"MAUI CELTIC BLOG" & MAUI CELTIC NEWS ARCHIVE
December 31st 2011 - 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 for 2012 - see you then ! Cheers & Sláinte, Hamish & Jennifer.
Hamish celebrated Hogmanay on Scottish time by tuning in online just before midnight GMT to Celtic Music Radio in Glasgow, surprised to hear them talking about his own Maui Celtic Radio Show ! With a quick phone call he exchanged greetings with Liz Clark and Gordon Hotchkiss broadcasting their Hogmanay Party show. They all had a wee dram at the turning of the Scottish new year ! The great station broadcasts Celtic and other Scottish music 24/7 on 1530 AM around central Scotland, and online www.celticmusicradio.net.
He then called his Mum, and video skyped his old friends and brother in Cornwall, to wish them a Happy New Year. His next New Year celebration was on skype with Jennifer and Jean Fahrni in Vancouver BC, on Pacific Time. Then a final one at home in Maui - three in one day - a good Celtic number !
The modern New Year is known as Hogmanay in Scotland, and is as big a celebration as Christmas. Originally a gathering at standing stones to drink to the spirits, it evolved to a celebration around town and village market crosses known as 'Nollaig Beag' (Little Christmas). It moved from public places into the home when the Reformation of the Church in the 1500s tried to ban it.
One Hogmanay tradition that continues to this day in Scotland is that of 'First Footing'. The first person to cross your doorway after midnight, should be a dark haired man, carrying 'handsel' - offerings of food, drink (whiskey), a piece of coal (to signify the warmth of the hearth all year), and occasionally salt (to signify wealth). Another old custom was for men to kiss any female they met in the street, carried on today as a "New Year's Kiss". Fire festivals were common, with burning torches and barrels of tar carried around town on poles. The fire tradition continues today as fireworks in the Americas and the Hawaiian Islands.
The famous New Year song was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788 - "Auld Lang Syne" has become an anthem of the turning of the year at midnight.
Thursday & Friday December 29/30th - over on Oahu they had Scottish Movies at the Movie Museum - "ROCKET POST" (2004-UK). Directed by Stephen Whittaker. Ulrich Thomsen, Shauna Macdonald, Kevin McKidd, Eddie Marsan, John Wood. In the mid-1930s, two Germans, scientist Gerhard (Thomsen) and his irritable assistant Heinz (Marsan), arrive on the Scottish island of Scarp, a place so inaccessible that the island's representative in Parliament has hired the Germans to provide postal service... by rocket! Wary islanders, romance and looming clouds of war lay ahead. Based loosely on the true story of Gerhard Zucher, "ROCKET POST" is filmed gorgeously on the Outer Hebridean isle of Taransay. Winner of the Grand Prize at the Stony Brook Film Festival.
Sun 25th December - HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL !!
Hamish and Jennifer at Maui Celtic wish you all a happy and safe holiday season, and see you next year.
MELE KALIKIMAKA ME KA HAUOLI MAKAHIKI HOU
Scots - Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur
Irish - Nollaig Shona agus Bliain Nua Mhaith
Manx - Nollick Ghennal as Blein Vie Noa
Welsh - Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Cornish - Nadelik Looan na Blydhen Nowydh Da
Breton - Nedeleg Laouen na Bloav Ezh Mat
Galician - Bon Nadal e Bo Ani Novo
Asturian - Feliz Nadal y prósperu Añu Nuevu
While the ancient Celts celebrated the Winter Solstice (see below), the ancient Romans on December 25th had a festival dedicated to Mithras, their God of Light, celebrating his birthday, 'natalis invicti solis', or 'the birth of the unconquerable sun'. In the early Christian world, Christmas was celebrated on dates as far apart as January 1st, January 6th, March 29th, and even September 29th ! At the end of the 4th century, Pope Julius 1st fixed the date as December 25th, where it has remained to this day. Later Pope Gregory sent the monk Augustine (a future saint) into the Celtic Isles, but told him to build his new churches on the temple sites of the Old Religion, and to hold Christian celebrations on Pagan Festival Days, to promote a continuity of belief. In this way, Christmas was welded to older celebrations.
Christmas morning - Joel was back with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Of course on Christmas morning, there was a seasonal theme of Christmas/Winter Solstice music. Hamish called in throughout the show from Vancouver BC, and had some words on traditions of the season. They played some great songs and tunes for the time of year.
December 19th - 30th - Hamish was in up in the chilly Pacific North-west for a traditional Christmas with Jennifer in Vancouver BC, Canada. First stop was at the BC SPCA animal shelter, where they adopted the latest member of the Maui Celtic family, a 6 year old handsome big smokey grey furry fellow with blue eyes called Merlin.
Merlin in his new home for Christmas
After a couple of days of hiding under beds, he settled in nicely in his new home, claiming various comfortable spots as his favourites, and getting to know his new humans.
That night there was the traditional Fahrni household Christmas tree decorating party, a fun way to dress the two storey tree, with friends and family hanging lights and ornaments, while having drinks and some nice food.
The welcoming Fahrni house Christmas tree (right)
The rest of the trip was filled with a few drams at great parties, mornings sleeping in, rainy days in front of the log fire, and a couple of movie nights out at the cinema. The Fahrni house was a lively place to be with family stopping by, and friends coming to see the grand lady of the house, the amazing Jean Fahrni, ancient ceramics expert and world traveler. There were also house guests - visitors from Switzerland, Martin and Regula, and Jennifer's friend and Kelowna artist Teri Paul, who is an accomplished painter, and fine ceramic artist. A fun time was had by all !
For a bit of Celtic musical content, our duo caught up with inimitable local Geordie singer-songwriter Tim Readman and Friends, 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 Allan Dionne on snare, with Ed Weaver on mandola. They played a fun set of traditional, contemporary, and even some Christmas tunes and songs. Neil Hammond sang a few songs with his guitar. Check out Tim's music at www.timreadman.com - also Tim and Craig's duo (with guests) the Eventually Brothers www.myspace.com/eventuallybrothers.
21st - 22nd December - WINTER SOLSTICE GREETINGS TO ALL !
The winter months of November, December and January are divided by the Winter Solstice - this year's solstice (summer solstice in the southern hemisphere) occured on December 22nd, at 5.30am GMT.
The ancient Gaulish Druids called their month of November-December "Dumanios", or 'The Darkest Depths'. The Winter Solstice was a celebration of the rising of the sun from it's lowest point in the sky, back to longer days and the lighter part of the year. The sleeping earth was heading toward re-awakening. Evergreen trees were seen as a reminder that spring would bring re-birth. Druids ceremoniously cut mistletoe, and offerings were made to the Gods for the return of the Sun. Mistletoe was sacred, and (as well as an antidote for poisons) had a fertility connection, carried on to this day as the tradition of "kissing under the mistletoe".
In the Viking world of Northern Europe, they celebrated Yuletide with festivals of Fire and Lights, and brought evergreens (holly, ivy, and conifers) into the house, to symbolise the eternity of life. Holly represents the male in folklore, and ivy the female, and the entwining of both in wreaths, and other decorations, symbolised harmony and balance in the home.
'IRISH ROVERS MERRY MERRY TIME OF YEAR' © Hamish Burgess 2011
That tradition appears in Hamish's latest art - the album cover for The Irish Rovers "Merry Merry Time of Year" Christmas CD. Very pleased to be involved with that project, as it's a great album of seasonal songs, some traditional, and many new ones from the pen of George Millar. Every image on the album, artwork or photography, is by Hamish. More details on the artwork (his 3rd album cover for the Rovers) on our Gallery page.
More on the band at www.theirishroversmusic.com, and the CD at http://theirishroversmusic.com/ecom/?category=2&product=27#contenttop
Sunday 18th - Thursday 22nd December - Maui Madrigale's Christmas Carols could be heard at Whaler's Village in Ka'anapali for 5 nights from 6:00-7:30pm. Not so Celtic, but in the old tradition of the season, folks could see & hear choral group Maui Madrigale singing Christmas carols & a variety of ethnic Christmas music from around the world. They were in costumes looking like wrapped Christmas gifts - 5 nights of fun! ........Mele Kalikimaka.
Sunday 18th December - Hamish was back with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Today was a Christmas/Winter Solstice Special, with seasonal Celtic music, from beautiful ballads to downright rockers ! He played some great songs and tunes for the time of year, and had folklore and traditions of the Winter Solstice, Christmas and Yuletide. Show regular Joel Agnew came in to end the Christmas party with Hamish in the studio, which at one point was invaded by Elves !
Saturday December 17th - over on Oahu, traditonal Irish band Celtic Waves held their 6th annual Solstice Concert at the Atherton Theater in Honolulu. .........Oahu's own Celtic Waves
"The Winter Solstice is the longest night and the shortest day of the year and was the Celtic celebration of renewal of spirit and faith in the face of cold and darkness. Over time it turned into the commercial blitz we now call Christmas. Come celebrate the season with us in the old Celtic way, dancing with fiddles, flute, percussion, and voices - ours and yours."
There are a couple of new faces in the band with the addition of the well-known singer/songwriter Louise Taylor taking over the vocal reins and Tom McCabe on rhythm guitar. Lawson Cannon was back visiting from his new home in Washington, and also sitting in for a few tunes and songs will be the Oregon fiddler William Greene from the old days in Honolulu of Irish Hearts. www.celticwaves.net
December 17th - The Friends of St.Patrick held their Annual Christmas Party, at Ferguson’s Irish Pub, Downtown Honolulu. The first drink was on the Friends of Saint Patrick. Folks brought gifts for boys or girls who are in the Kapiolani Women's and Children's Hospital during the Christmas Holidays. Details - Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 808-223-3997.
Friday 16th December - our own Celtic artist Hamish Burgess was a guest on Joel Agnew's "Aloha Friday" show at "11:10am on 1110 AM" and 96.7FM KAOI in Wailuku. They were celebrating a "Merry Merry Time of Year" the new CD from The Irish Rovers, and Hamish's Celtic art throughout the CD (see our Gallery page), and played several upbeat seasonal songs from the album. They chatted about his Celtic art career, and recent adventures with The Irish Rovers filming a Christmas Special DVD on the ski slopes of Banff, Alberta, and crazy helicopter drops on a windy mountain ridge at 7800 feet in the Rocky Mountains !
Hamish, Marty, Joel, Lisa, and Hutch on The Aloha Friday Show
An action packed show, with the lovely Lisa Teichner and guests local reggae star Marty Dread, and Maui's own Hutch Hutchinson (bassist with Bonnie Rait, and also well-known in the Celtic music world) in for a visit - not to mention the Hawaiian Christmas singers of the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel who belted out a song in the studio - all 7 of them - the craic was indeed mighty on Aloha Friday !
Hawaiian Christmas singers of the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel
Friday 16th December - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band played in the upcountry Christmas Paniolo Parade through Makawao town, from 5:00-6:00pm. Folks celebrate the holidays with Santa and the pipe band ! Contact the band for details through www.isleofmauipipeband.com
Thursday December 15th - over on Oahu they had Scottish Movies at the Movie Museum - "ONE LAST CHANCE" (2004-UK/Norway). Also shown Dec 30th.
Directed by Stewart Svaasand. Jamie Sives, Kevin McKidd, Iain Robertson, Dougray Scott.
Fitz (Sives) and his buddies Seany (McKidd) and Nellie (Robertson) hate Christmas. Stuck in the dead-end town of Tullybridge in the Highlands of Scotland, the three friends are the only ones who haven't escaped to good jobs and a better lifestyle. It's almost too much to bear to see the stream of new cars that return at Yuletide, full of smug former neighbors. So when Fitz stumbles upon a golden nugget, the three make plans for their climb up the social ladder. Unfortunately, gangsters at the local curling club want in on the action. This droll comedy was shot on location in the Highlands. Suitable for ages 12 and older.
Tues-Wed-Thurs 13-14-15th December - Highway to Heal was a series of 3 Benefit concerts to help raise medical $$ to support an extraordinary person, Merry Tamashiro from Kula. The Celtic content ?? - if you ever wondered what AC/DC sounds like on the bagpipes, Mad Bagpiper Roger McKinley was playing just that - worth the price of admission !!
Mad Bagpiper Roger McKinley rockin' at Highway to Heal
Above photo by Dennis O'Keefe, courtesy of Roger McKinley.
Tuesday in Stella Blues Cafe in Kihei, Wednesday in Lulu's Lahaina and Thursday in the Kahului Ale House, folks rocked out to AC/DC songs performed by local Maui bands & musicians:
Bad Kitty, Abbey St.John, Myron Carlos, Stephan Lanse, John Carroll, Byron Townsend, Lenny Francis, Michelle Kytlica, Roger McKinley, Clay Mortensen, Chris Sendrey, Mary Jane Babashoff, Shawn Michael, Cheryl Rae, Billy & The Bad Dogs, Brenton Keith, Jamie Gallo, Teri Garrison, Mike Burke, Jimmy Mac, Annie & The Orphinz, John Avvie Hughs, Jonathan Drechsler, Michael Russell Zachary Jacobs and more...
Sunday 11th December - Hamish played 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. There was a seasonal theme of Christmas/Winter Solstice music. He had a tribute to his friend the late great Liam Clancy, who passed away 2 years ago last weekend, with some rare songs and interview clips. He also played some great new music and interviews he picked up on his travels in Canada with show underwriters the legendary Irish Rovers, and featuring tracks from their newly released Christmas CD 'Merry Merry Time of Year', available now at www.irishroversmusic.com. Special phone guest was Mad Bagpiper Roger McKinley talking about his role playing AC/DC on the bagpipes (!) in this week's Highway to Heal Benefit concert at 3 Maui locations (see above).
Saturday December 10th - over on Oahu The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held an event at the Hale Koa. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - email@example.com
Wed-Sun December 7th-11th - the Irish dance hit show Riverdance made a Hawaii debut at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, with 8 shows over 5 days !
The spectacular show portrayed Irish culture and mythology, from ancient times through Celtic, to the famine and emigration to America, and home again.
Original Irish dance spectacular Riverdance
Photo courtesy Abhann Productions
17 years ago a televised Irish step-dancing performance set to original music captivated Europe - since then Riverdance has become an international sensation, with hit soundtracks, a Broadway show, touring companies and led to other Irish touring shows. Riverdance made its US debut in 1996 at Radio City Music Hall, and later at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway for 18 months in 2000-2001.
The touring company includes six principal dancers, 18 troupe dancers, a live five-piece band, flamenco dancer and two American tap dancers. Most of the dancing is taken from traditional Irish step dancing, with heels, toes and legs creating the sound and action, while the arms and upper body are relatively still. All members are champion-level Irish dancers. More details at www.riverdance.com
For an interview with lead dancer Caterina Coyne on KITV Honolulu click here.
Sunday, December 4th - on Oahu The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held their Saint Andrew's Day Outing - "Flying Scotsman" from 2-5pm at The Hawaiian Railway Society in Ewa Beach. A Hawaii Style 90-minute train ride with narration, and a tour at 2pm through the parlor car before the ride. New society member Carol Ann Gordon played bagpipes for the folks. More info from Susan MacKinnon at 591-9398 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday 4th December - Hamish was back with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great new music and interviews he picked up on his travels in Canada with show underwriters the legendary Irish Rovers, and featuring tracks from their newly released Christmas CD 'Merry Merry Time of Year', available now at www.irishroversmusic.com. Interview clips from songwriter George Millar, founder of the band 46 years ago, introduced the new songs.
The Irish Rovers' 'Merry Merry Time of Year' CD
He had a couple of WORLD EXCLUSIVES from Rovers members playing solo - a pre-release listen of two tracks from Irish tenor banjo player Sean O'Driscoll from Cork, and some traditional tunes specially recorded for Hamish by Irish accordion player Wilcil McDowell from Larne.
Sean O'Driscoll --------------------------- Wilcil McDowell
Saturday 3rd December - The Maui Pipe Dreams duo were playing at the Haleakala Waldorf School's Holiday Faire this year. A fun family event with entertainment and food and craft vendors all day. Details from the band through www.mauipipedreams.com
Saturday December 3rd - over on Oahu there were Scottish Movies at the Movie Museum - "AFTERLIFE" (2003-UK) in Scottish English w/English subtitles.
Directed by Alison Peebles. Kevin McKidd, Lindsay Duncan, Paula Sage. Kenny (McKidd) is an ambitious Scottish journalist hoping to land a job in the US. Always on the phone, he's too distracted to pay much attention to his mother May (Duncan) or his girlfriend Ruby. He's always left the care of his disabled sister Roberta (Sage), who has Down's syndrome, to his mother. But May reveals something to Kenny that causes him to re-assess his priorities.
"AFTERLIFE" won the Audience Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and two awards for Paula Sage, an extraordinary actress with Down's syndrome. The paintings in the film are by Sharon Gibb (screenwriter Andrea Gibb's sister), who also has Down's syndrome. Suitable for ages 12 and older.
Wednesday November 30th - HAPPY ST.ANDREW'S DAY TO ALL OUR SCOTTISH FRIENDS !
Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day is celebrated by Scots all over the world on November 30th. St Andrew's Day (Andermass), originally a religious day 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.
Wednesday November 30th - over on Oahu, The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held the Kirkin of the Tartans at Saint Andrews Cathedral in Honolulu).
They celebrated Saint Andrew's Day with the annual Kirkin' O' The Tartan sponsored by the St. Andrew Society. Folks wore their tartans or carried a piece of tartan to be blessed. The event this year was held in the actual Cathedral, with a dinner following in the Von Holt Room. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - email@example.com
Sunday 27th November - Joel was on again for Hamish on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. This week was a St.Andrew's Day Special, with lots of Scottish and Irish music to celebrate the National Scottish Day.
Saturday November 26th - Mad Bagpiper Roger McKinley was out playing holiday carols on the bagpipes at the Bailey House Christmas in Wailuku, an all-day fundraiser for the museum, with Holiday entertainment, craft market, silent auction and live music.
November 21st - December 2nd - Hamish and Jennifer were up Canada, where they joined legendary Celtic band The Irish Rovers, to help with the filming of an Irish Rovers' Christmas Special DVD which will air next Christmas on TV in North America.
Sunshine Mountain Ski Lodge, Banff, Alberta, Canada
The craic started on the ski slopes of Sunshine Mountain, Banff, Alberta, where the Rovers and crew from all over Canada and Ireland, not to mention our Maui duo, were socked in with heavy snow. The first night was for rehearsals of all the new Christmas songs. The second day awoke to more heavy snow - outdoor scenic location shoots were shelved due to the white-out conditions, and the band changed gears to shooot indoor scenes, with songs around the ski lodge fireplaces.
The Irish Rovers Christmas Special filming at Sunshine Lodge, Banff, AB
At lunchtime an old friend of Jennifer's, Olympic Champion skier Crazy Canuck Dave Irwin came by to say hello, and to arrange a time to teach the Rovers to ski the next day ! Jennifer worked with Dave on her Canadian national TV show 'Ski 10' in the 1980s, and he is a skiing icon as one of the Crazy Canucks, who dominated downhill skiing after being the first non-Europeans to take Olympic medals in the 1970s. He survived a near-death skiing accident and coma, and is still a great skier and very humourous fellow.
Jennifer Fahrni and Crazy Canuck Dave Irwin at Sunshine Mountain, Banff
The afternoon's filming continued upstairs in the Day Lodge of Sunshine Mountain Resort, with takes of various seasonal songs for the Christmas Special. Folks downstairs in the main day lodge got a bit of a treat while having lunch after skiing or snowboarding, with the live sounds of The Irish Rovers drifting down from the balcony - not bad for an apres-ski session !
The Irish Rovers in the Day Lodge, Sunshine Mountain, Banff
That evening's rehearsal session had a spectacular mountain view !
The Irish Rovers rehearsing in the Day Lodge, Sunshine Mountain
The next morning the snow was still dumping, so it was time to film fun in the snow ! The craic started straight away with some of The Irish Rover lads racing down a hill on old-fashioned toboggans. Our own duo were filming the action - Hamish on stills, and Jennifer on behind-the-scenes video - while the main film crew had several cameras around the hill, and another cameraman on skis, going downhill alongside the lads.
The Irish Rovers tobogganing on Sunshine Mountain, Banff
The Irish Rovers, Hamish and Jennifer looked the part in team Celtic green Canada Goose ski jackets (thanks to Anne Millar), and were unmistakeable on the slopes for a couple of days. Our Maui resident Hamish for one, was very glad of the warm jacket - 20 years in the tropics has acclimatized him to balmy tropical temperatures !
Jennifer and Ian Millar of the Rovers are expeienced skiers, but the other lads and Hamish not so - it was time for Crazy Canuck Dave Irwin to teach the boys to ski. Dave is a gracious and patient man, and generous with his time - his passion is to get as many people hooked on skiing as he can, and it shows in his fun and easy-going way of teaching beginners.
The Irish Rovers skiing on Sunshine Mountain, Banff
After the new skiers had a wee lesson, they bailed into the lodge to warm up, while the film crew headed to another location to film Rover Ian Millar, Jennifer, and Dave Irwin tearing down a more advanced slope. Our photographer Hamish was on foot, and missed a snow-mobile ride to the next location, so Dave Irwin said that he would take him down there. Incredibly, he gave Hamish a piggy-back ski ride about a mile and a half down hill to the next spot, living up to his name of 'Crazy Canuck' - Jennifer even caught a wee bit of that on film !
more to follow.........including crazy helicopter drops on a windy mountain ridge at 7800 feet in the Rocky Mountains !
Sunday 20th November - Hamish was back with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played a very special interview and songs with Scottish singing legend Jimmie MacGregor, the 'father of traditional Scottish song' who has been performing since the 1950s - recorded at Perth Concert Hall, at the "Dougie MacLean & Freinds" concert, part of Dougie MacLean's Perthshire Amber Festival in Scotland.
Jimmie MacGregor and Hamish Burgess - Perth Concert Hall November 2011
He also played some songs for his partner, the lovely Jennifer MacKay Fahrni, on their 11th anniversary. As well as great new music and interviews he picked up on his travels on the Celtic music scene in Cornwall and Scotland, with news from 2 great festivals - the one above and the pan-Celtic Lowender Peran event in Cornwall. At the end of the show he played another EXCLUSIVE track - a pre-release listen of a track "Shed Mau5" by new Scottish band Sketch, featuring Gaelic singing by Maeve Mackinnon, from their upcoming album due out early next year.
November 19th - The Friends of St.Patrick held a Genealogy & Irish Culture Meeting in the
Celtic Room at O'Toole's (Nuuanu Avenue in Downtown Honolulu).
Genealogy was the topic of discussion - folks learned how Bill Comerford closed a 50 year gap in his family tree. Su Yates discussed the Irish heritage of many of the Hawaiian Governors.
Past President Ian Wilson has graciously donated about 400 books to the Library. Many are hard to find reference books. Please stop by to review. More details from Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 808-223-3997.
Friday 18th November - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band were playing in the Makawao 3rd Friday event, in front of the library from 5:30-6pm. Contact the band for details through www.isleofmauipipeband.com
November 15th - An Island Ball - A Celtic & Classical Concert was an Autumn Concert at the Haiku Mill (www.haikumill.com), with folks dressed in thier finest or most outrageous outfits. Featuring: Tatyana Shapiro on Concert and Celtic Harp; Udaya Bryce on Celtic Bodhran and Tablas; Allison Jackson on Highland Bagpipes, Scottish Small Pipes, Vocals, and Harmonium; Pamela and Lily Telford on Vocals with Lily on fiddle; Ashana Sophia on Vocals, Cello, Esraj, and Harmonium. Contact: email@example.com or 808-579-3339.
Sunday 13th November - Hamish was back on Maui after his travels in the UK, with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui.
Lowender Peran Festival in Cornwall, and the Perthshire Amber Festival in Scotland
He played some great new music and interviews he picked up on his travels on the Celtic music scene in Cornwall and Scotland, with news from 2 great festivals - the pan-Celtic Lowender Peran in Cornwall, and Dougie MacLean's Perthshire Amber Festival in Scotland.
At the end of the show he played a WORLD EXCLUSIVE track - a pre-release listen of The Irish Rovers single "Whores & Hounds", from their upcoming "Drunken Sailor" album due out in March. The song was introduced with an interview clip from band founder and songwriter George Millar. Single cover artwork by our own Hamish Douglas Burgess. Special guest in the studio was Jennifer Fahrni, with a surprise appearance by Joel Agnew at the end to make it quite a party !
The Irish Rovers upcoming "Whores & Hounds" single, due out in March 2012.
Saturday November 12th - over on Oahu The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held an evening of Fare From Hame - a Scottish Cooking Demonstration & Meal at Calvary Episcopal Church and Pre-school (45-435 Aumoku Street, Kaneohe). More details from Lillian Cunningham at 538-7707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday 6th November - Joel was on for Hamish on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. No theme this week - just 2 hours of great Celtic music Joel played from all over the Celtic world, that Hamish left for him to play while he is away traveling for a few weeks. Hamish called in from his travels, this time from his great friends Neil, Claire and Liam's house in Surrey, England, on the last leg of his Celtic oddessy, where he was checking out the ancient Celtic treasures in the British Library and the British Museum in London. Joel is a seasoned radio presenter with his own popular talk show, The Aloha Friday Show, and is enjoying spinning the Celtic sounds for a change.
November 6th-7th - Hamish was in London, England, on the last leg of his Celtic travels, to see old friends Neil, Claire and Liam, in Woodmansterne, Surrey. On his last day in the UK, he took the train up to the City of London for the day to check out the ancient Celtic treasures in the British Library and the British Museum.
In the Sir John Ritblat Gallery with the Treasures of the British Library he studied the the incredible Celtic art of the Lindisfarne Gospels (around 700AD), and the amazing leather cover of the late 7th century St.Cuthbert's Gospel - the earliest intact European book. Other early pieces were of great interest, such as music notation from 1066, the Magna Carta of 1215, Leonardo Da Vinci's own notes, and letters from 1586 by the hand of Mary Queen of Scots !
In the extensive British Museum collection are many early Celtic metalwork art treasures, such as the Battersea Shield with it's La Tène style Celtic art from somewhere between 350 to 50 BC, and the gold Ipswich Torcs, neck torcs buried around 75 BC.
Hamish and the Battersea Shield and the Ipswich Torcs - British Museum
Not to mention other decorated shields, helmets, swords and spears, brooches, mirrors, and drinking vessels of Celtic design. Another highlight are the carved ivory Lewis Chessmen, one side of the pieces originally painted red, found on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, dating around AD 1150-1200.
Lewis Chessmen, British Museum
Also of note are the beautiful later Anglo-Saxon gold and enamel works of the Sutton Hoo Burial Ship treasures - with amazing detailed art on the original and re-constucted helmet, shield decorations, shoulder clasps, purse lid, and an ornate hollow hinged buckle, clearly showing the influence of Celtic art on the Germanic tribes in the 600-700s AD.
Sutton Hoo burial Frankish Buckle, British Museum
Sunday 30th October - SAMHAIN GREETINGS TO ALL ! In the old Celtic world, the start of each season was marked by a major festival, with the Celtic New Year starting 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.
'SAMHAIN' © Hamish Burgess 2010
More details of the above original artwork and explanation on our Gallery page.
The Celts believed on that night between the passing of the old year, and the arrival of the new, that the veil between our world and the Otherworld (or spirit world) was thinnest, and that spirits and faerie folk could visit the human world, and vice versa, and that you could contact your passed ancestors. That belief has continued with today's Halloween traditions of witches and ghosts, etc.
The Christian church called the festival 'The Feast of all Saints', on '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, actually comes from the ancient Celtic practice of placing skulls of the dead on poles around the encampment, to drive away evil spirits.
Sunday 30th October - Joel was standing-in for Hamish with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. This week's theme celebrated the ancient Celtic New Year festival of Samhain, which has now become Halloween(see above). Joel played lots of new and older music from all over the Celtic world, that Hamish left for him to play while he is away traveling for a few weeks, and some recorded stories from Hamish about this 'scary' time of year. More details about Samhain above. Hamish called in from Perthshire, Scotland to report on the fantastic Dougie MacLean's Perthshire Amber Festival - 9 days of great music by Scotland's top singers and Celtic musicians (see below).
October 27th-November 6th - Hamish was in Scotland. He took a direct flight from Cornwall’s Newquay airport (see below for that trip) to Scotland, and an hour and a half later landed in Edinburgh. After running the gauntlet of a blatantly lying rental car representative who tried to convince me I was not insured to be on the road, he declined the hefty additional insurance – many US credit cards cover you for that, so don’t be bullied into buying extra coverage (check with your card company before you leave home) – he drove off in his rental car.
Day one and two were for visiting some Scottish music record labels, who all supply their artists’ music that Hamish plays on his The Maui Celtic Radio Show on Mana'o Radio. First stop Greentrax Recordings in Cockenzie, for a chat with the owner Ian Green, and pick up a copy of his new autobiography "Fuzz to Folk - Trax of my Life" - a great read.
Hamish and Ian Green at Greentrax Recordings, Cockenzie
Then Temple Records, recording home of the Battlefield Band, located the small village of Temple, named after the medieval base of the Knights Templar in Scotland. He caught up with owner Robin Morton to see what was new on his label. The next day was Footstompin Records in Edinburgh, a new addition to Hamish's record label friends.
He visited good friends (and Hawaii visitors) piper Fin Moore and fiddler Sarah Hoy in Edinburgh, interviewed singer/songwriter Anna MacDonald in Glasgow, and in Troon tracked down his old Pipe Major Toni McRae from many years ago, from his days in the Cornish Caledonian Pipes & Drums. At Bar Hill Fort, near Twechar, he checked out a remote part of the Antonine Wall, built by the Romans starting AD 142 as a final northern defense of their Empire, to keep the local Pictish tribes at bay.
The Antonine Wall at Bar Hill Fort, near Twechar
Hamish decided to take a look at Edinburgh from the top of Calton Hill, with amazing views of the city affectionately known as ‘Auld Reekie’ from high atop Nelson’s Monument. From one spot you can clearly see the Old Town with Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile down to Holyrood Palace, and the hills of Athur’s Seat beyond – also Princes Street and the New Town, and beyond to the Firth of Forth and the bridges to the north.
Holyrood Palace and Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
Then he was off to Perthshire, and the edge of The Highlands, for the main reason of his Scottish odyssey, to report for his radio program, The Maui Celtic Radio Show, on an international music event, Dougie MacLean’s Perthshire Amber Festival. The 10 day festival is based in the ancient town of Dunkeld, nestled among the hills and forests on the banks of the River Tay, with truly spectacular autumn or fall colors, giving the festival it’s name.
The River Tay by Dunkeld, Perthshire
The town was bustling with musicians, and Celtic and folk music fans, with workshops, walks, talks, musical bus tours, and concerts every day. Singers came from Scotland, Ireland, England, the US and Canada to be part of the event. The concerts were held around the county of Perthshire, never more than 40 minutes drive from Dunkeld, in pubs, village halls, theaters, castles and cathedrals, and even an ancient Crannog (lake dwelling on stilts). Some great pub music sessions lasted into the wee hours – as they say ‘the craic was mighty’ around Dunkeld that week.
Dougie MacLean and Hamish Burgess at Perthshire Amber 2011
While in Edinburgh, Hamish missed the opening concert on Friday October 28th by great Scottish singers Dougie MacLean and Emily Smith at Edradour, and Saturday's crazy Decorated Wheelbarrow Procession through the streets of Dunkeld. That night featured Dougie and Irish band Beoga in Blairgowrie.
Hamish's first festival afternoon was at an open mic concert at ‘Amber Central’, the Royal Dunkeld Hotel. He walked into the room to be greeted by his friends from Celtic Music Radio Glasgow, who had set up a mobile broadcasting booth, and was promptly put live on air on the radio !
Alex Jenkins, Ross Macfadyen, and Liz Clark of Celtic Music Radio at Perthshire Amber
The rest of the week he bumped into and interviewed many musicians he knew, and many who’s music he has played on the radio, who he now met for the first time. He caught great stage sets by songwriter Ciaran Dorris, American songwriter/banjo player Eliza Lynn, and Dunkeld local and session host Ewan Sutherland.
Hamish stayed a beautiful 45 minute drive from Dunkeld, at the crofters cottage of his great friends Scot AnSgeulaiche, historical tour guide and storyteller who performed at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival some years ago, and Samantha MacKenzie, who runs ‘Jamie and Claire’ tours based on the ‘Outlander’ series of books by Diana Gabaldon. Their Highland hospitality is unparalleled, and Scot’s knowledge of local and other Scottish history is remarkable.
Taigh an t-Seanachaidh - The Storyteller's Cottage
The next afternoon open mic concert at ‘Amber Central’, he saw a host of musicians play short sets: Scottish host Ewan Sutherland, Yorkshire singers Nickie Willis and Vince Jerrison, and David Swan, Scottish harp player and singer Pauline Vallance, contemporary singer Fraser Drummond, flute an guitar duo Halfway To Barra, new Scots group Looking For Lola, singer/songwriter Stevie Palmer, ladies harmony trio The Silver Darlings, New Zealand singer now in Scotland Eryn Strachan, and young songwriter Calum Buchanan from Uig. On the stairs he bumped into Gaelic singer Maeve Mackinnon, and did a wee interview with her about her new solo album , and new band Sketch.
(left) Hamish at Amber Central - (right) Hobgoblin at Halloween
Hamish got back to The Storyteller's Cottage of friends Samantha and Scot just in time to tune in to his Samhain/Halloween Special of The Maui Celtic Show on Mana'o Radio in Maui, where Joel Agnew was standing-in for him - he called in from Perthshire with Samantha, and they celebrated the ancient Celtic New Year festival of Samhain, which has now become Halloween (see above) with a bottle of Hobgoblin Ale ! He reported on the music festival, and they played lots of new and older music from all over the Celtic world, with Hamish telling a few traditions of the night of the year, albeit a day early.
That night Dougie MacLean and the Perthshire Amber Team did 3 concerts racing round the village halls of Clunie, Meikeour, and Caputh !
The Falls of Dochart at Killin
One day Hamish drove along Loch Earn and up to the beautiful Falls of Dochart at a favourite haunt of past years, Killin, and had a nice pub lunch, then carried along Loch Tay to Kenmore and the Crannog Centre – well worth the drive for the scenery, and to see the reconstruction of the ancient loch dwelling with interactive demonstrations from staff in period dress.
Loch Tay Crannog Centre, Kenmore
One highlight of the whole festival for Hamish was on the night of Samhain or Halloween, the Dougie MacLean and Archie Fisher concert in the Great Hall of Blair Atholl Castle, with hundreds of deer antlers, ancient weapons and suits of armour hanging on the walls – two legends of Scottish songwriting performing in a fabulous setting. Dougie MacLean sang his most loved song, the world famous Scottish anthem “Caledonia”, written when he was abroad and missing his homeland. Special guest was singer/songwriter Buddy MacDonald from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, who joined his friends onstage for a grand finale. Then for Hamish it was back to 'Amber Central' for a wee dram and a yarn with the two icons of Scottish folk music, Dougie and Archie.
Dougie MacLean, Archie Fisher, Buddy MacDonald – Blair Atholl Castle
November 1st Hamish was back at ‘Amber Central’ in Dunkeld to record an interview with the busy man himself, Dougie MacLean, festival organizer (with his wife Jenny), and star of every night's double act (at least) concerts. They talked about the festival, how Dougie is a 'local boy made good', and his new album "Resolution" - www.dougiemaclean.com.
Our Maui bagpiper spent a few hours with bagpipe makers Hamish & Fin Moore at their fascinating workshop at Fungarth Steading on the hill above Dunkeld, chatting with his pal Fin, checking out historic sets of bagpipes, and he also interviewed Hamish for his radio program for the first time, Fin being a bit of a regular now.
Pipemaker Fin Moore at his workshop in Dunkeld
That afternoon a sold-out intimate concert was held in the Crannog on Loch Tay (see above), featuring Eliza Lynn from the US, and Buddy MacDonald from Cape Breton.
Just outside Dunkeld is a beautiful forest walk to The Hermitage, where Ossian's Hall perches on a rocky outcrop above the Black Linn Falls on the River Braan, as it rushes down to the Tay. The 'folly' was built for the Duke of Atholl in 1757, and 26 years later redecorated in as a shrine to the blind bard, Ossian.
Ossian's Hall - The Hermitage, Dunkeld
That night's Cabaret Amber concert, again hosted by singers Gina MacLeod & Alan Jordan, featured Ewan Sutherland, the 'Singing Shepherd' from Mull Iain Thomson & Marc Duff, and a surprise guest spot from ace piper Ross Ainslie. Pitlochry Town Hall was the venue for the concert that night with Dougie MacLean and the pipes, fiddles and vocals of Breabach.
The next day Hamish drove up to Pitlochry to see a friend, Scottish historian, reenactor, and Celtic artist Alan Torrance. Alan demonstrates the wearing of the Big Kilt, and the use ancient Scottish martial weapons - for a video click here.
The afternoon Dougie MacLean Fiddle Concert was held at the fabulous Castle Menzies at Weem. Hamish was back in Dunkeld for a music session at the Taybank Hotel (which used to be Dougie MacLean's music pub), followed by Cabaret Amber featuring the stunning singing of Chloe Matharu, a young folk singer from Edinburgh with cultural roots in Scotland, Wales and India. Cape Bretoner Buddy MacDonald also sang a fine set.
Hamish visited Birnam CD, makers of Scottish traditional music CDs, and organizers of that night's Fiddle Tree Concert at the Birnam Arts Centre. The evening started with the Amber Fiddle Award Final, with 6 finalists from all over the UK playing their own fiddle compositions. Then the headliners, The Wrigley Sisters, Jennifer and Hazel, played an amazing concert on fiddle and guitar, with plenty of tunes and humour from the Orkney Islands - these ladies ROCK - possibly the best fiddle/guitar concert Hamish has ever seen ! The Amber Fiddle Award was introduced by musicologist Fiona Ritchie and presented by Dougie MacLean to winner Gemma Donald of Falkirk.
The Wrigley Sisters, Jennifer & Hazel, at the Birnam Arts Centre
Hamish had an enjoyable next day out with good friend Scot AnSgeulaiche, historical tour guide and storyteller, showing our Celtic wanderer many nearby landmarks and their folklore, including the immense earthworks of Ardoch Roman Fort near Braco (notably well north of the Antonine Wall), St Serf's Church in Dunning, the imposing twin towers of Huntingtower Castle near Perth, and Scone Palace to see the replica of the Stone of Scone on Moot Hill, where Scottish kings were crowned for centuries. The ‘original’ stone, stolen in 1296 by English king Edward 1 (Longshanks) and put under the throne in Westminster Abbey, was returned to Scotland in 1996 and now rests alongside the crown jewels of Scotland in the Crown Room of Edinburgh Castle. There is a good dramatised film "Stone of Destiny", about the successful liberation of the Stone by Scottish Nationalists in 1950.
Hamish with the replica Stone of Scone - Moot Hill, Scone Palace
The Dougie MacLean Trio played at the fabulous Methven Castle that afternoon. Hamish and Scot were back in Dunkeld for Cabaret Amber with Gina MacLeod & Alan Jordan, Eliza Lynn and her bluegrass duo The Grit Pixies. Hamish also interviewed Celtic music broadcasting icon Fiona Ritchie of NPR and HPR’s “Thistle & Shamrock” program, heard weekly across America. They talked about her start in radio, and her career and interviews in the traditional Celtic music scene.
Hamish Burgess and Fiona Ritchie at Perthshire Amber in Dunkeld
Another spectacular venue that night was Dunkeld Cathedral for the The Dougie MacLean Trio and Jenna Reid Trio concert. Hamish interviewed Jenna and Kevin MacKenzie after their soundcheck in the amazing 14th century building.
A surprise day back in Edinburgh was needed after our Maui Celtic artist heard about an amazing exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery - 'George Bain: Master of Modern Celtic Art' – his work has been inspiration for years for Hamish's Celtic artwork. The display covered Bain's early sketches in Macedonia in the army, some incredible Celtic art pieces, advertisements, rug designs, greetings cards, early books, and even a wooden bowl and carvings. Unfortunately no photos allowed, nor an exhibition book.
Hamish George Bain exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery
As our own supplier of kilts to Hawaii, Hamish stopped in to see Bill James at the Celtic Craft Centre kiltmakers in Paisley Close, just off The Royal Mile. The lads used to come out to the Hawaiian Scottish Festival some years ago, and are the only folks to have made the heavyweight wool Hawaii Tartan kilts to date. A range of lightweight blend items of the Hawaii Tartan are available from Maui Celtic at our online store.
Bill James with the Hawaii Tartan at the Celtic Craft Centre, Edinburgh
The afternoon flew by at the National Museum of Scotland, with Hamish studying the vast collection of ancient Pictish stones, and Pictish and Celtic metalwork treasures for future art projects. Also of interest was a 2nd-5th century intact woolen hood, and the 'Falkirk Tartan', a 2nd-3rd century fragment of checkered cloth, the earliest scrap of tartan yet found. Other fine pieces include horse armour, and an ancient boar-headed Carnyx or war trumpet, and some of the carved ivory Lewis Chessmen. One of the finest Celtic treasures is the Hunterston Brooch, made around 700 AD.
Hunterston Brooch, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
A mad dash in Friday rush-hour Edinburgh traffic saw Hamish up in Perth, where he was invited to a V.I.P. reception for Dougie MacLean’s Perthshire Amber Festival. He had a chat with the festival organizer, Dougie's wife and manager Jenny, and the Provost of Perth. There were some interesting musical characters there, including the lads from Celtic Music Radio.
Jenny MacLean and the Provost of Perth at the Perthshire Amber VIP reception
The show at Perth Concert Hall that night was amazing – Dougie MacLean with Strings & Choirs - saw the singer joined by a full orchestra of strings, with fiddles/violins, upright bass, cellos, guitar and even an accordion, for some of Dougie's classic songs. He was also joined by Jenna Reid for some tunes, plus a performance of the wonderful instrumental "Perthshire Amber" suite. Even Dougie himself marvelled at the sound when he was joined onstage by a huge combined choir featuring InChorus and the Lothian and Borders Police Choir.
Dougie MacLean with Strings & Choirs in Perth
Hamish's last full day in Scotland was back in the Perth area, and he had a visit to Scone, the hometown of his clansman David Douglas, to see the monument to the famous botanist, who died in mysterious circumstances on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Then back to Perth Concert Hall early, in the hopes of interviewing some musicians from that night's concert for his radio program. He had interviewed Findlay Napier and Gillian Frame and was hanging at the bar with them and piper Ross Ainslie, when word came that the interview he'd been hoping for was a go ! Special guest that night was the ‘father of Scottish folk’ the legendary Jimmie MacGregor, of the famous duo Robin Hall & Jimmie MacGregor - Hamish was thrilled to record an historic interview with Jimmie about his life and music, for airplay on his radio program. Jimmie was enthusiastic and happy to cover everything from the early days to his current sold-out shows of music and anecdotes.
Jimmie MacGregor and Hamish Burgess - Perth Concert Hall
A fantastic all-star show followed - ‘Dougie MacLean with Friends’ featured a host of great musicians and singers, including legendary Scottish accordion player Phil Cunningham, beautiful Irish singer Heidi Talbot with Scots singer Kris Drever, Scots/Klezmer fusion band Moishe's Bagel, American singer Eliza Lynn, and Cape Breton singer Buddy MacDonald. And of course the living legend of Scottish folk singing, Jimmie MacGregor, who literally bounded on to the stage at the spry age of 80 ! A highlight that had the audience as well as the other legends onstage, Dougie and Phil in stiches, was Jimmie's rendition of the biblical story of 'David and Goliath' in Glaswegian slang - hilarious if you could understand it !
Phil Cunningham, Dougie MacLean and Jimmie MacGregor in Perth
Dougie sang some of his classic songs with various combinations of musicians, who also performed their own music. The grand finale saw all the musicians on stage, even some session players from Dunkeld, and a final song with the entire Perthshire Amber crew and volunteers onstage. A fabulous night to remember a great 9 days of fun and music !
Dougie MacLean with Friends - Perthshire Amber 2011 Finale, Perth
Hamish missed the Perthshire Amber Farewell Bash concert at Edradour Distillery, with fireworks and Findlay Napier & The Bar Room Mountaineers, as the next morning our Maui Celtic traveller left his ancestral homeland of Scotland and headed down to London, England (see above) to begin the long journey home. What a couple of weeks of fantastic music, beautiful scenery, Scottish hospitality with friends. Above all, the people make this ancient nation great !
Sunday October 30th - over on Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick held their usual last Sunday of the month Irish Theme Movie Night - the October movie was "The Field" starring Richard Harris, who's land is lost in Mayo. More details from Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
Sunday 23rd October - Joel was back in for Hamish on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Joel played some great new and older Celtic classics, that Hamish left for him to play while he is away traveling for a few weeks. Joel is a seasoned radio presenter with his own popular talk show, The Aloha Friday Show, and is enjoying spinning the Celtic sounds for a change. Hamish called in from Cornwall to report on a great 4 day Celtic music festival he was attending, Lowender Peran, with visiting musicians and dancers from all over the Celtic nations, as well as a fine representation of the local Cornish music scene.
October 22nd - over on Oahu The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held a Samhain Party. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday October 22nd - Oahu's own traditional Irish band Celtic Waves will play at Wards Rafters at 7:30pm - it's Lawson's Farewell Party !
"While this will be a fond farewell to Lawson it will also be a grand welcome to some new faces of Celtic Waves. We will also be joined by various guests over the evening who have been mentors and friends to the band over the years. So come say aloha to Lawson, our intrepid rhythm guitar/bouzouki player and lead singer. And give a warm welcome to our new guitarist Tom McCabe. The well known singer/songwriter Louise Taylor has agreed to stay on to provide a new vocal and rhythm directions for the band. Curtis Vanderloop of the old Irish Hearts will sit in for a tune or two and that cowboy troubadour Patty Clayton will be on stage for a song. This will likely be Celtic Waves last gig at Wards for a bit while we regroup and develop our new direction so please come to the party."
Lawson Cannon of Celtic Waves
Directions to Wards: (3810 Maunaloa Ave.) It is between KCC and Waialae Ave. Take sixteenth street to Maunaloa and turn uphill. Wards is a house in the back on the right. Park then head down the driveway to the house and go up the stairs on the side of the house to the rafters. Bring some libation and snacks. Some even come early and bring dinner and watch the set-up and sound check.
Sunday October 16th - over on Oahu The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held their Book Club meeting at Hokua Condominium (1288, Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu). Please contact Susan MacKinnon at 591-9398 or email email@example.com .
Sunday 16th October - Joel was again standing-in for Hamish on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. This week's 2 hours of Celtic music had a theme celebrating the birthday of half Scottish Hawaiian Princess Ka'iulani Cleghorn. Joel played lots of new and older music from all over the Celtic world, that Hamish left for him to play while he is away traveling for a few weeks. Joel is a seasoned radio presenter with his own popular talk show, The Aloha Friday Show, and is enjoying spinning the Celtic sounds for a change. Hamish called in from Cornwall to report on that old Celtic area, and researcher Jennifer Fahrni of the The Ka'iulani Project called in to talk with Joel about the Princess.
October 12th-26th - Hamish was in the UK to spend time in Cornwall and later Scotland (see above). Arriving in London, England, at Heathrow airport he drove straight west down the motorway stopping for a break at the old town of Glastonbury in Somerset, famous for it's ruined Glastonbury Abbey, said to be the resting place of the legendary King Arthur. Nearby is the famous Glastonbury Tor, topped by the 15th century St Michael's Tower. The area is said by some to be the ancient Isle of Avalon, as in olden days the surrounding Somerset Levels would have been covered with water.
Glastonbury Tor, Somerset
He also visited the Chalice Well, where you can drink the clear spring water of one of Britain's most ancient wells, in a quiet sanctuary surrounded by beautiful gardens. For over two thousand years people have gathered here to drink the waters and find peace and inspiration. The iconic design on the well cover has been used by many artists, and is the subject of jewelry pieces.
Chalice Well, Glastonbury, Somerset
Then it was on to the South West through the county of Devon to Cornwall, and the north coast old harbour town and surf resort of Newquay , where Hamish's family now live. 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. 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.
Newquay Harbour, North Cornwall
The Cornish leg of his trip was in order to be at his mother’s 80th birthday celebrations, where he played bagpipes at a surprise party for her, not altogether appreciated by some of the English ladies at the tea-party! Mrs.Burgess, originally from an Old Aberdeen family, moved to Cornwall, another Celtic area of Britain, over 20 years ago.
They made daily trips from Newquay to various Cornish towns - the south coast's Mevagissey, and the rugged north coast's Padstow, Wadebridge, Bude and Portreath. One great day out was to the Lizard peninsula, with the southern-most point of land in mainland Britain - there they visited the thatched village of Cadgwith, and also Coverack and St.Keverne, where Hamish used to take his scuba-divers of the Newquay BSAC club diving on the shipwrecks of the Manacles.
Cadgwith, The Lizard, South Cornwall
Hamish caught a busy Sunday afternoon music session at Leadbelly's pub in Newquay, to see another old mate, Alan Deane The Belfast Busker perform his traditional Irish songs peppered with mad jokes and stories. He had the local Cornish crowd singing and dancing and going wild on a 'quiet' Sunday afternoon ! Alan, originally from Belfast, plays all over Cornwall year round. Check out his music and schedule at www.newgrainmusic.com
Taking advantage of the late October timing of his Cornish visit, and with a view of reporting for his The Maui Celtic Radio Show on Mana'o Radio, Hamish headed to the beach resort of Perranporth, on the North Cornwall coast, to attended the nearby Lowender Peran Celtic Music and Dance Festival, held yearly and in their 33rd year now ! For 5 days, traditional music filled the cliff-top Ponsmere Hotel overlooking a great surfing beach, occasionally spilling out into local pubs. At the weekend on every square and lawn of the town there were musicians and dancers from Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Brittany, and the Isle of Man !
Breton dancers at Lowender Peran in front of the Ponsmere Hotel, Perranporth
With daily workshops, music sessions (that anyone could join in), great concerts, and late-night ceilidhs and troyls (Cornish dances) it was a brilliant festival. One fun highlight was the Cornish Karaoke afternoon, with pop songs translated into the Cornish language, and performed by brave folks ! Hamish recorded a lot of interviews for his radio program, from established Celtic acts, to new up-and-coming bands.
KAN at Lowender Peran, Perranporth, Cornwall
The opening Thursday night concert was by new Celtic group KAN, with members from Scotland, Ireland, and England, who put on a great show of traditional and self-penned tunes. The bars were full of session musicians going strong, then the customary late-night ceilidh was kicked off by the Isle of Man band Kippercaillie playing Manx traditional music into the wee hours.
On Friday Hamish caught an early evening show by a great duo, Alan Burton & Steve Hunt, on uileann pipes and guitar (check Steve's music out at www.myspace.com/stevefolknik). Followed by Cornish rock from Hanterhir, and the fun sounds of Celtic mixed with a reggae beat from Pentorr, and into the night with ceilidhs - Cornish from Hevva, Scottish with the Loftdwellers, Irish with the Hegarty School of Dancing, Welsh with Pen Y Fai, Breton with Cercle Celtique d'Elliant, and Manx with Kippercaillie !
Alan Burton & Steve Hunt at Lowender Peran
Saturday there was traditional music and dancing from all the Celtic lands out in the streets of Perranporth, starting with a musical procession across the beach ! The luchtime music session in the Sunset Bar featured Cornish acts Skyll Glas and An Dyskenn, followed by a fine afternoon concert downstairs with Cornish songwriter Mike O'Connor and Barbara Griggs, Nathan Lewis Williams & Harmony Davies, new young band Breck, and the Loftdwellers. Late afternoon saw the hilarious Karaoke yn Kernewek (Cornish Karaoke), and a Cornish singalong led by Matthi an Gan, followed by good Cornish music from An Ladron, and a fun set from The Mollag Band of the Isle of Man. Hamish and his good friend Julian Holmes were back in the evening for a look at a short Cornish film "Skynt the Musical", before a Cornish dance with The Drekkers and the fabulous Kemysk Cornish Dancers.
Mike O'Connor & Barbara Griggs (left) - Andrew Morris of The Celtic Link
(right) a sponsor of Lowender Peran
Hamish tracked down the young lads of the up-and-coming Cornish rock band Crowns for an interview for his radio show before their late-night concert. These boys are fun and enthusiastic and have a great future, as they moved from Launceston in Cornwall up to London to further their career, which is clearly working as they have already opened for The Pogues ! Their high energy songs, a mix of their own new ones and rocked-up Cornish classics, had the dance floor rocking after two songs and it stayed that way for the rest of the night. Keep an eye on these youn rockers at www.crownsband.co.uk. The late night ceilidhs went on to the wee hours as usual, Irish, Scottish and Welsh tonight.
Crowns rocking at Lowender Peran
Sunday luchtime music session in the Sunset Bar featured Cornish acts Hedra and Bagas Porthia, and the afternoon concert downstairs started with songwriter Pete Berryman's PB3, followed by Dew Vardh - the poetry and songs of Pol Hodge and Bert Biscoe. Next up were the duo Alan Burton & Steve Hunt, sea shanty men The Falmouth Fish, the Manx Mollag Band, and Kippercaillie. Mike O'Connor held a storytelling session up in the Sunset Bar, followed by music from The Falmouth Fish and folk fusion group Bound For Nowhere. That night there was a Celtic Dance Spectacular with Breton Cercle Celtique d'Elliant, Cornish Ros Keltek and The Bolingey Troyl Band, Manx Perree Bane, Irish Hegarty School of Dancing, Scottish The Maclennan Scottish Dancers, and Welsh Pen Y Fai, with the late night festival closer an all-star Farewell Ceilidh/Troyl. A great few days of Celtic music in Cornwall - the criac was mighty at Lowender Peran !
What a fun couple of weeks of day-trips all over Cornwall, including the old town of 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.
The Old Post Office, Tintagel, Cornwall
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.
There were pub nights with old pals, great nights with family, and even a few cold-water surf sessions in the North Atlantic with great surf.
Surf at Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall
Sad to say goodbye to his mum, brother and his family, Hamish took a direct flight from Cornwall’s Newquay airport to Scotland, and an hour and a half later landed in Edinburgh for another adventure (see above).
October 15th - over on Oahu, The Friends of St.Patrick had their meeting with Pumpkin Carving and Costume Contest for the keiki in the Celtic Room at O'Toole's Pub. Folks learnt about the ancient Feast of Samhain, and the Irish influence on the carving of the 'Jack-O-Lantern'. Pumpkin carving for the children as well as a costume contest, not to mention bobbing for apples ! More details from Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 808-223-3997.
Sunday 9th October - Joel was standing-in for Hamish again playing Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. This week's theme was emigration and exploring with Columbus Day/Discoverer's Day on Monday - Hamish called in from Vancouver BC to de-bunk the idea that Columbus was the first European visitor to the Americas ! Joel played lots of new and older music from all over the Celtic world, that Hamish left for him to play while he is away traveling for a few weeks. Hamish called in from Vancouver BC, where his travels took him on the road with show underwriters The Irish Rovers, who just completed a successful Western Canada tour. He talked about early European explorers who reportedly reached the Americas - Scottish knight Sir Henry Sinclair, said to have been exploring around the year 1398; Welsh Prince Madoc, according to folklore was there in 1170; the Viking Leif Erikson, certainly in Newfoundland around 1000; and the Irish monk St.Brendan the Navigator, said to be there on his epic voyage between 512-530 AD.
September 26th-October 11th - Hamish was up in British Columbia, Canada, where he and Jennifer joined legendary Celtic band The Irish Rovers, on the BC leg of their Western Canada tour. Our Maui Celtic duo drove up through the rain in the mountains to find some beautiful sunny weather as they approached Kelowna on the shores of Lake Okanagan.
Double rainbow near Kelowna, British Columbia
They went to visit Jennifer's friend and great local artist Teri Paul, who is an accomplished painter, as well as firing some fine ceramic pieces, which can be seen in many local galleries. They took advantage of some great late summer weather to check out the lakeside wine country region, with it's numerous vineyards, some with spectacular views overlooking the water.
Gray Monk Estate Winery, Lake Okanagan, BC
After lunch at the Gray Monk Estate Winery, they saw many deer sitting in the shade between the rows of vines.
Then they met friends The Irish Rovers starting in Kelowna, at the Kelowna Community Theatre, for the rest of their mainly sold-out tour. The lads put on a powerhouse show of traditional Irish songs and music, with a few of George Millar's original songs - even though they were a man short, as accordion player Wilcil McDowell was down with a stomach flu !
The Irish Rovers in Kelowna, BC
The next day they moved further down Lake Okanagan to Penticton. At the concert, after interviewing band founder George Millar, radio presenter Dennis Walker of Giant FM interviewed our own Hamish - he was interested in the Maui Celtic Radio Show and Hamish's Celtic artwork - the clips were aired next morning around the region, amongst Dennis' rave reviews of the band.
Our Maui Celtic duo soon found out the band T-shirts with by Hamish's design of the Celtic 'Unicorn and Mandolin' logo had been selling like hot cakes !
More details and explanation of the original artwork on The Irish Rovers T-shirts is on our Gallery page. Hamish has done several album covers to date for the band.
Hamish Burgess & Jennifer Fahrni with his design on The Irish Rovers' Unicorn & Mandolin T-shirts
After a quick stop for a cup of tea in Merrit, Canada's 'Home of Country Music', it was over the mountains to Chilliwack for the next sold-out concert. The following morning Hamish tuned in to hear Joel Agnew running his first Maui Celtic Radio Show in his absence, and called in to chat with Joel on air a couple of times before leaving the hotel.
On to the suburbs of Vancouver next to Surrey, where it was great to see ace accordion player and log-time Rover Wilcil back in the line-up.
Also the band's bassist and singer Ian Millar has family there, and a nice surprise was meeting his daughter, mum and dad, orignal Irish Rover Joe Millar, who although retired from the band, still cuts a dashing figure. Joe performed with the band through the 60s until the 90s, playing accordion, bass guitar and singing - when he retired his son Ian Millar stepped in.
Ian & Joe Millar with Hamish in Surrey
A day off for the band, but not for founder George Millar........Jennifer & Hamish picked him up in downtown Vancouver for an interview on morning television Studio 4 show with Fanny Kiefer on Shaw TV, during which Hamish's art on the cover of the 'Gracehill Fair' album was seen on the show. The interview clip can be seen here.
George Millar with Fanny Kiefer on the Studio 4 show on Shaw TV, Vancouver
After a wee bit of breakfast it was back to Shaw TV with George and the Rover's funny front-man John Reynolds to record their interview on Urban Rush, with hosts Michael Eckford and Fiona Forbes, who was excited about the lads guest spot, as she used to be an Irish dancer as a young girl at their 'Unicorn Pub' during the Vancouver Expo '86. The interview clip can be seen here.
John Reynolds & George Millar on 'Urban Rush' with Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford
The following two nights concerts were in the Vancouver area, at Maple Ridge, then North Vancouver, both old adopted home towns of The Irish Rovers families. At Maple Ridge, local singer and songwriter Bruce Coughlan came out to see his old pals the Rovers - Bruce specializes in historical songs about British Columbia, and is singer with the band Tiller's Folly.
Hamish & Jennifer stayed overnight in North Vancouver with good friends Kikuma and Carol Harvie-Yamaguchi, co-writer of Jennifer's play "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose" about the half Scottish Hawaiian Crown Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn. More info at THE KA'IULANI PROJECT website at thekaiulaniproject.com. Then it was off to Horseshoe Bay for the ferry over to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.
That night's show was in Duncan, another home town of the band's families. The following day Hamish & Jennifer sat in on a recording session of The Irish Rovers upcoming Christmas CD 'Merry Merry Time of Year', available now at www.irishroversmusic.com.
Jennifer filming George & Ian Millar at Rick Salt's recording studio, Nanaimo
George and Ian Millar were laying down their tracks together, then the rest of the Rovers turned up, and the humorous banter realy got going - the craic was mighty at Rick Salt's recording studio in Nanaimo ! Hamish also interviewed Rover Sean O'Driscoll about his upcoming solo album of Irish tenor banjo music.
The final night of the tour was at John Reynold's adopted home town of Campbell River to the usual sold-out house and a very enthusiastic crowd. A fun 10 days indeed on the road with one of the longest running Irish bands in the world ! We all parted ways the following day to various parts of the globe - all originally from the north of Ireland (except Sean from the south) The Irish Rovers now live everywhere - George and John on Vancouver Island, Fred in Montreal, Ian in Florida, Wilcil in Northern Ireland, and Sean in Cork.
Hamish and Jennifer headed back to Vancouver for Canadian Thanksgiving with family. Hamish caught up with local Geordie singer-songwriter Tim Readman, for an interview about his new album "Out of the Green" with Jennie Bice, a great CD of mainly traditional but unusual Celtic songs, now available at www.timreadman.com.
Tim Readman & Hamish - 'Out of the Green' interview, Vancouver
Saturday October 8th - over on Oahu, The Caledonian Society of Hawaii watched the Mid-Pacific Performing Art Theatre Group perform part of the play they took to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland this summer. It was at the Mid-Pacific Institute Kawaiahao Recital Hall. The theatre group was the recipient of the Society's 2011 Annual Scottish Education Research Grant. For more information contact Susan MacKinnon at email@example.com.
Sunday 2nd October - Joel Agnew made his debut standing-in for Hamish with 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played lots of new and older music from all over the Celtic world, that Hamish left for him to play while he is away traveling for a few weeks. Joel is a seasoned radio presenter with his own popular talk show, The Aloha Friday Show, and is enjoying spinning the Celtic sounds for a change. Hamish called in live from Chilliwack, BC, Canada, where he was on the road on tour with the radio show underwriters The Irish Rovers. Joel also played an interview with Hamish by Dennis Walker of Giant FM in Penticton, recorded the night before at the concert there - Dennis was interested in the Maui Celtic Radio Show and Hamish's Celtic artwork.
Thursday 29th September - the Isle of Maui Pipe Band marched again in this year's Maui County Fair Parade to kick off the fair ! The parade began in Kahului at 4:30p and lasted approximately 2 hours, with over 5200 marchers and 65 entries. More info www.mauifair.com. Pipe Band schedule at www.isleofmauipipeband.com
Sunday 24th September - Hamish and guest presenter Joel Agnew were live on air with 2 hours of great Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. They played lots of new music from all over the Celtic world, with a few classic older tracks thrown in, and an interview clip with Galician piper Carlos Nunez introducing his amazing mix of Irish, Scottish and Galician pipes on beautiful tune 'The Three Pipers'.
Joel & Hamish on the Maui Celtic Show
Sunday 18th September - Hamish was back live on air with guest presenter Joel Agnew for 2 hours of Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played lots of new music, and featured the music of, and dedicated the show to great Irish flute player and Uilleann piper Mike Rafferty, who sadly passed away this week. A huge loss to the traditional music world, Mike Mike emigrated to the US in 1949, playing and teaching Irish music ever since - he won a 2010 National Heritage Fellowship Award, and is considered a national treasure.
Mike Rafferty's 'Speed 78' album
He recorded several albums with his daughter Mary, and released his fisrt solo CD at the age of 78, entitled 'Speed 78', and a grat album it is too, with Mike's music and him speaking about his life and music. His most recent album was 'The New Broom' by Mike Rafferty, Willie Kelly & Dónal Clancy. Much aloha from us all at Maui Celtic to Teresa, Mary & Dónal, and the family. Aloha 'Oe Mike - thanks for the great tunes and musical legacy. More on Mike and CDs available at www.raffertymusic.com
Saturday 17th September - local pipe and drum duo Maui Pipe Dreams played at the Aloha Peace Festival at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului - part of an all day music and dance festival, with an evening concert 'Playing for Change'. The duo feature Allison Jackson on pipes, and Cary Ritt on drums and guitar - Pipe Major and Drum Sgt. of the local Isle of Maui Pipe Band. Check out their duo at www.mauipipedreams.com.
September 17th - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held their Halfway to St Patrick’s Day ! There was an Irish Trolley Ride, starting at Anna O'Brien's Pub, cruising to Kelley O'Neil's, the Irish Rose Saloon, then back to Anna's. Then their Annual Irish Whiskey Tasting, with a fine line of Bushmills and Jamesons products, at The Celtic Room behind O'Tooles Pub (Nuuanu St, Downtown Honolulu).
Chuck Wall at the Friends of St.Patrick Society Whiskey Tasting - O'Tooles Pub
Then the Guinness Irish Toast Contest at O'Toole's 7-8pm, open to everyone over 21, and Live Irish Music with Jared Hobgood followed by the Doolin Rakes at O'Toole's. In Waikiki Celtic Waves played at Kelley O'Neil's. More details from Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 808-223-3997.
Sunday 11th September - Hamish was live on air with a September 11th Special on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had some great Celtic music with a theme of patriotic and New York tunes, and featured Celtic bands from the NY area, to honour those who perished in the attacks on this 10th anniversary of that dreadful day. He had in-studio guest local radio presenter Joel Agnew in tears after a couple of very special 9/11 tribute songs.
Friday September 9th - over on Oahu, The Caledonian Society of Hawaii in conjunction with The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii, and The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii presented a great Scottish singer in concert with - The Songs and Music of Scotland featuring Isla St.Clair with the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, local highland dancers, and local fiddler Lisa Gomes.
Isla St.Clair, Highland Dancers, and the Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii
It was at Tenney Hall, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Honolulu. We were very fortunate to have someone of this caliber come to Hawaii and perform Scottish music accompanied by our own local musicians and dancers. For more concert information contact the above sponsors or Susan MacKinnon at email@example.com.
Born in Scotland, Isla is one of Britain’s foremost traditional singers, noted for the depth of feeling she brings to her country’s music. At twelve she recorded the first of many traditional ballads for the School of Scottish Studies, and which are still used as reference works. Still in her teens, Isla was soon in the top rank of British folksingers, winning several awards including `Best Female Folk Singer', and touring the world.
Scottish traditional singer Isla St.Clair in Honolulu
Her television series 'The Song and the Story' won the coveted European award `Prix Jeunesse'. Recently she received an honorary degree as Master of the University of Aberdeen for her contribution to traditional music. Isla takes a keen interest in teaching children the importance of traditional music and performs her specially prepared programme for educational establishments at home and abroad.
Isla St Clair is known to millions in the UK for her numerous television appearances including The Royal Variety Show, The Morecambe and Wise Show, and most notably as co-host with Larry Grayson on the BBC's long running The Generation Game which won her `Best Female TV Personality'.
Isla’s talent has also matured to encompass other aspects of the entertainment business and she continues to be busy with, television, radio, stage, presenting and touring in her live shows. More on Isla St.Clair at www.islastclair.com
Thursday September 8th - still over on Oahu in Honolulu 'BAGPIPES IN THE MOVIES' was a great presentation by film maker Patrick King with singer Isla St. Clair at the Hawaii State Library. A fine talk about how bagpipes have affected people during war and peace - Patrick and Isla combined storytelling, film clips and music about the great Highland bagpipe, then held a question and answer session. Patrick gave the audience a look at how he made the award-winning documentary series, “Instrument of War” and “When the Pipers Play”, accompanied by some great songs from Isla, with and without guitar.
Isla St.Clair & Patrick King at the Hawaii State Library, Honolulu
Hamish was there to see the talk, and to interview Isla and Patrick for his radio program, The Maui Celtic Show. Mahalo to the Language, Literature and History section of the library (808-586-3499). www.librarieshawaii.org/programs/index.htm
Sunday 4th September - Hamish was live on air for The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. In-studio guest was local radio presenter Joel Agnew. Hamish continued the new weekly spot of playing some tracks by Celtic musicians who celebrated their birthdays this week, including the late Liam Clancy.
The show was dedicated to legendary Scottish songstress Ray Fisher, who passed away this week aged 70 - a huge loss to the Scottish traditional music community. Condolences to our friend Archie Fisher, and Ray's family and friends. Hamish played some of Ray's music from various albums.
Ray was born in Glasgow into a musical family of seven children. Her brother Archie became a singer and broadcaster, and her sister Cilla a singer and children's performer. Ray and Archie performed as a duo, and made regular appearances on Scottish Television. Ray married fiddler and Northumbrian piper Colin Ross in 1962, and moved to Tyneside with solo performances, concentrating in particular on 'muckle sangs' - big, traditional ballads.
Special phone guest was Irish balladeer Tom Sweeney on tour in the US, calling in to talk about his career and music. Tom is one of the famous singing Makem family, and carries on an unbroken line of family singers going back over 100 years. Many of the songs in his extensive repetoire come directly from the singing of his maternal grandmother, the late Sarah Makem, his mother, and uncles including Tommy Makem. He was one of the Barleybree group, who had success in Canada, before he purseud a solo career. In 1998 Tom was invited to play for President Clinton and the First Lady at the White House for the St Patrick's Day Banquet - he sang his self penned plea for peace in Ireland, "Anthem For The Children" to a standing ovation.
September 4th - over on Oahu The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii presented The Blue Shamrock Kilted Classic Golf Tournament. Great fun was had by all at the Pearl Country Club in Aiea (www.pearlcc.com), with a Continental Breakfast, lunch, cocktails, awards ceremony and dinner. Kilts were the attire of the day. The Hole-In-One Prize was a Weeklong Golfing Get-away in Scotland for two players ! There were many other prizes including Best Kilted Golfer, and Best Golf Shot after a dram of Scotch. Sponsored By: Ostrager Chong Flaherty & Broitman P.C. Counselors at Law, Carats & Karats, Hawaii Beach Travel, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Irish Rose Saloon, O'Toole's Irish Pub, and Anna's. More info contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 28th August - Hamish was back live on air for The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. In-studio guest was local radio presenter Joel Agnew. Hamish continued the new weekly spot of playing some tracks by Celtic musicians who celebrated their birthdays this week.
The show was dedicated to legendary piper Alasdair Gillies who passed away Saturday 27th at the young age of 47 - a huge loss to the bagpiping world. A native of Ullapool, Scotland, Gillies was probably the most successful solo light music competitor in history, and won almost every major prize in both piobaireachd and light music, some many times. At the turn of the last century, Alasdair Gillies was voted by ‘Pipes & Drums’ readers as the best piper of the 20th century. He was a piper in the British Army for 17 years (1980-1997), the last Pipe Major of the Queen’s Own Highlanders, and first Pipe Major of The Highlanders. He taught a performance degree in bagpiping at the Carnegie Mellon University for 12 years until 2009. www.alasdairgillies.com ..........Alasdair Gillies
On behalf of the Hawaii piping and drumming community, we extend our condolences to Alasdair Gillies's family and friends. Hamish played some of Alasdair's music from a live concert performance with Alasdair Fraser, and another unreleased live performance with Jerry Holland, both from the Mastery of Scottish Arts concerts at Benaroya Hall in Seattle - thanks to Alasdair's friend bagpiper Mike Reidel for the music.
The second hour featured an exclusive interview with phone guest from Scotland, bagpiper and pipe-maker Fin Moore from the great new group Seudan, who called in to talk to Hamish about the band's debut self-titled CD - Fin also dedicated a track to his friend Alasdair Gillies, who played chanters that the Moore's made.
Seudan comprises some of Scotland’s leading exponents of traditional pipe music and Gaelic song, with a repertoire is directly influenced by the music of the Western Isles of Scotland and the East Coast of Canada. The 4 pipers (Calum MacCrimmon, Angus MacKenzie, Fin Moore, and Angus Nicolson) play matched sets of pipes in concert pitch A (440), that are copies of 'The Black Set of Kintail', made in 1785 and housed in The Inverness Museum, reproduced by Hamish and Fin Moore. Hamish also featured tracks on the CD by Allan MacDonald (Pibroch Song and small pipes) and Kathleen MacInnes (Gaelic Song). The album Seudan is on Greentrax Recordings.
Sunday August 28th - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held a Movie night in the Celtic Room behind O'Tooles Pub. Featuring Dancing at Lughnasa - a young boy tells the story of growing up in a fatherless home with his unmarried mother and four spinster aunts in 1930's Ireland. More details from Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
Sunday 21st August - Hamish was playing great new Celtic music on the The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He dedicated the show to underwriters Anne & George Millar for their 1st wedding anniversary the day before, playing some songs and tunes for them. George, the founder and singer-songwriter of The Irish Rovers married the lovely Anne this weekend a year ago in Victoria, BC. Hamish played the Highland pipes for them, at an amazing location at Deep Cove Chalet. Thanks to George & Anne for the Frances Litman wedding photograph (right).
George & Anne Millar wedding, with the rest of The Irish Rovers, and piper Hamish Burgess - Deep Cove Chalet, Vancouver Island (Aug 2010)
Hamish also started a new weekly feature, and played some tracks by Celtic musicians who celebrated their birthdays this week.
Friday August 19th - over on Oahu, local traditional band Celtic Waves played at Ward's Rafters (3810 Maunaloa) in Honolulu. This was a last performance by harper and mandolinist Katie McClellen who will soon be leaving Hawaii. Also with Louise Taylor as special guest. Celtic Waves
Sunday 14th August - Hamish was on air again live for The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great new Celtic music, from all over the Celtic world. He featured a track by the brand new World Pipe Band Champions the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Northern Ireland, as congratulaions for their win in yesterday's World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green in Scotland. He also featured the Run Geordie Run single by The Exiles (Tim Readman & Alan Millen) as congratulations to Mark Allison of County Durham on completing his 3100 mile run across the USA in 100 days to raise money for charity - an amazing achievement ! He has raised £83,638 for 2 charities so far - check out his epic journey at www.rungeordierun.com. The charity single is available on here on i-Tunes.
Sunday August 14th - Over on Oahu, purveyors of Fine Traditional Irish Music, Oahu's own local Celtic Waves played at Kelley O'Neil's Irish Pub in the arly evening. They were saying Aloha to their beloved harper and mandolinist Katie McClellen who will soon be leaving Hawaii - they were celebrating her 9 years with the band for her last 2 performances. Louise Taylor played as special guest for both performances. Check them out at Celtic Waves.
Oahu traditional Irish music band Celtic Waves
Sunday 7th August - Hamish was back live on air for The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great new Celtic music for you, from all over the Celtic world. There was a wee Scottish set for visitor Mr.Crowe, globetrekking to see his family from Scotland at the young age of 90 !! He also featured the new Girsa CD "A Sweeter Place", and Battlefield Band's new "Line-up" album.
Saturday August 6th - over on Oahu The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii & The Friends of St.Patrick held a fun Sunset Sail on the Makani Catamaran from the Kewalo Basin. Sailing, drinks and a buffet. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org - or you Irish folks try Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
Sunday July 31st - LUGHNASADH GREETINGS TO ALL ! Hamish was live on air again for The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had some great Celtic music to play, all with a seasonal harvest and fair theme for the Lughnasadh Special (see below), with of course a few tunes from the Irish band Lúnasa (www.lunasa.ie). He also celebrated the legendary Irish singer Tommy Makem on his 4th anniversary, with some well known classics from his career, as well as some very rare old 45s. Thought of as one of the 'godfathers' of Irish folk music, Tommy brought Irish songs to the world with the Clancy Brothers in the 50s and 60s, then as a duo with Liam Clancy, and of course as a masterful solo performer. His sons continue their father's legacy with the Makem & Spain Brothers - more on them and Tommy at www.makem.com.
“LUGHNASADH” © Hamish Burgess 2011
More details of the above original artwork and explanation of mythology on our Gallery page.
Lughnasadh, the ancient Harvest festival (Lúnasa in modern Irish), started on the eve before August 1st,
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.
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.
More details about Lughnasadh are with the original artwork above on our Gallery page.
Sunday July 31st - over on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held an Irish Movie Night featuring Boondock Saints in O'Toole's Celtic Room. More details from Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 808-223-3997.
Sunday July 24th - Hamish played all new Celtic music on air during The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had music this week from Scotland, Ireland, England, Galicia, America and even Russia and Poland !
Sunday July 17th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. During the first hour he had a special Polynesian/Celtic music tribute to Hawaiian Kumu and oli (chanting) master Charles Ka'upu, who passed away on Wednesday - much Aloha to his ohana and friends.
Charles Kaupu - photo (right) by Aubrey Hord
Featuring the epic 'Aloha Namahana' from Maui band Hapa, complete with Irish pipes and whistle, with Charles chanting, and their great cover of 'Pride (In The Name Of Love)'. Then tracks and words from New Zealand Maori/Scottish trio Pacific Curls, and several Scottish and Irish bands.
The second hour heard another tribute to Hamish & Jennifer's own special friend Sammy, a giant among felines, who passed away with the dawn on Thursday (see below) - much love to Jennifer and family. One sad song, then some fun Celtic music and songs about cats !
July 16th -on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held an Irish Travel meeting where folks could talk to those who have experienced the ins and outs of Irish Travel. They'd like to start a tour group for travel to Ireland in 2012, have a couple of tours in mind and are looking to find members and friends who may want to join in their trip. More details from Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
Thursday July 14th - a very sad day for the Maui Celtic couple Hamish & Jennifer. Sammy, a giant among felines, passed away with the dawn today. He lived in a beautiful home in Vancouver BC, and loved and was much loved by Jennifer for 14 years. They thankfully found eachother at the Vancouver SPCA. Hamish had the pleasure to know him for 10 years, and his favourite spot at night was sitting right on Hamish's chest ! Of the many cats Hamish has known over half a century, he had the most personality. He will be forever in our hearts - Aloha 'Oe, Sammy.
Sam, a giant among felines
Sunday July 10th - Hamish was live on air for The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had some great new Celtic music, as well as music he picked up on his recent travels to Alaska, Canada and Seattle (see below). Thanks to Larry Sarner for filling in while Hamish was off playing pipes on the Irish Music Session Cruise to Alaska, and then up in Canada.
July 9th-10th - the scheduled Pan-pacific Irish Dance Championship to be held in Honolulu was unfortunately CANCELLED - more details at www.panpacificchampionships.com
Saturday July 9th - over on Oahu The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii performed at the Kailua Relay for Life Play at 6.30pm at Kailua High School.
Saturday July 9th - still on Oahu, The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held a Celtic Nation's Celebration. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday July 8th - and also over on Oahu, Celtic Waves played at Ward's Rafters in Honolulu. The usual rollicking good session, this time they were joined by piper Corey Anne Armstrong. They gave the local bagpiper a wonderful send-off, as she and her husband and their five kids are moving to England later this month. Corey Anne has played piano and whistles most of her life and began playing Scottish Highland Bagpipes 5 years ago with The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii. She also plays highland pipes with the local Irish rock band, Doolin Rakes. That night Corey Anne played the Irish penny whistle, and the shuttle pipes, which are actually smaller quieter Scottish cousins to the Irish uilleann (pronounced “illin”) pipes. More info call 808-735-8012.
Monday July 4th - The Friends of St.Patrick marched in the Kailua 4th of July parade. The marchers, in their society shirts, were joined by the The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, and the local firetruck !
Friends of St.Patrick and Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii - Kailua 4th July parade
The annual fun event for the Irish group continued with a cooling-off post parade pool party at Chuck Wall's house. All American, Irish good time ! The yearly parade is along N. Kainalu Ave, Kailua, and the streets are closed by 9am. The Irish group distribute candy to the kids. More details on the annual event contact Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
Sunday July 3rd - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii marched in the Fourth of July Parade through Waikiki. Please call Bruce McEwan if you'd like to walk with the group next year. 808-538-7707
Sunday July 3rd - Hamish was back on Maui and live on air for The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had some great new Celtic music for you, and music from his recent travels in Alaska and Canada, with Canadian Celtic music for Canada Day (July 1st) and American Celtic music for Independence Day (July 4th).
Hamish's July 4th Maui Celtic Show
Thanks to Larry Sarner for filling in while Hamish was off playing pipes on the Irish Music Session Cruise to Alaska, and then up in Canada.
Saturday July 2nd - the Isle of Maui Pipe Band marched in the 4th July Paniolo Parade in the Upcountry cowboy town of Makawao. The parade started at 9.00am at the lower end of Baldwin Avenue, up to Makawao Avenue and ends at the Eddie Tam Center. Parade Info: 572-9565. Contact the band for details through www.isleofmauipipeband.com
Saturday July 2nd - over on Oahu there was An Evening of Irish Stories with Niall de Búrca at the Orvis Auditorium in Honolulu. Niall is one of Ireland's finest traditional storytellers. He was raised in Galway and displayed a talent for narrative from a young age. At home he has been featured in theatre, radio and at many festivals including Féile Earraai, the CS Lewis Festival, and The National Children's Book Festival. Abroad he has performed and held workshops in countries as diverse as Poland, Argentina, Italy and The Netherlands - this was his return to the Hawaiian Islands. www.storyteller.ie. He also played at the Molokai public library on July 1st, and Maui (see below).
Irish storyteller Niall de Burca at Wailuku Public Library
Thursday June 30th - Direct from Dublin, Irish storyteller Niall de Burca performed at three Maui libraries. Niall returned to Hawaii to present the ancient tales of Ireland, and more dangerous than a pied piper, Niall casts a spell on young and old alike - although the program was recommended for ages 5 and over, it was also captivating for adults ! A native of west Ireland, a land soaked in legend, his unique style of storytelling brings afresh perspective to an ancient tradition. Niall is a master of his craft - his style and interaction with his audience, be it kids or adults, is truly brilliant. Hamish attended the Wailuku session, and everyone left buzzing and happy with life ! There were even visitors from Ireland, who loved the accents of Niall's various characters. The hard working shanachie (storyteller) performed at Makawao Public Library in the morning, Kihei Public Library in the afternoon, and Wailuku Public Library in the evening ! More details from Glenda Berry, Hawaii State Public Library System (808) 243-5766.
Niall also performed at the Big Island of Hawaii libraries of North Kohala, Kailua-Kona, Laupahoehoe, Honokaa, Kealakekua on June 28-29th, and back on Oahu at Aina Haina, Aiea, Waianae, Mililani, and Kaneohe on June 25-27th. More on the master story teller at www.storyteller.ie.
Saturday June 25th - the The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held their Annual General Meeting at 11.00am at the Ka'ikena Lau'ae Dining Room, Kapiolani Community College. Please call Lillian Cunningham at 538-7707 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. After a lunch buffet, they showed the stirring DVD, "When the Pipers Play". Isla St. Clair, Scotland's traditional singer, is featured in this award winning TV series on bagpipes with the Massed Pipers of all the Scottish Regiments. The Honolulu Scottish Community is planning a live performance of Ms. St.Clair on Sept. 9 in Honolulu. Watch our Events page for more information.
May 29th - June 26th - our own Hamish was up in British Columbia, Canada with Jennifer, the other half of Maui Celtic, after the Irish Sessions at Sea Cruise to Alaska from Seattle (see below). Here's the Canadian adventure.......
Thursday June 23rd - Hamish & Jennifer of Maui Celtic were at the Vancouver Island Music Awards in the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay, BC, to see one of the Maui Celtic Radio Show favorite tracks, "Gracehill Fair" by The Irish Rovers, win the 'SOCAN Song of the Year Award' - congratulations lads and songwriter George Millar ! Hamish did the Celtic art for the album cover, and got to see it on a big screen during a short film by Jennifer Fahrni, 'The Journey Continues', shown as a tribute to the band, just before they received the 'Island Classic Award'. John Reynolds and George Millar of The Irish Rovers, both residents of Vancouver Island, received the awards for the band, as well as presenting 'Best Female Singer' to Emily Spiller. Although not Celtic music, 12 bands played at the Vancouver Island Music Awards gala, with the standard of music being high - a good time was had by all.
Hamish, George Millar & John Reynolds, and Jennifer - Vancouver Island Music Awards
Anne & George Millar and The Irish Rovers are underwriters of Hamish's 'Maui Celtic Show' on Mana'o Radio 91.5fm Maui - thanks for supporting local independent radio, and the broadcasting of Celtic music on Maui and worldwide on the internet.
June 17th-25th - Hamish and Jennifer were over on Vancouver Island. They visited George and Anne Millar in Nanoose Bay, and had a great time looking at archival photos and video of The Irish Rovers, who over their 46 year career, hosted three award-winning television series in Canada and Northern Ireland. During the 1970s, the Irish Rovers hosted the most popular Canadian variety show of its time, CBC-TV's, “The Irish Rovers Show” which ran for 6 seasons. In 1981 the group starred in their second national television series, "The Rovers Comedy House", a 7-part CBC series of comedy, shenanigans and boisterous Irish music. From 1984 to '86, The Rovers third television series, "Party With The Rovers", was set in a traditional pub with celebrity guests performing each week. The series was a co-production between Canada, Global TV and Ulster Television in Ireland, and was syndicated around the world. www.theirishroversmusic.com
Thanks to Jen & John Millar who took them to nearby Englishman's River, a spectacular scenic spot with a suspention bridge over the river, with pristine forests and interesting rock formations. With a hot sunny day, Hamish even had a wade in the freezing cold snow-melt water !
Englishman's River, near Nanoose, Vancouver Island BC
Then it was time for Hamish to get back to his roots, with a cold water surfing expedition ! Our duo headed across the island to the west coast - the drive took them through MacMillan Provincial Park with it's massive Douglas Fir trees in Cathedral Grove - some of the trees are more than 800 years old and 9 metres (almost 30 feet) around ! They checked out some of the many good surf spots along the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, before the end of the road at the town of Tofino, Canada's premier surf destination. Hamish rented a longboard, thick wetsuit, gloves and boots, from the friendly guys at Long Beach Surf Shop (who charged half the price of the newer shop on the way into town), and had three days of great head high waves. One morning he had overhead point surf to himself - well, just a dolphin and some eagles !
Maui Celtic surf trip - Cox Bay, Tofino, Vancouver Island
Sunset surf session at Cox Bay, Tofino, Vancouver Island
Hamish's roots were surfing the cold waters of Cornwall, Scotland and Ireland for years before emigrating. This was a bit chillier water at around 50ºF all year, than the UK which can be 67ºF in the summer. Well worth the effort for a few days of great surf though.
After a few days back in Nanoose, and a trip to the Vancouver Island Music Awards in Courtenay (see above), a fitting end to an great island trip was a party at The Beaton's in Qualicum Beach. Actually a retirement party for a Scottish friend, Ian MacDonald, there was a legendary session led by fiddler and one-woman-ceilidh Joyce Beaton, with the rest of her band Celtic Chaos. Hamish was invited to join in on the Scottish smallpipes - the craic was mighty at the Beaton's !
Celtic Chaos and Hamish, Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island
Tuesday 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.
According 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.
In Vancouver, BC Hamish & Jennifer caught up with Geordie pal, singer/songwriter Tim Readman, who plays regularly around B.C. as a solo singer and with other musicians including Sona Le Mottee. Tim and Shona are no strangers to Maui themselves, having played a series of concerts a few years ago.
They also met Maura (McCay) de Freitas, publisher of The Celtic Connection newspaper, a great resource that serves the Vancouver BC and Seattle WA Celtic communities. Hamish and Jennifer are freelance writers for the newspaper, and his seasonal Celtic art pieces have been featured on the cover of the paper over the last year - look out for a Lughnasadh piece on the July/August issue cover.
Hamish and Jennifer with Maura de Freitas of the Celtic Connection newspaper, at Granville Island in Vancouver
The tabloid size newspaper covers Celtic news, sports, events, folklore and mythology, and has international distribution, published 10 times a year from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Then they had a visit with renowned Celtic artist Aidan Meehan, Irish author of many books on the construction of Celtic knotwork, and 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. His latest works are fabulous larger scale paintings, and collaborations for stained glass pieces. He does commissions, custom original work and also has fine art prints.
Renowned Celtic artist Aidan Meehan with one of his fabulous original paintings
Tuesday June 14th - Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley (surprise visitor to the Pacific Northwest) were guest players at the Jericho Folk Club for the open stage part of the evening, at the summer weekly event at Jericho Beach Sailing Centre in Vancouver B.C. Organizer Michael Pratt started the session with some nice folk songs and sea-shanties, then introduced our Maui Celtic duo.
Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley at Jericho Folk Club, Vancouver
They played Scottish smallpipes and opened with a reel set, with harmonies written by Roger, followed by solos from both pipers. After some uptempo Scottish tunes, they finished with a fast jig set. Next up were harmony trio West Wynd, and closing the open stage was a nice single vocal from a local lady, who got the crowd singing along. Then Roger, with his whistles, joined the lively Celtic jam session of fiddlers, guitar, bodhran and flute players. The main concert that night was from local band the Irish Wakers, with fun traditional songs, a few originals, and some instumental tunes.
The Irish Wakers at Jericho Folk Club, Vancouver
The Jericho Folk Club runs every Tuesday during the summer months, hosted by Michael Pratt and Lynn McGowan, owners of the local Celtic Traditions shop. The winter months feature concerts at the store at 3754 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver.
Tuesday June 7th - Hamish & Jennifer accompanied Anne & George Millar of the Irish Rovers from Vancouver to Novi, Detroit, where they met the other old Rover Wilcil McDowell for a Detroit Public Television Special of The Irish Rovers "Home in Ireland" DVD. It was a great night with presenters Dan Alpert and Jamie Westrick introducing the recent video, with the band filmed singing in beautiful locations around the north of Ireland, and concert footage of the boys at the Belfast Waterfront Theatre. George and Wilcil were interviewed by Dan between songs, and were as amusing as ever.
Wilcil McDowell and George Millar with Dan Alpert on Detroit Public Television Special fundraising broadcast of The Irish Rovers "Home in Ireland"
The great volunteer phone operators of Schoolcraft College were kept busy during the entire program, as the lines were alight with pledges in support of Detroit Public Television, in return for the "Home in Ireland" DVD, accompanying CD, or a package of both. George and Wilcil even manned the headsets to answer questions from fans and pledgers, who had plenty to ask the lads from their 46 year career as one of the best loved Irish bands in Canada and America.
Hamish & Jennifer, presenters Jamie & Dan, volunteer phone crew of Schoolcraft College, Rovers George and Wilcil, Bill, Norm and Janet at Detroit Public Television Studios
Jennifer was filming behind-the-scenes, and Hamish was shooting photos, as well as being stoked to see his latest artwork for The Irish Rovers' DVD cover (see our Gallery page) on the big studio screens, and being broadcast to homes around North America ! The evening was a great fundraiser for Detroit Public Television, and so well received that it is expected to go national on TV later in the year.
Hamish Burgess' cover art and photo for The Irish Rovers "Home in Ireland" DVD and CD (design by Jennifer Fahrni) on Detroit Public Television across North America
An eventful flight of airports closed due to thunderstoms, circling aircraft running out of fuel and landing elsewhere, and running flat out to catch flights, saw our duo safely back in Vancouver. Meanwhile.........
Back In Hawaii..........
June 18th - The Friends of St.Patrick had their customary Hangover meeting, where they do their annual organizing of files and library. More details from Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
June 5th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held a Lowlander's Brunch at Sam Snead's Tavern. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
June 1st - a sad day for the Irish community when well-known local Irishman John Ferguson passed away. The owner of Ferguson’s Irish Pub in downtown Honolulu, John was born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland.
John Ferguson of Ferguson's Irish Pub, Honolulu
John is survived by wife Lillian K. and sisters Alice Coll and Rose Ferguson. He was long-time host to The Friends of St.Patrick for their Christmas Party and Pub Crawls. With a giving heart he always contributed unique Irish items to their Emerald Ball's Auction. Fellow publican Bill Comerford said "Soft spoken and ever the gentleman John's company will be sadly missed. John was the consummate publican and Honolulu's Irish community was lucky to have him."
Aloha 'Oe , John Ferguson.
Sunday May 22nd-June 12th - Larry Sarner was filling in for Hamish on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great Celtic music while Hamish was off playing pipes on the Irish Music Session Cruise to Alaska (below), and then up in Canada (above).
Sunday May 22nd-29th - Hamish and Jennifer were cruising to Alaska with the Irish Music Sessions at Sea, presented by Debbie Casey (www.sessions-at-sea.com) 1-888-56IRISH. They joined a group of talented singers and musicians - The Makem & Spain Brothers, Seamus Kennedy, and Máirtín de Cógáin.
Holland America ship, Lamplugh Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska
Our Maui Celtic duo arrived the day before in Seattle, where the holiday started at the rustic Edgewater Hotel right on the water at Pier 69, where they met old friends and made a few new ones. They explored Seattle, went to the top of the 605 foot high Space Needle, built for the 1962 World's Fair, and grabbed a bite to eat at Kells Irish Pub downtown. Trip organizers Debbie and Jerry took in the Seattle Undergound Tour, seeing old sidewalks and storefronts buried under the surface of modern-day Seattle.
Sunday the gang headed off to board Holland America's MS Oosterdam, our floating home for the next 7 days. We set sail that afternoon out through Puget Sound, then headed up to the Crow's Nest bar - the craic started at the welcome cocktail party, where all the Irish music guests could have a wee drink with the musicians.
Makem & Spain Brothers, Seamus Kennedy, and Máirtín de Cógáin
After a great dinner, the first of the week's music sessions got underway featuring The Makem & Spain Brothers (Rory, Conor and Shane Makem and Mickey and Liam Spain), Belfast singer Seamus Kennedy and singer storyteller M�irt�n de C�g�in from Cork. A great couple of hours of traditional Irish songs, sea-shanties, and folk songs, with a couple of guests - Mike Casey sang some songs and Hamish Burgess played a few tunes on the Scottish smallpipes.
Monday was a day at sea off the coast of Canada, cruising from the west side of Vancouver Island northwards, and past the mountainous and snow-capped peaks of the Queen Charlotte Islands on the Pacific side, the southern parts looking remarkably like a more extensive version of the moutains of West Maui. After a leisurely breakfast, it was time for a Pub Quiz, hosted by funny-man Seamus Kennedy. With several teams playing, the winners were none other than team Maui Celtic (Hamish, Jennifer, Máirtín and Mike). The afternoon saw an informative Bodhran workshop by Máirtín de Cógáin, who's storytelling skills made for a great experience - with the practise tools of ship's pens, and cups or books, he had the class tapping out beats for jigs and reels ! For a wee bodhran finale he was joined by fellow player Shane Makem.
Máirtín de Cógáin bodhran workshop - Hamish & Jennifer, and Seamus Kennedy
Hamish and Jennifer dressed up for formal dinner night in the Douglas tartan of Hamish's family. Not the only one in full formal kilt attire, Seamus Kennedy was sporting his tartan with dark green Prince Charlie jacket. That night's Crow's Nest music session was a great one, with classic Irish and folk songs from The Makem & Spains, some fine humourous Cork songs from Máirtín de Cógáin, and even some cowboy song requests by Seamus Kennedy. A few highlights were the Hawaiian set started with a song by Seamus followed up by Hawaiian pipe tunes from Hamish Burgess, the brilliant 'Tea Man' story from Máirtín, and a group rendition of 'Amazing Grace' with voices, pipes and accordion.
Máirtín de Cógáin, Makem & Spain Brothers, Seamus Kennedy and Hamish Burgess
Continuous cruising north all night and we were back in American waters, off the Alexander Archipelago of Alaska. Tuesday morning brought the ship into the calm waters of Cross Sound at the south western edge of Glacier Bay National Park. National Park Rangers and an elder of the Huna Tlingit tribe, original residents of the area, boarded the ship in Bartlett Cove to give talks and a commentary of our day. Ranger Fay told us about the natural history and wildlife of the Glacier Bay National Park as we headed north up Glacier Bay (Sit' Eeti Gheeyi in the Hoonah language) - once a massive glacier itself, we cruised up the deep valley now filled with water and teeming with life. The entire passage journey north-west, on a cloudy and slightly rainy day, the smooth surface was broken continuously by small pods of little black and white dolphins.
Holland America ship, Grand Pacific Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska
We passed the first visible glacier, Reid Glacier, which ended it's valley-carving journey with its blue ice sloping into the cold waters of Glacier Bay opposite Russell Island. Our second sighting was Lamplugh Glacier with an icy blue cliff meeting the water's edge of John Hopkins Inlet. As we headed up the Tarr Inlet floating ice became more frequent, and the clear deep dark blue waters turned to a milky blue/green as they filled with tons of fine sediment from the glacier. One iceberg had a bald eagle perched majestically on top of it's peak, ice floes had groups of harbor seals resting on them, and we spotted large white mountain goats on the hillsides.
Bald Eagle on an iceberg in Glacier Bay, Alaska
Harbor Seals on the ice floes, Glacier Bay, Alaska
We arrived at the the northern edge of the National Park (the border with Canada) to the spectacular Margerie Glacier, with an incredible view of the living ice river coming down from the mountain peaks. The ship idled close to the incredible 250 foot high cliff wall of ice, and in the calm quiet waters you could hear the glacier 'calving', with great cracking sounds as tons of ice fell into the water. Named after French Geologist Emmanuel de Margerie who visited the area in 1913, this is truly one of the natural wonders of the world.
Marjerie Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Hamish was spellbound and couldn't leave the sight, so Jennifer headed below to catch the Tlingit history talk by Alice of the Huna tribe, where she described how the original village, where the visitor center now stands, was dramatically swept away around 1750 by a rolling glacier, moving as fast as a running dog ! On the journey back south we spotted a brown bear foraging on the shoreline in the distance. The sun peeked through the grey skies in time for a sunset view during dinner.
That night the session was legendary - some audience requests spurred the lads on to a major sing-along with many of the classic Irish songs. There was a rousing rebel song set, from Seamus Kennedy and The Makem & Spains, who went on with a set of childrens' songs made famous by their father Tommy Makem & the Clancy Brothers.
Makem & Spain Brothers, Máirtín de Cógáin, Seamus Kennedy and Alaska cruisers
Máirtín de Cógáin was getting lively on his bodhran, and had everyone singing a chorus in Irish. Hamish Burgess brought out the Great Highland Bagpipes, and played two sets during the evening, after getting stopped from tuning-up on deck (apparently a rule of no loud noises on the ships deck while in Alaska) - fortunately he had finished tuning ! Mike Casey was up for a few good songs, as usual.
Wednesday the gang awoke docked in the Gastineau Channel at the Alaskan capital city of Juneau, which you can only arrive at by sea or air, isolated by the surrounding mountains it nestles against. The huge cruise ships dwarf the buildings, as the dock is right downtown, amongst the old gold-rush buildings that now house shops, art galleries, cafes and bars. The town was founded by Joe Juneau and Richard Harris after gold was found in 1880, and for the first year was called Harrisburg.
Hamish, Jennifer and Máirtín, were met by our couple's old friend Blair and his visiting mum, who took them out for the day. After a quick drive round the old town, they headed 'Out The Road', passing young eagles in some trees, to the Mendenhall Glacier, with a stunning view as soon as you arrived at the parking lot ! The glacier was named Sitaantaagu ("the Glacier Behind the Town") or Aak'wtaaksit ("the Glacier Behind the Little Lake") by the native Tlingits, before renamed by westerners in honor of Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, who definined the national boundary between the United States (Alaska) and Canada.
Jennifer and Hamish at Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska
Looking out across Mendenhall Lake past floating icebergs, you have an elevated view of the half-mile wide and 100 feet high blue glacier, running down between two peaks to the still waters, broken by a huge waterfall exploding on a beach on the right of the vista - Nugget Falls, also known as Nugget Creek Falls or Mendenhall Glacier Falls - another wonder of nature, all the better with the day's sunny clear skies. The gang headed out to a rocky lookout for photos, then down onto the beach for an easy hike out to the bottom of the thunderous waterfall, where you could stand in the spray of the cold mountain water.
Nugget Falls, or Mendenhall Glacier Falls
They slowed down as a bear crossed the road on their way to Auke Bay, for some great fish and chips in the harbour cafe, before heading to Eagle Beach - plenty of huge black ravens, but only eagles in the distance - there you can see the huge vastness of the Alaskan wilderness stretching out before you. They drove to a secluded pebble beach area with eagles in the tree-tops, nearby a rocky headland where hidden amongst a thicket of trees, is the sanctuary of the Shrine of St.Therese.
Shrine of St.Therese, near Juneau, Alaska
The simple boulder stone church is ringed by Stations of the Cross, small shrines that depict the final steps of Jesus Christ. Hamish and Máirtín agreed that although Christian, the island has a druidic feel about it, and is a very special place. Heading back to town Blair spotted some bears - a mother and 3 babies heading into the woods - then stopped again, this time for a good look at a mother and two young ones down a grassy bank by woods very close to the road.
Black Bears near Juneau, Alaska
Back in Juneau there was time for a bit of shopping, and a look at some fine Tlingit traditional and contemporary art in some of the galleries, before saying goodbye to our great guides and boarding the ship. Thanks to Blair and Mrs. Fox for their hospitality in Juneau.
Dinner was followed by another great Irish music session from the lads, with lots of requests from our cruisers.
Mickey Spain, Máirtín de Cógáin, Rory Makem and Seamus Kennedy
Thursday started with cruising into Sitka Bay, on the west coast of Baranof Island, in sight of the majestic snow-capped Mount Edgecumbe (called L’ux in the Tlingit language), a dormant volcano on the southern end of nearby Kruzof Island. The ship anchored off the old Russian settlement of Sitka (the Europeanized version of the Tlingit name Sheet'ka, ancestral home to that indigenous nation).
Mount Edgecumbe, Kruzof Island, from Sitka, Alaska
1741 saw the first European contact in Alaska, with the Russian explorer Vitus Bering's expedition, and the lucrative trade in soft sea otter furs and timber established the Russian-American Company, with manager Alexander Baranov as a colonial governor, solidifying the Russian colony of New Archangel in America which lasted for 125 years. He brought 1100 Russians and Aleutian natives to the site he called Redoubt St.Michael, but the Kiks.adi clan of Shee At'ika Tlingit rebelled against the Russians in 1802, and destroyed them, only to face a seige by Baranov's forces two years later (see below), ending the resistance. America bought Alaska in 1867, the deal being signed at Baronov's home and harbour fortifications, now a scenic lookout called Castle Hill, and Sitka became the new US Territory capital.
View from Castle Hill, Sitka, Alaska
Hamish & Jennifer walked along past the marina to Sitka National Historical Park, where they took a guided tour with park ranger June Degnan, a Native Amercian of the Yupik tribe, who's grandfather was Irish. They looked at the symbology of the 18 totem poles on the shoreline forest trail, both Haida and Tlingit styles. Most are replicas of the ancient poles now housed in the visitor center for protection, with a few newer poles by Tlingit artist Tommy Joseph and his team of carvers, who they met working in his studio by the park museum. One recent totem commemorates the park's 100th anniversary, and one in a now serene forest clearing is a memorial to the Battle of Sitka, where in that spot Tlingit leader Katlian held his fortress against the Russians for 6 days, before escaping with his people into the night, after their ammunition had ran out. All that remains of this last major conflict between Europeans and Alaska Natives is a woodland clearing at the site of the Tlingit fort and battlefield. The Battle of 1804 started the beginning of Russian governance in Alaska (see above).
Battle of Sitka Memorial Totem pole, and Centennial Totem Pole
for 100th anniversary - Totems National Park, Sitka, Alaska
They also met Tlingit artist metalsmith Charles Skultka in his studio there by the park museum, and while admiring his traditional copper and silverwork, noticed his beautiful wooden cedar surfboard in the ceiling - he is one of the local Alaskan surfers for the past 30 years, and has visited Maui surfing before. Hamish chatted with him about the remote and sometimes huge waves at Alaskan surf spots, mostly only accessible by boat. For a local news article with an interview with Charlie about surfing click here.
Tlingit artists Tommy Joseph and Charles Skultka studios at Sitka National Historical Park
Meeting Máirtín on the walk back into town they took in the Russian Bishop's House (1843), the first floor a museum of artifacts and religious icons, and the second floor unchanged as it was over a hundred years ago. Going past the downtown shops and cafes they saw the St.Michael's Cathedral, the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church in America, and up by the Russian Graveyard an old Blockhouse, or wooden fortress once used to defend the Russian town. Máirtín stopped in to Raven FM, the local non-profit radio station, to tell them about his music, and radio hosts Hamish and Jennifer also had a look round.
Máirtín and Jennifer at the Russian Blockhouse, Sitka, Alaska
Back on the ship for an afternoon snack, and dip in the aft deck hot tub - with an amazing snow-capped mountain view as the ship cruised down the sound and out into the Pacific. That night's session was the usual craic, with lots of folk and Irish songs from the lads, guest singer Mike Casey, and a few smallpipe sets from Hamish, which started off a round of Scottish songs. A highlight was a great humourous story from Máirtín about a pig from Cork with a false leg !
Mike Casey, Hamish Burgess, Makem & Spains, Máirtín de Cógáin, Seamus Kennedy
Mickey, Liam, Rory, Máirtín, Conor, Seamus - Rory with Máirtín in full story telling mode
Friday morning in Tongass Narrows, we docked early in the rain on the southwestern shore of Revillagigedo Island, at Ketchican, known as "Alaska's 1st City", as travellers coming north reach here first. The town was established in 1887 when a salmon cannery was was built at the mouth of Ketchican Creek. The area is home to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshan people, with the Totem Heritage Cultural Centre, Totem Bight State Park, and Saxman Totem Park nearby.
The harbor and Creek Street, Ketchican, Alaska
With only a half day ashore, our Maui Celtic duo jumped a cab to Saxman Village, where an avenue of totem poles led up to a potlach meeting house. A word of warning - even though they charge you $5 a head to walk around, unless you are on a local tour you get no access to the meeting house, native dance show, or the woodcarvers workshop. That didn't stop Hamish & Jennifer, who casually walked into the carving talk and met master Tlingit artist Nathan Jackson, who has a totem pole at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.
Saxman Village, Ketchican, Alaska
A $1 bus ride took them back to town where they ducked out of the rain on Creek Street into Dolly's House, now a museum to the home and workplace of Madam Dolly Arthur, a famous local prostitute from 1919 to 1970. The zig-zagging boardwalk on pilings above Ketchican Creek supported at least 30 'sporting houses' in it's heyday - Creek Street was known as "The Line", Alaska's most notorious red-light district from 1902 to 1954, but the goldrush-era buildings of the boardwalk now house shops and art galleries.
Jennifer outside Dolly's House at Creek Street, Ketchican
From the boardwalk, the 'tram' or funicular railway is a cable car running up to the Cape Fox Lodge on the ridge above the town, with the 'Council of the Clans' totems by Tlingit carver Lee Wallace in the drive and older artifacts in the lobby, and a great view of the harbour and ships below. Hamish took in the Tongass Historical Museum, featuring native and pioneering atrifacts and history of the town, before heading back to the ship trying to avoid the myriad of busy tourist souvenir shops near the pier.
Council of the Clans Totems at Cape Fox Hotel, Ketchican, Alaska
Back on board in the afternoon there was a Cork Ceilidh Dancing Class with Máirtín de Cógáin, who showed the mainly new and a few seasoned dancers a few traditional dances, including the 'Walls of Limerick' and the Irish 'Highland Fling'. Great fun, which was unfortunately for some captured on film. That night was formal dress dinner night again with Seamus and Hamish in full kilt attire, before that night's folk and Irish song session up in the Crow's Nest bar, with a highlight of a big sea-shanty set. The Makem & Spains, Máirtín de Cógáin, and Seamus Kennedy were joined by Mike Casey singing and Hamish Burgess on the Scottish smallpipes for a few jigs.
Mike Casey, The Makem & Spains, Máirtín de Cógáin, and Seamus Kennedy
Saturday was a day at sea heading south on the Pacific Ocean. After a welcome late start to the day, Hamish & Jennifer met Máirtín and Mike Casey for an upscale lunch at the Pinnacle Grill, a prize that they had won as Team Maui Celtic at the pub quiz at the beginning of the trip. Then it was time for the final music session of the week, with the usual suspects doing Irish favourites, a few requests, and song from their albums, and a set on the Highland Bagpipes. There was a slow ballad set, then the floor was opened up to the cruisers themselves to do a 'party piece' that they had been invited to prepare, or perform off-the-cuff. There were fine performances from several guests, including Brian with a memorized piece of George Bernard Shaw. Maui Celtic's own Jennifer recited an emigration poem by her mother Jean MacKay Fahrni 'Leaving Beuly Vale' which mentions Hamish piping, so he followed it with a slow air, then with Máirtín on bodhran they accompanied Seamus who sang 'Scotland The Brave'. The week of songs ended with a group rendition of 'Auld Lang Syne' with pipes, and 'The Parting Glass'.
Final music session of the Irish Sessions-at-Sea Cruise to Alaska
That night the ship was back in port for the evening at the only stop in Canada, and docked at the outer harbour in Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The gang headed ashore and some walked or took buses or taxis into town, Jerry Casey being hurried into a cab to get him out of the way as he was wearing a Boston Bruins shirt and hat - they were about to play the Vancouver Canucks in the ice hockey Stanley Cup finals, and he was the only Bruins fan amongst a town of Canucks !
Inner Harbour and Empress Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia
Originally a trading post set up by James Douglas in 1841, and named Fort Victoria, the old colonial town is now the capital of the province, and home to the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, the outline lit up every night with thousands of lightbulbs. Also by the picturesque Inner Harbour, is the swanky Empress Hotel (famous for it's expensive high tea), and the Royal British Columbia Museum, next to Thunderbird Park with it's longhouse and totem poles - the Coast Salish first nation being the original locals. The longhouse Wawadit'la, is also known as Mungo Martin House, built by Chief Mungo Martin of the Kwakwaka'wakw tribe in 1953.
Wawadit'la, Mungo Martin House, of the Kwakwaka'wakw - Thunderbird Park
A lot of folks ended up in The Irish Times Pub, and met George Millar of the Irish Rovers and his wife Anne - good beer and food, but no Celtic music that night. They normally have Celtic music Thursday-Sunday - check the schedule at www.irishtimespub.ca/music/. A bit too noisy to talk, Hamish & Jennifer took Máirtín for a 'quiet cup of tea', ending up at George and Anne's house to discuss future Irish Rovers projects, as Hamish does their Celtic art (see the Gallery page).
British Columbia Parliament Buildings at dusk, Victoria BC
It was all-aboard by eleven-thirty for a midnight sailing, not to mention a midnight snack and a late night yarn at the Lido !
Sunday morning saw the ship docked back in Seattle for breakfast and the end of an amazing trip. Hamish & jennifer were picked up by their friend Alice, and went downtown for a look round Pike Place Market, started in 1907 and now one of Washington state's most frequently visited destinations. With hundreds of crafters, curio shops and produce stalls, there were fish-mongers throwing fresh fish around, colourful flower stalls, and many street performers, all within shouting distance of the original Starbucks Coffee shop.
Then it was off north to Vancouver BC.....thanks to Alice for driving our duo to Canada !
What a brilliant week of great company, laughs, fine food - Alaskan adventures, with glaciers, dolphins, whales, seals, eagles, bears, and amazing Tlingit and Haida native art - and world-class Irish music. The craic was indeed mighty on the MS Oosterdam !
'Slainte!' to the fellow cruisers and Irish music fans, until we meet again.....
Thanks to Debbie Casey of IRISH MUSIC CRUISES SESSIONS AT SEA - check out the yearly event with different destinations at www.sessions-at-sea.com, and the January/February IRISH MUSIC CRUISE at www.irishmusiccruises.com, or call 1-888-56IRISH for more info.
Sunday May 22nd - The Friends of St.Patrick had an Irish Movie Night with The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Immediately following the Pasta Dinner for the Golf Participants (see below). More details from Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
Sunday May 22nd - The Friends of St.Patrick presented the Golden Pratie Golf Tournament Match Play competiion vs the Wild Shamrocks at Navy Marine Golf Course at noon. "Come and participate in our Golf Match against the Wild Shamrocks. We won last year 5-1-1 and the competition promises to be stiffer this year. Limited to 8 team members so contact Bill Comerford early to play for the Friends." More details from Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 808-223-3997.
Saturday May 21st - The Friends of St.Patrick held The Hooley – an Irish matchmaking party. "We bring on our matchmakers to invite the finest available candidates for these festivities." More details from Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
Friday May 20th - rollicking Irish music with Derek Warfield and the Young Wolftones was the craic at the Irish Rose Saloon in Waikiki - see below for the previous night's great show. www.theyoungwolfetones.com. Immediately following the concert, the entertainment continued with the local Irish stylings of the Doolin Rakes, who carried on the torch until the wee hours. www.irishpubhawaii.com/irishrose/index.html. More details from Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday May 19th - rollicking Irish music arrived on Oahu for two nights of concerts with Derek Warfield and the Young Wolftones, tonight playing at The Villa at the Aloha Tower Marketplace, Honolulu. Hamish was there early to meet one of the original members of the legendary Irish group, here with his new band, for an interview for the Maui Celtic Radio Show. He spoke to him about his 47 year career - with the Wolfe Tones, then solo, and now with the Young Wolfe Tones.
Derek Warfield & Hamish Burgess
The night started with young local singer Kiana Lea on some lovely ballads, and the local family The Celtic Keiki with some traditional Irish Dancing. Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones are known throughout the world for their musical presentation of Irish patriotic Rebel Songs and traditional Irish music. It was a great show, with some wry humor, background history and stories about the songs, as well as good music. Derek sang lead vocals, with bodhran and mandolin, for most of the fine ballads and rousing rebel songs. The Young Wolfe Tones played some great jigs and reels, with Damaris Woods rocking on the banjo, Glaswegian Alan Murray sang and played guitar, with Dan Lowry on flute and vocals. The last few numbers had our local Irish dancers jigging all over the romm, and ending up on stage singing with Derek - great night was had by all !
Hamish found out that he shares an interest with Derek - Irish songs from the American Civil War, of which the songwriter has made 2 albums and written a book on the subject. www.derekwarfield.com or www.theyoungwolfetones.com.
Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones at the Villa, Aloha Tower, Honolulu
Sunday May 15th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great new and older Celtic music, including a US/Pacific exclusive with new unreleased tracks from Scottish singer Ivan Drever's upcoming album "Bless the Wind", and from the Battlefield Band's untitled new album.
Sunday, May 15th - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented a New Member Welcome with Hans Van Tilburgh, 4 pm at the Falls of Clyde. It was a Potluck at Pier 7, next to the historic Scottish built ship, with the NOAA Maritime Heritage co-ordinator, historian and marine scientist Dr. Van Tilburgh. Built in Port Glasgow, the Falls of Clyde is the only remaining iron-hulled, four-masted, full-rigged ship left in the world !
Sunday May 8th - ‘Mulligans on the Blue’ was had Mother's Day Celtic style, with Irish music as usual on a Sunday night, with Roger McKinley, or his alter ego the Mad Bagpiper, playing his usual solo spot at the Irish pub in Wailea at 6pm, and again at the Celtic Tigers break. He played nice airs, marches jigs and reels on the Highland Pipes and Smallpipes, and was joined for a couple of sets by our own Hamish Burgess. They played a set of reels for the first time in public, that Roger had written harmonies for Hamish to play at an upcoming gig they had soon.
Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley at Mulligans on the Blue
The Celtic Tigers rocked the house with regulars singer/guitarist Murray Thorne, drummer Kris Thomas, bassist Lenny Castellanos and mean fiddler Noel. They played everything from Irish airs, to jigs and reels and raucous folk songs - some Scottish ones thrown in too ! Call Mulligans at 874-1131 for more details.
Sunday May 8th - Hamish celebrated Mothers Day on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had a Mothers Day Special, honouring mothers and women, with music and songs about them. He spoke about the origins of North American Mother's Day, connected to the American Civil War, with some songs and spoken word about the era. European Mother's Day in April is unconnected, and has origins with a holiday when folks went to their mother church, or biggest one in their area, a day when olden days working children could re-unite with their mothers. He also had a US/Pacific exclusive with new unreleased tracks from Scottish singer Ivan Drever's upcoming album "Bless the Wind"
Saturday May 7th - the Isle of Maui Pipe Band and Maui Pipe Dreams played at the Seabury Hall Craft Fair at Seabury Hall School in Makawao, Upcountry Maui. The band and duo performed several times during the day - contact them for details through www.isleofmauipipeband.com and at www.mauipipedreams.com
Saturday May 7th - over on Oahu The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held their annual fun Pub Crawl. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - email@example.com
Tuesday May 3rd - Maui had a night of Celtic/gypsy music on the North Shore in Paia, with the Celtic Gypsy Whispers concert in the The Dreamers Way - the Courtyard between Paia Yoga and Agua de Flora. The intimate setting was quite busy by the time the first act came on, featuring Kate Griffiths and Elaine Ryan both guitar and vocals, backed by Ashana Sophia on cello, Andrea Walls on violin, and Gabriel Donihi on the drum. A light Paia rain sprinkle complemented the traditional Irish songs, and the two songwriters sang their own original compositions, even when it became a downpour, driving off the violin and cello !
Celtic Gypsy Whispers concert at The Dreamers Way in Paia
Gabriel Donihi, Kate Griffiths, Andrea Walls, Elaine Ryan and Ashana Sophia
Sadly some of the crowd left, missing the next 2 acts under the sheltered area by the courtyard. Next up were mother and daughter Pamela & Lily Telford, singing Celtic and Bulgarian songs in harmony, backed by bagpiper Allison Jackson on Scottish smallpipes. Allison then played some great pipe tunes, accompanied by funky drumming from Gabriel Donihi. Then it was time for the huge concert harp to be unveiled - Tatyana played a nice Russian gypsy composition of her own on the harp, then joined by Ashana Sophia on cello for an amazing London Symphony Orchestra piece. Joined by Andrea Walls on violin, and a lady drummer, the next quartet played a Loreena McKennit song, followed by a song by Ashana with the unusual sound of the harmonium.
Celtic Gypsy Whispers concert at The Dreamers Way in Paia
Tatyana, Andrea Walls, Ashana Sophia and .....
An eclectic evening of music from our local ladies on a balmy May night in rainy Paia town !
April 30th - Sunday May 1st - BELTAINE GREETINGS !
Hamish had a great time Sunday morning on his Beltane and Mayday Special on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had some great old and new Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice', and covered the folklore and traditions of that ancient Celtic festival time of year. The old Celtic name for May Day is Beltane, ‘bright fire’, and the coming of Summer.
The great wheel of the year turns again on the evening of April 30th, with ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, Beltaine, or Bealtaine in Irish, dedicated to the Sun God Bel (also called Beli and Belinus), ‘the bright and shining one’. This seasonal feast marks the end of the dark half of the year, and is about honouring life. The Sun God is released from the captivity of Winter, and returns to visit the Earth Goddess, with a time of joyous celebrating. In ancient times, Druids would kindle the Beltane fire, and two seperate bonfires were made, with people and animals being driven between them, to cleanse them of diseases and bad luck form the dark part of the year, winter. Household hearths were re-lit from the Beltane fire, having been extinguished for the occasion. The festival tradition has continued to this day in Britain and Ireland, in the form of May Day celebrations.
“BELTAINE” by Hamish Burgess © 2011
More details of the above original artwork and explanation of the mythology on our Gallery page.
Sunday April 24th - The Friends of St.Patrick held a Movie Night, with Waking Ned Devine, at 6 pm in the Celtic Room behind O'Tooles Pub (Downtown Honolulu).
"We know it is Easter Sunday but come join us in watching Waking Ned Devine, a humorous story of good fortune and the resultant actions of a small Irish Village upon learning one of its members has won the lottery." More details from Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 808-223-3997.
Sunday April 24th - Happy Easter or Ostara ! Hamish had a busy time on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had a triple edged Celtic show, featuring an Easter Special, with folklore and traditions of that ancient Anglo-Saxon turned Christian festival time of year. He played some Irish Rebel songs, in memory of the fallen of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, and a some Aussie and Kiwi Celtic music for ANZAC Day (April 26th) with artists from down-under, and other bands singing songs of Australia and New Zealand.
'Celtic Tree of Life' by Hamish Burgess
More details of the above original artwork on our Gallery page.
Sunday April 17th - The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' (Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui) heard some great new Celtic music spun by Hamish and studio guest Jennifer Fahrni. They played a wee interview clip from Rita Leonard, singer and expert on Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, who was on Maui during the week. There was also a contest for a free CD by Maui band Finn McCoul, as answer to a question about the Makem & Spain Brothers, Seamus Kennedy, and Máirtín de Cógáin....
April 16th - The Friends of St.Patrick held their monthly society meeting with the theme of the Irish Language, 3.30pm at The Celtic Room behind O'Tooles Pub (902 Nuuanu Ave, Downtown Honolulu). They invited members and guests to come join them in the experience of the Irish Language. "We particularly invite those members of our group that actually have familiarity with the tongue. We will talk of its origins and where gaelic is found. We encourage you to bring a favorite Irish Phrase that we may be able to pronounce properly for you....." More details from Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
Sunday April 11th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Lovely guest in the studio was Jennifer Fahrni, and they played music from the artists at last weekend's 30th Annual Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games at Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, and new Celtic CDs courtesy of Rampant Lion Celtic Traders, who brought their hard-to-get albums to Hawaii !
Thursday April 6th - Tartan Day on Oahu - there was a Highland dance demonstration, celebratory speeches and bagpiping in the afternoon at the State Capitol in Honolulu, as it was National Tartan Day in North America. Tartan is commonly known as 'plaid' in America.
We hope you all join us in wearing an item of tartan material that day to remember our heritage. The contribution of the immigrant Scots upon North America is considerable and throughout Canada
and America Scots and their descendants have taken the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath (1320) as their national date to celebrate their Scottish roots.
The full story of the Hawaii Tartan, created by Douglas Herring on Oahu in September 1997, can be read on our Hawaii Tartan page. As well as the previously available made-to-measure Scottish wool Kilts, it is now available in a lightweight blend in Sashes, Shawls, Fly Plaids, Head Wraps, and Sport Kilts - you can find these items in our "Online Store".
Sunday April 3rd - on Maui, Larry Sarner was filling-in for Hamish on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Larry span the Celtic discs while Hamish was away at the Scottish event of the year on Oahu (see below).
Meanwhile that evening on Oahu, visiting Celtic fusion band Mythica from Colorado played at the 1st Unitarian Church of Honolulu (2500 Pali Hwy), as a benefit for church. www.mythicamusic.com
Also visiting singer/songwriter Jeremy Walsh from Vancouver Island, B.C., played O'Tooles Pub (Nuuanu, Downtown Honolulu). He was here on a wee tour and for the Scottish Festival (see below).
Sat-Sun April 2nd-3rd - the Scottish event of the year took place on Oahu. The Hawaiian Scottish Association presented their 30th Annual Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games at Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, a beautiful location under the shadow of Diamond Head. There were Pipe Bands, traditional music, dancing and Highland Games. Special honored guest was the international Chief of Clan Kennedy, Lord Archibald Angus Charles Kennedy, the 8th Marquess of Ailsa and the 19th Earl of Cassillis (the seat of Clan Kennedy).
Massed Pipe Bands on Parade at the 30th Hawaiian Scottish Festival
Although it rained heavily on Friday, the Games had great weather over the weekend. Hamish, Jennifer and Jason were there at the crack of dawn, setting up the big Maui Celtic booth in the vendor tent, nearby the Clan tent, where you could find out more about your family history. There was Celtic music and dancing in 3 venues - the bandstand main stage, the vendor tent auxilliary stage, and the Highland Dance competition stage - and of course, Highland Games.
Visitor from Canada, singer Jeremy Walsh and fiddler Ivonne Hernandez kicked the Celtic music off Vancouver Island style on the auxilliary stage, followed by neighbor island's the Isle of Maui Pipe Band at the bandstand. Musical brilliance next from champion piper Robert Watt from the North of Ireland, and mainstage with and Celtic fusion band Mythica and Melissa Cox from Denver Colorado - very unusual with the hurdy-gurdy. Then fine harp music from Katie McClellan in the tent, with hula mainstage by the Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio.
Piper Robert Watt (left) - (right) Mythica and Melissa Cox, with a hurdy-gurdy (floor)
The Parade of Massed Bands was early this year at 11.30am, followed by the Opening Ceremony at noon, with a blessing by Father Rubie, the 3 national anthems of the USA, Hawaii, and Scotland sung by Shelby Isham, and introductions by HSA Chieftain Dan Peddie, MC Kalani Brady, and Lord Ailsa. The bandstand then featured the local long-established Oahu pipeband The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, with fiddler Lisa Gomes and dancers Irish Dance Hawaii. While duo Jeremy Walsh and Ivonne Hernandez mainstaged, followed by a display of traditional dancing from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii, the vendor tent rocked to the sounds of Maui Pipe Dreams (Allison Jackson and Cary Ritt), and Irish dancing from locals The Celtic Keiki. This year the HSA invited the Castle Performing Arts Center to the mainstage to perform an excerpt from their current production of ‘Brigadoon’, a musical set in Scotland several centuries ago, which was followed by Celtic rockers Mythica. Meanwhile on the small stage, the MacDonald Asher Family (David and Marianne, and wee Innes and Iona) played pipes and sang songs in English and Gaelic, followed by Scottish Country dancing from the RSCDS. Closing the day was a display of sword-fighting from the Society for Creative Anachronism, and local traditional band Celtic Waves at the bandstand.
Also running all day was the men's and women's Highland Games heavy athletics competition, with braw-looking kilted strong lads and lassies - featuring tossing the caber, throwing the light and heavy hammers, putting the stone, and throwing the weight for height.
Heavy Athletics competitors at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival (photo from 2010)
Running all weekend was of course the yearly Highland Dancing Competition, featuring approximately 50 Highland dancers, from ages 4 to 27, from Scotland, Canada, Australia and the US Mainland. The Hawaiian Scottish Association flew in an accredited FUSTA judge Karen Shelton-Johnson (Washington State), to judge the competition - and accredited bagpipe player Mark Elliot from Canada to play the music - the Highland Fling, Sword Dances, strathspeys and reels. A children’s tent had entertainment specifically geared for the younger set, including a bouncy castle, Nessie Bean Bag Toss, and golf-related games.
Maui Celtic had a booth of fine Scottish imports, classic Maui Celtic logo wear (with brand new cool camouflage shirts), plaid items - Hawaii Tartan sashes, shawls, and head wraps (do-rags). We represented Sportkilt again this year, with the biggest selection of tartan to be seen in Hawaii for a year. Next door there were the usual great selection of Celtic CDs for the 20th year from Rampant Lion Celtic Traders. Saturday afternoon Hawaii State Governor Neil Abercrombie swung by the vendor tent - Hamish had a wee chat with him and found out he is very interested in his Scottish heritage - he even shopped for some specialty items at the Maui Celtic booth.
Jason, Hamish, Gov. Abercrombie and Jennifer at the Maui Celtic booth
Nearby was the Clan tent, where you can 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 was of course the usual tasty food booths - tea and great scones - fish & chips and even Haggis !
Sunday started with a Celtic Mass with Father Rubie on the bandstand mainstage, then the Isle of Maui Pipe Band, Scottish Country dancing from the RSCDS, hula from Jack McKeague’s halau, the Halau Ka Pa Hula O Ka Lei Hulu Hiwi, and Irish dancing from the Celtic Keiki. The small stage saw a nice mellow set of Celtic fusion from Mythica, then singer Jeremy Walsh. Sunday our own Maui Celtic piper Hamish joined the pipers and drummers for Parade of Massed Bands, followed again by the Opening Ceremonies at noon, today with MC Ian Laing, who previously ran the Games for 15 years.
Massed Pipe Bands on Parade, 30th Hawaiian Scottish Festival, Waikiki
Today the Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii with Lisa Gomes and Irish Dance Hawaii, were followed by The Royal Hawaiian Band, playing some classics, and even "The Hawaiian Scotsman". The small stage saw the return of the Scottish Country dancers of the RSCDS, harpist Katie McClellan, guitarist Michael Tanenbaum, the Burke siblings (members of the Isle of Maui Pipe Band), amazing piper Robert Watt, and Jeremy Walsh. At the bandstand the SCA sword-fighters had another battle, then music from Mythica before the Closing Ceremony and Awards, winding up with a rocking set from Maui Pipe Dreams, and finally Oahu's own Celtic Waves.
Sunday continued the Highland Dancing Competition, with the Highland Fling, Sword Dances, Seann Triubhas, and the Sailor's Hornpipe. Today's Highland Games saw the Masters events, for the over 50s, and the fun traditional 'Housewife Games' including throwing a Frying Pan and Rolling Pin for distance, and a Haggis Toss for accuracy. Not to mention the 'Kilted mile' run.
Hamish & Jennifer at the Maui Celtic booth - 30th Hawaiian Scottish Festival, Waikiki
Thanks for visiting us at the Maui Celtic booth, and supporting your only local Celtic business. Mahalo to Dan & Mary Peddie and all at the HSA, Jason and Ming for all their help, and the Reid family for hosting us. A brilliant weekend of Scottish culture and fun, with a great turnout for their 30th year ! More info on the annual event from The Hawaiian Scottish Association at www.scotshawaii.org.
Saturday April 2nd - visiting Oahu, the Celtic band Mythica played at the Unity Church of Honolulu (3608 Diamond Head Circle), as a benefit for Unity. www.mythicamusic.com
Friday April 1st - over on Oahu, The Hawaiian Scottish Association presented their Taste of Scotland Ceilidh at the Willow's Restaurant, in Honolulu (901 Hausten St). An early start at 5pm gave members of the Scottish community, and visitors to the Games, good time to socialize, including Lord Ailsa, Chief of the Clan Kennedy.
Mythica entertaining Lord Ailsa and friends at the Taste of Scotland Ceilidh
There was a sampling bar with wine, several whiskys and unusual beers, with a fine array of real ales and porters, and heavy Scottish pupu's to snack on. The tranquil haven in the middle of urban Honolulu was rocking with music from Celtic fusion band Mythica, visiting from Colorado, with many instruments including a hurdy-gurdy !
Pipers and fiddler Lisa Gomes at the Taste of Scotland Ceilidh
Local pipers from Oahu's The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii played with fiddler Lisa Gomes, as well as members of the Isle of Maui Pipe Band. Great piper Robert Watt from the Northern Ireland ripped it up, and visiting highland dancers from Australia, Canada and Scotland had a massive dance-off to Piper Mark Elliot's tunes - it was a great night. More info on this yearly event at www.scotshawaii.org.
Friday April 1st & 2nd- on Oahu singer/songwriter Jeremy Walsh (Canadian Celtic Performer) played at Kelley O'Neils Pub (Lewers, Waikiki). More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday March 31st - over on Oahu, The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented their yearly sunset Tribute to Princess Victoria Kawekiu Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Ka'iulani Cleghorn at Mauna ‘Ala, the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii, in Nuuanu Valley (2261 Nu‘unau Avenue), Honolulu. Princess Ka'iulani (October 16, 1875 – March 6, 1899) was half Hawaiian (her mother being Princess, Miriam Likelike) and half Scottish (her father was entrepreneur, Archibald Cleghorn, last Royal Governor of O'ahu). She was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii at the time of the illegal overthrow of the monarchy. Special guest was Lord Ailsa, Chief of Clan Kennedy, and members of the Kennedy Clan. With a sprinkling of rain making a beautiful rainbow over the chapel, Hamish Burgess piped the gathering into the chapel with 'Hawai'i Pono I'.
Hamish Burgess piping at the Princess Ka'iulani Memorial at Mauna ‘Ala
Caledonian Society Chieftain Bruce McEwan hosted the evening, wearing the Hawaii Tartan as was Hamish, and spoke about the Princess. Jennifer Fahrni of The Ka'iulani Project read Robert Louis Stevenson's famous poem he wrote in the princess' book, and Nanci Munroe also read.
Jennifer Fahrni & Bruce McEwan, and Highland Dancers at the Princess Ka'iulani Memorial
Visiting young Highland dancers from Scotland put on a fine display, and the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii performed a special dance, 'The Pikake Lei' by Bruce McEwan, all to piping by Mark Elliot. Finally Hamish Burgess piped the group to the crypt where the Hawaiian-Scottish crown princess and her family lie at rest, for the presentation of a lei by her tomb. More details on this annual memorial from The Caledonian Society of Hawaii.
Lord Ailsa, Chief of Clan Kennedy, Jennifer & Hamish, William Kennedy
Thursday March 31st - there was a special event on Oahu with a Chief’s Dinner honoring Lord Ailsa, Chief of Clan Kennedy, attended by members of Clan Kennedy and local Scottish leaders. Held at the Ka'ikena Lau'ae Dining Room at Kapiolani Community College, near Diamond Head, the food was prepared by the college Culinary Arts Dept. Guests had a chance to meet and greet Lord Archibald Angus Charles Kennedy, the 8th Marquess of Ailsa and the 19th Earl of Cassillis (the seat of Clan Kennedy), hereditary Chief of Clan Kennedy. With an introduction from Bruce McEwan, Chieftain of the The Caledonian Society of Hawaii, and William Kennedy of Clan Kennedy USA, Lord Ailsa gave a wee speech and was clearly very happy to be in Hawaii. Then Julie Kennedy sang nicely in Gaelic, followed by great Highland dancing from young Australian dancers, and piping from Mark Elliot.
Lord Ailsa, Chief of Clan Kennedy with Australian Highland Dancers
Thursday March 31st - on Oahu singer/songwriter Jeremy Walsh (Canadian Celtic Performer) played Upstairs at Annas (2440 S. Beretania St, Honolulu). More details from Bill Comerford at 808-223-3997, or at email@example.com
Thursday March 31st - on Oahu Celtic rock band Mythica played at Ward's Rafters (3810 Maunaloa Avenue, between 15th and 16th Avenues). This group of musicians plays Irish, Scottish, French, folk rock, World fusion blending genres from around the world. Voted Best Celtic Fusion band of 2007 by Celtic MP3 Music Magazine. Melissa Cox not only sings lead, but also plays guitar and mandolin. Michelle McCann plays the hurdy gurdy (look it up), whistles, bodhran, chalumeau, guitar and also does vocals. Matt Smith plays the bass, and Tim Kelly plays the drums, cajon and djembe. More info Jackie and Dr.Larry, 735-8012 and 732-7717.
Sunday March 27th - Hamish had a special day on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. It was his 200th solo show since Tony handed over the torch, and there was some great Celtic music blasting out on the airwaves and live internet stream ! Lovely guest was Jennifer Fahrni helping Hamish celebrate, with contests and CD give-aways. On a sad note he also had a Tribute to great Irish singer Eugene Byrne, his Dublin born friend and funny man, who went to the other side during the week. Hamish played some interview clips from 2008/9 and loads of Eugene's songs. Thanks for the laughs and great music. Aloha Oe, Eugene.
Eugene Byrne, funny man and great Irish singer
Saturday March 26th - on Oahu The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held their Annual Dinner. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday March 25th-April 10th - Oahu folks enjoyed the opening and then weekend run of Brigadoon, a musical set in Scotland several centuries ago, at the Castle Performing Arts Center, Ronald Bright Theatre at Castle High School. It was on Friday & Saturday evenings, and Sunday afternoons.
Friday March 25th - over on Oahu, The Hawaiian Scottish Association presented their Grand Scotch Tour II, an evening of Whisky Tasting at the Willows Restaurant, in Honolulu. Folks enjoyed up to 20 acclaimed Scotch selections. More info from Dan Peddie at 808-626-3559 and at www.scotshawaii.org.
Thursday March 24th - a sad day for the world and the Irish music scene today as great Dublin singer Eugene Byrne went to the other side. Hamish was forntunate enough to know the very funny Eugene from the Irish Music Cruises - the last time he laughed until his sides hurt and he fell off his chair was with Eugene........thanks for the laughs and great music. Aloha Oe, Eugene.
Sunday March 20th - Hamish had a great time on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. There was some more Irish music for St.Patrick's Day (March 17th), and he had a live phone interview with Irish singer and comedian Seamus Kennedy about his busy touring schedule and music. They chatted about emigration, St.Patrick's Day traditions, with a wee bit of political incorrectness thrown in for the craic. www.seamus-kennedy.com
The show is live online at www.manaoradio.com. Local time will be 8-10 am (Hawaii), which this Sunday will be 11am-1pm US/Canada West coast, 12-2pm Mountain time, 1-3pm central time, 2-4pm East Coast, but still 6-8pm in Ireland and the UK until March 27th.
Saturday, March 19th - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band presented the annual Jack Lee concert at the Makawao Union Church in the Sanctuary. Jack is Pipe Sgt. of 6 time World Champion Pipe Band the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, from BC, Canada - he comes to Maui to teach local pipers at this time of year. Hot from instruction with Jack, The Isle of Maui Pipe Band also played. www.isleofmauipipeband.com
March 17–20th - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band presented their annual Jack Lee bagpiping workshop. Jack Lee, world famous champion bagpiper, was running the annual Maui Piping Workshop for the 8th consecutive year, which this year took place up at the Makawao Union Church in the Church Meeting Hall and Sanctuary area. An action packed four day workshop, with the opportunity to attend a couple fun Maui gigs! Starting on Friday there was an all day workshop and practice for the next 2 days for the Saturday evening concert. Sunday saw more workshop and a small performance for congregation of the Makawao Union Church.The workshop attendees were invited to join Jack and the Isle of Maui Pipe Band for the Saturday evening concert and the Sunday morning short performance for the church congregation. For more info on this yearly event please contact P/M Allison Jackson at email@example.com. For info on Lodging/Cars please contact Cary Ritt at www.mauivacationadvisors.com
Thursday March 17th - HAPPY ST. PATRICK"S DAY TO ALL OUR IRISH FRIENDS !
Hamish with the Jameson's Girls, Honolulu St.Patrick's Day
ST. PATRICK"S DAY IN DA ISLANDS !
Hamish & Jennifer were over on Oahu with a Maui Celtic booth at the Downtown Honolulu St.Patrick's Day blockparty.
The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii played all day starting at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki , then led the Parade along Kalakaua Ave at noon. Another set at the Hale Koa, then at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Their busy day finished late at the downtown blockparty !
The Friends of St.Patrick presented the 44th Annual St Patrick’s Day Parade through Waikiki along Kalakaua Ave at noon. with the The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, marching with around 600 people, including Celtic Keiki, Clan na Gael, The Wild Shamrocks, and some Leprechauns ! The Friends of St.Patrick marched proudly wearing the green, joined by their Scottish cousins The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii. Post Parade Party was at nearby Kelley O'Neil's Pub in Waikiki with great live Irish music from Celtic Waves, and corned beef & cabbage and of course Guinness was the order of the day. More details from Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 808-223-3997.
Jennifer at the Maui Celtic booth - Honolulu St.Patrick's Day Blockparty
Meanwhile downtown.....the annual 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's Irish Corner at Nuuanu Avenue and Merchant Street - www.gomurphys.com.
Hamish, Jennifer, Ming and Jim were setting up the Maui Celtic booth at the blockparty - loads of Irish jewelry and other goodies and cool kelly green HAWAII CELTIC T-shirts, Hawaii Tartan (plaid) clothing, and All Ireland plaid noggin wraps (do-rags) too !! New shamrock green St.Patrick's Day limited edition Maui Celtic T-shirts were a hot item of the day, as well as some mad hats ! Mahalo for supporting your local Celtic business.
Hamish Burgess and Kieran Murphy at O'Tooles
The party started at noon with the lunchtime crowd, with Hamish Burgess piping around the block and in the pubs. It was a bit quiet until the evening, when the streets closed and the madness started ! There was great food - tasty fresh oysters, corned beef and cabbage, fish & chips, salmon and spuds - and of course plenty of Guinness and Jamesons Irish whisky at the outdoor booths, not to mention in Murphy's and O'Tooles Pubs !
Right there on the Irish corner, there was great traditional Irish music live in O'Toole's Pub (www.irishpubhawaii.com) with the Kaimana Ceili Band in the afternoon. Hamish Burgess on the highland bagpipes then opened with some tunes for his pal, the wandering Irish minstrel Kieran Murphy from New York, who played a killer set for several hours. Kieran's singing was amplified outside the pub and across the block party for thousands to hear !
Plenty of piping all day from Hamish, at large around the blockparty, with several visits to Murphy's and O'Tooles, where the folks went nuts for some uptempo pipe tunes. The streets were jumping by sunset, with folks in crazy green costumes ! Local high energy Celts the Doolin Rakes rocked the block Irish style, followed by rock & rollers Elephant until late.
The Irish corner of downtown Honolulu bacame a heaving sea of green partying folks by the dark hours, probably not ready for the end of the festivities, tentatively but unlikely, at ten o'clock !
Honolulu St.Patrick's Day Blockparty 2011
Nearby, local traditional fiddler Lisa Gomes was playing all afternoon and evening at Ferguson's Pub on Bishop Street, downtown Honolulu.
Oahu traditional band Celtic Waves played over at the Aloha Tower at Gordon Biersch, turning it Irish for the sunset hours. www.celticwaves.net
Over in Waikiki The Irish Rose Saloon had traditional Celtic music from Japan with MacFiddles, then Celtic rock with Warsaw. Meanwhile at Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki, Celtic Waves played, then MacFiddles and later Celtic rock with Warsaw.
Many thanks to the Reids for their hospitality during our duo's stay on Oahu.
Back on Maui there were plenty of St.Patrick's Day events.....
In South Maui, there was the annual St. Paddy's Day Party at Mulligan's on the Blue in Wailea. The festivities began at the crack of dawn at 6.30am with a shotgun start to the 2nd Annual St Patrick’s Day Golf Tournament benefiting Hospice Maui.
Then Mulligans had a full Irish Breakfast including homemade Irish soda bread and farm fresh eggs. Their live music started at 11am with Maui's own Welsh shanty-man Trevor Jones, followed by local house piper Roger McKinley's new band Celtic Hart. There were Mean Fiddlers bowing it up, before The Isle of Maui Pipe Band performing with Jack Lee (world famous Pipe Sgt. of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, from BC) and special guests. Resident Irish band The Celtic Tigers then rocked out as usual, followed by new duo Maui Pipe Dreams. Closing the night was the local favourites the Willie K Band.
Dog and Duck in Kihei will be having their own St. Paddy's Day bash with Maui's own Welsh shanty-man Trevor Jones playing at 2pm, and other music all day.
Central Maui there was a St. Paddy's Day Irish Singalong with Larry Sarner, at Wailuku Public Library. Larry conducted a sing-along of Irish songs, with guitar and uke players, singers, and listeners all digging it. They played folk-type songs like you'd hear in Irish pubs in Ireland, Canada, Australia, the US - inspired by the Irish Rovers or Clancy Brothers. For more information e-mail Larry at Lsarner@maui.net
West Maui had a grand time with Celtic Hart playing at the Westin Ka'anapali on the beach strip north of Lahaina. Piper Roger McKinley had the west side jumping for St. Patrick's night with ripping reels, jigs, some songs and even his original music to celebrate the Celtic spirit.
Also west side - Maui's own Welshman Trevor Jones was singing all his best sea shanties at the Lahaina Yacht Club on Front Street.
St. Patrick's Day on Big Island Hawaii - The Whirlijigs were dancing at the Lava Lounge, Kilauea Military Camp in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island for St. Paddy's Day evening. "Come enjoy some Irish step dancing with Sarah Nash and her fellow dancers, Mickey Bauer, Denise Laitenan, and Corie Yanger. This will be the third year for the Whirlijigs at this event and it's sure to get your feet tapping to good Irish music and fantastic dancing by Sarah Nash, Mickey Bauer, Denise Laitinen, and Jeanie Auth. A keiki troupe will also be showing off their stuff. The KMC will have traditional fare at the Crater Rim cafe and Irish libations for sale in the Lava Lounge. The event is free, but park fees do apply at the gate. Come one, come all to celebrate St Patrick's Day with dancing and merriment on Kilauea crater !!"
Wednesday March 16th - over on Oahu there was Celtic music from Japan with MacFiddles, then the Guinness Toast Finals, followed by more music from Groglegs until late, at O'Toole's Pub on Nuuanu Ave, Downtown Honolulu.
Tuesday March 15th - St.Patrick's Week on Oahu was in full swing with the return of wandering Irish minstrel Kieran Murphy (left) 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 hard-working young singer is a feature here in Hawaii at this time of year, taking a break from the chilly north-east to entertain our local Irish crowd.
Kieran Murphy is a singer and songwriter whose music ranges from traditional folk to contemporary originals and even electronica ! He is New York born, but with a heritage deeply rooted in the culture of New England and the mysticism of his Irish ancestors. Check out his award winning website at www.kieranmurphymusic.com.
Meanwhile, down the road in Waikiki, Celtic rockers Doolin' Rakes played at Kelley O'Neil's Pub.
Sunday March 13th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great Irish music for St.Patrick's Day (March 17th). He also had a fun live phone interview with singer storyteller Máirtín de Cógáin of the Fuschia Band, about his new musical venture the Máirtín de Cógáin Project and their new CD "From Cork with Love". www.mairtinmusic.com & www.thefuchsiaband.com
Right - Cork singer storyteller Máirtín de Cógáin
The show is live online at www.manaoradio.com. Local time will be 8-10 am (Hawaii), which starting this Sunday will be 11am-1pm US/Canada West coast, 12-2pm Mountain time, 1-3pm central time, 2-4pm East Coast, but still 6-8pm in Ireland and the UK until March 27th.
Sunday March 13th - over on Oahu traditional band Celtic Waves played at Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki, from 4-7pm. Meanwhile wandering Irish minstrel Kieran Murphy from New York, was at O'Toole's Pub, Nuuanu St, Downtown Honolulu - 9pm-1am.
Saturday March 12th - Hamish was on air on The DREW MARSHALL Show - Canada's Most Listened to Spiritual Talk Show in Toronto - he called in after George Millar of the Irish Rovers was interviewed, and Drew and Tim were having an Irish trivia call-in. They had a chat about the day before's tsunami in Hawaii, and about Maui Celtic. Show details at www.drewmarshall.ca
Saturday March 12th - The Friends of St.Patrick held their annual Emerald Ball at Luana Hills Country Club, on the Windward side, at 5pm. There was entertainment provided by a bagpiper from the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, the Celtic Keiki, Kiana, Celtic Harpist Katie McLelland, and The Little Rakes. Presentation of Irish Person of the Year - Greg McMackin. Silent Auction and Raffle. More details from Bill Comerford at email@example.com, or call 808-223-3997.
Saturday March 12th - to kick off St.Patrick's week, Oahu's own Celtic rockers Doolin' Rakes played at O'Toole's Pub, Nuuanu St, Downtown Honolulu.
Friday March 11th - over on Oahu they kicked-off the St. Patrick’s week festivities with Celtic Waves Annual St. Patrick's Party at Wards Rafters - folks celebrated early with Oahu's traditional band Celtic Waves and Irish Dance Hawaii. "Ceol e damhsa na hEiereann means “music and dance of Ireland” - dance and Irish music are joined at the hip...or maybe the feet. Almost all traditional Irish music is dance music and Jigs and Reels are, after all, dances ! .... soft shoe step dancing, the rhythmic hard-shoe, and the old free form sean nos styles. All of it tied together with traditional music of our Irish ancestors..... an Irish dance and music extravaganza !" www.celticwaves.net
Friday March 11th - TSUNAMI DAY IN HAWAII. Thursday night a Tsunami Warning was issued for the Hawaiian Islands after an 8.3 level earthquake just off Japan, which was devastated by a huge tsunami wave. Due to hit Hawaii at around 2.30am, beach areas were evacuated all round the state. Hamish moved all the Maui Celtic stock upstairs, and went to high ground with Lucy the basset hound, who he was dog-sitting for his room-mates. A secondary surge wave washed over the lower beach road in Kahana, West Maui at around 7am, shutting the road with debris for a good part of the day, whith horrendous traffic blockages - thankfully, it didn't reach the Maui Celtic house. Parts of Maui had some damage and flooding, and a hotel in Kona, Big Island was trashed - everone else got away lightly. Many thanks to the Grieves for their hospitality on Tsunami night.
Sunday March 6th - on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' (Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui) Hamish featured music from the Celtic Nations, including Cornwall for St.Piran's Day (March 5th). He also had a fun live phone interview with Conor Makem (below left) of the Makem & Spain Brothers, about the band, his musical family history, and featured his song compositions from the group's new CD "Up The Stairs".
The Makem & Spain Brothers
The show is live online at www.manaoradio.com. Local time will be 8-10 am (Hawaii), which for the winter will 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.
Saturday March 5th - HAPPY ST.PIRAN'S DAY TO ALL OUR CORNISH FRIENDS !
The Cornish flag, St.Piran's Cross, is said to have come from the patron saint of Cornwall (and also tin miners) showing Cornish tin over black rock, represented by the white cross on a black field. Cornish around the world celebrate their culture on March 5th - many Cornish were miners who emigrated to follow the mining work, witha sizeable diaspora now in North America and Australia.
Tuesday March 1st - HAPPY ST.DAVID'S DAY TO ALL OUR WELSH FRIENDS !
He is the patron saint of Wales, and Welsh around the world celebrate their culture on March 1st. The Welsh flag is a red dragon, on a split background of a white above green stripe. The red dragon represents the nation's heritage as one of the early Celtic peoples of the island of Britain. Ancient poets used the Welsh word 'draig' to also describe a leader or warrior, and the Medieval image of the red dragon of the Britons battling the white dragon of the Saxons was well known.
Tuesday March 1st - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band played at the Kaunoa Senior Center in Spreklesville from 5.15-7.00pm. Details from Kaunoa Center at 808-270-7308.
Sunday February 27th - Hamish was back on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played some great new music from all the Celtic Nations, but especially featured Wales for St.David's Day (March 1st), and Cornwall for St.Piran's Day (March 5th). He had an exclusive pre-release of the new Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas album "Highlander's Farewell", with some new interview from Alasdair, recorded while he was visiting Maui on vacation this week. He hand delivered the brilliant CD to Hamish - check it out at www.alasdairfraser.com
Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Hamish Burgess - West Maui
Saturday February 26th - over on Oahu The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held a fun Casino night. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday February 26th - also on Oahu The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented From "Larder to Table", a Scottish cooking demonstration and homely Saturday night meal, from 5.30-8.30pm at Calvary Episcopal Church, in Kaneohe. There were 3 cooking demonstrations, supper including haggis, and showing of parts of a video "The Best of Scotland's Larder". More info Lillian Cunningham at email@example.com.
Saturday February 26th - over on Oahu at the Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe, 450 teams took part in the Swamp Romp - an exciting 5 mile run through the mud and dirt of the O'Course Field, over and under obstacles, and through the Nu'upia ponds and down the Ft Hase beach. Representing the Celts, JJ Dolan's pub in downtown Honolulu fielded Team Shamrock, two teams - the 6 person Black, and the 6 person Tan ! After finishing in fine style, and being washed down by the firehoses, it was back to the Team Shamrock tent to hand out free Guinness to any competitors.
Sunday February 20th - Hamish had a great time on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui - the first hour had some fine new music from the Celtic Nations. The second hour was a 50th Birthday Special for Dudley Burgess, Hamish's older brother, his inspiration for many years - a great Celtic tattooist in Cornwall UK, well known for his Celtic art and portraits. Folks come from all over the world to get his work at DNA Tattoo Studio www.dnatattoo.co.uk.
There were fun and politically incorrect songs, and some Celtic rock. He also included a tribute to Gary Moore, who passed away recently, the famous Irish rock guitarist who played with the late Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy.
(right) Dudley and Hamish Burgess, in Douglas kilts
Saturday February 19th - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band played in the Whale Day Parade in Kihei at Kalama Park, starting at 10am.
Saturday February 19th - over on Oahu The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii played at the Great Aloha Race Event for the Silver Streaks Sunrise Walk at 7am, McCoy Pavilion, Ala Moana Beach Park.
Saturday February 19th - on Oahu The Friends of St.Patrick held their monthly society meeting with the theme of Saint Brigid’s Day, at The Celtic Room behind O'Tooles Pub (Nuuanu St, Downtown Honolulu). Folks learned about St. Brigid, who was named after the ancient Celtic goddess Brigid, and about making St. Brigid's Crosses & other Irish crafts. More details from Bill Comerford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 808-223-3997.
February 18-20th - on Oahu the Hawaii Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society presented their annual Aloha Winter Weekend of Scottish Country Dancing - an event-filled weekend of dance lessons and social dancing, including a ceilidh. The fun began on Friday evening, at the Glanz Hall and gymnasium of Holy Nativity Church, Honolulu, for "pupus" and a "meet and greet" social dance evening. Then dance classes on Saturday and Sunday, and the Saturday night ball at the Palladium Ballroom at the Ala Wai Golf Course in Waikiki - the band, which came from the San Francisco area, are called The Humumumunukunukuapua'a and Strathspey Society Band, known affectionately as The Humus. This is their 4th or 5th visit as the house band for the Society's Presidents' Day weekend workshop. On Sunday night there was a "hang-loose" Ceilidh at the Von Holt room of St. Andrew's Cathedral, Honolulu ! They had participants (not all dancers) from all over the world: 12 from Japan, 6 from Australia, 3 from Canada, 10 from Mainland US, 2 from Big Island, 1 from Maui, and 20 from Oahu. This was the biggest workshop group they've had for some years - a great event. Their teacher this year was Alan Twhigg. Visit the RSCDS-Hawaii website at www.rscdshawaii.org
Thursday February 17th - our own Hamish Douglas Burgess presented a 'Celtic Celebration' at the Kaunoa Senior Center in Spreklesville from 1 - 2pm. Hamish entertained folks at the sold-out show with the Great Highland Bagpipes and the Scottish Smallpipes, and gave a culture and history talk covering bagpipes, the Scots in Hawaii, the tartan kilt, and the Hawaii State Tartan.
Hamish Burgess piping at the Kaunoa Celtic Celebration
A highlight of the show was a demonstation of donning the 'Big Kilt', the 'feileadh mor' - a full 9 yards of Ancient Douglas tartan material. Hamish un-traditionally wore surf shorts for modesty's sake during that segment, to spare the folks who took it all in good humour. The backdrop was a slideshow of Hamish's photos of Scotland and Ireland, and some of old Hawaii including Princess Ka'iulani (put together by Jennifer Fahrni). After the show, there was a fun question and answer session. A great turn out from Kaunoa regulars, mainland and overseas visitors ! Mahalo to Cecilia and Lori at Kaunoa for their kokua and organizing, and Roger McKinley for the photos and tuning.
Hamish Burgess demonstrating the big kilt, or feileadh mor
February 11, 13, & 15th - over on Oahu, the opera "Lucia Di Lammermoor" played at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu. It is an Italian libretto loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott's historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor. In the story Lucy Ashton (Lucia) is caught in a feud between her own family and the Ravenswoods - set in the Lammermuir Hills of Scotland (Lammermoor) in the 17th Century.
Sunday February 13th - back from his travels, Hamish had a great time on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Live in the studio was special guest George Millar, founder of the legendary band The Irish Rovers. With a theme of Valentines Day, there were of course a few love songs in there, mainly fun and uptempo to suit ther mood for the day, and a bit of history and folklore. They had both just returned from playing music on the Irish Music Cruise, and had a great wee chat about the craic on the high seas of the Caribbean, and introduced some new music from all the performers. They also looked at George's prolific songwriting, the new Irish Rovers album "Gracehill Fair", and their new DVD "Home in Ireland". Check them out at www.theirishroversmusic.com
Saturday February 5th - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band played early morning at the Run for the Whales Marathon at Makena Landing, Wailea.
Saturday February 5th - the Scottish community on Kauai celebrated the Scots national poet Robert Burn's with the Kauai Burns Night, featuring members of the The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii from Oahu (see below for Maui and Oahu Robert Burn's Nights in January).
February 4th and 5th - over on the Big Island of Hawaii, The Whirlijigs performed for International Nights at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center. There was Irish step dancing represented by Sarah Nash, Denise Laitenan and Mickey Bauer along with other performers from Asia and the Pacific.
28th January - 5th February - Hamish and Jennifer were cruising in the tropics with the Irish Music Cruise to the Caribbean, presented by Debbie Casey (www.irishmusiccruises.com) 1-888-56IRISH. They joined a host of talented singers and musicians - The Irish Rovers, Archie Fisher, the Makem & Spain Brothers, Jez Lowe, Gabriel Donohue, Ciaran Sheehan, James Keelaghan, Hanneke Cassel, Laura Cortese and Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty.
MS Eurodam - Irish Music Cruise to the Caribbean
Both our Maui Celtic duo's flights were cancelled due to snowstorms in the northeastern US ! Jennifer was re-routed through Houston, while Hamish got to Washington DC, despite broken luggage, being forced off a continuing flight with the same seat at LAX, then having United Airlines take away his carry-on to check-in, and try (unsuccessfully) to take the bagpipes ! Re-routed at Dulles on stand-by to Miami, the 4 inches of snow on the plane wings was flooded with so much de-icer that the starter electrics burnt out, and the plane had to be jumpstarted ! Our travelers finally made it to Plantation for some fine Irish hospitality with friends Willie, Cari and Aisling Lacey. The next day was spent tracking down lost bags, with main carrier United Airlines denying knowledge and responsibility, while US Airways staff were helpful and did track the bags down.
The craic started Friday night at the Doubletree Gallery One hotel in Fort Lauderdale, where they met old friends and made a few new ones - the reunion party was onboard a yacht cruising the Intracoastal Waterway. Always up for a tune with a piano in sight, Gabriel Donohue was joined by fiddlers Hanneke Cassel and Laura Cortese for an impromptu session of tunes and songs, with a few from Rory Makem and Ciaran Sheehan. Local Irishman Bob O'Donovan (who played with The Irish Rovers years ago) joined in for some more great fiddle tunes. ...........................Laura, Hanneke, Gabriel and Bob - pre-cuise party
Amazingly, with many folks including the musicians from Ireland and Scotland delayed on route, all the gang made it to the hotel by the next morning, when we all headed off to Port Everglades, where we boarded Holland America's MS Eurodam, our floating home for the next 7 days.
Gabriel Donohue, Laura Cortese, Ciaran Sheehan, and Hanneke Cassel
After setting sail, and a sunset view dinner, the Saturday night started the concert series in fine style, introduced by MC for the week Ciaran Sheehan. First up was Gabriel Donohue singing and ripping Irish tunes brilliantly on the guitar, then as a trio with Hanneke Cassel and Laura Corteseon the fiddles. Laura sang some nice songs, they played some wild, jigs and reels, and tenor Ciaran Sheehan joined them when all 4 sang verses of a beautiful rendition of the classic ballad "Red is the Rose".
James Keelaghan - Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty
Next up was Canadian songwriter James Keelaghan with his guitar, and a great set of his own compositions and some unusual folk songs, with some amusing stories behind the songs in-between. James has been called "Canada's finest singer-songwriter", with 11 albums and a Juno Award (Canada's Grammy) behind him. The Calgary native now lives in Winnipeg, and has written a lot of great historical material about Canada. Last but not least, were Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty with their usual mix of humour and good music - rousing classics, some nice originals, and fun songs, such as the favourite "Haul Away Snow" - very relevant considering the travel delays ! The lads are a popular Canadian Maritime duo of Irishmen, now in their 26th year performing together. 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......
Sunday was a full day at sea, heading out into the Atlantic Ocean, north of the Caribbean Islands. A highlight of the day was a Songwriting Workshop featuring (l-r) Jez Lowe, Archie Fisher, and James Keelaghan, all great songwriters - with parts of songs all through the 2 hour session, they explained their techniques and styles of compositions, with brilliant stories from Scotland, England and Canada, and their travels in Ireland. Even some of the other singers came to learn from these masters of the craft, who finished off with a full song each. .......................................................................Jez, Archie, and James - Song Workshop
Then the welcome cocktail party was another chance to catch up with old pals in the 'Crowsnest' bar, high up above the ship's bow. Hamish met a good friend's brother, Shay Black of the famous Irish singing family, and partner Cathy - they were surprise guests after the cruise they were on was cancelled at short notice.
It was the first formal dinner night on the ship, with everyone dressed to the nines, including our Maui Celtic couple Hamish and Jennifer (left), himself sporting the Hawaii Tartan kilt, and herself a lovely peacock dress. Hamish's clan is the Douglas, which he normally wears, but he also owns the first ever made Hawaii Tartan kilt, designed by Douglas Herring of the Caledonian Society of Hawaii, now quite popular in the islands.
The Sunday concerts started with a Humourous Songs session, started by Archie Fisher, then featuring Rory & Conor Makem, Kevin Evans and Ian Millar. Good fun with original songs, some old classics, and of course loads of stories and jokes, some not for the easily offended ! More funny guest singers were Sean O'Driscoll and Brian Doherty, who each did a hilarious number.
Rory and Conor Makem, Kevin Evans and Ian Millar
The next show was by Geordie master songwriter, singer Jez Lowe, a musical ambassador for his native North East England. He featured many of his own brilliant compositions, with the stories behind them.
Jez Lowe has more than a dozen albums and countless live performances around the world over the last twenty years. Many famous Celtic singers and groups have covered his songs, including Liam Clancy, The Dubliners, The Tannahill Weavers, Cherish The Ladies, The McCalmans, The Black Brothers, Fairport Convention, and literally hundreds of others.
The Makem & Spain Brothers ended the night onstage with a blistering set of rousing Irish songs, sea shanties, and some new material. Irish music's wall of sound - Shane, Conor and Rory Makem, and Mickey and Liam Spain - powerhouse 5 man vocal harmonies, backed by guitars, mandolin, banjo and bodhran, with witty banter in-between. They were joined by Hanneke and Laura on fiddles for some songs........(above) Geordie singer songwriter Jez Lowe.......................Laura, Hanneke,......
Then off to the Piano bar for a wee late session, kicked off by Hanneke and Laura on fiddles, and Ian Millar on guitar. With the arrival of pipers, the session moved to a bigger part of the bar to really get going - our own Hamish played some tunes on the Scottish smallpipes, with the lovely fiddlers, then came the Uileann pipes from Cathy, joined on strings by Shay Black and Sean O'Driscoll. A song session followed with turns by Ian, Shay, Sean, Cathy and Conor Makem, ending with a Scottish set on smallpipes, with Shay singing "Scotland the Brave" to guitars, mandolin and Hamish's pipes - great craic.
Monday we awoke docked at Grand Turk, in the Turks and Caicos Islands, for our first day ashore. While many folks headed off exploring the island, or snorkeling and diving the famous reefs, Jennifer and Hamish headed for the nearest beach to lounge around and swim in the crystal clear waters. The islands were originally inhabited by Lucayan settlers, before contact with Spanish, French and British explorers. Nearby Cockburn Town, is the tiny but quaint capital of the Islands, which have an early shipwreck history, followed by trading and pirates - the infamous Calico Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny and Mary Read were longtime residents. In contrast in 1962 the island saw the space-age splash down of the capsule that landed with John Glenn inside.
Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands
The concerts that night started with a legend in the folk music world, Scottish singer songwriter Archie Fisher. Also a brilliant open-tuning guitar player, his fine melodies accompanied his original songs, with the great witty stories behind them in-between - a true master of his craft. Archie is also a broadcasting icon - he had a 27 year-running radio programme Traveling Folk on BBC Radio Alba. Check out his latest album 'Windward Away'.
Archie Fisher - Ciaran Sheehan and Gabriel Donohue
Next to take the stage the inimitable duo of Gabriel Donohue and Ciaran Sheehan. Gabe started with some songs and amazing guitar playing, before accompanying Ciaran on piano, whistle and guitar for some beautiful Irish classics. Then the tenor gave us his real vocation, with some Broadway songs, from his years of experience there in his role as the Phantom of the Opera. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Closing the night was a legendary group in the Irish folk world, who have been touring for 45 years, The Irish Rovers. Singers John Reynolds, Ian Millar and band founder George Millar belted out the classic songs they are famous for, and some of George's great originals. Leading the instrumentals were Wilcil McDowell on accordion, and Sean O'Driscoll on banjo and button-accordion, with Fred Graham's percussion skills on the bodhran, spoons, and even instrument case ! With the others on guitars, the lads showed their mastery of beautiful slow tunes, and got the crowd going with wild jigs and reels. From the worldwide 60s hit of the "Unicorn Song", to the title of their newest album "Gracehill Fair", the 6 man powerhouse rocked until after the midnight hour.
The Irish Rovers - Irish Music Cruise 2011
Then of course off for a wee late session in the Piano bar, kicked off with a few tunes by our own Hamish on smallpipes, John Hopkirk with guitar and songs, then the big guns rolled in with Gabriel leading the song session and many of the concert singers and cruisers joining in until the early hours !
Tuesday saw a leisurely morning at sea, and lunch on the Lido deck before arriving in Puerto Rico at the old Spanish city of San Juan. When Columbus arrived in 1493 the island was home to the Taino people, who showed him some gold, for which he named the bay 'Puerto Rico' or 'port of the riches', while the island was named 'San Juan' after St.John - the names were later reversed. Juan Ponce de Leon claimed the island for Spain in 1508, and now the impressive walled fortress of Fort San Felipe del Morro guards the entrance to the harbour, and our ship passed by the imposing walls as thousands of vessels have since 1539.
Fort San Felipe del Morro, San Juan, Puerto Rico
The bright pastel coloured buildings of the Old Town are tucked behind the contrasting centuries old stone city walls. While other friends were off exploring the lush rainforest on the other side of the island, Hamish, Jennifer, Laura and Gabriel had a leisurely stroll round the old town's cobble-stoned streets, and plazas with fountains and statues. They walked out to the cliff-top fortress, and also took in the Museum of Pablo Casals, the famous cellist, then a wee bit of shopping on the way back to the ship.
The Old Town of San Juan, Puerto Rico
After an amazing dinner at the onboard Tamarind Asian restaraunt, it was time for the evening's Celtic music, with a Session in the Crow's Nest. All the musicians took turns with songs and tunes, unusual ones they don't often perform during concerts, and Maui Celtic's own Hamish closed the session with a set on the Great Highland Bagpipes. The fun stepped up a notch with a fiddle dance session led by fiddlers Hanneke and Laura, and featuring the Irish Rovers' Wilcli McDowell on accordion. A good criac with plenty of dancers up, some experienced, and some novices being taught the moves by Hanneke and caller Shay Black (singer from the famous Black Family), obviously and old hand at hooleys ! The music continued late with our lovely fiddlers, Rovers Wilcil (accordion), George (guitar) and Fred (bodhran), Cathy on Uileann pipes, and Jez Lowe on harmonica, not to mention a bit of step-dancing.
Fiddle Dance all-star band of the Irish Music Cruise
Then off to the Piano bar for the late session, and a party that some returned from (not our Maui Celtic duo) around the time others were about to get up for an early day ashore !
Wednesday - not enough sleep and an early breakfast before going ashore at Crown Bay in St.Thomas, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Originally home to the Ciboney people, then Arawaks and Caribs, the islands were 'discovered' by Spanish explorer Columbus in 1493, ruled by the Danish from 1665, then sold to the U.S. in 1917. While others explored the capital town of Charlotte Amalie and went off to Magens Bay, seven of the gang jumped in a cab to go to the Red Hook Ferry. Running late, with bad traffic and an island-time driver, the ride took 40 mins, and missing the 9am ferry, it was time for a coffee until the 10am boat, which 25 minutes later docked in the quiet resort town of Cruz Bay on the neighbouring island of St.John.
Cruz Bay, St.John, US Virgin Islands
The gang were met by Hamish and Jennifer's old friend Rich Murrill, who told them the scoop on the sleepy island he now calls home. Gabe, Hanneke, Frank, Laura and Caleigh headed off for a wee hike and a beach day, while our Maui duo spent the day catching up with Rich and Molly Murrill, who they lived with in Napili before they left seven years ago. After seeing the kids at their hillside school, they had lunch at the Sun Dog Cafe, and caught up on years of Maui and St.John happenings. Rich took our couple of a quick tour of the north coast Virgin Islands National Park, with it's spectacular uncrowded beaches of white sand, and crystal clear blue waters.
Trunk Bay, Virgin Islands National Park, north coast St.John
Hamish & Jennifer, Cruz Bay, St.John - sunbathing Iguanas, Crown Bay, St.Thomas
Back to Cruz Bay for the ferry and cab ride back to St.Thomas' Crown Bay and the ship - in time for a photo session with the iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks by the docks.
After dinner the concerts started with the talents of multi-instumentalist and singer Gabriel Donohue and the amazing tenor voice of Ciaran Sheehan, with a good dash of humour thrown in. The lads were joined by fiddlers Hanneke Cassel and Laura Cortese for a few numbers, then by Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess accompanying Ciaran on the Scottish smallpipes for his beautiful version of 'Amazing Grace', followed by a Scottish march of pipes and guitar.
Hamish Burgess, Ciaran Sheehan and Gabriel Donohue
Next onstage was Geordie legend Jez Lowe, with more amusing stories and original songs from the North of England. Joining Jez's fine voice, guitar and bouzouki, the hard-working fiddlers Hanneke and Laura came back for a few numbers.
Closing the night's concerts with a rousing set of songs were Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty, with the lovely fiery fiddlers back again ! On to the Piano bar session - a very late one with a day at sea and a lie-in the next morning........
Thursday was spent cruising through the Caribbean, and back into the Altlantic Ocean heading to the Bahamas. After a leisurely morning and a bit of lunch, it was time for another session with all the performers and some of the guests, including Shay Black of the famous Irish singing family, and his partner Cathy on the Uilleann pipes, and our own Hamish on the smallpipes. During a set of Cape Breton fiddle tunes, another guest showed us some fine step-dancing from that very Celtic region of the Canadian Maritimes. The tunes and songs made the rounds of the circle, with a great version of "Red is the Rose" started by a guest singer, until Hamish closed the session in customary fashion with a set of tunes on the Highland Pipes.
A session on the Irish Music Cruise
Then the second formal dinner night aboard ship, with everyone all dressed up again, and Hamish back in full Highland dress. Concerts that night kicked off with the duo of Jez Lowe and James Keelaghan, both amazing songwriters, backing eachother on a set of great original songs. They were joined with double bodhrans from Fred Graham and Shane Makem for the Jez composition "Tom Tom".
Shane Makem, Fred Graham, Jez Lowe and James Keelaghan
Next came Scottish folk music icon Archie Fisher for another set of great guitar melodies behind his original songs, and a few hilarious introductory anecdotes. For the final few numbers he was joined onstage by the fiddling duo Hanneke Cassel and Laura Cortese, including his classic "The Final Trawl".
Some of the Irish Music Cruise gang took a quick run up to the top deck to see amazing creations of the Chocolate Extravaganza, before the final show of the night by the The Makem & Spain Brothers. Another great powerful set from the 5 man 'wall of sound', with lots of tracks from their new album "Up the Stairs". They had some guests up onstage, fiddlers Hanneke and Laura for several songs, and a last minute appearance (due to a interview for Hamish's Maui Celtic Radio Show) from James Keelaghan and also Kevin Evans for the classic "Barratt's Privateers".
The Makem & Spain Brothers
The customary late night session in the Piano Bar was a riot that night, with an instumental set sparking off an impromptu ceilidh dance ! The songs and tunes continued into the wee hours, with the usual suspects and piping from Hamish and Cathy, and songmaster Shay.
Late night session and impromptu ceilidh dance
Friday we anchored off Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, a private island owned by Holland America. Original inhabitants of the region were the Arawaks, then Caribs - they gave us the words "Caribbean', 'buccaneer' derived fromthe name of their open fire cooking grills called 'boucans', and the 'hammock'. Many folks went ashore to lounge on the white sand beach, or swim in the crystal clear waters. There were other watersports, and horseback riding, not to mention beach bars and cafes.
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Hamish, Jennifer and Archie sampled the BBQ lunch then headed for a swim - then it was off for the Stingray adventure ! Not put off the Stingrays like many others by the one-in-a-million-chance accident that killed Steve Irwin, the trio and the Sheehan clan headed to the windward lagoon, picked up snorkeling gear, and got in the water with some Southern Stingrays. After some time watching them glide effortlessly around underwater, our guide Lenny showed the group how to feed these beautiful animals, and touch their smooth silky skin. Hamish used to do the same job for a year at Stingray City in the Cayman Islands 15 years before. Another chance for some beach time before heading back to the ship.
Joanie and Laurie enjoying Half Moon Cay beach
After the chef's dinner, with singing and dancing waiters, the concerts featured James Keelaghan, with more great original songs, joined by fiddlers Hanneke Cassel and Laura Cortese. Then came a showcase set from The Irish Rovers, with Irish classics, George Millars' original songs, including one featuring Cork man Sean O'Driscoll on vocals. The lads also showed their instrumental skills with a blistering set of jigs and reels. Then came the Grand Finale, with The Irish Rovers joined onstage by all the performers from the week, taking turns singing verses for a legendary song set of the classic singalongs, including "Black Velvet Band", "Will Ye Go Lassie Go", "Wild Rover", "Will Ye No Come Back Agian", and the Rovers usual showstopper "Drunken Sailor". What a night !
Grand Finale with all the performers - Irish Music Cruise 2011
But the fun wasn't quite finished......off to the Piano Bar for a final late night session, with some memorable moments such as John Reynolds doing an amazing impression of Joe Cocker ! We said our farewells at the bar that night, and many dispersed to the far corners of the globe the following day. What a brilliant week of great company, laughs, fine food, Caribbean adventures, and world-class Irish music - the craic was indeed mighty on the MS Eurodam !
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.
February 1st - the ancient Celtic festival of IMBOLC starts on the eve of February 1st, marking the beginning of Spring, and associated with the goddess Brighid, Brigit, or Bride, divinity of healing and childbirth, smithcraft and the hearth. Brighid is an important link between the Old Ways and the Celtic Christian church, and the hearth tradition continued in the form of St. Brigit of Kildare, who founded a monastery there, where a sacred flame, tended by nuns, burnt continuously from the 5th century until the Reformation, around a thousand years later ! In Ireland, her tradition continues at Imbolc time to this day, with woven wicker-work crosses, "Brigit's Crosses", being hung by doorways.
Hamish Burgess celebrated the season with a new piece of original Celtic art, "IMBOLC".
“IMBOLC” © Hamish Burgess 2011. Original Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the February issue. The second of a series of four seasonal works. More details and explanation on our Gallery page.
20th-31st January - The legendary Scottish traditional music group Battlefield Band (see below) were touring Hawaii, starting on Maui. Piper Mike Katz and singer/guitarist Sean O'Donnell came early and our own Hamish Burgess showed them round West Maui. The band were all scheduled to be on Hamish's Maui Celtic Radio Show on Mana'o Radio that Sunday, but fiddler Alasdair White and fiddler/piper/singer Ewen Henderson were stuck in Newark NJ with bad weather, while the other two were hanging on Napili Bay's fine beach, and snorkeling with a rare Hawaiian Monk Seal - not to mention enjoying epic views while BBQing on a friend's lanai overlooking Luaniuopko, with a stellar view over to Lanai Island ! Here's the rest of the week........
Sunday January 23rd - Hamish had a great time on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had special guests live in the studio from Scotland, Mike Katz and Sean O'Donnell of the Battlefield Band, who were on Maui to play in Kahului at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center on Jan 27th (see below). The other 2 Batties, Alasdair White and Ewen Henderson were stuck in transit in Newark, New Jersey ! Hamish chatted with the lads about their music and the newest line-up of the legendary Scots traditional band. As well as playing their past, current, and un-released upcoming album tracks, Mike and Sean played 3 live sets, 2 instrumental tune sets, and a song with Sean on vocals - the pipes and guitar certainly rocked the wee studio that morning ! www.battlefieldband.co.uk
Sunday January 23rd - the Maui Scottish community celebrated Robert Burn's Night early at ‘Mulligans on the Blue’ in Wailea, presented by Maui Celtic on the Scottish poet's 252nd birthday. Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess was MC for the night, and the evening started in fine style with tunes from young piper Innes MacDonald Asher.
Maui Celtic Robert Burns Night at Mulligans, Wailea
Hamish Burgess MC (left) - Piping in the Haggis - Piper Innes MacDonald Asher (right)
Then came the traditional “piping in of the haggis” by Piper Roger McKinley, with honorable Whisky Bearer Bud Clark, and Mulligan's manager Eileen Nic Shamhradhain as Traditional Haggis Bearer. The "Address to the Haggis" was brilliantly done by Prakash MacKay, long-time Maui resident from Glasgow, reciting the famous poem then ceremoniously stabbing the beast with a sgian dubh ! Hamish and Roger presented all the whiskey toasts, Burns poetry, and good craic to a full house. During the night there was the Loyalty Toast to "Scotland, Ireland and Hawaii", and the 'Toast to the Lassies' by the men, and the 'Reply to the Lads' by the ladies.
Prakash MacKay reciting the "Address to the Haggis"
The music continued with father and son bagpipers David and Innes MacDonald Asher with drummer Bud Clark, and then Celtic Hart, Maui's newest Celtic band. The MacDonald Asher Family, David, Marianne, Innes and wee Iona treated the crowd to Gealic singing, followed by the kids Highland Dancing to smallpipes and piano. Next came a surprise set from local Roger McKinley, and Mike Katz and Sean O'Donnell - two of the Battlefield band, on Maui for concerts this week. The other two Battlefield lads Alasdair White and Ewen Henderson suddenly appeared straight off a long-delayed flight from Scotland, and quickly got their fiddles out for a wild set - the Battlefield Band blew the roof off Mulligans !
Battlefield Band and Bud Clark, at the Maui Celtic Robert Burns Night
Hamish Burgess led a tribute to the poet with a Maui Celtic group toast to 'The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns', with the whole pub raising a glass to the poet, 150 toasters to be recorded in Scotland, as part of the Worldwide Toast to Robert Burns.
Then Pipe Major Allison Jackson of the local Isle of Maui Pipe Band then joined previous Pipe Major Roger McKinley, Mike Katz, and Bud Clark for some great pipe tunes, only to be joined by another surprise visitor, Pipe Major Jim McGillivray from Seattle.
Roger McKinley, Bud Clark, Mike Katz and Allison Jackson ripping it up
Next up Lahaina's young Kieran Clark sang a fine Hawaiian style version of 'Caledonia', before another great set from the Battlefield Band and Bud Clark. Finally house band The Celtic Tigers ripped out some local Scottish and Irish music, and got the crowd up and dancing. A memorable, if not legendary Robert Burns Night on Maui - the craic was mighty at Mulligans !
Battlefield Band, Hamish, Roger and Jason having a wee drink
Thanks to manager Eileen Nic Shamhradhain and her hard-working staff, to Roger McKinley for putting it all together, and the lads of the Battlefield Band for the craic.
Tuesday January 25th - The legendary Scottish traditional music group Battlefield Band (see bio below) played at the Helene Hall down on the waterfront in Hana, East Maui. An Outreach event by Maui Arts and Cultural Center, this great free show was for the residents of East Maui in the Hana area. www.mauiarts.org
Thursday January 27th - The legendary Scottish traditional music group Battlefield Band played in the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului (www.mauiarts.org) Local duo Maui Pipe Dreams, duet act Allison Jackson and Cary Ritt, with pipes and guitar or percussion, performed outside in the food court area before the show.
The Battlefield Band from Scotland
From the Battlefield Band website - "Inspired by their rich heritage of Celtic music and fired by the strength and vibrancy of today's Scottish cultural scene, which indeed they have done much to create and fuel, they have led and been at the forefront of a great revival in Scottish music. Refusing to be limited musically by suffocating antiquarianism, or musical fashions, they have mixed the old songs and music with a new self-penned repertoire, all played on a fusion of ancient and modern instruments - bagpipes, fiddle, synthesiser, guitar, flutes, bodhran and accordion.
Named after the Glasgow suburb of Battlefield, where the group was formed by four student friends in 1969, they have now been on the world's roads for over 40 years, distilling their own unique form of the Scottish spirit and bottling it in concert and onto disc. They've performed in Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Syria, Jordan, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, U.S.A., Canada, Uzbekistan, China and the U.K; breaking down barriers and pioneering many new directions which others have followed. Angry, joyful, raucous, contemplative, their music is most importantly - accessible to all."
The line-up was Sean O'Donnell, Alasdair White, Ewen Henderson & Mike Katz. www.battlefieldband.co.uk
Friday 28th-31st January - The Battlefield Band then went on to Oahu and played in Pearl City at the Leeward Community College Theatre (www.lcctheatre.hawaii.edu), before heading to the Big Island of Hawaii to play at the University of Hawaii in Hilo (www.uhh.hawaii.edu), and in Kamuela at the Kahilu Theatre (www.kahilutheatre.org).
Take the advice of the Edinburgh Evening News- “The Battlefield Band is turning into a national treasure, and exemplifies the ongoing nature of Scottish musical tradition. Not seen them yet? Shame on you!” www.battlefieldband.co.uk
Saturday 29th January - over on Oahu The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented their annual Burn's Night Dinner with "The Burns Experience", featuring internationally acclaimed actor John Cairney as Scotland's famous poet, at the Hawaii Convention Center. There was great Celtic fiddle with strolling musician Lisa Gomes, then the Call to Dinner by members of The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii. The main program featured Robert Burns portrayed briliantly by actor, recitalist, lecturer, author and painter John Cairney, whose career has spanned more than half a century, with around 20 film roles, and hundreds of TV series appearances. He has performed on every kind of stage from London's West End to a millionaire's home in Texas, and for every kind of audience from Britain's royal family to a hall full of striking shipyard workers in Glasgow. More on John at www.john-cairney.com. For info on future Oahu Burns Nights call 808-591-9398 or email email@example.com.
Sunday January 23rd - the Maui Scottish community celebrated Robert Burn's Night early at ‘Mulligans on the Blue’ in Wailea, presented by Maui Celtic - with Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley introducing many local and international acts, on the Scottish poet's 252nd birthday (see above for the full story and photos).
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.
Saturday January 22nd - there was a pre-Robert Burns Birthday Scottish Singalong with Larry Sarner, at the Sacred Garden of Maliko. Allison Jackson played the highland pipes and the folkies sang the Top 20 Scottish Singalong songs. Contact Lsarner@maui.net for more info.
Sunday January 16th - Hamish had an exciting Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He had special Irish guests John Donnelly, Ricky Meagher and John Grant in to introduce new and old Irish music.
Ricky Meagher, Hamish Burgess and John Donnelly at Mana'o Radio
John Grant is well known on Maui, and co-hosted Hamish's first few Celtic music shows - the other lads are Dubliners - John Donnelly knows many Irish musicians, as he owned a club on the Kilburn High Road in London, and promoted many concerts there - Ricky is a regular Maui visitor, and an airline pilot based in London.
Hamish also had a call-in from Scotland by special guest, actor John Cairney who would be visiting Hawaii performing as Scotland's famous poet Robert Burns in "The Burns Experience" at The Caledonian Society of Hawaii Burn's Night Dinner on Oahu. Actor, recitalist, lecturer, author and painter John Cairney's career has spanned more than half a century, with around 20 film roles, and hundreds of TV series appearances. He has performed on every kind of stage from London's West End to a millionaire's home in Texas, and for every kind of audience from Britain's royal family to a hall full of striking shipyard workers in Glasgow. More on John at www.john-cairney.com
January 10-15th - The Friends of St.Patrick proudly announced the visit of Consul General of Ireland, Gerry Staunton to Hawaii. Mr. Staunton was on Oahu to meet with the Irish of Hawaii, those of Irish birth and Irish Americans in the local community. The Consul was scheduled to meet with Governor Abercrombie, Mayor Carlisle and UH president Greenwood. Much of his itinerary had been coordinated by local businessman Noel Trainor formerly of Belfast. There is hope that an Honorary Consul to Ireland from Hawaii can be found through this trip.
Gerry Staunton, a member of the Irish Foreign Service for almost thirty years, assumed his position as Consul General of Ireland to the Western United States, based in San Francisco, in August of 2008. This Consulate provides assistance to Irish citizens from Colorado to Hawaii, from Alaska down to the border with Mexico, and all points in between. A center of assistance when applying for Irish citizenship, passports, visas, and other services, the Consulate is also an excellent source of information on the many cultural and economic links between Ireland and the United States. Staunton is a native of Westport, County Mayo, Ireland. He was joined by his wife Mary, a native of Dublin, during the visit. www.irishclubhawaii.com
Wednesday January 12th - The Friends of St.Patrick extended an open invitation to Hawaii’s Irish and Irish-Americans to come join them in welcoming the Consul General of Ireland, Gerry Staunton, at a Ceade Mille Failte (One Hundred Thousand Welcomes) Reception at the Celtic Room of O’Toole’s Irish Pub, Downtown, Honolulu. After pupus and drinks the crowd went next door to hear The Doolin Rakes, Honolulu’s finest Irish Rockers in O’Toole’s.
For more details contact Bill Comerford - 808-223-3997 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday January 9th - more great Celtic music on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. Hamish played a lot of new Celtic music, including some tracks from an award-winning Scottish album "People and Songs of the Sea" compiled by Shona McMillan, some from the new M�irt�n de C�g�in Project album "From Cork with Love", a couple of pre-release tracks from the upcoming Battlefield Band CD, and a tribute to Scottish singer/songwriter Gerry Rafferty, who sadly passed away this week.
Sunday January 2nd - Hamish was back from the frozen north on The Maui Celtic Show on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, Wailuku, Maui. He played 2 hours of great Celtic music, and featured some music from his Hoilday trip to Alberta and BC, Canada, on The Irish Rovers Christmas tour. There was interview clips from great flute and whistle player Geoffrey Kelly, who as well as an extra musician with The Irish Rovers, plays as a founding member of Canadian Celtic bands Spirit of the West, and now The Paperboys. He also played some interview from Celtic rock band the Town Pants, recorded at their legendary Vancouver New Year's Eve Eve party, the night before New Years ! Thanks to Tony for hosting while Hamish was away. right Geoffrey Kelly with the Irish Rovers
Sunday January 2nd - over on Oahu, The Caledonian Society of Hawaii held an afternoon Hogmanay Open House to celebrate the New Year, at Heather MacGregor's Alexander Manor, with a showing of the movie "Hogmanay: The True Story".