As I write this article in mid-January, I
think forward to the Spring Marathon, our major fundraiser of the
year. I know that the very loyal and dedicated listeners who have
been answering phones during my show for the last five years will
be back in force. I'm hopeful that an ever-increasing number of
those of you listening at home will respond to my call for your
financial support. Your faithful and generous acceptance of the
responsibility to "keep us on the air" never ceases to amaze me.
Though I suspect none of the show hosts truly enjoy our week of
fundraising, your pledges and comments certainly raise our spirits
and gladden our hearts! Ten years ago, I stumbled upon a more pleasant
way to raise funds for WWUH…benefit concerts featuring the talented
musicians heard each week on "Celtic Airs". I never expected this
"hobby" would be so successful and long running! It's very gratifying
to see you come out to enjoy and support these dedicated artists.
They are truly appreciative of your attention.
To start your St. Patrick's Day celebration
a little early, I recommend attendance at the March 16th Karan Casey
concert in the Wilde Auditorium. Karan will be joined by concertina
virtuoso (and husband) Niall Vallely, guitar wizard (and funny man)
Robbie Overson and the very talented multi-instrumentalist Paul
Meehan (bouzouki/ guitar/ banjo/mandolin). We were first introduced
to Karan as the original vocalist for Solas, a position she filled
for over four years. Her first solo album Songlines (1997) was released
while she was still a member of the band. Her departure from this
talented ensemble was hastened by a major life change - Motherhood!
Two more solo albums have followed Songlines, The Wind Begins to
Sing (2001) and Distant Shore (2003), both widely praised. Whether
it's a traditional or contemporary song, sung in English or Irish,
it's Karan's voice that is the most striking aspect of her performances.
The Associated Press says, "she has a voice so beautiful, it's almost
impossible to avoid falling under her spell." The venerable Wall
Street Journal says "Karan Casey is one of the true glories of Irish
music today." She's twice been voted Irish Music Magazine's Best
Female Traditional/ Folk vocalist. I hope you'll come to see how
well deserved this praise and recognition is when the Karan Casey
Band returns to the University of Hartford March 16th at 7:30 PM.
Flook will appear in the Wilde Auditorium
April 22nd at 7:30 PM. This Anglo-Irish quartet was a surprise hit
with the audience during their only previous engagement here on
May 2nd, 2003.The media have responded with critical acclaim as
well. "Flook is a sensational live act…in the front rank of the
innovators." (Rough Guide to Irish Music) "They present a multi-layered,
rhythmically sophisticated and meltingly beautiful performance."
(Glasgow Sunday Herald) "Never have I seen so many people so completely
and utterly spellbound… the most magical of experiences." (The Irish
Post) Flook is a quartet composed of two Irish and two English musicians,
all masters of their craft. John Joe Kelly (bodhran) is a living
legend after winning an amazing EIGHT All-Ireland titles! Brian
Finnegan (flute/whistle) is equally renowned with four All-Ireland's
to his credit. Londoner Sarah Allen (flute/ accordion) was a member
of the immensely popular band Barely Works for five years. While
living in Manchester (England), Ed Boyd discovered Irish traditional
music. He has since become a highly sought out guitarist know for
his great taste and subtlety. The band has recorded three excellent
albums, Flatfish (1997), Live Flook (1999) and Rubai (2002). They've
been in the studio between live engagements working on a fourth
masterpiece, and I suspect we'll get a chance to audition tracks
from that work in progress during the show here. "Flook is sheer
musical magic." (The Scotsman) How can you afford to pass that up!?!
Get thyself to the Flook concert Friday April 22nd for a great night
Tickets for all Celtic Airs/ WWUH concerts
go on sale two months before the performance date through the University
of Hartford box office, open 10:00 AM- 6:00PM Mon.-Fri. Call 1-800-274-8587
or 860-768-4228. You can purchase on line at any time by going to
Celtic Airs can be heard
every Tuesday morning 6:00-9:00 AM as part of the WWUH "FM On Toast"
line-up of folk/roots music that airs Sunday to Friday in this same
time slot. If you're already a listener, thanks for your ongoing
support. If you've yet to give it a try, I urge you to tune in next
Copyright © WWUH: March/April Program