Then the gathering was witness to cultural protocols to honor Hawaii's Royalty that are rarely performed or seen in public, some for the first time in over 100 years. For the first time in history the official portrait of Queen Keopuolani sat at her tomb, brought in with a procession with The Royal Hawaiian Guard, Hawaii Royal Order of Guards, and Royal Order of Kamehameha, commencing with a chant and blowing of the Pu shell by Sam Ka'ai. Next followed a new life-size painting of Princess Ka'iulani by Matt Holton, with Hamish Burgess bagpiping the Princess' Cleghorn Family descendants to their seats. A special moment next, when Ho'okupu offerings to Queen Keopuolani were presented at her tomb, and ho'okupu to Princess Ka'iulani were presented by kupuna to the grand-niece of Hawaii's Crown Princess. Hamish Burgess as representative from the Caledonian Society of Hawaii, presented a plaid of Hawaii Tartan, to honor the Princess' family roots on her father's side. For video by Wendy Osher of MauiNow.com - Lahaina Royal Ho'ike

Finally, the group traveled 135 years back in time to learn the gripping story of Princess Ka'iulani, the daughter of a double race, told with readings of selected scenes from the original upcoming production Ka’iulani - The Island Rose, with projected historical photographs, music and hula.

Camille Romero and Jennifer Fahrni reading Ka’iulani - The Island Rose

Camille Romero and Jennifer Fahrni reading 'Ka'iulani - The Island Rose' at the Lahaina Royal Ho'ike

Performers included Camille Romero (Ka'iulani), Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaiali'i (King Kalakaua), Brian Connelly (Archibald Cleghorn), Steve Hatcher (Robert Louis Stevenson), Jennifer Fahrni (Gertrude Gardinier), Hamish Burgess (Scottish bagpiper), and Halau ‘O Keaunui ‘O Maui, with some beautiful hula. Also included were some never before seen photographs, and recently uncovered information from Bishop Museum archivists. For more on this very special event, visit the The Ka'iulani Project. For video by Wendy Osher of MauiNow.com - Lahaina Royal Ho'ike

Saturday October 16th - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held A Joyful Celebration of the Life of Alexander Pratt at Heather MacGregor's Alexander Manor in Honolulu. ALEX PRATT, a fixture at Caledonian Society events for 40 years, died 30 September after a long illness. Alex came to Hawaii in 1970 and he will be much missed by the Society. Folks shared their "Alex" story and enjoyed the musical and piping tributes to him. Also that day the Society celebrated HARRY LAUDER - with his famous kilt and nobby sticks, THE musical hall entertainer of the early part of the last century - in a program presented by Bill and Helen Wynn at St. Clement's Parish Hall in Honolulu. They were assisted by music hall entertainer Helen Baskett and noted pianist Susan Spangler - an uplifting, joyous celebration of Lauder, a great Scot and minstrel of the world. Surely Alex Pratt will be singing along from above.

Saturday October 16th - The Friends of St.Patrick Pumpkin Carving Meeting and Costume contest for Keiki’s was at the Celtic Room behind O'Toole's Irish Pub in Honolulu. They had a Costume contest for the Children, Bobbing for Apples and of course will have a Pumpkin Carving contest as well. Mike Griffin hosted a session of Irish and Folk Music on stage and of course the monthly competition of the Guinness Toast Contest.

Sunday October 10th - Tony was back with some great new Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He was in for Hamish who was off piping and as best man at his friend Liam's wedding on Kauai.

Two great friends of Maui Celtic, Liam and Maluhia Cooney were married on Kauai today at Secret Beach on the north shore. At the fabulous location decorated with flowers by friends, close friends and family gathered to the sounds of bagpipe music and Hawaiian song and guitar. Best man Hamish Burgess walked maid of honor Sre to the circle, then returned to pipe the lovely bride down the aisle to the groom. After an intimate barefoot wedding ceremony and an impromptu Hawaiian love song by Haku Asing, Hamish piped the new Mr. & Mrs.Cooney out to greet their guests. The reception was at an amazing location with terraced tropical gardens, with a great mix of Indian and Celtic music, and friends and family all giving speeches and toasting the couple. All the best to Liam and Maluhia - Slainte !!

Liam and Maluhia Cooney wedding on Kauai, 10-10-10

Liam and Maluhia Cooney wedding on Kauai, 10-10-10

Hamish and Liam have been surfing friends for years, both living on Oahu, before Hamish moved to Maui and started Maui Celtic - Liam lived on Hawaii and now Kauai, where he met Maluhia.

Sunday Sept 26th and October 3rd - Hamish was back with some great new music on the Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Hamish brought back a suitcase of new music and and interviews for the show while in the old Celtic Lands recently. He found new Celtic music from Galicia and the Asturias in Northern Spain, Brittany in north-west France, Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and even a pipe band album from the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean !

Saturday September 25th - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held their First Annual Summer Book Discussion & High Tea, discussion based on two novels by Alexander McCall Smith, "44 Scotland Street" and "Espresso Tales."

Saturday September 18th - The Friends of St.Patrick on Oahu held their Halfway to St Patrick’s Day and their Annual Irish Whiskey Tasting in the Celtic Room behind O'Toole's. Music by Murray Thorne of Maui, and then Doolin Rakes. The bar put on several Irish Whiskeys on special that night, including Michael Collins and Tullamore Dew. bill@ejlounge.com. Also in conjuction with The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii Whisky,  Scotch and Scones- saintandrewsociety@hawaii.rr.com

September 17th & 18th - folks on Oahu celebrated Halfway to St Patrick’s Day with an evening block party on Merchant St, fronting Murphy’s. As this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, the local Oahu Pipe Band, they were belting out the pipe tunes. Live contemporary and Celtic music from Murray Thorne of Maui at O'Toole's Irish Pub, and Oahu's own Doolin' Rakes played outside on the street until 10pm, before moving into O'Toole's to rock the joint until the wee hours. It was also the start of the 6 month run of the Guinness Toast Contest, where trying your hand at composing & delivering the best toast could win you a trip to Las Vegas. For more details contact Bill Comerford - bill@ejlounge.com.



September 7th-19th - Hamish and Jennifer of Maui Celtic were on an amazing trip with the legendary Irish Rovers to their homeland of Northern Ireland to help shoot their soon upcoming DVD - Home in Ireland. The next 13 days were spent at beautiful locations around Ulster and the north coast, in the great company of George and Anne Millar, Wilcil McDowell, John Reynolds, Sean O'Driscoll, Ian Millar, and Fred Graham. Not to mention Bill Girdwood, engineer extraordinaire, and the crew of Red Box Media Productions, producing the film, led by Steve Hanly and Liam Creagh, and all-round great folks Andrew Cooper and Joan Grenville.

Irish Rovers at Carnlough Harbour, Co.Antrim

Irish Rovers at Carnlough Harbour, Co.Antrim, September 2010

Based in Templepatrick for the first three days, the first location on Wednesday was at Carnlough in Co.Antrim, with it's beautiful harbour full of fishing boats. The lads had shot a film here 30 years ago, and some folks who remembered that day turned up to say hello ! The song filmed at various locations around the docks and sea wall that day was "The Boys of Killibegs", with the boys recording a verse of "I'll Return" (to be filmed at several locations during the week). After a fine lunch in The Londonderry Arms Hotel, the crew were back around the harbour, where word was out about the filmshoot, and a few fans had turned up to greet the Rovers, Reporter Gary Grattan from the Belfast Telegraph filmed an interview with George and Wilcil (view here), and folks from the Carnlough Community Association, whose office is there in the harbour, came out to see what was going on.
That night in the hotel bar in Templepatrick was a craic with some of the Rovers, and Cathall McConnell, flute player and singer with legendary Celtic band Boys of the Lough.
The next morning, Thursday, the crew were off to Portglenone, Co.Antrim, for a fun pub session filming at The Wild Duck, on the banks of the River Bann. (below photo Michael Marrs)

Irish Rovers film-shoot at The Wild Duck Pub, Portglenone, Co.Antrim

Irish Rovers film-shoot at The Wild Duck Pub, Portglenone, Co.Antrim, September 2010

With an audience of local folks, friends and fans, guest singer Cathall McConnell performed the brilliant unaccompanied "Dunn" song in a pub fireplace setting, followed by The Irish Rovers recording "Black Velvet Band", "The Girls of Derry", and Sean on main vocal for the humourous "When the Wife is Mad at Me". For a ripping version of "The Rambling Boys of Pleasure" the band were joined by guest musicians Cathal McConnell on flute, fiddler Gerry O'Connor, son Donal O'Connor on piano, and Martin Quinn on accordion. That quartet carried on for their own guest spot in the DVD with a great set of traditional tunes. What a brilliant day of music !
Friday's destination was the dramatic location shoot at the ruins of 16th century Dunluce Castle, between Portrush and Bushmills, Co.Antrim. A castle here since at least the 13th century, the present remains were the home of the MacDonnell Clan, perched on a cliff top penninsula connected to the mainland by a bridge. After a cup o' tea in the Wee Cottage to warm up before the sun came out, it was off into the fields for a shot with the castle behind the lads on the cliff-top.

The Irish Rovers at Dunluce Castle, Co.Antrim

The Irish Rovers at Dunluce Castle, Co.Antrim, September 2010

Then we moved into the castle courtyard for a shot, then after a fine luch back in the Wee Cottage, it was onto the island to the kitchen and Great Hall courtyards for two more scenes. Today's song was of course George Millar's "Dunluce Castle", telling the story of how the only way the castle was brought down was in a storm one night in 1639, when part of the kitchen fell down the cliff and into the sea ! After another a verse of "I'll Return" on film, the convoy headed down to White Rocks Beach for the last shoot this great sunny day, on the sands with the white cliffs as a grand backdrop.
That evening was spent around our new base in the town of Portrush - a busy Friday night down by the harbour pubs and restaurants. The town is a tourist destination, not to mention a surfing area !
Saturday was an early start to the remote but lovely Ballintoy Harbour, Co.Antrim, for today's filmshoot of the song "Dear Little Shamrock Shore". Originally a quarry and mining harbour built in the mid-18th century, looking north from here you can see Rathlin Island, while around us were rugged limestone cliffs and bays. A challenging day for the Red Box Media crew, with the sun going in and out constantly, affecting the lighting, and a rainshower mid-song had the lads scattering off the beach for cover ! A spectacular location with a beach cottage and secluded bays, and unusual conical rock stacks.

The Irish Rovers at Ballintoy, Co.Antrim

The Irish Rovers at Ballintoy, Co.Antrim, September 2010

After getting the re-take it was off to Belfast for a radio interview with Gerry Kelly on BBC Ulster. The Irish Rovers played "A Long Time Ago" live in the studio, and chatted to Gerry about the video filming, and all of the lads being back on home ground together (except for Sean, who is from Cork). Watch on YouTube here.

The Irish Rovers with Gerry Kelly on BBC Ulster, Jennifer Fahrni filming

The Irish Rovers with Gerry Kelly on BBC Ulster, with Jennifer Fahrni filming. September 2010

A chilly Sunday morning saw the crew meet at the car park of The Giant's Causeway, near Bushmills, Co.Antrim. A bunch of stories passed the time waiting for the helicopter to arrive, for an aerial shot of the Rovers out on top of the cliff above the legendary rock formation. The natural wonder is a rocky headland with 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, mostly hexagonal, but some with four, five, seven and eight sides. In legend, the Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) built the causeway to get to Scotland to fight another giant. There is a similar area of basalt formations at Fingal's Cave on the isle of Staffa in Scotland. The lads waited at the top of the cliff while the chopper flew round for takes from several angles, until a coachload of elderly Spanish tourists couldn't be delayed by the crew any longer !!

Giants Causeway, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland

Giants Causeway, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland

Then Hamish and Jennifer, and George and Anne made a mad dash to Belfast to meet Ivan Martin of UTV radio U105 for an interview with George, whom Ivan called a 'rock god' for racing around Ulster to get to his show. After a brief stop by the vllage of Gracehill, featured in the title track of the Irish Rovers latest album "Gracehill Fair", it was back to the Co. Antrim to Slemish Mountain, near Ballymena (in Irish called Slieve Mish, a 1437 feet high volcanic rock). According to legend, Saint Patrick, as a 16 year-old youth in captivity, tended sheep on the mountainside. He was captured in Britain by pirates around 401 AD, and sold to local Irish chief Milchu, who put him to work. After 6 years he escaped to France and trained as a monk, coming back to Ireland in 432 as a Christian missionary. A much different age today with the helicopter ferrying the Irish Rovers to the summit, while Hamish climbed up the steep heather-covered rock face, only to find a group of fundraisers in bright green wigs in the filming area ! They conveniently left the group with the spectacular views to themselves, before the chopper cirlced several times to film the lads at the top of the windswept crag.

Slemish Mountain, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland

Slemish Mountain, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland

Monday it was off to Belfast, our base for the next week, next door to the Waterfront Hall, the venue for the big concert filming, and afternoon soundchecks. The gang met Rovers fans Norm and Janet Dell, who came all the way from Michigan as special guests. One thrill of the trip for Hamish was seeing his commissioned new Celtic art Unicorn and Mandolin logo for the band as a 12 foot high backdrop on stage behind the Irish Rovers at their Belfast Waterfront Hall concert !

Hamish's art behind The Irish Rovers at Belfast Waterfront Hall

The Irish Rovers at Belfast Waterfront Hall, Sept 14th 2010

Tuesday was the big day of rehearsals, dress rehearsals and the filmed concert. Joining The Irish Rovers for the performance were their album musicians, great Uileann piper and whistle player Patrick Davey, and Morris Crum on keyboards, who recorded a beautiful version of "Dark Island" with the band. The audience of several hundred fans arrived at the free concert, and were warmed up by a local comedian, before the start of filming. Several songs were recorded with a few takes and camera angles, with a bit of stopping and starting and much hilarity.

(L) John Reynolds, Mick Foster & Tony Allen, George Millar - (R) Doherty Irish Dancers

Foster & Allen with Irish Rovers, Waterfront Hall Belfast, Sept 2010Doherty Irish Dancers, Irish Rovers filming, Waterfront Hall Belfast, Sept 2010

Special guests were the chart-topping duo Foster & Allen, with Mick Foster on vocals and guitar, and Tony Allen on accordion, who recorded their hit "Maggie", and raucous Irish song "Muirsheen Durkin", and joined the Rovers for their classic "Drunken Sailor". The grand finale was the filming of the world champion Doherty Irish Dancers with several special dances learnt with the lads instumental music. Although all fabulous champion dancers, the darling of the show was the very young blonde, probably only about 4 years old. The audience were all treated to free sandwiches and the new Irish Rovers CD "Gracehill Fair" to take home. Another amazing and exhausting day !

Glenarm Castle in the rain, Co.Antrim

Glenarm Castle, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland

The Irish Rovers film-shoot at Glenarm River, the Glens of Antrim, September 2010Wednesday - off on location to the beautiful Glens of Antrim, to Glenarm Castle, in the harbour town of Glen Arm, near Ballymena. One of Northern Ireland’s oldest estates, Glenarm Castle has been home to the McDonnell family, Earls of Antrim, since the early 17th century. First shoot of the day was avoiding many cow-pats out in the fields with the castle as a background, filming "I'll Return". Then off through the estate and up the Glenarm River to a scene by an old iron bridge, also a fine fishing spot, with John Reynolds showing us how to fly fish. Rain stopped play for a while at lunchtime, which didn't stop Hamish taking some photos in town of the castle. After lunch, back up-river to an old stone bridge with small rapids either side, to wrap the day up with the boys singing on the scenic hump-back bridge.

The Irish Rovers film-shoot at Glenarm River

A late start on Thursday for the location shoot at Galgorm Manor close to Ballymena, Co.Antrim. A grand house in a beautiful setting by rapids on the River Maine. Foster & Allen were the first shoot of the day by the river, folllowed by the Irish Rovers with "Gracehill Fair" and "I'll Return" at 2 different spots.

Red Box Media Productions filming The Irish Rovers at Galgorm, on the River Maine

The Irish Rovers film-shoot at Galgorm Manor, on the River Maine, Co.Antrim - filmed by Red Box Media Productions

Lunch was in the fabulous Gillies restaurant at the manor, a cross between a Highland lodge and a tiki bar ! The day ran late with a bit of rain, and finished off with another great location by the cottage near the Great Hall of Galgorm Manor, featuring the Rovers and special set dances from some of the lads and lasses of the World Champion Doherty Irish Dancers.

Doherty Irish Dancers and The Irish Rovers at Galgorm Manor

Doherty Irish Dancers and The Irish Rovers at Galgorm Manor, Co.Antrim, September 2010

That night some of the gang went to a great traditional music session at the Lisbarnett House, a great wee pub in Lisbane, just outside Comber in the County Down. Hamish on Scottish smallpipes, the Rovers' Fred Graham on bodhran and Ian Millar with guitar and singing, and Norm Dell on smallpipes, sat in for a few numbers with host Andrew Cooper (fiddle and banjo) and the local lads - the craic was mighty ! A highlight were 2 brilliant humourous poems by Finbar Magee.

Traditional music session at Lisbarnett House, Lisbane, near Comber, Co.Down

Traditional music session at Lisbarnett House, Lisbane, near Comber, Co.Down

The weather had been good to The Irish Rovers and the Red Box Media crew, with only a few showers all week, so the final 2 pick-up days were not needed. On Friday, our Maui Celtic travelers sat in on a production meeting, then headed with Anne and George to his home town of Ballymena, to check it out, and found a photo of his young self alongside another of local Liam Neeson, at the town hall. There are many more photos of this amazing film-shoot at The Irish Rovers - Band official page on Facebook.

George and Eddie Furey, Festival of the Peninsula, Newtownards, Co.Down, Sept 2010That night Hamish and Jennifer headed to Newtownards, Co.Down, to the Festival of the Peninsula, so see a concert by the legendary Fureys. Brothers Eddie and George Furey, told some funny stories and sang their hits, and ripped some wild instrumentals with younger musicians Luke Crowley, Dominic Leech and Dan Lynch. A grand concert with an appreciative crowd, who sang along with such great songs as "When you Were Sweet Sixteen", "Steal Away", "The Old Man", "Green Fields of France", and many more. Hamish recorded a fun interview backstage with the brothers Furey, for his Maui Celtic Radio Show. Thanks to Alastair McDowell for hosting us at the Festival.

The Fureys, Festival of the Peninsula, Newtownards, Co.Down

The Fureys, Festival of the Peninsula, Newtownards, Co.Down, Sept 2010

Saturday the weather broke to torrential rain, fortunately after filming had wrapped up. Hamish and Jennifer headed west to just past Armagh City to the Navan Fort Centre, the ancient site of Emain Macha, the seat of the high kings of Ulster. Steeped in Irish mythology, this is where the tales of the Red Branch warriors, and legendary hero CuChulainn are centered. The centre itself is spectacular, with a grass mound over the building, and a pillared hall with great artworks of the legends.

Emain Macha the ancient seat of Ulster - Navan Fort, Co.Armagh

Emain Macha, Navan Fort, Co.Armagh

Our Maui Celtic duo were met by manager Gillian, whose hospitality was boundless - thankyou. They also met the Mayor of Armagh City, Councillor Jim Speers, there for a different event, but a great photo op for a local journalist with our Hawaii visitors to the centre. They toured the brilliant audio-visual interactive part of the centre, before heading out into the rain to the ancient Celtic dwelling peopled with bronze-age clansfolk. They only speak to you in character, and explain their way of life, and everyday chores - even actually cooking unleven bread ! Next our knowlegable guide Matthew took us up to the mound of Navan Fort itself, high atop a hill and surrounded by earthworks - the view of all of Ulster from here is stunning.

Ancient Celts at the Navan Fort Centre, Co.Armagh

Ancient Celts at the Navan Fort Centre, Co.Armagh

For more details, please visit their website at www.navan.com. Thanks to Joan Grenville of Red Box Media Productions for setting the visit up.

Sunday was another free day in Belfast. Hamish was about to book an open-top bus tour of the city, when the young man who was concierge at the hotel suggested a unique tour of Belfast - a personal black cab tour of 'The Troubles'. As he wanted to gain a better understanding of the turbulent local history, and photograph the famous murals, this was the way to go. Our duo were picked up by Bobbie Thompson, a knowledgable and impartial guide, who took them to the Shankill Road and Falls Road.

Shankill Road (left) and Falls Road (right) wall murals, West Belfast

Shankill Road mural, West BelfastFalls Road mural, West Belfast

He explained the history of the area, and the murals, while showing us the huge paintings, the burnt-out Crumlin Rd Courthouse, the massive West Belfast 'Peace Wall', and one of the original memorial gardens. An informative, emotional, and startling insight to the everyday life of a troubled community, that outsiders have generally only heard about in the media, and have little understanding of the reality.
Then it was a pint of Guinness in the historic "Crown" pub, and a look round Belfast City centre. An amazing end to an incredible week in Northern Ireland. Thanks to The Irish Rovers for allowing us to be part of the journey.


Friday August 19th-22nd - Hamish and Jennifer of Maui Celtic were over on Vancouver Island for their friends George and Anne Millar's wedding. The fun time started in Victoria Thursday night at The Bard & Banker Scottish Pub, where they met all the Irish Rovers and family for the first time - great food and conversation !

Deep Cove , Saanich, BC

Deep Cove , Saanich, BC

Friday was the wedding, at an amazing location near Sidney on the Saanich Penninsula, at Deep Cove Chalet. The fine restaurant has fabulous gardens overlooking a tranquil bay, perfect for weddings. George looked dapper for his lovely bride Anne, in a beautiful dress, and even the rest of The Irish Rovers got spruced up for the occasion. There was a fine classical music quartet of ladies, cousin Ian Millar sang a song for the couple, and our own Hamish Burgess piped the couple out with some lively tunes on the Great Highland Bagpipe.

George & Anne Millar wedding, Deep Cove Chalet, Vancouver Island

George & Anne Millar wedding, Deep Cove Chalet, Sidney BC, August 2010

Thanks to George & Anne for the above Frances Litman wedding photograph.

What a great wedding ! After an amazing dinner and a few drinks and speeches, it was time for the ride back to Victoria - but not before owner Chef Pierre had heard Hamish remark on his piper's choice of whisky, an old blend called Vat 69 that his grandad had been partial to (and left Hamish and his brother a bottle of), an unusual choice in amongst some fine and rare whiskys. Unopened for 30 years until that day, Pierre took the bottle down and gave it to Hamish to take home - it almost survived the limo ride with some of the Rovers ! Thankyou Pierre - a grand gift and memory.

George Millar and Hamish Burgess, Victoria BC, August 2010Saturday it was party time, starting in the afternoon at a beautiful house near Victoria on a quiet bay, and time for a stroll on the beachat sunset. Back to the marquee for a nice buffet dinner, a rock 'n' roll band, an Elvis impersonator, and then a surprise set from The Irish Rovers themselves, including George at his own wedding ! The criac continued late with a kitchen party until the wee hours, with George and the lads on guitars, and Hamish on smallpipes, with plenty of singing. Sunday saw the farewell brunch buffet with all the gang, before folks headed off in all directions.

George Millar and Hamish Burgess

A fabulous four day celebration of the hitching of the nicest couple you could meet, George and Anne Millar.

A few of the gang headed to The Irish Times in Victoria that night, to see great young local musicians Qristina and Quinn Bachand. Qristina plays fiddle and her younger brother Quinn plays guitar - they were joined by Felix Prummel on flute, and several local musicians for a brilliant night of traditional music, with everything through Irish, Scottish, and French, to Canadian and Cape Breton. Hamish interviewed them about their first CD "Relative Minors", that he has been playing on his Maui Celtic Radio Show. Check out the Bachands at www.qbachand.com

Felix Prummel, Qristina and Quinn Bachand, Irish Times Pub, Victoria BC

Felix Prummel, Qristina and Quinn Bachand, Irish Times Pub, Victoria BC - August 2010




Sundays July 18th-Sept 19th - Tony was playing great Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Hamish was away gathering new music and interviews for the show in the old Celtic Lands......see below. Mahalo Tony !

August 20th - The Friends of St.Patrick on Oahu held Finnegan’s Wake - a pub crawl between all the Downtown Irish Pubs. Folloewed the next day by The Hangover meeting, where they do annual organizing of their files and library. Contact Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997 or bill@ejlounge.com

Sunday August 8th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii presented their 4th annual Blue Shamrock Kilted Golf Tournament at Pearl Country Club in Aiea, Oahu. Grand prize for a Hole in One was a trip for two, to Scotland for a week and golf at the famous Saint Andrews. Kilts were encouraged to be worn. A portion of the funds raised to be donated to the Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii.

Sunday July 11th-August 19th - part of the Maui Celtic crew, namely Hamish Burgess of West Maui, and Chuck Wall of Kailua, Oahu embaked on a Celtic oddessy to the ancient Celtic lands. Well-known Irishman and organizer of the Honolulu St.Patrick's Day Parade, Chuck decided (inspired by this website) that he was going to visit all the Celtic nations on one trip to Europe ! Coinciding with Hamish's trip to see family in Cornwall, and piping events in Scotland, the following epic journey evolved....

Chuck Wall and Hamish Burgess by Bill Reid's 'Spirit of Haida Gwaii', Vancouver airport July 2010Monday July 12th - First stopover to break the long journey was to visit Jennifer of Maui Celtic up in Vancouver, BC, Canada. A nap to catch up from the red-eye flight, a fabulous lunch - thanks Jennifer - and the boys were back at Vancouver airport for another red-eye over the North Pole. One of the nicest airports, featuring Pacific North-west works of native art, including late Haida artist Bill Reid's amazing Jade Canoe, or 'Spirit of Haida Gwaii', a massive bronze of mythological spirit beings on a journey. right - 'Spirit of Haida Gwaii'

Tuesday July 13th - next stopover London, England. Many trains and tubes while dragging luggage, the lads were happy to arrive at friends Alejandro and Iulia's place by Canary Wharf, in the East End. A nice Chinese meal, a few beers, and a good yarn with friends, and they were ready to crash - thanks for the hospitality.

Wednesday July 14th - the travellers arrived in the ancient Celtic land of Galicia, in the north-west of Spain. Flying into Santiago de Compostela, it was off south to the capital of Vigo a big city with an old medieval town center, before heading for the out-of-the-way Celtic ruins of Castro de Santa Tegra (Santa Tecla), high on Mount Santa Tegra, overlooking the surf of the Atlantic Ocean.

Celtic ruins of Castro de Santa Tegra, southern Galicia, looking south

Hamish Burgess at the Castro de Santa Tegra, La Guarda, southern Galicia, Spain

An ancient Celtic settlement of hundreds of round stone-walled dwellings, dating from at least the 2nd to 1st centuries BC, the ruins have spectacular views - south over the Rio Miño, and across to what is now Portugal, and to the north along the Galician coast and the town of A Guarda.

Celtic ruins of Castro de Santa Tegra, southern Galicia, looking north

Celtic ruins of Castro de Santa Tegra, southern Galicia, in north-west Spain

Re-discovered in 1913, with the last excavation in 1988, only part of the ruins have been uncovered, showing houses, stores, workshops, yards and granaries, and even rainwater ditches and tanks. The population may have been 3000-5000 people of the Grovii tribe, and it is thought this was an important center controlling maritme traffic along the coast and up-river, dying off after the arrival of the Romans, with their new roads and settlements on lower land.

Also up the mountain is an old Christian pilgrimage road, lined with huge crosses and rest areas, with many stairs leading to the old hermitage of Santa Tegra, with it's courtyard and outbuildings. At the summit there is a good museum, cafe, and many stalls selling local Galician souvenirs !

Hermitage of Santa Tegra

Hermitage of Santa Tegra, Galicia

Being just across the river from Portugal, Chuck suggested a quick drive over the bridge for a visit to the next country - the boys had a look round the nice old town of Vila Nova de Cerveira, before heading into Spain and Galicia again, and north to to old town of Pontevedra for the night. Eating at cafes proved interesting, as very few folks here speak English, the lads spoke little Spanish, and had a lot of fun with the waiters guessing what was on the menus !

Pedro Perez, gaitiero Gallego (Galician piper) of Santiago de CompostelaThursday July 15th the road led to Santiago de Compostela. The Camiño de Santiago has been a pilrimage route since the 10th century, with Christian travellers heading from all over Europe to pay homage to St.James the Apostle, who brought the new religion to the Celts of the Iberian Peninsula. His relics were rediscovered here in 814, the first church being buit in 829, and the existing cathedral started in 1075 and finished in 1122. The old pilgrimage road is now one for hikers and cyclists, who happily arrive in the main square, the Praza do Obradoiro, at the end of their long journey. There can often be heard the sound of the Galician bagpipe, the gaita galega, played by gaiteros in traditional costume - Hamish met local piper Pedro Perez, and they had a chat about traditional music. Galician piper gaitero Pedro Perez

Hamish was on a different pilgimage, a traditional Celtic music one, to meet and interview one of the world's best bagpipers, Galician piper Carlos Nuñez. They were to meet at the Cafeteria of the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, a fabulous 15th century building, originally a hospital, across the Praza do Obradoiro from the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Hostal de los Reyes Católicos (left) - (right) Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Galicia, Spain

The hostal was a Royal Hospital in 1499, and gave lodging and shelter to the many pilgrims making their way to the Cathedral of Santiago. It is considered to be one of the oldest hotels in the world, and is now one of the luxurious Paradores - hotels in historic buildings across Spain.

Hamish Burgess and Carlos Nunez, Santiago de Compostela, July 2010 Hamish recorded a great interview with Carlos Nuñez for his radio show, talking about Carlos' career, Celtic history, Galicia and her music, the gaita (bagpipes), and his new themed album Alborada Do Brasil, with a Brazilian/Galician musical journey discovered by Carlos while personally researching his great-grandfather, a piper who had emigrated to Brazil, leaving behind a legacy of bagpiping. Carlos' enthusiasm - for Galicia, music, all things Celtic, and life itself - is fabulous, and infectious !

Hamish & Carlos Nuñez, amazing Galicican bagpiper and flute player

Friday July 16th saw the Maui Celtic lads heading north to La Coruna - the end of the known Celtic world to the ancients in Europe - Finisterra, or Land's End. Legend has it that the ancient Galicians sailed from here to settle in Ireland. According to the archaic text Lebor Gabala Erenn, the Book of Invasions of Ireland, the descendants of Gaedheal Glas, the father of all Gaels, settled here, one of the Chiefs being Breoghan, son of Brath. Breoghan founded Brigantia (La Coruna), and built a tower by the ocean. The tale goes that on a clear evening, one of his ten sons, Ithe, saw a far-off island, told his brothers, and set sail the next day with his own son Lugaid and more, only to be killed by local noblemen of the island. Ithe's brother Bile retuned with a force to Ireland to avenge his death, and settled after their victory. Bile's son called Mil gave his name to the Milesians, conquerors of Ireland and fathers of the Gaelic race.

L - Gaelic chief Breoghan who's sons sailed to Ireland from Brigantia (La Coruna)
R - Chuck by the oldest working lighthouse in Europe at La Coruna

Celtic Chief Breoghan statue and Lighthouse at La Coruna, Galicia, SpainLighthouse at La Coruna, Galicia, Spain

The popular coastal resort and surf spot is home to the oldest continuously working lighthouse in Europe. Originally built by the Romans, who occupied Brigantia, you can still see the ancient foundations they built under the 17th century existing lighthouse. The view of the surrounding coastline from the top is spectacular, not to mention the huge tiled compass rose with images representing the Celtic nations, plus one local legend. The nations are named in their own native languages.

Celtic Nations compass rose, La Coruna, Galicia, Spain

Celtic compass rose, La Coruna, Galicia, Spain

The Celtic explorers headed west thru the vineyards of Galicia, with a brief stop in the hilly town of Mondoñedo, with a fine cathedral, then along the north coast into the neighboring region of the Asturias, another ancient Celtic land with their own language and traditions. They checked out some beautiful beaches with great surfing possibilities, and some quaint fishing villages, before stopping for the night in the old town of Navia, quite the happening place in the 1920s and 30s from the art deco buildings.

Celtic hillfortress of Castro de Coano, Asturias

Celtic hillfortress of Castro de Coano, Asturias, Spain

Saturday July 17th morning - only 5 km out of Navia is the ancient Celtic hill-fortress of Castro de Cuano, an amazing fortified complex of hundreds of ruined hut walls, courtyards, and even a pre-Roman sauna with a water heating system and drainage. Among the artifacts found here were bronze-age daggers, axeheads, pots, stone-carvings, an ancient board-game, brooches and a beautiful gold belt.

Asturias Gold Belt - reproduction

Asturias Gold Belt

Eastward along the coast of dramatic cliffs, and good looking surf spots, the lads drove through the picturesque fishing village of Cudillero, with a cliff-top lighthouse, and brightly painted houses lining the valley sides, with fishing nets hanging in the sun to dry.
The destination in Asturias was the medieval town of Avilés, for the Celtic music at Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca, a week-long festival of traditional music, food and drink, in the old town square, with music stages, local food booths, and Celtic marketplace surrounded by medieval buildings.

Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca, Asturias

Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca, Asturias 2010

The Maui Celtic boys were met by Joe Krolikowski, his wife Alicia Pais and kids, who are members of Esbardu (meaning baby bear), the band that organizes the festival. Joe took us through the market which had local cheeses, pastries, meats, olives, sweets, as well as jewelry, clothing, art, and even a stained-glass cutter working away !

Artisan cheese and meat booths in the Festival's Celtic Marketplace

Artisan booth at the   Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca, AsturiasArtisan booth at the   Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca, Asturias

First order of the day was a local cider, poured in the traditional way by Joe's son Daniel - from the bottle overhead into a low-held glass, then shared by the fine company. Hamish also met talented local Celtic artist Vítor González to see his brilliant work - amongst his great body of work, he designed the event poster, with Celtic mermaids playing harp, bodhran and bagpipes.

Left - Vítor González poster for the Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca
Right - Asturien piper Abel Tome and drummer Marcos Lorente of Esbardu

Vítor González poster for the Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca © Vítor González 2010Asturien piper Abel Tome and drummer Marcos Lorente

The Maui Celtic lads were only in Avilés for a couple of days, but the festival is on for a week. Music for the time the lads were there included local Asturias talent - many fine young pipers in competition on the gaita, local pipe band Esbardu, folklore group L'Esperteyu, and an amazing Asturian language singer.

Asturien folklore group L'Esperteyu


Visitors from neighboring Galicia included the magnificent Airiños de Fene Banda de Gaita with singers, dancers, pipers, drummers and more. Their performance started with a ladies singing group, and traditional dancing, followed by a quintet of pipers and drummers. A men's singing group followed, with more dancing, before the entire group of musicians and singers took to the stage for a grand finale.

Airiños de Fene Banda de Gaita (Galicia) - Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca

Airinos de Fene Banda de Gaita

Scotland was well represented by the Camelon & District Pipe Band from Falkirk, the Ballochleam Highland Dancers with great young piper Graeme Bell from Glasgow, and Celtic rock outfit from the Scottish island of Tiree in the Hebrides, Skerryvore, who rocked the ancient town square into the wee hours. Hamish recorded a fun interview with the boys for his Maui Celtic Radio Show.

Skerryvore - rocking the Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca

Skerryvore, rocking the Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca, 2010

Sunday July 18th, the Maui Celtic lads headed to the nearby town of Gijon to check out the Museum of the People of Asturias, Museu del Pueblu d'Asturies, where Hamish had read there was a bagpipe museum, Museo de la Gaita. Not only is the gaita the national instrument of the region, but they have the best bagpipe museum in the world, with pipes from every country you could imagine, and beyond ! Most folks in Asturias do not speak English, so the museum notes are in Spanish, but this is this is a must-see for bagpipers and historians alike. The pipes are hung up behind glass, so you can really see how they would be played. Hamish was fortunate to meet with the ethnomusicologist and curator of the museum......., who kindly supplied some CDs of traditional Asturien piping and traditional music for his radio program.

Bagpipes from around the world at the Museo de la Gaita, Gijon, Asturias

Bagpipes from around the world at the Museo de la Gaita, Gijon, AsturiasBagpipes from around the world at the Museo de la Gaita, Gijon, Asturias

The coast road from the busy weekend beach resort of Candas led the boys to the headland of Cabo Penas, with it's lighthouse, heather-covered moorland and dramatic cliffs and sea-caves.

Back to Avilés for another great night of Celtic music, and Asturien bagpiping, with Joe's son Mark winning a 1st place trophy in a competition, and ripping some Scottish tunes on his gaita. Many thanks to Joe, Alicia and Vitor for their hospitality in Avilés. A great festival in an historic town in a beautiful region - the Maui Celtic boys were sad to leave. Check out the Asturias and the Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca - you won't be sorry.

Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca - Hamish trying Mark's Asturien Bagpipes

Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca, AsturiasHamish trying the Asturien Bagpipes, Festival Intercéltico de Avilés y Comarca, Asturias

The next morning, Monday 19th, Chuck and Hamish flew out of the nearby Oviedo airport back to London, with in-flight entertainment from the Skerryvore lads having a wee drink on the way to their next gig !

Tuesday 20th, after an enjoyable overnight stop with great friends Neil, Claire and Liam in Surrey, it was off down the old A-303 to Wiltshire. It is always breath-taking coming over the rise down onto Salisbury Plain, and seeing the ancient monument of Stonehenge in all her stark beauty. This ancient pre-Celtic structure consists of massive standing stones and surrounding eathworks and burial mounds, the early earthworks dating from about 3100 BC, and the stones from 2500-2200 BC.

Chuck Wall at Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Chuck Wall at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England

As a child, Hamish remembers sitting on the stones having lunch, but these days visitors are kept at a distance to preserve the stones, with a knee high barrier still leaving a great view of this ancient wonder. Across the road is a visitor area, where you can pick up an audio device to guide you around the monument.

White HorseDriving on the back roads of Wiltshire takes you through 'White Horse' country, with many images of huge horses carved into the chalk hillsides over the centuries, from Bronze Age times until World War 11. Best viewed from a distance, the lads caught sight of the Alton Barnes White Horse, originally commissioned in 1812 by Mr Robert Pile, of Manor Farm, Alton Barnes. The best views of the carved horse are from a distance, from the village of Alton Barnes itself, and from the road from Alton Barnes to Lockeridge.

There are many White Horses in Wiltshire, but the most famous is in Oxfordshire - the Uffington White Horse - by far the oldest of all the white horses, at around 365 feet, twice as long as the longest of the Wiltshire horses.

This is a very special area of Britain, with many ancient monuments linked by equally old pathways. The burial mound of West Kennet Long Barrow is close to the massive man-made Silbury Hill, with a ceremonial road leading between standing stones to Avebury Ring, one of the biggest standing-stone circles in Britain.

Avebury Stone Circle

Avebury Stone Circle

Avebury Stone Circle is so big that most of Avebury village, including the thatched Red Lion Pub, is within the circle, ditch and embankment ! The photo above shows only a quarter of the whole circle, with the pub at the center just visible at top right. This is one of the largest Neolithic monuments in Europe, and dates from around 5000 years ago. The uneven circle has a diameter of around 420 metres (460 yds), with the ditch 21 metres (69 ft) wide and 11 metres (36 ft) deep.

The travelers drove down through Devon, and crossed the Tamar River, the border to the ancient Celtic land of Kernow, or Cornwall. For the next three days they were based in the north coast fishing town and tourist resort of Newquay visiting Hamish's family and friends. The area has been settled since at least the Bronze Age around 3500 years ago, with the clifftops 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.

Newquay Harbour, North Cornwall

Newquay Harbour, North Cornwall

By the 15th century the fishing village was called Towan Blystra, and after local officials secured funding for building a modern quay for thr thriving pilchard fishing industry, the town acquired it's present name. A local landmark is the Huers Hut, an old 13th century chapel, later used as a shelter by the cliff-top lookouts for the pilchard schools, who would send out the 'hue and cry' (how the term came into modern use) to the waiting fishing fleets in the harbour below. Still a working fishing harbour today, it is known for the sport of pilot-gig rowing (a working tradition from the old pilchard days), as well as being a busy tourist resort with good surfing beaches all around.

Chuck Wall by the Huers Hut, Newquay, Cornwall

Huers Hut, Newquay, Cornwall, UK

The gang visited Tintagel, said to be the legendary birthplace of King Arthur, ancient King of the Britons in the early 6th century. The village (with nearby castle) is now a tourist destinations with Celtic gift and bookshops and art galleries - of interest is fantasy artist Peter Pracownik's gallery 'Another Green World', which aside from his renowned art, houses a collection of 2 cases of ancient Celtic atifacts. A viilage landmark is the Tintagel Old Post Office, an amazing 14th-century stone house with a slightly sagging slate roof. Tintagel Castle is out on Tintagel Island, a fortress and trading settlement from at least the 5th century, but the castle ruins that stand today date from the 13th century.

Friday July 23rd - the Maui Celtic travelers headed to the ancient land of Breizh, or Brittany, in the north-west of France. Flying into Rennes left a 2 hour drive to the fabulous medieval city of Quimper, or Kemper in Breton, for the 5 day Festival de Cornouaille, a huge Celtic festival with 3 stages of music running continuously, as well as a Celtic village of vendors.

The medieval city of Quimper, Brittany - or Kemper, Breizh

Quimper, Brittany, France Hamish Burgess in Quimper, Brittany - July 2010

The first afternoon, while exploring the ancient streets of old overhanging buildings, they found the main tent by the Cathedral Saint Corentin, where they saw a fine Asturien pipeband, Banda Gaites Llacin from Conceyu Llanes, then a traditional dance session from a local Celtic band. The folks join hands and dance in rhythmic spirals, winding around eachother - traditional dancing in Brittany is alive and well, with all ages joining in more readily than in any other Celtic nation !

Traditional Breton dance, Festival de Cornouaille, Brittany

Traditional Breton dance, Festival de Cornouaille, Brittany

After a walk through the Celtic marketplace on the banks of the Odet River, they found the next big tent, Espace Evêché, and caught part of a concert by the trio Trio Ewen-Delahaye-Favennec. Three legendary Breton men, Patrick Ewen, Gérard Delahaye, and Melaine Favennec, with fiddles, guitars and fine voices. Next was a great group of musicians Arz Nevez et Roland Becker, an original string group of violins, violoncello, guitar and vocal, with compositions by Yves Ribis and Roland Becker. Over to the huge tent of Espace Gradlon, for the evening concert by the brilliant Breton pipe band, Bagad Cap Caval, who put on an amazing show with pipers, drummers, bombard players, local traditional dancers, and even a tango couple ! They were also joined by the Inverary & District Pipe Band from Scotland for a rousing set, as well as guests singer Farid Aït Siameur, percussionist Dominique and Yvon Molard, guitarists Yann-Guirec Le Bars and Tanguy Molard.

Bagad Cap Caval from Brittany

Bagad Cap Caval from Brittany

Back across the street, the late night show was by Wig-a-wag, a new trad-fusion modern outfit with a lively stage-show. Twin vocals, guitar, accordion, keyboards, flutes, drums and bagpipes - then the eight piece rocked the crowd with double bagpipe tunes !

Saturday 24th, with a full day in Quimper, there was plenty of time to explore the old city, and the Celtic marketplace, with local crafts and Celtic art clothing, jewelry, books and of course, tasty local Breton food.

Celtic Market, Festival de Cornouaille, Quimper, Brittany

Celtic Market, Festival de Cornouaille, Quimper

With music competitions going on all day in Espace Saint Corentin, our Maui Celtic travellers watched some talented local bombarde and biniou (bagpipe) players compete for trophies, while long snake-like lines of local folks danced their traditional dances to the music. Out on the streets there were various parades, with the Asturien pipeband Banda Gaites Llacin and the Scots Inverary & District Pipe Band in different parts of town, and even a busking Uilleann piper, Dicky Deegan, trying to find a quiet place between wandering pipe bands. A huge spectacle in the main square was Breizh Omega, with around 350 dancers and musicians, performing in costumes from medieval to modern. The evening started back by the Cathedral in the Espace Evêché, with fantastic traditional 5 man Irish band Téada, ripping tunes on fiddle, accordion, guitar, flute and bodhran.

Traditional Irish group Téada, Festival de Cornouaille, Brittany

Teada, Festival de Cornouaille, Brittany 2010

Then the event the lads had come to Quimper and the festival for - over to the huge tent of Espace Gradlon, to a sold-out house to see the amazing Galician piper and flute player Carlos Nuñez. The King of the Pipers is no stranger to Brittany, obviously a favourite of the local crowd, and performed Galician and Breton tunes, as well as from his new themed album Alborada Do Brasil, a Brazilian/Galician musical journey. Chuck had seen Carlos before, and told Hamish how good his live show is, but this concert exceeded all expectations.

Carlos Nuñez and band, with Bagad Kemper at the Festival de Cornouaille

Carlos Nuñez band, and Bagad Kemper at Festival de Cornouaille, Brittany 2010

He started with his band and tunes on the recorder, of which his is the master, and was then joined by local Breton pipe band, Bagad Kemper, for a spectacular sound. After more fine music on flutes, some percussion solos, and more with the pipe band, the audience went crazy when he rocked the house with the Galician bagpipes, the gaita.

Carlos on the Galician gaita, and brother Xurxo Nuñez on the bodhran

Carlos Nuñez at the Festival de CornouailleCarlos and Xurxo Nuñez at the Festival de Cornouaille

He was joined on stage by two Breton sisters, the duo Stelenn for some beautiful tunes on twin harps. Then the musicians, members of Bagad Kemper, and folks from the audience joined Carlos on stage for traditional Breton dancing.

Carlos Nuñez and harpists Stelenn at Festival de Cornouaille

Carlos Nuñez and harpists Stelenn at Festival de Cornouaille, Brittany 2010

After enjoying most of the concert with Chuck from a great spot in the stands, Hamish moved right down the front to take these photographs. The grand finale was amazing, with Carlos' band, Bagad Kemper, and Stelenn all on stage for some Breton tunes - the house erupted with a huge chain of folks getting up and joining hands for traditional dancing, weaving through the aisles and down by the stage. The thunderous clamour for an encore brought the group back on satge for some wild jigs and reels to end the memorable night.

Carlos Nuñez, band, Bagad Kemper and Stelenn grand finale

Carlos Nuñez and friends at the Festival de Cornouaille

An amazing night by a true master of his craft, and some talented musician friends. Hamish thought this performance was one of the best concerts he had ever seen ! Check out the Galician piper and flute player Carlos Nuñez and his music at www.carlos-nunez.com

Sunday 25th - The next morning the Maui Celtic lads met local Celtic music fan and Breton dance and costume expert Collette Marzin at the Défilé en Fête, the grand parade of the Festival de Cornouaille, with 3000 traditional dancers, musicians and singers with Breton regional flags and costumes.

Grand Parade of the Festival de Cornouaille, Quimper, Brittany 2010

Breton Regional Flags, Festival de Cornouaille, Quimper, Brittany 2010Bretons, Festival de Cornouaille, Quimper 2010

Grand Parade of the Festival de Cornouaille, Quimper, Brittany 2010Grand Parade of the Festival de Cornouaille, Quimper, Brittany 2010

Local Breton pipe band champions Bagad Kemper

Grand Parade of the Festival de Cornouaille, Quimper, Brittany 2010

She explained the local customs and regional costumes as the grand spectacle filed through the streets of Quimper. Merci to Collette for your hospitality. The festival continued that day and evening, but our Maui Celtic boys sadly had to leave Quimper - they only saw some of the great Breton and other Celtic music acts in the brief time they were there, but it was an amazing experience. Many thanks to Soizick Fonteneau and Romain Gleonec of the Festival de Cornouaille for their hospitality at the event. Please visit this great festival - www.festival-cornouaille.com

As the Maui Celtic travellers left Brittany, they came across a series of modern Celtic art roundabouts along the road ! A fitting end to their journey in the area musician Carlos Nuñez called "the Centre of the Celtic world" !

A modern Celtic art roundabout in Brittany

Celtic Art roundabout in Brittany.

The lads continued on to Normandy, and found a historic old hotel in Pontorson, the closest village to their next stop, Mont Saint-Michel, a spectacular cliff-top monastery on an island at the mouth of the Couesnon River, connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. Occupied since at least Roman times, the first monastery was built in the 8th century, when according to legend, the archangel Michael appeared to St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, and told him to build a church on the rocky outcrop. Situated on an important trade route to England, the island was claimed by William 1, Duke of Normandy, to be part of his kingdom in 933. The monks left by end of the French Revolution, after which it was converted into a prison, which closed in 1863, and the mount was declared a historic monument in 1874.

Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

It is an amazing place, a walled fortified town with narrow streets winding between ancient overhanging buildings up to the many-tiered monastery. These days the streets are lined with cafes, bars, souvenir shops, and even a couple of hotels. The Grand Degré staircase leads up to the medieval Benedictine Abbey, which covers most of the island. Hundreds more steps climb to the Saut Gautier Terrace, in front of the main church. The view from the terrace and cloisters is stunning, with the bay and islands in one direction, and Normandy the other. The abbey itself is a maze of staircases, rooms and vaulted halls with massive fireplaces.

Mont Saint-Michel narrow streets and Chuck Wall in the monastery cloisters

Mont Saint-Michel streetsChuck Wall at the cCloisters, Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy 2010

Monday 26th - it was time to head to Rennes Airport again, this time to leave France after a memorable visit. Time for our duo to part ways for a while, Hamish flew into Exeter, Devon, to meet his sister-in-law Amanda for a ride down to Cornwall. Chuck was off via Manchester to Wales, the Isle of Man, and Ireland !

In Wales Chuck stayed in the ancient walled town of Conwy, before taking a local flight over to the Isle of Man. On to a regular haunt of his, Ireland, where he stayed in Castle......, and caught up with famous fiddler friend Frankie Gavin, who was playing at a harp festival.

Meanwhile in Cornwall, Hamish was visiting with family and friends in the Newquay area.

The Island and Towan Beach, Newquay, Cornwall

The Island, Newquay, Cornwall

With his Mum and brother's family he visited Poldark Mine, a tin mining site since at least 600AD, where you can tour the old mine shafts. Cornwall has been an important spot on the map since ancient times, due to the tin industry, and remained one of the world's biggest tin producers for centuries - a lot of trade went between these lands and on to the rest of Europe. The area became the world's top tin producing country, and saw the 1201 introduction of the Stanneries, an institution protecting the rights, privileges and goverment of Cornish tin miners, which became very powerful. John Trenere was granted the earliest existing recorded tin mining lease in Cornwall here in 1493, the tin production reaching it's height in the 1800s. In 1875 the price of tin fell heavily, and Cornish miners emigrated all over the world. It was said "Cousin Jack" (a Cornishman) could be found at the bottom of a mine anywhere in the world. They later sent home for "Cousin Jennie" , their wives, to join them. Cornish miners went to Australia, where there is a sizeable Cornish population (one area of South Australia was known as 'Little Cornwall'), the U.S.A., Canada, South America, South Africa, and Mexico. The ruins of 19th century engine houses from the abandoned tin mines can still be seen all over Cornwall, and have become a symbol of the region. Today, the Camborne College of Mining in Cornwall is world renowned in that field, attended by future miners from around the globe.

Padstow street, North Cornwall

Padstow, North Cornwall

Hamish spent time around Newquay, and visited his brother Dudley's busy tattoo studio, DNA Tattoo Studio (an accomplished artist, and one of Britain's best Celtic tattooists, with clients travelling from all over Europe and even America to have his specialist work done). He also visited the old fishing town of Padstow, on the north Cornish coast, now well-known for the restaurants of Rick Stein, a famous British chef.

Close by is the village of Boscastle, in a deep ravine, with a river running to the small natural harbour, tucked behind high sea cliffs. Several years ago the village was devastated by severe floods, but has now recovered, with all the traditional pubs, and curio and antique shops re-opened - and of course the facinating Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft, with an amazing collection of artifacts.

Alan Deane, the Belfast Busker and son, at The Mermaid in Porth, near NewquayHamish met up with some old pals for a Friday night out at The Mermaid at Porth, near Newquay, to see another old mate, Alan Deane The Belfast Busker perform his traditional Irish songs peppered with mad jokes and stories.

Alan Deane, the Belfast Busker and son, at The Mermaid in Porth, near Newquay

Alan, originally from Belfast, plays all over Cornwall year round. Check out his music and schedule at www.newgrainmusic.com


More old friends to visit in the north coast village of Portreath, with the small town nestled in a deep valley opening to a sheltered bay, with a surf beach and small harbour. Hamish took a walk up onto the heather-covered cliffs, and watched a surf life-saving competition that was happening that day.

Portreath, north Cornish coast

Portreath, north Cornish coast

Hamish and his mum spent a day at Cotehele House, famous for it's tapestries - the largest collection in England. The tapestries are wall to wall throughout the manor house, even covering doorways.

Visiting his Maui Celtic jewelry suppliers on the south Cornish coast, Hamish passed through Marazion, and had a fine view of St.Michael's Mount out in Mounts Bay near Penzance.

St.Michael's Mount and Mounts Bay, Penzance, south Cornwall

St.Michael's Mount and Mounts Bay, Cornwall

He also met up with great Celtic musician Sue Aston at home in Goldsithney, for an interview about her career and music for his Maui Celtic Radio Show on Mana'o Radio. Sue is a composer and classically trained violin player, who performs Celtic music inspired by the landscape and legends of Cornwall.

Speaking of local Celtic music, there is a weekly traditional session on Tuesday nights at the Seiners pub, right on the water in Perranporth.

Traditional Cornish music session at the Seiners Pub in Perranporth

Traditional Cornish music session at the Seiners Pub in Perranporth Cornwall

The night Hamish took his pipes down for a wee tune there were about 20 musicians there, playing mainly Cornish tunes, with the odd Breton and Irish piece for good measure. The session was led by Neil Davey and Hilary..... from the traditional Cornish band Dalla, whom he interviewed for his radio programme.

Chuck arrived back from his adventures in the other Celtic nations, in time for a nice sunny day checking out all the local surf spots Hamish used to frequent. It was time to bid a sad farewell to Cornwall for this trip, and head north....but not before meeting the Cornish pipeband (that Hamish used to be a summer guest with) at Newquay airport - also on their way to Scotland !

Saturday August 6th-15th - the boys were in Scotland ! Straight off the plane and into the rental car our lads were off to Cockenzie, east of Edinburgh, to meet Ian Green of Greentrax Records out at the base of the biggest traditional music record label in Scotland. Hamish recorded an interview with Ian for The Maui Celtic Radio Show, about his founding the label, and it's 24 year history.

Ian Green and Hamish Burgess at Greentrax Records

Ian Green and Hamish Burgess at Greentrax Records, Cockenzie, Scotland - August 2010

Saturday August 7th - the Maui Celtic crew of Hamish Burgess, Jason and Alison Wolford, Michael Riedel, Alice Riddle and Chuck Wall, met in Edinburgh, Scotland for the Pipefest March 2010, with 5000 pipers and drummers from 27 countries, marching down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Park, to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. The gang warmed up on Johnston Terrace - their pipes and drum, and with a wee dram ! Wearing the Hawaii Tartan, kukui nut leis, and Maui Celtic shirts they caused quite a stir, with many folks saying that they had visited Maui. Not as much of a stir as Jason in his leg cast, after a broken foot, with a German doctor taking photos of him to hang in his office as an example to all ! Jason made the whole march in the cast - well done laddie !

Mike, Hamish, Alice and Jason at Pipefest March, Edinburgh

Michael Riedel, Hamish Burgess, Alice Riddle and Jason Wolford at Pipefest 2010, Edinburgh

Positioned in block 14, they joined the Dutch band Batavorum Pipes and Drums of Nijmegen (led that day by Tiny Holtmeulen), the St.Andrews Pipe Band of Cheltenham from England, and a lone piper from Germany. For video of our block marching, please click this link - www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=g-jlpHPiepA

The parade started with the blast of the One O’Clock Gun from Edinburgh Castle, and the pipers and drummers, led by former Scottish rugby captain Gavin Hastings, marched past Edinburgh Castle, onto the Royal Mile and down through the historic Old Town, ending near the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood House, gathering in Holyrood Park to meet old friends - and to make new ones from all over the world.
Pipefest ran 6 events throughout the world that day: Edinburgh, Scotland; Tintagel, Cornwall; New York City, US; Ottawa, Canada; Hong Kong; Coffs Harbour, Australia. To date pipers and drummers have raised over £768,000 at Pipefest events for cancer care. www.pipefest.com

Sunday August 8th - Hamish, Chuck and Alice headed an hour or so north to Stirling to see Stirling Castle and the massive Wallace Monument - a tribute to Scotland's national hero, William Wallace. With amazing views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the tower, They could see their next stop, the Bridge of Allen Highland Games getting started. With heavy athletics and Highland Dance competitons running all day, this Games is also a warm-up for the World Bagpipe Championships, with many pipe bands attending and competing.

Massed Bands, Bridge of Allen Highland Games, & the Wallace Monument, near Stirling

Bridge of Allen Highland Games 2010

There were Scottish craft vendors, and traditional food booths.

Alice headed back to Edinburgh, and the lads drove out through Perthshire to visit great pals Scot and Sam at their country cottage. Scot AnSgeulaiche is one of Scotland's only full-time seanachie or storytellers, and a historical tour giude, while Samantha MacKenzie runs "Jamie and Claire Tours" based on the characters from 'The Outlander' series by Diana Gabaldon. A grand night of yarns catching up on Celtic news from respective islands on opposite sides of the world ! The next morning, although a bit 'dreich', or grey and wet, they explored the local countryside and the towns of Muthill, Comrie and Crieff.

Saturday August 14th - the Maui Celtic crew were at the WORLD PIPE BAND CHAMPIONSHIPS on Glasgow Green, Scotland. Hamish, Jason, Alison, Alice and Mike saw the Grade 1 Finals when the Irish took the World's in front of 55,000 people !! Hamish captured the ecstatic moment for the St. Lawrence O'Toole Pipe Band from Dublin, just after the announcement.

World Champions - St. Lawrence O'Toole Pipe Band

St. Lawrence O'Toole Pipe Band winning the World Pipe Band Championships, Glasgow Green, Scotland  2010

The runners up on the day were: 2nd place Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band from Northern Ireland, 3rd Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia from Scotland, 4th Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Vancouver, Canada, 5th House Of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead from Scotland, and 6th Scottish Power. The results have been adjusted since the day, due to a compilers' error, with SFU changed to 3rd, and Boghall & Bathgate 4th (see Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association website for final results). Around 240 bands were at Glasgow Green for the World Pipe Band Championships, with 8000 pipers and drummers from 16 nations competing for awards in their class.

MORE TO FOLLOW............




Saturday July 31st - LUGHNASADH GREETINGS TO ALL ! - Lughnasadh, or Lunasa in modern Irish, is the Harvest festival, starting on the eve before August 1st, and marks the beginning of Autumn or Fall. Named after the god Lugh, "The Bright or Shining One", a Celtic Sun God, and God of the Harvest, who also presides over the arts and sciences, as he was called Lugh the Il-Dana, "Master of All Crafts" (also Lugh Llamfadha ('the long-handed'), Samildanach ('he of the many gifts'), Lug, Lugaidh, Lleu, and Llud).
In Irish history, Lugh's mother was Eithne, Fomorian daughter of Balor, and his father was Cian of the Tuatha De Danann. In legend it was foretold that he would kill his grandfather, so his mother, afraid for his life, fostered him to Tailtiu, Queen of the Fir Bolg, and later to the Sidh of the Sea God, Manannan Mac Lir, on the Isle of Man. He became a famous warrior of the Tuatha De Danann, fulfilling the prophecy and killed his grandfather, Balor of the Evil Eye at the Battle of Moy Tura, winning the day for the Tuatha.

Celtic Tree of Life, by Hamish Douglas Burgess

Lughnasadh means 'the binding duty of Lugh', referring to funeral games he held in honour of his foster-mother Tailtiu, a goddess of agriculture. It is said that she died from exhaustion after clearing a great forest so that the land could be cultivated, and on her death-bed she told the men of Ireland to hold funeral games in her honor - she prophesied that as long as they were held Ireland would not be without song. Many summer fairs and festivals today come from this tradition. Lughnasadh continued through the harvest time, not necessarily just one night, as crops were harvested in August, fruit in September, and meat in October.

Saturday July 31st - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii on Oahu held a SASH members and guests Luau Party. More details please call the society at 808-381-7216 or email - saintandrewsociety@hawaii.rr.com

Sunday July 25th - The Friends of St.Patrick on Oahu held The Golden Pratie, their annual golf match play contest between the Friends of St Patrick and the Wild Shamrocks - held at Navy Marine Golf Course, with an awards dinner and drinks after the rounds of golf at the Celtic Room at O'Tooles Pub.

Saturday July 17th The Friends of St.Patrick on Oahu held a meeting with the theme Clan Names or Irish Travel.

Sunday July 11th - Hamish was back with some great new Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The show was dedicated to Gerald V.Conlon, who sadly passed away Tuesday, July 6th aged 70, after a courageous battle with cancer.  Hamish spent good times with Gerry on the Irish Music Cruises. A huge Irish music fan, Gerry was born in the Bronx and retired after 20 years of service with the New York City Fire Department, and was a Registered Nurse at the V.A. Medical Center in Montrose, NY. Much Aloha to Brian, and the family.
The show is live online at www.manaoradio.com. Local time will be 8-10 am (Hawaii), which for the summer will be 11am-1pm US/Canada West coast, 12pm-2pm Mountain time, 1-3pm central time, 2-4pm East Coast, and 7-9pm in Ireland and the UK.

Monday July 5th - The Friends of St.Patrick on Oahu marched in the Kailua 4th of July Parade and then cooled off at a pool party on the route. Even though the parade was All American there was plenty of green in there too !

Sunday July 4th - Tony hosted 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of great Celtic music, while Hamish was flying to Hilo, Hawaii to play bagpipes at a celebrity wedding.

Saturday July 3rd - The Isle of Maui Pipeband marched in the 4th July Makawao Rodeo Parade in the Upcountry cowboy town of Makawao. The Parade started at the lower end of Baldwin Avenue, up to Makawao Avenue and ended at the Eddie Tam Center. Parade Info: 572-9565.

Maree McRae and Linda Hickman house concert in Lahaina

Maree McRae and Linda Hickman house concert, Lahaina June 2010

Wednesday June 30th - there was an evening of Americana/Celtic music at a house-concert in West Maui with contemporary singer-songwriter Maree McRae and Celtic flute player Linda Hickman. At the home of Rev.Paul Tangonan in Lahaina, the audience (from all over Maui and visitors from the mainland) was treated to a rare intimate evening of fine music, when Maree sang her own fine songs and played piano and guitar, accompanied by her sister Linda on a few tunes. Linda played several solos on the Celtic flute and tinwhistles, with traditional Irish tunes, and some of her own beautiful compositions. A great atmosphere with drinks and pupus too - thanks to Rev. Paul for hosting the event.

Singer-songwriter Maree McRae and Celtic flute player Linda Hickman

Maree McRae in Lahaina, Maui, June 2010Linda Hickman in Lahaina, Maui, June 2010

Maree McRae's single "Breeze" hit National Adult Contemporary Radio as the #1 most added new single last year, with the album "Urgency" topping the Top Ten Adult Contemporary Chart. A national award-winning singer songwriter appealing to most genres from Folk Rock to Adult Contemporary, McRae has been described as a charismatic, energetic, and heartfelt act with true professionalism and musician skills. A very special show brought to Hawaii and not to be missed.

Special guest Linda Hickman (flute, singer and tinwhistle) is well known in the Celtic music world in America, playing with the original Celtic Thunder since 1977 (not to be confused with the PBS t.v. production of male vocalists), performing three times at the White House with the band for President and Mrs. Clinton and Irish guests. She also played with Irish music group "The Narrowbacks" in January 2009 for the Obama Inauguration in Washington D.C. As well as playing at Maison de la Musique in Paris, her music was featured on Discovery Channel's 2001 Outward Bound series and in 2003 Showtime's documentary entitled "What's Going On: Children Soldiers of the Sierra Leone" narrated by Michael Douglas.

The ladies also performed at a house-concert in South Kona, Big Island of Hawaii, at the home of Drew Womack in Captain Cook.

Maree McRae and Linda HickmanSunday June 27th - Hamish had a special interview show with Folk and Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. In the first hour he chatted with Americana singer-songwriter guitarist Maree McRae and sister, Celtic flute player Linda Hickman, who were on Maui for a house concert in Lahaina, West Maui (see above). The ladies were having a great time exploring Maui, before getting geared up for an Americana/Celtic evening of music on Wednesday night. He played several tracks from Linda's "The Windy Day" album, and from Maree's "Urgency" CD. ...................Maree McRae and Linda Hickman

James KeelaghanIn the second hour, Hamish featured the music of James Keelaghan, and spoke with him as he was heading home to Canada, from an old songs festival in New York. They spoke about James' career and music, with several tracks from the album "A Few Simple Verses" with great backing from Celtic band Danu, featuring a great collaboration with Jez Lowe, and his new CD "House of Cards" , high on many folk DJs top ten lists in 2009. James has been called "Canada's finest singer-songwriter", and the Juno Award (Canada's Grammy) winner is on his 11th album, ranging from contemporary, folk and Celtic music. The Calgary native now lives in Winnipeg, and has written a lot of great historical material about Canada.
James Keelaghan

The show is live online at www.manaoradio.com. Local time will be 8-10 am (Hawaii), which for the summer will be 11am-1pm US/Canada West coast, 12pm-2pm Mountain time, 1-3pm central time, 2-4pm East Coast, and 7-9pm in Ireland and the UK.

Saturday June 26th - Oahu's own Celtic Waves returned to Ward's Rafters this evening, and continued their practice of often having a guest artist sit in with tehm, this time Louise Taylor. Louise is a contemporary singer/songwriter who has toured extensively in the US and Europe and has released 5 critically acclaimed CDs with Signature Sounds Recording Company. Visit Celtic Waves website.

Saturday June 26th - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held their Annual General Meeting with Lunch in the Robert Louis Stevenson Room, Waioli Tea Room in Manoa. Dr. Richard Hill, an authority on Robert Louis Stevenson, enlightened folks about Stevenson's life, works, and visits to Hawaii.

Friday June 25th - West Maui rocked Celtic-style at Mulligan's at the Wharf in Lahaina, with local duo the Unintelligents - that's Bud Clark on bodhran and whistles and Clint Burdick on Celtic guitar and banjo. This week they were joined by special guest the talented Linda Hickman, a Celtic flute and whistle player from New York, here for a concert this week (see above). Another surprise guest was local Lahaina fiddler, and the group had the joint jumping with jigs and reels ! Also Bud's son, young Kieran Clark did a solo spot with his songs and ukulele, and piper Hamish Burgess joined Bud for some Scottish and Irish tunes on the bagpipes. Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina.

Linda Hickman, Clint Burdick, Bud Clark, and fiddler Noel at Mulligan's at the Wharf

Linda Hickman, Clint Burdick, Bud Clark, fiddler Noel at Irish session, Mulligan's at the Wharf, Lahaina, July 2010

June 25-29th - Irish storyteller and balladeer from Oahu, James McCarthy performed at libraries around Maui as part of the 'Children's Summer Reading Program'. He presented "All Together Now", with stories and songs for the kids. James is well known on Oahu as frontman of local band Doolin Rakes.

Monday June 21st - SUMMER SOLSTICE GREETINGS TO ALL ! The summer months of May, June and July are divided by 'Alban Heruin', the Summer Solstice, on June 21st, with the longest day of the year (in the Northern hemisphere). It is also referred to as Midsummer because it is roughly the middle of the growing season throughout much of Europe. Many remains of ancient stone structures can be found throughout Europe, some of which align on the midsummer sunrise.
Epona the Celtic horse goddess on a coin from 15 BCAccording to the ancient Gaulish tablets, the Coligny calendar, the time of June / July was called "Equos", or 'horse-time', a time for fairs and good weather. In ancient Gaul the Midsummer celebration was called Feast of Epona, named after a horse goddess who personified fertility, sovereignty and agriculture. She was portrayed as a woman riding a mare. Right - Epona, Celtic horse goddess represented on Hamish's coin of the Trinovantes tribe of Britons from 15 BC. Druids celebrated Alban Heruin ("Light of the Shore") and led the ancient Celts in homage to the Sun. The days following Alban Heruin form the waning part of the year because the days become shorter. To signify this, a descendant of an ancient ritual was to wrap a cartwheel with straw, set it alight, and roll it down a hill. Young children would spend the day weaving discs of vines, to light that evening and hurl into the sky, or roll down hills.
In Penzance, Cornwall, the Golowan Festival or Feast of St.John takes place, with musical processions through the old town down to the harbour led by Penglaze, the Obby Oss.

Sunday June 20th - Hamish was back with some great new Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. he had a Summer Solstice/Father's Day/Birthday Special, with music, songs and traditions of the time of year.

Saturday June 19th, and Monday June 21st - the great Scottish film "Stone of Destiny" was shown several times at the Movie Museum in Kaimuki.
This is a brilliant Scots Nationalist film - anyone proud to be Scots should go and see it !
"The Stone of Scone traditionally confirmed the mandate of whoever sat on it as the ruler of Scotland, but since 1296, it was installed under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, London. In 1950, an idealistic young Scottish university student, Ian Hamilton (Cox) decided to recruit a few strangers to do the impossible: return the stone to Glasgow. The engaging heist comedy won 3 international film awards and was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland Award. Rated PG." 2008- Canada/UK, 96 minutes. D. Charles Martin Smith. Charlie Cox, Kate Mara, Billy Boyd, Robert Carlyle, Ciaron Kelly.

Saturday June 19th - The Friends of St.Patrick held a Literary Meeting and Bloomsday Celebration at the Celtic Room behind O'Toole's Pub, Nuuanu St. Downtown Honolulu - they celebrated Irish literary giant James Joyce and his masterpiece "Ulysses", with readings from the novel, as well as discussions on other literature.
Actually June 16th has been immortalized by lovers of James Joyce’s "Ulysses" everywhere as 'Bloomsday', after Leopold Bloom, and has become an annual day of celebration for the Irish.
Ulysses is the epic hour-by-hour account of one day in Dublin – June 16, 1904. James Joyce (1882-1941) met and fell in love with Nora Barnacle, taking their first walk together that day.

John Beaton, Maui Live Poets Society, Borders, Kahului, June 2010Thursday June 17th - Maui folks heard some fabulous Celtic poetry by John Beaton when the Maui Live Poets Society met at Borders Books & Music in Kahului. John Beaton is a poet and spoken word performer from Inverness, Scotland, now living in Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island (BC). He started with a serious poem about the life of an old woman on the Isle of Skye, followed by a very funny and animated poem about a Scotsman and his sporran in Spain, finishing of with the classic Robert Burns piece "A Man's A Man For A' That". It was a great night, with readings from tonight's two featured poets, John and Mungo, followed an open mic session, with some fine recitals from group members. For more info on the Maui society's weekly meetings, please contact Melinda Gohn 808-875-0315, or email poem@maui.net

John Beaton

Joyce and John Beaton at the Mana'o Radio Studios, Wailuku, MauiSunday June 13th - Maui Celtic Show special guests today were Scots Joyce and John Beaton of Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island (BC), from the bandCeltic Chaos. Joyce is a fiddler orginally from Glasgow, and John is a poet and spoken word performer from Inverness. Hamish played some great new Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui, and they chatted about the Celtic music scene on Vancouver Island, and their daughter Emma Beaton's music career, playing tracks from the "Pretty Fair Maid" by Emma Beaton & Celtic Chaos, and the new self-titled album by duo Emma Beaton and Nic Gareiss. ......................................... Joyce and John Beaton

The show is live online at www.manaoradio.com. Local time will be 8-10 am (Hawaii), which for the summer will be 11am-1pm US/Canada West coast, 12pm-2pm Mountain time, 1-3pm central time, 2-4pm East Coast, and 7-9pm in Ireland and the UK.

Friday June 11th - "WAKING ALFIE" - a sunset Celtic music session, rocked the West Maui hillside overlooking Launiupoko. A bunch of the local pipers and Celtic musicians attended a potluck BBQ and Celtic music session to celebrate the fact that Alfie Rawlings is alive and kicking !!

Hamish Burgess, John Beaton and Alfie Rawlings - Waking Alfie

Hamish Burgess, John Beaton and Alfie Rawlings at 'Waking Alfie', West Maui June 2010

Let me explain......
A few of us had a shock this week when we heard that West Maui Scot-at-large Alfie had passed on - Hamish went looking for our man, and found out that it was a stupid rumour started by a young fool, and was very happy to find Alfie himself alive and well, and swearing about the rumour-monger in Glaswegian ! Kevin O'Kennedy (Celtic Tigers) up in Chicago suggested we still have a Wake for our resident Wegie anyway for the criac, so there it was !
The guest of honour was Alfie himself - an alchohol-welcome and politically incorrect event !

The criac was 90 in the Isle of Maui - pipes, trombone, voice, drums, ukulele, guitars !

Waking AlfieWaking Alfie

We had a great sunset followed by bagpipes, drums, ukulele, guitars, flutes and whistles, voices and even a trombone ! The criac was 90 in the Isle of Maui.......thanks to Bud Clark for hosting the party on his lanai. Slainte Alfie !

Sunday June 6th - a new line-up of local Maui based band The Celtic Tigers appeared at Mulligans On The Blue in Wailea - founder singer/whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy is away in Chicago, and will be back every month - but the Tigers rock on ! The new line-up is with regulars singer/guitarist Murray Thorne, drummer Kris Thomas (off tonight), bassist Lenny Castellanos, and tonight joined by newbies piper/whistler Roger McKinley, and fiddler Mark John (both great musicians from the other local Celtic band Finn McCoul) - with tonight's drummer the talented Paul Marcetti. The evening started with the Mad Bagpiper - Roger McKinley, appearing on a knoll across the valley from the lanai, playing a haunting piobaireachd, the classical music of the Highland bagpipe. The band then rocked the house - playing everything from beautiful Irish airs, to jigs and reels and raucous folk songs - Irish and Scottish ! All with a new energy from tonight's unplanned line-up. Call Mulligan's at 874-1131 for more info.

Celtic Tigers newest line-up at Mulligans, Wailea

The Celtic Tigers new line-up at Mulligans on the Blue, Wailea, Maui, June 2010

Sunday June 6th - Hamish was back with some great new Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He featured many new albums including 'Lessons Learned' from Ennis from Newfoundland, which appeared unnanounced in his mailbox on what would have been his grandmother Cecilia Strachan's 101st birthday, strangely enough with the great track 'Cecilia' on it. The lyrics fit Hamish's story with his Gran exactly...........

Saturday June 5th - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held a New Members At-Home Evening with a Sing-Along at Heather's (Alexander Manor). Contact the Caledonian Society for more details - Heather MacGregor at 526-1559 or email heather@alexandermanor.com

Sunday May 30th - Hamish was back with Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. As well as new music, he had a special Memorial Day show, with the history of this American holiday, dating back to the American Civil War - with Irish songs from that era ! Special guest in the studio for a chat was John Grant, who Hamish did his first few shows with on Mana'o Radio, back in 2003.

Friday May 28th - local well-known Irishman Michael O'Dwyer married lovely Tiara Matsui - a big wedding in the Irish community - Michael, from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, is the owner of the home of Irish music on Maui, Mulligan's on the Blue, where he has hosted many of Hamish and Jennifer's Maui Celtic events. The couple were married at Keawalai Church in Makena, piped down the aisle by Roger McKinley and Mike MacDougall, before an interesting wedding vow from Mike....

Michael O'Dwyer and Tiara Matsui - Makena wedding, with family

Michael O'Dwyer, Tiara Matsui and families at their Makena wedding , May 28th 2010

The many local, and visiting Irish friends and family, then moved to a fabulous reception at a beachfront estate in Makena - great food and drink (with plenty Guinness, of course), and music from Jimmy Mac and the Cool Cats. The first dance for Mike and Tiara was sung by Limerick's own Dave Lawless, accompanied by Kevin O'Kennedy on whistle and Murray Thorne on guitar.

Michael and Tiara O'Dwyer's first dance

Michael and Tiara O'Dwyer's first dance

After a speech from Michael's 'best woman', there was spectacular fire dancing from Merkabah Fire Productions, with the didgeridoo player joined on the Highland Bagpipes by Roger McKinley and then Mike MacDougall for a grand finale. The Celtic Tigers then got the place rockin' Irish style, until the party moved up to Mulligan's in Wailea until the wee hours.

Merkabah Fire Productions, and Roger McKinley on bagpipes

Merkabah Fire Productions, and Roger McKinley

The craic was mighty in Makena Wailea that night, with more endearing swearwords than has ever been heard at a Maui wedding........thanks for a great party ! Best wishes to Mike and Tiara O'Dwyer from Hamish and Jennifer at Maui Celtic.

Sunday May 23rd - Hamish was in the studio at Mana'o Radio in Wailuku, broadcasting some great new Celtic music on the Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' worldwide, but not locally over the airwaves today, as the station antenna was down. He was really busy between lining up discs chatting online with listeners in the US, Canada, and the UK. To chat with him, be a friend on Facebook at Hamish Douglas Burgess, or be a fan of The Maui Celtic Show - Mana'o Radio.

Joel Agnew and Hamish Burgess, KAOI Studios, WailukuFriday May 21st - Hamish Burgess was a featured guest on Joel Agnew's 'Aloha Friday - 11.10am on 1110AM' show on KAOI 1110am Maui. Joel talked to Hamish about his receiving 'Scot of the Year' for 2010 from the The Caledonian Society of Hawaii, for services to the Scottish/Hawaiian community. They chatted about bagpiping, the Hawaiian/Scottish Princess Ka'iulani, and his Celtic art on the new debut CD from Finn McCoul - and played 3 tracks of traditional Celtic music, Maui-style, from the local band's album.

Thursday May 20th - local Maui based band Finn McCoul's CD Release Party was a great night at Mulligans On The Blue in Wailea with their first album entitled “On The Shoulders Of Giants…” seeing it's official release. The fun started before the spectacular sunset, in full view from Mulligan's recently refurbished lanai. The lads and lasses played a mix of lively jigs and reels, marches and strathspeys, and haunting celtic airs.......with great songs from the fabulous mum and daughter duo, Pamela and Lily Telford ! The group performed most of the material on the new CD and many more traditional pieces. They invited Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess up onstage to explain the story behind the cover artwork he designed for the band. In ancient Irish mythology, Fionn mac Cumhaill was a great leader of the Fianna, known for his cleverness and good will - and in some legends a giant performing great feats - more details on our Gallery page.
The hit of the recent Hawaiian Scottish Festival on Oahu, the repertoire for this new celtic band comes from Ireland, Scotland and other Celtic cultures and often brings a modern feel to these familiar traditions. Fronted by beautiful vocals, strong fiddling and piping, with a solid rhythm section of guitar and bass with bodhran and ukulele, this ensemble delivers a great range of songs and tunes.

Finn McCoul "On The Shoulders Of Giants..." CD release party at Mulligan's

Finn McCoul CD Release Party at Mulligan's on the Blue, Wailea
Finn McCoul (left-right): • Bud Clark (bodhran and whistles) • Mark John (fiddle) • Cary Ritt (guitar) • Lily Telford (vocals/fiddle) • Peter Della Croce (ukulele) • Pamela Telford (vocals) • Roger McKinley (bagpipes and whistles) • Andre Deslauriers (bass) • ........www.finnmccoul.com

Sunday May 16th - Hamish was playing old and new Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He featured the music of one of the world's best whistle and flute players, Grammy Award winner Joanie Madden, who just got inducted into the 'Bronx Walk of Fame'. An Irish New Yorker, Joanie is a founding member of the great Celtic group Cherish the Ladies, and has collaborated with folk legends like Liam Clancy and Pete Seeger. Hamish played some of an interview he recorded with Joanie at her home in New York. He also celebrated the songs of prolific Scottish poet Robert Tannahill on the 200th anniversary of his passing, playing versions of his popular "Are Ye Sleeping Maggie?" and "The Braes of Balquhidder" – said to be the basis for the famous ballad "Wild Mountain Thyme" - all recorded by many Celtic bands. There was also a special chat with Peter Della Croce of local band Finn McCoul about their group and music, and upcoming CD release party for their new album 'On the Shoulders of Giants', with artwork by Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess (more details on our Gallery page). They also talked about the Celtic nations, and other great Celtic music that Hamish was playing.

Peter Della Croce of Finn McCoul and Hamish Burgess at Mana'o Radio

Peter Della Croce and Hamish Burgess at Manma'o Radio Studios, Wailuku, Maui - May 2010

Saturday May 15th - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held a meeting at the Celtic Room behind O'Tooles Pub in Honolulu with the Wild Shamrocks. They hosted and toasted the boys of the Wild Shamrocks in a social as they made plans for this years Golden Pratie Match Play golf contest. For the golfers in our group they are looking at Sunday July 25th as the Golf match date at 12 noon at Navy Marine Golf Course. If you are a golfer let Bill Comerford know. 808-223-3997 or email at bill@ejlounge.com  

Friday May 14th - the duo of bodhran player Bud Clark and Clint Burdick - Celtic guitar and banjo - the Unintelligents, were back at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina, for the regular Friday night Irish music. This week they were joined by the lovely Yvonne Falk, a whistle player from Santa Cruz, not to mention as usual Kieran Clark, and Hamish Burgess joined Bud for some Scottish and Irish tunes on the bagpipes. Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina.

Clint Burdick, Yvonne Falk and Bud Clark at Mulligan's at the Wharf

Clint Burdick, Yvonne Falk and Bud Clark at Mulligan's at the Wharf, Lahaina


Finn McCoul by Hamish Burgess 2010Wednesday May 12th - there was live Celtic music on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui, when local band Finn McCoul were the featured guests on Club Mana'o for 2 hours of lively jigs and reels, fun songs and beautiful slow airs, from Scotland and Ireland. Band members chatted with host Alana Cini about how their new group got together, and the traditions behind their music, and band name. The lads and lasses played many tunes and songs from their live stage show, including some from their new CD 'On the Shoulders of Giants', with artwork by Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess (more details on our Gallery page).

Sunday May 9th - Hamish had a special show of Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The Mother's Day Special featured music about mothers and grandmothers, with history and traditions of the American celebration, with it's origins in the Civil War, and the earlier Mothering Sunday, from the old countries, when young apprentice children were given the day off to re-unite with their families at their area Mother church.

Hamish Burgess wishing his Mum in Cornwall UK a Happy Mother's Day

Hamish Burgess at the Mana'o Radio Studios, Wailuku, Maui in May 2010

Saturday May 8th - on Maui the Seabury Hall Craft Fair had some great Celtic content, with local bands the Isle of Maui Pipe Band, Upcountry Celtic and new group Finn McCoul. There was also other good local musicians, and hundreds of crafters.

May 8th - on Oahu The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented Scottish-Hawaiian Family Stories from several kama‘aina families, during A Tea at Anderson House - the program was coordinated by Elspeth Kerr. Please contact the Caledonian Society for more details.

May 8th - also on Oahu The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii presented a Celtic Nations Pub Crawl. More details please call the society at 808-381-7216 or email - saintandrewsociety@hawaii.rr.com

Mulligan's on the Blue Wailea, photo courtesy of Mulligan'sSunday May 2nd - 'Mulligan's on the Blue' celebrated their 9th Birthday ! The home of Irish music on Maui is down in Wailea on the Blue Golf Course, opposite the Kea Lani Hotel. They had a huge party with Roger McKinley the Mad Bagpiper, the Celtic Tigers, and Kanekoa.

Mulligans has become a premier venue for music of all kinds on Maui - well done Mike O'Dwyer. (Photo courtesy of Mulligans)

Sunday May 2nd - Fresh from rolling round on the grass in the May Morning Dew, Hamish was playing some great new Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The Maui Celtic Show featured music, folklore and traditions of Beltaine, now known as May Day (see below), and some Galician and Asturian music in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo.

Beltaine is an ancient Celtic festival starting at sunset on April 30th, now known better on the following day as May Day.

Maypole Dance at the Haleakala Waldorf School, Kula, MauiThe ancient May Day eve festival was dedicated to Bel, the sun god, and marked 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 poeple 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, such as dancing around the May Pole.

Friday April 30th - the Unintelligents were back at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina, for the regular Friday night Irish music. The duo of bodhran player Bud Clark and Clint Burdick on Celtic guitar and banjo, played Celtic music and some great originals. A big hit with the cowd, Kieran Clark sang a few songs, and Hamish Burgess joined Bud for some Scottish and Irish tunes on the smallpipes. Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina. 661-8881

The Unintelligents, Bud Clark and Clint Burdick at Mulligan's at the Wharf

The Unintelligents, Bud Clark and Clint Burdick at Mulligan's at the Wharf in Lahaina.

Sunday April 25th - Hamish featured some fine Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The first hour was dedicated to Anzac Day, with memorials around the Pacific today, honoring the fallen members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey in World War 1. The second half of the show featured music, folklore and traditions of Beltaine, an ancient Celtic festival starting at sunset on April 30th, now known as May Day (see above).

Sunday April 18th - Hamish and Jennifer went to see the local production of the Welsh play Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas, presented by the Maui Academy of Performing Arts at the Steppingstone Playhouse in Kahului, running weekends April 16-25th. The play was set in a radio station, with 45 actors reading from scripts, each bringing multiple roles to life, in the story of the gossip and goings-on in a small Welsh fishing village. Frank Kane narrated as the first voice, with Sharyn Stone as second voice, directed by Mark Collmer. There was a nice wee bit of Celtic music with Elaine Olson on concertina, and Frank Kane on the fiddle.

Dylan Thomas' Welsh play Under Milkwood by MAPA

Under Milk Wood at the Steppingstone Playhouse, Kahului Maui, April 2010

Sunday April 18th - Hamish was back from Oahu with some great Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Special guest in the studio was the lovely Jennifer Fahrni. The first part of the show was a memorial to the Battle of Culloden, the last battle fought on British soil (near Inverness, Scotland), April 16th 1746, when the Jacobite forces of 'Bonnie Prince Charlie', Prince Charles Edward Stuart, were heavily defeated by the Government forces of King George 11 - a tragic affair with Scots fighting Scots, the aftermath of the defeat was a brutal scourge of the Highlands by the King's men, Frank Kane, lead in MAPAs production of Under Milk Woodchanging the way of life forever.

The second half of the show featured Welsh music, and an interview with special guest Frank Kane, lead in the local production of Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas (see above). Frank is a local actor and musician, playing the fiddle. he is a long-time fan of Celtic music and culture, and the trio had a great chat about all things Celtic and especially Welsh, with Frank's current interest in Dylan Thomas' play. Hamish played one song that tradition has it comes from a 6th century poem !

April 17th - The Friends of St.Patrick held their first ever Gaelic Speakers Meeting at the Celtic Room, behind O'Toole's Pud downtown Honolulu. Elizabeth Tuthill and others invited a few Gaelic speakers to the meeting to give a basic instruction in the Gaelic tongue. It was followed by a session of Irish music in the front room of O'Toole's.  Please contact Bill Comerford for more info at 808-223-3997 or email at bill@ejlounge.com  


Sat-Sun April 10-11th - the Scottish event of the year took place on Oahu. The Hawaiian Scottish Association presented their 29th 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 - the program contained their story, contributed by Jennifer Fahrni of Maui Celtic and the Princess Ka'iulani Project. A great event as usual, with good weather both days, very busy on Saturday, and mellow on Sunday.

Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head, Waikiki

Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, with Diamond Head background

Hamish, Jennifer, Jason and Alison were there early Saturday setting up the Maui Celtic booth, which was busy from 9am onwards - busy enough for Hamish to abandon his endless arranging of Celtic items by 11am to get changed into his kilt and deal with customers ! The day was in full Celtic musical swing by 10am with local traditional band Celtic Waves on the main stage, followed by bagpiping with the Isle of Maui Pipe Band, traditional dancing from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii and Highland Dance Hawaii, and army marching band music from "Tropic Lightning", the 25th Infantry Division Band. Meanwhile on the small stage there was traditional Irish dancing and singing from The Celtic Keiki, and new Oahu band Dharma. The focus at noon was on the march of the Parade of the Color Guard, Massed Pipe Bands and the Scottish Clans, leading into the Opening Ceremonies.

Color Guard, Flags and Massed Pipe Bands on parade at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival

Parade of the Color Guard, Massed Pipe Bands and the Scottish Clans at the 29th Annual Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games, Waikiki 2010

The opening ceremony, with MCs Milton Ragsdale and Ian Laing (former HSA Chieftain), featured a blessing by Father Richard Rubie, opening by Hawaiian Scottish Association Chieftain Dan Peddie, and the National Anthem of the USA and Hawaii. Then Chieftain Bruce McEwan of The Caledonian Society of Hawaii introduced Maui Celtic's own Hamish Douglas Burgess who was awarded 'Scot of the Year' 2010, for services to the Scottish/Hawaiian community. "The Caledonian Society has presented this award each year since 1987 to an individual who is of Scottish descent or has embraced an interest in Scotland and Scottish culture, has supported the Scottish community in Hawai'i, and has made a contribution to the Hawaiian community in general. The Board members of the Caledonian Society believe that you meet these criteria and are a person who exemplifies the values upon which this award is based." Hamish would like to humbly extend his gratitude to the Hawaiian Scots of the Caledonian Society for this recognition - Mahalo.

Hamish Douglas Burgess (right) recieving 'Scot of the Year' award from Caledonian Society of Hawaii Chieftain Bruce McEwan (left) at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival

Hamish Douglas Burgess awarded 'Scot of the Year' 2010 by the Caledonian Society of Hawaii

First up on the bandstand (main stage) were the local long-established Oahu pipeband The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii. The Pacific North-west was well represented on the main stage with Highland dancers from the MacKenzie School of Dance of Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and bagpiping from The Kenmore & District Pipe Band of Edmonds, Washington. There was Irish dancing on both stages from Oahu's own Jig This - School of Irish Dance, and sword-fighting displays from the Society for Creative Anachronism (Barony of the Western Seas, who had their own medieval tent on site) and the Musketeer Fencers, and kids' fun with 'Russell Da Rooster' from Mark Jeffers of the Storybook Theater on Kauai. Meanwhile, the small stage featured Maui talent with new Celtic band Finn McCoul with their seven person line-up, followed by followed by Maui pipers David & Innes MacDonald Asher (father & eight year old son), then pipe and drum duo Allison Jackson & Cary Ritt (all in the Isle of Maui Pipe Band, Allison is the Pipe Major). Oahu's own James McCarthy told some great Celtic stories, with a few traditional songs too. The main stage featured a great set of music and songs from all over the Celtic lands by neighbor islanders Finn McCoul, then Oahu's traditional Irish dance and songs from The Celtic Keiki, with a lively closing set from local Celtic rockers The Doolin Rakes.

Finn McCoul from Maui, at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games

Finn McCoul at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games 2010

Running all weekend was of course the yearly Highland Dancing Competition, featuring dancers from Scotland, Canada, and the USA, with expert Piper Mark Elliot, and Highland Dance judge Elizabeth Johnstone. Saturday saw 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 hammer, putting the stone, and throwing the weight. Sunday saw the fun 'Housewife Games', traditional at Highland Games, of Frying Pan Throw and Rolling Pin Throw (for distance), and a Haggis Toss (for accuracy) !

Heavy Athletics competitors at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival

Heavy Athletics competitors at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival and Highland Games, Waikiki 2010

Also both days there were vendors, including great Celtic CDs from Rampant Lion Celtic Traders, and locals Maui Celtic with a booth of fine Scottish imports, classic Maui Celtic logo wear (with brand new cool "Slainte" baseball shirts), plaid items - Hawaii Tartan sashes, shawls, and head wraps (do-rags) !! Looking good in the Hawaii Tartan

They also represented Sportkilt again this year, with the biggest selection of tartan to be seen in Hawaii for a year. Everyone was looking good in the official Hawaii Tartan, including Hunter Locke, the miniature Dachshund, who made the local newspaper on Monday. The wee kilties are made for can/bottle holders, but fitted this fine beast perfectly.

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 of course the usual tasty food booths - tea and great scones - fish & chips and even Haggis !

Hamish, Jennifer and Jason Wolford at the Maui Celtic booth

Hamish Burgess, Jennifer Fahrni and Jason Wolford at the Maui Celtic booth, at the 29th Annual Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games, 2010

Sunday started with a Celtic Mass by Father Richard Rubie, and the "Kirkin' o’ the Tartans", a traditional blessing at Highland Games, conducted by Rev. Robert Walden. Kicking off the music with bagpiping was the Isle of Maui Pipe Band, and Scottish Country Dancing from the RSCDS of Hawaii. The Tropic Lightning Band alerted everyone to today's parade, starting in the noon-day sun, again in sight of iconic Diamond Head.

Same as yesterday, the Opening Parade and Ceremonies featured the Color Guard, National and State Flags, Society Chieftains, Chaplains, Massed Pipe Bands (Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, Isle of Maui Pipe Band, and the Kenmore & District Pipe Band), followed by the Scottish Clans with their banners, and costumed Highland, Scottish Country and Irish dancers. Last but by no means least, the warriors of the SCA.

Massed Pipe Bands at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games

Massed Pipe Bands at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games 2010

The main stage featured the great line-up from Saturday, but today with addition of the historic Royal Hawaiian Band, founded by King Kamehameha III in 1836, the only band in the United States with a royal legacy. Also fresh out today were Whiskey Starship, and the Saloon Pilots.

Celtic Keiki at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival 2010 The small stage rocked Celtic style most of the day, with traditional Scottish and Irish music from Celtic Waves and Finn McCoul, and dancing from Jig This and The Celtic Keiki - the Dueling Dancers, twin sisters Delia and Caleigh Fabro (right), and in fact the whole family looking great in their Hawaii tartan kilts, bought that day from Maui Celtic.

Right - the Celtic Keiki in action

Mahalo to all the Oahu residents (and of course visitors), who visited us at the Maui Celtic, and supported your local Celtic imports business.

Next year's event is the 30th anniversary of the Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games - it should be a big one !! 1st weekend of April 2011. More info on the event from The Hawaiian Scottish Association at www.scotshawaii.org.


Friday April 9th - 'The Hawaiian Scottish Association' presented their 4th annual 'Taste of Scotland' Ceilidh at The Willows Restaurant in Honolulu) - a good time for residents, members of the Scottish community, and visitors to the Games to socialize. The tranquil haven in the middle of urban Honolulu was rocking tonight with great Celtic music from Maui's own Finn McCoul, and special guests.

Finn McCoul and Kenmore & District Pipe Band at the Taste of Scotland Ceilidh

Finn McCoul at the Taste of Scotland Ceilidh at the Willows, Honolulu 2010Kenmore & District Pipe Band at the Taste of Scotland Ceilidh at the Willows, Honolulu 2010

There were local pipers from Oahu and Maui, visitors the Kenmore & District Pipe Band and highland dancers from Oahu, Nova Scotia and Scotland - as well as dancing onstage in costume, there was an impromptu session outside in the courtyard with young dancers in street clothes.

Highland dancers in the courtyard and the Willows Chapel

Highland Dancers at the Taste of Scotland Ceilidh at the Willows, Honolulu 2010Willows Chapel at the Taste of Scotland Ceilidh, Honolulu 2010

Not forgetting the sampling bar with several whiskys and unusual beers, with a fine array of real ales and porters, ironically housed in the beautiful chapel ! More info on this yearly event at www.scotshawaii.org

Wednesday April 7th - The 'The Hawaiian Scottish Association' and 'Fujioka Wine Times' presented the 1st ever 'Grand Scotch Tour' 2010 at The Willows Restaurant in Honolulu. The early evening function featured a selection of 30 acclaimed Scotch whiskys ! On hand to talk about their whiskeys were Tom Turner, Diageo Master of Whiskey, and Martin Daraz, Highland Park Brand Abassador. Among many fine whiskys Hamish tried, his favorites were the Macallan 18, Highland Park 18, Glenmorangie Signet, Johnnie Walker Blue Label blend, Lagavulin 16, and the outstanding Highland Park 25 and Macallan 25. Ultimate favorite - the Macallan 25 year-old.

Celtic Waves playing at the Grand Scotch Tour 2010

Celtic Waves at the Grand Scotch Tour, Honolulu 2010

Cuisine was by Exectuive Chef Jay Matsukawa of the Willows Restaurant. Great music throughout the evening was by Honolulu's own Celtic Waves, with traditional Scottish and Irish airs, jigs and reels, and songs. Mahalo to Ian Laing for inviting Hamish to this fun event. More info on this new event at www.scotshawaii.org

Tuesday 6th April - 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. This document, declaring independence, proclaims, “For we fight not for glory nor for riches nor for honour, but only and alone for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life.”

Hawaii Tartan

In 2008 the Hawaii State Legislature passed a resolution designating April 6 each year as Tartan Day and recognizing the Hawaii Tartan - created by Douglas Herring on Oahu in September 1997 - the full story is at our Hawaii Tartan page. Many folks around the State are now wearing the official tartan.


Tuesday 6th April - 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.

Princess Ka'iulani Memorial at at Mauna ‘Ala, the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii

L- Piper Hardy Spoehr & The Margaret Rose School of Dance. R- Jennifer Fahrni

Princess Ka'iulani Memorial, Mauna 'Ala Roayal Mausoleum, Nuuanu Valley. April 2010Jennifer Fahrni, speaket at the Princess Ka'iulani Memorial, Mauna 'Ala Roayal Mausoleum, Nuuanu Valley. April 2010

Fine Scottish weather of light rain combined with Hawaiian sunset made for a rainbow over the chapel. Hardy Spoehr piped the gathering into the chapel, where Caledonian Society Chieftain Bruce McEwan hosted the evening, wearing the Hawaii Tartan, combining the tribute with National Tartan Day (see above). Mrs.Bruce recited Robert Louis Stevenson's famous poem, and speaker Jennifer Fahrni of the Princess Ka'iulani Project passionately talked about the Princess' life and achievements.

The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii 

Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii performing at the Princess Ka'iulani Memorial, Mauna 'Ala Roayal Mausoleum, Nuuanu Valley. April 2010

The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii performed a special dance composed by Bruce McEwan, 'The Pikake Lei', in the chapel entrance hall, then visiting young Highland dancers, from The Margaret Rose School of Dance from Helensborough, Scotland, put on a fine display. Finally there was a  presentation of a lei at the crypt where the Hawaiian-Scottish crown princess and her family lie at rest, accompanied by the moving bagpiping of Hardy Spoehr.

Sunday April 4th - Hamish was back with some great Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. The theme was Easter, with some surprising folklore and traditions of this time of year, named after the Anglo-Saxon Goddess Eostre, or Ostara "Goddess of the Dawn". He also played some Irish rebel songs in honour of the heroes of the 1916 Easter Uprising.

Sunday March 28th - Hamish played some great new Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. With lovely guest Jennifer Fahrni, he played a tribute to Nancy Agnew, wife of felllow radio presenter Joel Agnew of 1110AM, who tragically passed away recently. Plenty of Scottish music also, for the upcoming Hawaiian Scottish Festival in Waikiki, Oahu.
The show is live online at www.manaoradio.com. Local time will be 8-10 am (Hawaii), which for the summer will be 11am-1pm US/Canada West coast, 12pm-2pm Mountain time, 1-3pm central time, 2-4pm East Coast, and 6-8pm in Ireland and the UK (until you Old Countries folks move your clocks, then it will be an hour later).

Hamish Burgess in the Mana'o Radio Studios, March 2010Sunday March 21st - Hamish was back with some great new Celtic music on the Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. A US exclusive premier featured 2 songs from the upcoming Ivan Drever album 'Notes from an Island', and more new music from the fine artists at Flying Pixie Promotions in the UK. The whole show was dedicated to the memory of a great man who passed away recently, William J. Cooney, proud Irishman and Marine Corp veteran. Bill was a huge fan of traditional Irish music, and turned Hamish onto many bands that he plays to this day - specifically the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, the Chieftains and surprisingly, MacKeel - mahalo Bill. Aloha 'Oe, mo chara.

Saturday March 20th - Oahu band Celtic Waves were playing traditional music at the Koko Marina for the “All things Green” celebration. They kicked things off Celtic style at 10am, with other entertainment following until the afternoon.

Saturday March 20th - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented Of Scots and the Sea, a Potluck Dinner on the Dock, beside the Falls of Clyde (Pier 7, near Aloha Tower) at 5.30pm. With a talk by Dr. Hans Van Tilburg, Marine Archaeologist.

Saturday March 20th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held their Annual Meeting. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - saintandrewsociety@hawaii.rr.com

Thursday March 18th/19th - on Thursday the Maui Celtic duo of Hamish and Jennifer, along with visiting troubador Kieran and Joe Murphy, went to see visiting Celtic band from Japan, the MacFiddles playing at O'Toole's Pub, Downtown Honolulu. The great trio from Kyoto, Japan, featured Felicity Greenland on vocals, bodhran and whistle, Atsuko Kasamura on fiddle, and Jay Gregg on fiddle and guitar. They played everything from airs to jigs and reels, and traditional Celtic songs - a fine addition to the local craic for St.Patrick's week in Honolulu. The trio were joined by Lawson Cannon from Celtic Waves on the guitar. The band also played more gigs that week at O'Toole's Pub, and Kelley O'Neil's and The Irish Rose Saloon in Waikiki.

MacFiddles from Japan in O'Tooles Pub, downtown Honolulu

MacFiddles in O'Tooles Pub, downtown Honolulu

Wednesday March 17th - St. Patrick's Day on Maui !

South Maui - biggest party on Maui started early with the 'St.Paddy's Day Bash' at Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea. Kicking it off was their 1st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Golf Tournament to benefit Save the Arts with a 6:30am Shotgun start !
Music started at noon with new Celtic band Finn McCoul (see below) playing a 3 hour set to a busy crowd, followed by resident local Irish band The Celtic Tigers rocking out through the sunset hours. The Isle of Maui Pipe Band played 3 times over the afternoon and evening, joined by guests local piper Roger McKinley and World Champion Bagpiper Jack Lee from BC, Pipe Sgt. of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. Closing the packed house was the legendary Willie K Band.
Roger McKinley stayed busy piping all day, playing at the 4 Seasons Hotel, the Dog and Duck Pub, and Diamonds, before heading to the west side for another Finn McCoul gig !

Central Maui - the party was with local Celtic band Upcountry Celtic who played at the Ale House in Kahului. www.upcountryceltic.com

Upcountry Maui - a fine crowd of around 30 folkies joined Larry Sarner to Sing Irish Songs at the Makawao Library in the early evening. Local radio presenter, guitarist, whistle player and singer, led folk-type songs likely to be heard in Irish pubs in Ireland, Canada, Australia, the U.S.

West Maui - celebrated St.Patrick's Day at Mulligans at the Wharf opposite the Banyan Tree in Lahaina. The house rocked Irish style with local legends The Celtic Tigers, then bodhran/whistle and guitar duo Bud Clarke & Clint Burdick - the Unintelligents, closing with rock 'n' roll from Johnny Ringo. With of course Guinness, Harp, and corned beef and cabbage, the craic was here on the west side.

Also on the west side Celtic band Finn McCoul were at The Westin Resort in Ka'anapali, making the party at Ono's Restaurant the one to be at for St. Patrick's Day dinner - until heavy rain stopped the party. Great traditional Irish and Scottish music from Maui's newest Celtic group, joined by guest piper Allison Jackson, Pipe Major of the local pipeband.

Wednesday March 17th - St. Patrick's Day on Oahu.......(see above for Maui St.Patrick's Day craic). The 43rd Annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade went down Kalakaua Ave, Waikiki at 12 Noon. The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, the Marine Forces Pacific Band, and the Damien Memorial School Band, marched with around 560 people, including Celtic Keiki, Clan na Gael, The Wild Shamrocks, and some Leprechauns ! Organizers The Friends of St.Patrick marched proudly wearing the green, joined by their Scottish cousins The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii.
The Post Parade Party was nearby at Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki, with great live Irish music by the Celtic Waves, and the MacFiddles from Japan. Corned beef and cabbage and of course Guinness was the order of the day.

Meanwhile downtown.....

Hamish and Jennifer at the Maui Celtic booth with a friendly Guinness - St.Patrick's Day

Hamish Burgess and Jennifer Fahrni at the Maui Celtic booth with a friendly Guinness - St.Patrick's Day blockparty, Honolulu 2010

Maui Celtic set up shop at the Honolulu St. Patrick's Day Block Party. Every year Murphy's Bar and Grill sponsors a FREE all afternoon/evening block party in downtown Honolulu at Nuuanu Avenue and Merchant Street - www.gomurphys.com. The party started at noon, with a steady crowd until the evening, when the streets closed and the madness started. There was great food - tasty fresh oysters, corned beef and cabbage, fish & chips - and of course plenty of Guinness and Irish whisky at the outdoor booths, not to mention in Murphy's and O'Tooles !

Jim MacIntosh and Jennifer at the Maui Celtic booth - March 2010Hamish and Jennifer with friend Jim Mackintosh (photo left) were there with a Maui Celtic booth of Irish jewelry and other goodies and cool kelly green HAWAII CELTIC T-shirts, Hawaii and Irish Tartan (plaid) clothing, and All Ireland plaid noggin wraps (do-rags) too !! New green baseball T-shirts were of course a hot item, as well as some mad hats ! Mahalo for supporting your local Celtic business.

Jim MacIntosh and Jennifer at the Maui Celtic booth, downtown Honolulu, Nuuanu Street - St.Patrick's Day 2010




Right there on the block there was great traditional Irish music in O'Toole's Pub (www.irishpubhawaii.com) Hamish Burgess opened it up on the highland bagpipes, with the Kaimana Ceili Band in the afternoon. More piping to kick off wandering Irish minstrel Kieran Murphy (see below), who played a killer set for 3 hours. The Doolin Rakes rocked the block Irish style until late. Plenty of piping all day from Hamish, at large around the blockparty, with several visits to Murphy's and O'Tooles, and a few TV camera sessions, until it became too difficult to move through the crazy green-clad crowd. The streets were jumping by sunset, with folks in crazy green costumes, and mobbed by the late evening !

St.Patrick's Day Blockparty, downtown Honolulu 2010

Credit and mahalo for the above photo to Tracy Chan at Metromix Honolulu. For more information on the yearly event visit www.gomurphys.com

Celtic Waves also played late afternoon at Gordon Beirsch at the Aloha Tower, before 2 evening shows at The Arts at Marks Garage, with Irish dancers featured for the later show.

Over in Waikiki The Irish Rose Saloon was hopping with traditional Celtic music from Japan with MacFiddles, then Celtic rock with Warsaw and The Piranha Brothers until late.

Tuesday March 16th - to get folks ready for the following day (St.Patrick's Day), Roger McKinley played bagpipes onboard a Trilogy yacht for Pipes on the Pacific, leaving Ka‘anapali Beach. This two hour sunset sail aboard TRILOGY featured coastal sailing, panoramic views, five-star menu with cocktails, AND festive St.Pat's music! As well as his usual fun jigs, reels and marches, Roger said that when he played beautiful slow airs, there seemed to be more whales coming around the boat !

Sunday March 14th - Tony was spinnning some great Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui, while Hamish was over on Oahu for the St.Patrick's Day festivities.

Also on Maui, Celtic band Finn McCoul played at the Ocean Arts Festival Under the Banyan Tree in Lahaina Town. Finn McCoul play a mix of lively jigs and reels, rhythmic marches and strathspeys, bouncy hornpipes, and haunting celtic airs. The repertoire for this new celtic band based on Maui comes from Ireland, Scotland and other Celtic cultures and often brings a modern feel to these familiar traditions. Fronted by beautiful vocals, strong fiddling and piping, with a solid rhythm section of guitar and bass with bodhran and ukulele, this ensemble delivers a range of songs and tunes. In ancient Irish mythology, Fionn mac Cumhaill was a great warrior, leader of the Fianna that protected Ireland. Known for his cleverness and good will, in some legends he was a giant.

Sunday March 14th - over on Oahu, Lorie Suankum hosted an Irish event with the Celtic Keiki and Miss Deaf Hawaii at Snappers pub in Waikiki, in support of local deaf folks. A fun afternoon with raffles, lots of signing, and Irish dancing from the lads and lasses.

Also on Oahu, downtown on 'Irish corner' - after a Friends of St.Patrick meeting of volunteers for the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the Celtic Room, the folks headed next door to O'Toole's Pub to catch visiting troubador Kieran Murphy for some fine songs before the Guinness Toast Finals.

Guinness Toast judges Chuck, Bart and Hamish - winner and patron Bill Comerford

O'Tooles Guinness Toast judges Chuck Wall, Bart DaSilva, and Hamish BurgessO'Tooles Guinness Toast winner, and patron Bill Comerford

Judged by Hamish Burgess of Maui Celtic/Mana'o Radio KEAO Maui, Bart DaSilva of KKOL Kool Gold Oahu, and Irishman-at-large Chuck Wall, the grand prize was a trip for 2 to Las Vegas. With entries ranging through short and funny, completely mental, and historic, meaningful and relevant, the eventual winner was found after a difficult decision over a few Guinness.

Still on Oahu, local band Celtic Waves started their St.Patrick's Week at Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki, with the following night at O'Toole's Pub, on Nuuanu, Downtown. The group served up their usual blend of reels, jigs, and songs for folks enjoyment. Doolin Rakes started their St.Patrick's run at O'Toole's Pub, rocking Irish sounds into the wee hours.


Saturday March 13th - on Oahu, The Society of the Friends of St.Patrick presented their 56th annual Emerald Ball at the Willows, in Honolulu. The Society was founded on St.Patrick's Day in 1955 and this is their premier fundraiser event of the year. Hamish of Maui Celtic was invited by Chuck Wall, Parade Director and all-round fine Irishman - mahalo for your hospitality, Chuck.

Friends of St.Patrick Society's Emerald Ball, Honolulu

Friends of St.Patrick Society Emerald Ball, Honolulu 2010

Starting with a cocktail hour while folks could check out the huge selection of Irish goods at the silent auction, largely collected by Society President Bill Comerford. The ball really began with Pipe Major Dan Quinn piping in the Procession of the Board of Directors. After the 'Pledge of Allegiance', young Tristan Fabro performed 'If You're Irish', Caleigh Fabro beautifully sang the Irish National Anthem, and Father John Keenan blessed the affair. During the fine buffet dinner of corned beef and cabbage, salmon, shepherd's pie and the best Irish soda bread ever tasted, there was beautiful harp music from Kate McClellan. After toasts to the United States, Hawai'i and Ireland from MC Lorraine Suankum, Chuck Wall and Bill Comerford, frontman of local band Doolin Rakes, James McCarthy performed a one man show of his 'Stripes and Stars', the story of Irish immigration to America.

Kate McClellan and James McCarthy at the Friends of St.Patrick's Emerald Ball

Kate McClellan at the Emerald Ball, Honolulu 2010James McCarthy at the Emerald Ball, Honolulu 2010

Well-known local publican and philanthropist Don Murphy was deservedly awarded 'Irishman of the Year 2010', well received by enthusiastic applause from the packed room. Don is involved with many charities, and sponsors the St.Patrick's Day Blockparty on Nuuanu Street. Bidding on the silent auction closed, and the dueling dancers of the Celtic Keiki took the stage with some great stepdancing from the local girls and their younger brother. The memorable night ended with the whole crowd singing 'The Parting Glass'. A brilliant event co-ordinated this year by Lynn Jones - well done and mahalo. Thanks to Chuck Wall for inviting Hamish. www.irishclubhawaii.com

'Scot of the Year' Hamish Burgess, 'Irishman of the Year' Don Murphy, and Pipe Major Dan Quinn at the Emerald Ball - a highlight was stepdancing from the local Celtic Keiki

Hamish Burgess, Don Murphy and Dan Quinn  at the Friends of St.Patrick's Emerald Ball, Honolulu 2010Celtic Keiki at the Friends of St.Patrick Emerald Ball, Honolulu 2010

Saturday March 13th - rescheduled from Feb 27th due to the Hawaiian Islands having a Tsunami warning that day, The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented "Treetops with Eagles" Brunch Buffet at Treetops Restaurant, Paradise Park, Honolulu. After enjoying a bird’s eye perspective of green Manoa Valley during the buffet meal, folks shifted their view to soaring eagles over the Scottish island of Mull as captured in the video EAGLE ISLAND, by wildlife photographer and Mull native Gordon Buchanan. “Eagle Island,” subtitled ”A Year on the Island of Mull,” follows Gordon, who returns to his native island to photograph eagles, otters, seals, whales and sharks in the stunning wild Mull landscape.  Buchanan becomes a character in the film as he explores “the familiar, the nostalgic, and the new” about the island he knew as a boy. He “surprises himself with new findings and falls in love again with the splendor and magic of Mull.”
The Isle of Mull, the dramatic fourth largest Scottish island, is home to golden eagles and also to a newly re-introduced species, the powerful sea eagle, which has an 8-foot wingspan and is powerful enough to hunt an occasional lamb. The whales and sharks whose territory he visits are awe-inspiring, but the elusive otters finally steal the show.   The photography of the varying moods of the island is spectacular, the animals are compelling, and Buchanan is an enthusiastic adventurer and host. “Eagle Island” was shown last year on PBS Nature under the title “The Eagles of Mull.

Isle of Maui Pipeband present Jack Lee in concertSaturday, March 13th - on Maui, the Isle of Maui Pipeband presented their “WORLD MASTERS OF PIPING SERIES” Concert, featuring World Champion Bagpiper JACK LEE. One of the world’s leading pipers returned from British Columbia to lead a workshop for the local bagpipe band, and perform at the historic Makawao Union Church. This year’s concert also featured the Isle of Maui Pipe Band. All proceeds fund the local non-profit pipe band. www.isleofmauipipeband.com

For 30 years, Jack Lee has been regarded as one of the world’s leading pipers.  His accomplishments as a Solo Piper, Pipe Band leader and Teacher cause him to be much sought after as a performer, lecturer and teacher throughout the world.  In the pipe band world, Jack is the Pipe Sergeant and co-founder of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, which, in 2009, won its 6th World Championship. 


Saturday March 13th - very sad news - a great man and Celtic warrior passed away this afternoon. Hamish's good friend Liam's dad Mr. William J. Cooney, proud Irishman and Marine Corp veteran, went to the other side. Bill was a huge fan of traditional Irish music, and turned Hamish onto many bands that he plays on the radio to this day - specifically the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, the Chieftains and surprisingly, Celtic rock band MacKeel - mahalo Bill. Aloha 'Oe, mo chara, and see you later for a seisun in Tír na nÓg.

Kieran Murphy at O'Tooles Pub Honolulu March 2010Friday March 12th - St.Patrick's Week on Oahu started with the return of wandering Irish minstrel Kieran Murphy back from New York to play traditional Irish music (and more) in Honolulu pubs. Kieran rocked Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki and O'Toole's downtown on Nuuanu St. all the way through St.Patrick's Day.
The boundlessly energetic Kieran and larger-than-life dad Joe are regulars in Hawaii at this time of year, taking a break from the north-east to entertain our local Irish crowd. Kieran's singing was amplified outside the pub and across the block party for thousands to hear !
Kieran Murphy is a singer and songwriter whose music ranges from traditional folk to contemporary rock 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

Friday March 12th - Oahu band Celtic Waves played a Wards Rafters St.Pats Party in Honolulu. As well as great traditional music there was lively Irish dancing from Jig This School of Irish Dance.

Sunday March 7th - Hamish was back spinnning Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. As well as new music, he featured a lot of great Irish music in honour of the upcoming ST.PATRICK'S DAY. Special guests were Irishmen Michael O'Dwyer and Dave Lawless from Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea, who swung by to tell us about their big party on St.Patrick's Day.

Mana'o Radio's Barryfest 2010, Kahului, Maui

Barryfest 2010, Kahului, Maui

Then Hamish headed on down to Mana'o Radio's all-day 8th anniversary party, BarryFest 2010, at Keopuolani Park Amphitheater in Kahului, dedicated to the memory of station co-founder Barry Shannon. Hamish had a collection of Maui Celtic T-shirts for sale and donated a portion of sales to support Maui’s favorite little listener-supported radio station. and met a bunch of listeners of his Sunday morning show - thanks for coming by to say Hi.

Hamish at the Maui Celtic booth at Barryfest 2010

Hamish at the Maui Celtic booth at Barryfest 2010

John Cruz at Barryfest 2010, MauiUnlike the rest of the week, the sun shone most of the day, and the great music line-up was non-stop action all day with station co-founder and MC Kathy Collins, Eddie Tanaka & Friends, The Trio (Dorothy, Les, Vince), Hula Honeys, Mojo Gumbo, Jazz Café Regulators, Mana'o Radio Orchestra with Jimi Lee from Austin TX, Dr. Nat & Rio Ritmo, Soul Concepts, Haiku Hillbillys, Gail Swanson, Vince Esquire Band, Erin Smith & the Throwdowns, finishing Hawaiian style with John Cruz, Amy Hanaiali'i & her band, then a big kanakapila encore with a whole gang of the artists. Mahalo for giving up your time for our radio station !
Proceeds from BarryFest 2010 will help to ensure the survival of one of the last free-form live radio stations in the country. Check out www.barryfest.org for updates.

Hawaiian singer John Cruz at Barryfest 2010, Kahului.


Cornish FlagMarch 5th - HAPPY ST.PIRANS DAY TO ALL OUR CORNISH FRIENDS. St.Piran's Day is the national day of Cornwall. St.Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall and tin miners, and Cornish around the world celebrate their culture. Cornwall was a huge tin mining area, until the collapse of the industry, sending emigrant Cornish all over the world, with large communities in America and Australia. The Cornish flag, St.Piran's Cross is said to have come from the saint using rock in a fire and finding a silver liquid melting out (tin). The flag shows Cornish tin over black rock, represented by the white cross on a black field.

Welsh flag. The red dragon (Y Ddraig Goch)Monday March 1st - HAPPY ST,DAVID'S DAY TO ALL OUR WELSH FRIENDS. Today is St.David's Day, the national day of Wales. Dewi Sant, or St David died 1st March 589, and is the patron saint of Wales, with Welsh around the world celebrating their culture that day. The Welsh emigrated all over the globe, many in the mining industry. There is even a large community of Welsh in Patagonia, with street signs in the Welsh language. Although St.David's Cross is yellow on a black field, the Welsh flag is a red dragon, on a split background of a white above green stripe. The red dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) represents the nation's heritage as one of the early Celtic peoples of the island of Britain.

Sunday February 28th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He featured some great Celtic music to celebrate the safe outcome of the previous day's Tsunami, on an oceanic theme, as well as Welsh music in honour of ST.DAVID'S DAY, and Cornish music for ST.PIRAN'S DAY. St.David or Dewi Sant (birth date uncertain, somewhere from 462 to 512) is the patron saint of Wales, and Welsh folk around the world celebrate their culture on March 1st. St.Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall (in the South West of the UK), and also tin miners, with his celebration day on March 5th.

Wednesday February 24th - hot new local Celtic band Finn McCoul played at Milagros in Paia, as part of a Breast Cancer Fund Benefit. This year over one million women worldwide will be diagnosed with it - folks helped fight this disease simply by eating a hearty meal in Paia - Milagros donated 10% of all food sales all day. There was a cool silent auction with items like a Jimmy Lewis stand up paddle board, Neil Pryde gift bag, Mana Foods gift certificate, a model from Konrad’s Ship Gallery, kettlebell personal training with Tree and Jeremy Baca and an Upcountry Fitness membership. More info mariedejournette@gmail.com

Mad Bagpiper Roger McKinley at Mulligans on the Blue, WaileaSunday February 21st - ‘Mulligans on the Blue’ in Wailea rocked Celtic style, as usual on a Sunday night, starting with Roger McKinley, or his alter ego the Mad Bagpiper, followed by local legends the Celtic Tigers. Singer whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy, singer/guitarist Murray Thorne and drummer Kris Thomas, played everything from Irish airs, to jigs and reels and raucous folk songs ! Piper Roger played three sets with airs, marches, and jigs and on the Highland Pipes - with a few rock tunes that got the packed house going ! Nice to see Kevin's mum back on Maui, and Michael O'Dwyer with his wee lad digging the music, as well as visiting piper Stephanie from the Chicago Police Pipeband, and well-known Oahu Irishman and great guy Chuck Wall.
Roger McKinley

The Celtic Tigers - Sundays at Mulligans on the Blue, Wailea

The Celtic Tigers, Mulligans on the Blue, Wailea February 2010

Sunday February 21st - Maui and the world online heard some great new Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio, when Hamish was back spinning the latest discs from Ireland, Scotland and Canada. He also played some songs for his brother Dudley's birthday - Dud is a great Celtic tattooist with a studio in Cornwall, UK - DNA Tattoo Studio in Newquay.

Saturday February 20th - The Friends of St.Patrick had a  St Brigids Day Meeting in the Celtic Room, at O'Tooles Pub, Downtown Honolulu. Rosanne Donohoe hosted the party bringing a bit of the old and new together while celebrating St Brigid's Day, the Mary of the Gael.

Bud Clark and Clint Burdick at Mulligans at the Wharf, LahainaFriday February 19th - there was the Friday night Irish music at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina, with the duo of bodhran player Bud Clark and Clint Burdick on Celtic guitar and banjo. The boys played high powered Celtic music with Bud on the goatskin, and Clint with his finger-pickin' of traditional Celtic tunes, and some originals. Kieran Clark did a couple of guest spots with his Dad, singing Irish and original songs and playing his new guitar, and Hamish Burgess joined Bud for some Scottish and Irish tunes on the smallpipes. Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina. 661-8881

Bud Clark and Clint Burdick - Fridays at Mulligans in Lahaina


Sunday February 14th - Hamish was back spinnning some great Celtic music on Mana'o Radio, with interview clips and music from the recent Irish Music Cruise, as well as some traditions, dedications and songs for Valentines Day. Lots of love songs, not all of them slow - the last half hour was rocking folk music !

Friday February 12th - saw the return of Celtic duo Magical Strings to Maui, with a Harp workshop and concert at St. John’s Church, Keokea, Kula. Philip and Pam Boulding shared their new compositions and stories inspired by their recent journey to Ireland last fall. They played beautiful slow airs, polkas, jigs and reels, with Philip on Celtic harps, accordion and whistles, and Pam on hammered dulcimer and concertina. Highlights were the couple rocking on concertina and childrens accordion, and Philip's fabulous 'slack key harp' compositions.

Philip and Pam Boulding of Magical Strings

Magical Strings, St.John's, Keokea, Kula February 2010

Philip and Pam Boulding founded Magical Strings in 1978, beginning their tradition of family Celtic Yuletide concerts with their five children. They have performed throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland and Japan, toured and recorded with Dan Fogelberg, appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and recorded 18 albums on four labels. Over 30 years ago, Philip became inspired by the music of Keola Beamer, and proceeded to develop a style of slack-key music for the Celtic harp, which later developed into a collaboration with Keola on their recording “Islands Calling.” Philip and Pam also design and build Celtic harps, run the School of Magical Strings, and host the Magic Hill Summer Harp Camp and Summer Fairy School on their
beautiful 5-acre home in the Northwest overlooking the Puget Sound. For more details, please visit www.magicalstrings.com

February 7th - Hamish was back on the 'Maui Celtic Show' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, from Wailuku in Maui, when he featured great new Celtic music from Vancouver and Florida, and from the artists on the Irish Music Cruise (see below).

January 24th-Feb 3rd - Hamish and Jennifer were cruising in the tropics with the Irish Music Cruise to the Southern Caribbean, presented by Debbie Casey (www.irishmusiccruises.com) 1-888-56IRISH. They joined a host of talented singers and musicians - Archie Fisher, the Makem & Spain Brothers, Gabriel Donohue, Ciaran Sheehan, Matt & Shannon Heaton, Hanneke Cassel, and Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty.

The craic started with a reunion party at the Doubletree Gallery One hotel in Fort Lauderdale, where they met old friends and made a few new ones - a surprise guest was Seamus Kennedy from last year's cruise, well lubricated, and ready for a sing-song. The next morning we all headed off to Port Everglades, where we boarded Holland America's MS Noordam, our floating home for the next 10 days.

Ciaran Sheehan and Gabriel Donohue, Irish Music Cruise, Southern Caribbean 2010Sunday, the first night of Irish Music Concerts at Sea started with Hamish Burgess as MC, introducing the talented multi instumentalist and singer Gabriel Donohue, for a great set ranging from traditional songs to originals, as well as some brilliant Celtic guitar pieces. He was joined by the fabulous Irish tenor Ciaran Sheehan, for some amazing vocals, mostly traditional, but with the odd theater number showing us how Ciaran landed the role as the Phantom of the Opera for several years on Broadway. A special guest for a few tunes was the lovely fiddler Hanneke Cassel, and Rory Makem came up for a song - a fine night to start it all off. .........................(above) Ciaran Sheehan & Gabriel Donohue

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........

On Monday we sailed on past our first scheduled stop at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, due to gales and rain, and headed south-east for better weather.

Joe Murphy on the Iriah Music Cruise 2010The day passed with plenty to do onboard exporing the ship, until an Irish History and Language talk by the informative and entertaining Joe Murphy, who explained the difference in the Celtic tongues, and focused on the history of the Irish language, and even taught us some useful Gaelic phrases. Following that was the Welcome Cocktail Party, for a few drinks in the Crow's Nest bar, with a great view up on the Observation Deck.

Joe Murphy

During the first formal dinner, the kilted Hamish and fellow Scot Archie Fisher hatched a plan to celebrate Robert Burns Night, as it was January 25th, this year being the poet's 251st birthday.

Hamish Burgess, Archie Fisher, Shannon Heaton, Hanneke Cassel, and Matt Heaton on Robert Burns Night aboard the Irish Music Cruise 2010

Hamish Burgess, Archie Fisher, Hanneke Cassel, Shannon and Matt Heaton on Robert Burns Night aboard the Irish Music Cruise 2010

Traditional Celtic music trio, Matt & Shannon Heaton and Hanneke Cassel, started the concert for the night with some great tunes, and were soon joined by Scottish folk music icon Archie Fisher who beautifully sang some of Robert Burns' poetry, accompanied by Hamish Burgess on the Scottish smallpipes for a fine rendition of 'Scots Wha' Hae'.

Archie Fisher and Hamish Burgess on Robert Burns Night on the Irish Music Cruise

Archie Fisher and Hamish Burgess on Robert Burns Night on the irish Music Cruise 2010Archie Fisher and Hamish Burgess toasting Robert Burns on the Irish Music Cruise 2010

Hamish led a toast to 'The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns', with the whole Irish Music Cruise crowd raising a glass to the poet, to be recorded as part of the Worldwide Toast to Robert Burns. Matt, Shannon and Hanneke ripped on more trad jigs and reels, and some fine songs from the Heatons recent award-winning album 'Lovers Well'. Next up was the powerhouse Irish duo, well-known in the Canadian Maritimes, Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty, for a raucous set of traditional and original songs, with the approproate sea-shanties thrown in, as we headed into the Caribbean. They ended a memorable night by inviting guests the Makem & Spain Brothers, Hanneke Cassel, and the Heatons, to the stage for a big closing set. Then on to the Piano bar for another late session of songs, sea-shanties and much more........

Kevin Evans and Brian Doherty, and guests

Kevin Evans and Brian Doherty, and guests on the Irish Music Cruise 2010

Tuesday we awoke docked at Grand Turk, in the Turks and Caicos Islands, for our first day ashore, arriving early with extra time on the island, after missing the first port-of-call. Hamish and Jennifer, with friend Joanie took a cab to nearby Cockburn Town, tiny but quaint capital of the Islands, and had a look in the few shops and the local museum, with Lucayan Indian artifacts, early shipwreck history and items, and a display on the space capsule that splashed down nearby with John Glenn in 1962. Then they went snorkeling in the warm clear blue waters off a deserted white sandy beach near the town, for a look at the tropical fish on the shallow reef, surprisingly quite far off shore.

Cockburn Town, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands

Cockburn Town, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands

Turks and Caicos Arms - and the Government Buildings

Turks and Caicos Heraldic ArmsCanons outside the Government Buildings, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

There was plenty of time for a look round the complex of bars and shops near the cruise ship dock, before heading back onboard for a sunset rum punch party before dinner.

Archie Fisher on the Irish Music Cruise 2010The concert that night started with Scotland's broadcasting icon (he has a 27 year-running radio programme Traveling Folk on BBC Radio Alba on Thursdays), the legendary singer songwriter Archie Fisher. With decades of experience, he sang some traditional songs, and many fabulous originals, accompanied with brilliant open-tuning guitar playing, all introduced with wit and story-telling proving him to be a master of his craft. Check out his latest brilliant CD 'Windward Away'.

In total contrast to Archie's quiet brilliance, but equally good, were Irish music's wall of sound, the Makem and Spain Brothers. Powerhouse 5 man vocal harmonies, backed by guitars, mandolin, banjo and bodhran, the lads romped through traditional Irish and Scottish songs and their own originals, with witty banter in-between. For the final set they invited a long-time hero of theirs, Archie Fisher, back onstage to end a great night. Not quite.....on to the Piano bar session !

The Makem & Spain Brothers, Irish music's Wall of Sound

The Makem & Spain Brothers on the Irish Music Cruise 2010

Wednesday we awoke anchored off Semana, in the Dominican Republic. Although it felt odd to be safe and happy tourists on the same island (old Hispaniola) as the suffering people of Haiti, in the aftermath of the recent disastrous earthquake, it was great to see the crew of the Holland America Line off-loading trucks of supplies destined for the stricken areas on the far side of the island - all the passengers cheered each trolley as they passed by us, having priority to unload first. Ship's tenders took us ashore through the sheltered bay.

M.S. Noordam anchored off Semana, Dominincan Republic

M.S. Noordam anchored off Semana, Dominincan Republic

Hamish, Jennifer, Joanie and Gabriel hired a taxi-driver for the day to show us around the beautiful tropical island. We headed up through the mountains, stopping at various lookout spots for photos, before reaching the town and beaches of Las Terranas. An interesting ride, with seemingly no road rules on overtaking, and our driver skillfully avoiding deep potholes everywhere, not to mention other vehicles and horses. The beaches were spectacular, with crystal clear warm water for swimming. The area was also a local fishing spot, with the fishermen proudly displaying their Dorado catch for sale.

Local fishermen at Las Terranas, Dominican Republic

Las Terranas, Dominican Republic

Fishermen with Dorado, and a Bread-bike in the Dominincan Republic

Dominican Republic FishermenBread Bike in the Dominican Republic

Dominican/Haitian art in a market, and traditional Dominican musicians

Art market in the Dominican RepublicDominican traditional musicians

The street markets were full of bright colored Haitian artwork and souvenirs, although back in Semana we had to run the gauntlet of vendors trying hard to make a sale - start talking to them and you couldn't get rid of them !

Wednesday evening was Ceilidh night, with a great line-up on stage of Hanneke Cassel, Gabriel Donohue, Kevin Evans, Matt & Shannon Heaton, Rory Makem and Liam Spain making up a brand new ceilidh band ! Hanneke was the life and soul of the party, as always, and taught everyone the fun ceilidh dances, even Hamish and Shane Makem ! She then led the Scottish dances including 'The Gay Gordons', with Hamish Burgess asked up on stage with the electric bagpipe chanter to get the Scottish ceilidh mood going, with the Irish Music Cruise gang doing a grand job with the dancing.

The Irish Music Cruise Ceilidh Band !

Ceilidh Band of the Irish Music Cruise 2010

Then of course on to the Piano bar for a now infamous late night session !

Gabriel Donohue and Ciaran Sheehan leading an Irish Name That Tune on the Irish Music Cruise 2010Thursday was a day at sea heading through the Southern Caribbean, to the ABC islands.

After a leisurely breakfast Hamish joined the gang at the Piano Bar for a fun and informative Irish 'Name That Tune', led by the knowledgeable and talented Gabriel Donohue and Ciaran Sheehan, who gave some hints about the songs and played the first few bars of the tunes.

Gabriel Donohue, Kevin Evans, Brian Doherty, That afternoon saw the first official session in the Crow's Nest bar, with all the musicians taking a turn with a song or tune, as many joining in as like to, with any of the guests welcome to have a go too. You never know what talent is in the room - Hamish lent his smallpipes to guest piper Kevin Palm for a couple of tunes. You also get to hear some great songs that the performers don't normally sing on stage.

After the second formal dinner night of the cruise, the concert that night started with Gabriel Donohue, with more fine Irish tunes, and his hilarious Johnny Cash versions of some traditional and pop songs. Gabe was joined by tenor Ciaran Sheehan and fiddler Hanneke Cassel for a great set, with Hamish Burgess on the smallpipes, and later on the electric bagpipe chanter for an epic version of 'Amazing Grace'. Shannon Heaton also joined Gabe for a set of whistle and piano tunes.

Hanneke Cassel, Ciaran Sheehan and Gabriel Donohue

Hanneke Cassel, Ciaran Sheehan and Gabriel Donohue on the Irish Music Cruise 2010

Friday morning we awoke docked on the Dutch Antilles island of Bonaire, famous for it's clear blue waters and coral reefs, a hub of scuba-diving in the Southern Caribbean. The Dutch built Fort Oranje in 1639.

Fort Oranje and waterfront in Kralendijk, Bonaire

Fort Oranje, Kralendijk, Bonaire

After a walk round the small town of Kralendijk with it's colorful buildings, we jumped in a cab for a tour round the north of the small island, stopping at 1000 Steps (only actually 68), to look at some coral rock arches, feed wild donkeys, and see the pink flamingoes in Lake Gotomeer.

Pink flamingoes in Lake Gotomeer, Bonaire

Pink Flamingo in BonairePink Flamingoes on Bonaire

Wild birds in Bonaire

Wild Parokeet in BonaireWild bird in Bonaire

The tour took us through the center of the island to the vliiage of Rincon, and to a monument and a look-out high above Kralendijk, with a great view of the coast and ships.

Archie Fisher on the Irish Music Cruise 2010Friday evening concerts started with the return of Scots folk music icon Archie Fisher, with more great original songs, brilliant stories behind them, and more fine guitar playing. Archie comes from a musical family from Glasgow, and recorded with them in 1965, then followed a solo career as well as playing with Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, and Garnet Rogers. He has written many songs covered by famous singers and Celtic groups, including 'The Final Trawl', a standard on past cruises from Liam Clancy, and the epic 'Witch of the Westmorland', a favorite by many band's on Hamish's Maui Celtic Radio Show. Last summer Archie invited Hamish onto his own show on BBC Scotland, 'Traveling Folk', running for 27 years !

To close the concert night in raucous fashion were the Makem and Spain Brothers. Multiple strings and bodhran, the boys powered through a great set, with a break when Rory makem sang a tribute to the brothers late father, the legendary Tommy Makem. Back to the five-man 'wall of sound' for a ripping finale......before......the Piano bar session !

Makem and Spain Brothers on the Irish Music Cruise 2010

Saturday morning found us docked on the island of Curaçao, the largest and most populous of the three ABC islands. An easy walk from the dock through an old fort turned into a shopping center, was the unusual floating footbridge across the river dividing the picturesque town of Willemstad, founded by the Dutch in 1634. The historic buildings here earned the capital a place on UNESCO's world heritage list.

Willemstad, Curacao

Willemstad, Curacao

The colorful buildings house shops for tourists and locals alike, and street cafes line the waterfront - a great place to recover from 'land-sickness', Hamish found out. There was a floating market along a canal, with the market stalls built alongside the docked boats.

Floating Market, Willemstad

Floating Market, Willemstad

With the ship staying in port for the evening, the Irish Music Cruise gang had a free night, and after dinner Hamish headed ashore with Archie Fisher and his agent Bob Jensen, for a few beers and a good yarn at some of the bars in the converted fort. The only music scheduled tonight was of course.......the late night session.

Alejandro Rivas-Vasquez, Frank Dennert, Adolo Garrido and Hamish Burgess at Unique Sports of Aruba, January 2010Sunday we arrived at the island of Aruba, and the capital Oranjestad. This was a reunion for Hamish with a few old work pals, as he worked here for a year 15 years before as a scuba-diving instructor.

Alejandro Rivas-Vasquez, Frank Dennert, Adolo Garrido and Hamish Burgess at Unique Sports of Aruba.

One of the lads was by chance visiting from his job in London, UK - Alejandro and Iulia met Hamish and Jennifer at the cruise-ship dock, and took them to see the boys at Unique Sports of Aruba, where they had a private dive boat trip ready as a surprise - also the shop where musicians Hanneke, the Makems, and Ciaran and family, and also Brian Conlon were taking a dive class.

Unique Sports of Aruba dive boatThe Irish Music Cruise divers were a mixture of certified divers and first timers, producing a few new underwater addicts, not least new scuba-queen Hanneke. Their trip was accidentally held up by Hamish's private dive reunion with his three old work pals from Unique sports - the lads in the photo above. A great shipwreck dive had the boat back late, with Ciaran cursing Hamish as he had a second trip arranged with a tight time-frame straight after ! .........Aruba time, mon.......

Unique Sports of Aruba goes Irish !


Hamish Burgess, Alejandro Rivas-Vasquez, Iulia and Jennifer Fahrni at La Trattoria el Faro Blanco Restaurant, Califonia Lighthouse, Aruba After a huge crab sandwich in one of the new restaurants by the hotel zone, Alejandro and Iulia took Hamish and Jen to one of the Unique boys old haunts - the bar by the California Lighthouse, La Trattoria el Faro Blanco Restaurant, on the northern point of Aruba, with a great view of the beach at Malmok. A couple of beers later, and they went to the beach for a while to meet the owners of Unique Sports, Emmit and Suzanne Kimble, who Hamish also had not seen for 15 years.

Sunday evening's music was a session at the Crow's Nest, with all the performers taking turns at a tune or song, with a surprise piper borrowing Hamish's smallpipes -

MORE COMING SOON...............only half done.......


We said our farewells at the bar that night, and all dispersed to the far corners of the globe the following day. What a brilliant week of great company, laughs, fine food, Caribbean adventures, and amazing world-class Irish music - the craic was indeed mighty on the MS Noordam !

Thanks to Debbie Casey of IRISH MUSIC CRUISES CONCERTS AT SEA - check out the yearly event at www.irishmusiccruises.com or call 1-888-56IRISH for more info.


Monday, January 25th - was of course Robert Burns Night, this year the Scottish poet's 251st birthday. Robert Burns

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.

The Maui Scots celebrated Robert Burns Night at 'Mulligan's on the Blue' in Wailea, on the Scottish poet's 251st birthday. Maui's newest Celtic music group, the Finn McCoul band, kicked the evening off playing traditional Irish and Scottish songs and tunes. Roger McKinley played the traditional “piping in of the haggis”, with Michael O'Dwyer carrying the wee beast, and Bud Clarke as the whisky-bearer. Roger and lovely wife Leili McKinley were MCs, as John Crowe was under the weather. Added to all the whiskey toasts, poetry, and good craic, guest pipers Mike MacDougall, Allison Jackson, and the Asher Family played a few sets. ‘Mulligan’s on the Blue’ had a Scottish/Hawaiian buffet, with traditional dishes including Cock-a-leekie soup, and of course Haggis. Then Finn McCoul rocked the full house again, Celtic style. As usual, it was sold out, and an event you don’t want to miss next year.
Roger also led a Maui Celtic group in a toast to 'The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns', with the whole pub raising a glass to the poet, to be recorded as part of the Worldwide Toast to Robert Burns.

Saturday January 23rd - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented Robert Burns: The Man and his Music at the Hawai'i Convention Center. The Formal Dinner was Highland dress or evening wear, with the traditional “piping in of the haggis”, and the usual toasts and poetry to celebrate Scotland's national poet. "The Immortal Memory Toast" was by Kalani Brady and Terence Knapp.
Robert Burns had a love of music, especially the folk music of his time. He collected hundreds of traditional songs and set many of his poems to Scottish fiddle tunes. The evening was filled with many of these songs. There was Scottish Country Dancing, Highland dancing, fiddle music from Lisa Gomes, and piping from the Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii. Special guest piper was the Queen's 10th Piper from 1998-2003, Jim Motherwell, a fellow Scot from Kilsyth. He learned to play the pipes from Duncan Johnstone, a foremost composer and piping instructor from Glasgow.
It was announced that Maui Celtic's own Hamish Douglas Burgess was named The Caledonian Society of Hawaii's 'Scot of the Year' for 2010, for services to the Scottish/Hawaiian community. "The Caledonian Society has presented this award each year since 1987 to an individual who is of Scottish descent or has embraced an interest in Scotland and Scottish culture, has supported the Scottish community in Hawai'i, and has made a contribution to the Hawaiian community in general. The Board members of the Caledonian Society believe that you meet these criteria and are a person who exemplifies the values upon which this award is based." A great honor. Hamish would like to humbly extend his gratitude to the Hawaiian Scots for this recognition - Mahalo. Caledonian Society website - www.scotsinhawaii.org.

January 20th-23rd - Hamish and Jennifer were in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, visiting old friends before heading out on the Irish Music Cruise (see above). They saw an excellent exhibition at the Museum of Art featuring the brilliant work of Norman Rockwell.
They also spent Friday night at a great local Irish pub The Field, one of the most authentic pub atmosphere's anywhere in America, with good traditional music from Celtic Bridge. Hamish had a chat with singer/guitarist Ade Peever (from Crewe, UK) and uilleann piper Eamonn Dillon (from West Belfast) about their music - the band also features guitarist John Schreiber, Roisin Dillon fiddle, and Hollywood Mike on guitar.

Celtic Bridge at The Field, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Celtic Bridge at The Field, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Thanks to old pals Willie, Cari and Aisling Lacey for their hospitality and great company - not to mention a few Guinness !

Friday January 22nd - Oahu's own trad group Celtic Waves celebrated the release of their new CD, "CELTIC WAVES IN HAWAII" at Ward’s Rafters in Honolulu. Sitting in for Aubrey Knuth, who played phenomenal cooperative fiddle on the CD but could not attend this concert, was Curtis Vandeloop, who helped start the band and actually taught them many of the tunes on the CD. Curtis was a member of the legendary Honolulu band "Irish Hearts," which served as the inspiration for Celtic Waves.

English Bay, Vancouver, BCJanuary 13th-19th - Hamish was up in Vancouver, BC, Canada for a bit of R&R with Jennifer, after a rough Holiday Season recovering from hernia surgery, and a bad pinched neck nerve. The time unable to surf on Maui, he spent working on some Celtic art for the Irish Rovers (see below).

Vancouver is a beautiful city, and the view from Jennifer's family home is spectacular.

"...her misty coloured mountains raise their head into the heavens, and gaze upon that blue Pacific shore" - Vancouver by Tommy Makem.

English Bay, Vancouver, B.C.

Bruce Coughlan at Ceili's Irish Pub & Restaurant, Downtown Vancouver

They saw a good performance from Bruce Coughlan at Ceili's Irish Pub & Restaurant, Downtown Vancouver. Bruce was singing his own great historic Pacific Northwest songs, as well as Irish and Scots traditional ones. The talented songwriter also fronts the local BC band The Tillers Folly, who play 'high-energy acoustic roots music' with a lot of Celtic content. Bruce has had 2 solo albums now, first 'The Wild Bird's Nets' with some beautiful old traditional songs, and the recent 'A Minstrel In Moray', mainly Bruce's originals, with a couple of trad songs in there too.

Bruce Coughlan at Ceili's Irish Pub, Vancouver (right)


Hamish Burgess, George Millar of the Irish Rovers, and Jennifer Fahrni in Vancouver 2010They also met with George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, to finalize the details of the release of the latest Irish Rovers CD, featuring Hamish Douglas Burgess' artwork on the cover and inside booklet.

Hamish Burgess, George Millar of the Irish Rovers, and Jennifer Fahrni in Vancouver (right)

The Irish singer commissioned Hamish after seeing his Celtic artwork whilst on Maui earlier this year. The album cover is a piece of folk art entitled 'Gracehill Fair', that George thinks captured the spirit of the title track of the album. It features a traditional Celtic knotwork border and a fairground tent, with Irish musicians, dancers and spectators making merry, like you may see at an Irish country fair, any time in the last century or so.

'Gracehill Fair' by Hamish Douglas Burgess © 2009 - cover of the new Irish Rovers CD

'Gracehill Fair' by Hamish Douglas Burgess, album cover of the new Irish Rovers CD Gracehill Fair © 2009

The second piece 'The Irish Rovers Tree of Life' is for the liner notes booklet of the new 'Gracehill Fair' CD, and can be seen below.

The Maui Celtic couple saw a preview of the new musical play Beyond Eden at the Vancouver Playhouse, based on the journey of master Haida artist Bill Reid and archaeologist Wilson Duff to recover decaying totem poles from Ninstints in Haida Gwaii (The Queen Charlotte Islands) in 1957. With a great set, and a spectacular moment when traditional Haida carvings were lit up on the totems, the show posed the question whether the taking of the last totems at Ninstints was a cultural travesty or a heroic act to save a nation's artwork. Jennifer grew up surrounded by Bill's art, and he is credited with saving the Haida art from extinction. Haida art shares a similar tradition of form-lines with ancient Celtic art.

Hamish caught up with great musician pal and Geordie-about-town Tim Readman, when he took him and the lovely Jennifer and Neasa to a long-table dinner at the Irish Heather Pub in downtown Vancouver. Roast beef and Yorkshire pud' with a pint of Tetley's !

He saw two other artist friends in the city. Rudi Diesvelt is a fine jeweller and leatherworker, and a Celtic renaissance man. Hamish sells some of Rudi's work - see Maui Celtic at locations on our Contact Us page. Rudy crafts excellent leather items and one-off custom works of museum quality.

Aidan Meehan is a renowned Celtic artist, the Irish author of many books on the construction of Celtic knotwork, and an inspiration to Hamish for many years. Aidan is a master artist of the traditional Celtic style, using ancient techniques to produce works that have to be seen to be believed. He does custom original work and also has fine art prints.

Sunday, January 17,24 and 31 - Tony was back spinnning some great Celtic music on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui, while Hamish was off gallivanting on the Irish Music Cruise. Mahalo to Tony, the originator of the show, for holding the fort for a few weeks.

Sunday, January 10th - Hamish's 'Maui Celtic Show' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, from Wailuku in Maui, featured great new Celtic music, including some award winning music from winners of the 'Livies', the Live Ireland Music Awards. Also a few songs to celbrate regular listener John Crowe becoming an American citizen, and a wee Elvis competition, as the rock 'n' roll legend's birthday was on Jan 8th - of course there are Celtic versions of Elvis songs !

Bud Clark and Clint Burdick at Mulligan's at the Wharf, Lahaina Friday January 8th - there was Irish music at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina, with the new duo of bodhran player Bud Clark and Clint Burdick on Celtic guitar and banjo. The boys rocked the wee pub with Bud on the funky goatskin, and Clint on fire with his finger-pickin' of traditional Celtic tunes, and a brilliant original ripping like Freight Trains at Ma'alaea ! Kieran Clark did a couple of guest spots with his Dad, singing Irish and original songs and playing the guitar. Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina. 661-8881.......pity they painted over the mural though !

Wednesday January 6th - Happy Christmas again ! Today is known as Nollaig Beag (Little Christmas) in the old Celtic lands, and also in Ireland as Nollaig na mBan (Womens Christmas) - the tradition is so called because of Irish men performing the household duties for the day, leaving the ladies to hold parties or celebrate the day with friends or relatives.

Celtic Tree of Life by Hamish Burgess

Little Christmas has a longer story - Julius Caesar's Roman calendar year was inaccurate, so in 1582 Pope Gregory XIII sanctioned the cutting of 10 days to fit the new Gregorian calendar, adopted throughout Catholic Europe. Protestant Europe kept the old Julian calendar until the middle of the 18th century, meaning England was by then eleven days ahead of the Continent. To align Britain with the rest of Europe, in September 1752 the Calendar Act authorized a jump from the 2nd to the 14th, provoking riots with folks thinking that the government had stolen eleven days of their lives. Before this change, Christmas was celebrated on the equivalent of January 6th on our modern Gregorian calendar - hence Old Christmas Day, or Little Christmas.
In America the residents of Rodanthe, Hatteras Island, North Carolina, have celebrated Old Christmas for over 100 years, on the Saturday closest to Epiphany. Local tradition has it that in colonial days, the isolated Outer Banks coastal towns were not informed of the 1752 change by the English Crown to the Georgian calendar, and refused to adopt it.
Acoording to a friend in St.Petersburg "Russian Church also refused to accept Gregorian Calendar....So we too celebrate Christmas today".

Tuesday, January 5th - Hamish finished a commissioned piece of art for the Irish Rovers. Founder George Millar gave an enthusiastic OK to a new Celtic art design for the latest Irish Rovers CD, due out in the New Year for the legendary band's 45th year on the road ! 'The Irish Rovers Tree of Life' is for the liner notes booklet of the new 'Gracehill Fair' CD, and is a Celtic Tree of Life with the stalks and leaves representing the 45 years that the legendary band have been on the road. The Celtic Tree of Life comes out of a traditional cauldron, and entwined are the seven creations of the ancient Celtic world as they saw it - plants, humans, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects. The design contains a tribute to the band's landmark million selling single from 1967, 'The Unicorn', with a Celtic-style unicorn, and from a line in the song, "there were green alligators and long-necked geese....", the reptile on the 4 is a green alligator, with a long-necked goose amongst the 5.

'Irish Rovers Tree of Life' by Hamish Burgess © 2010 for the New Irish Rovers CD

'Irish Rovers Tree of Life' by Hamish Burgess © 2010 for the New Irish Rovers CD 'Gracehill Fair'

The landmark album for The Irish Rovers' 45th year of touring, "Gracehill Fair" will be released on Feb 10th. It contains fine traditional songs and tunes, and great new original songs. Watch this page or our Gallery page for details on where to get it, and the Irish Rovers website.

Sunday, January 3rd - Roger McKinley, or his alter ego the Mad Bagpiper, or possibly both, played the first of his new weekly spot at ‘Mulligans on the Blue’ in Wailea at 6.30pm, and again at the Celtic Tigers break. Piper Roger Mckinley performed airs, marches jigs and reels on the Highland Pipes and Smallpipes.

Map of the Celtic nationsSunday, January 3rd - Hamish's 'Maui Celtic Show' on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui, featured great new Celtic music, and artists from all the Celtic nations - Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Mann, Cornwall, Brittany, Galicia and the Asturias - not to mention Cape Breton and Russia !

More world exclusive advance tracks from the pre-release of the Irish Rovers new album, entitiled 'Gracehill Fair', due for release in February.

Hamish also played some songs as a tribute to Kathryn Lawrence Dragas, a lovely ladyfriend of Jennifer's, who tragically passed away recently at a young age.

The show goes out live online at www.manaoradio.com. Local time 8-10 am (Hawaii), which for the winter will now be 10am-12pm US/Canada West coast, 11am-1pm Mountain time, 12-2pm central time, 1-3pm East Coast, and 6-8pm in Ireland and the UK.



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