O’ROURKE’S FEAST, an Irish traditional music ensemble led by button accordion legend Paddy O’Brien, will celebrate the release of their debut CD at a concert on Friday, July 25, 7:30 pm at Celtic Junction, 836 Prior Avenue North in Saint Paul.
Admission for the concert is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and children under 12. The new O’Rourke’s Feast CD, on the New Folk Records label, will be available for purchase.
O’ROURKE’S FEAST is a lively seven-piece Irish traditional music ensemble, with repertoire that includes dance melodies like jigs and reels, but they also play older, sometimes long-neglected material from the Irish tradition, including hornpipes, clan marches, and some beautiful old slow airs and songs. The group also plays some original music, composed in traditional style. There is a long tradition of such folk ensembles in Ireland, including Ceoltoiri Chulann (forerunner of the Chieftains), and groups with whom Paddy O’Brien played years ago, Ceoltoiri Laighean and the Castle Ceili Band.
O’ROURKE’S FEAST is led by button accordion master Paddy O’Brien, a native of County Offaly in Ireland, and renowned all over the world as a walking encyclopedia of Irish traditional music. Paddy has been playing and rehearsing with O’Rourke’s Feast for more than eight years, cultivating the ensemble’s unique and authentic traditional sound. Members of O’Rourke’s Feast include Kathleen Green, Ingrid Jans and Rosa Wells on fiddle; Suzanne Rhees and Amy Shaw on flute; Paddy O’Brien on button accordion; and Sherry Ladig on piano.
For this CD release concert, we’re also pleased that Ann Mossey Sandberg will be joining us. Ann was part of the band from 2006, along with Nathan Gourley and Danielle Enblom, and the old lineup plays several tracks on the recording.
O’ROURKE’S FEAST takes its name from a song composed by Turlough O’Carolan, a blind harper from Ireland, who was born in 1670 and died in 1738. The song, written originally in the Irish language by Hugh MacGauran (with a 1720 English translation by Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels), commemorated a remarkable banquet given by O’Rourke, a powerful chieftain of Ulster during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The song begins:
O’Rourke’s noble fare / Will ne’er be forgot / By those who were there /Or those who were not!