Thursday, May 31, 2012

Winnebago Craic

(Yawn)...Whoa..wha?..what time is it?... Did I miss April?.... Boy...what a nap!
You're kidding me  - tomorrow is June? what?

OK.  I've missed a few things lately.  Alright...a LOT of things.

One of the things I didn't miss is the great Oshkosh Irish Fest.  Held this weekend, June 1-3 at the Leach Ampitheater in beautful downtown Oshkosh.

Known mostly for it's overalls and annual Air Exposition, Oshkosh is also home to one of the best kept Celtic secrets; the Oshkosh Irish Festival.  Celebrating it's fourth year this year, the Oshkosh festival is the beginning weekend of Irish activities here in Wisconsin.

This year the gang in Oshkosh is putting on a show you won't want to miss. Featuring great local groups such as Athas, Green Tea and Whiskey of the Damned, and all-time crowd favorites Seamus Kennedy. Mairtin de Cogain, and of course Gaelic Storm.

The gates open Friday afternoon at 5:00.  If you're looking for something to do this weekend, Oshkosh is the place to be.

See you there!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Punchy for the Punch Brothers

For this years' Bluegrass Showcase at the festival we wanted to put a little "punch" into the lineup, so we went out and got one of the hottest blugrass bands in the world - The Punch Brothers. 

Formed in 2006 when former Nickel Creek mandolin player Chris Thile joined with Chris Eldridge, Noam Pikelny and Gabe Witchner, the Punch Brothers are arguably the most popular group on the planet.  Recent performances at SXSW, the Ellen DeGeneres show, Letterman this coming Wednesday make them THE group to have. Jeez, when the Peat Blogger and Doug "Dude" Johnson arrived in Glasgow last January for Celtic Connections the Punch Brothers were playing there for Pete's sake.

And guess what? The Punch Brothers are PLAYING AT MILWAUKEE IRISH FEST!
You heard right - for one show only Friday night (check the schedule and website for the correct time).  If you are looking for a reason to come to Milwaukee Irish Fest - this is it.

The Punch Brothers - another one of about a million reasons why you should come to Irish Fest this year.

The Punch Brothers - only 138 days from now

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bluegrass !

Each year the wise minds at Milwaukee Irish Fest (I’m not on that committee) come up with an idea for showcasing a particular type of music and culture associated with Celtic music. Last year we featured the music and cultural offerings of Derryand Donegal to rave reviews from the assembled green masses.
This year we focused the showcase spotlight on music a bit closer to home. The 2012 Milwaukee Irish Fest Showcase will feature Bluegrass music. As a truly American “roots” musical culture, bluegrass has a strong underlying connection to the Irish music tradition.  And we're going to prove it.

As we do each year, we pulled out all the stops and got the best talent around.  From both sides of the Atlantic; Del McCoury, The Punch Brothers, Cornmeal, The Henhouse Prowlers, Tim O'Brien and Bryan Sutton, and Bruce Molsky from the US.  April Verch from the Ottawa Valley in Canada, the Brock McGuire band, Gerry O'Connor and the gorgeous Henry Girls with Fox Hunt from Ireland.  If the music isn't enough for you the Director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum will be bringing an exhibit to the festival.

Oh and we have the world's foremost ethnomusicologist, (I LOVE that word!) Mick Moloney here to fill in your bluegrass and Irish music knowledge gaps.

This is going to be a great weekend of fun and music.  The Peat Blogger called a few Bluegrass associations to ask for promotional help and found the bluegrass community is pretty jazzed up about the show.  So am I. You should be too!

In the weeks ahead we're going to offer a few sneak peeks at some of these fabulous musicians and the music you won't want to miss.

Bluegrass folks, only 139 days from today.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blue Fiddle

So it's been about five days since St Patrick's day.  Green beer is done for another 360 days, everyone at the office is talking about all your Facebook pictures, and you can't believe the Milwaukee Police Department horse patrol was soooo nice Saturday night.

But you're thinking to yourself "I really didn't get enough Irish culture on Saturday"  Well boyo, we can fix that for you.

This weekend for three shows (you heard me - THREE) Eileen Ivers will be appearing at the PAC performing with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.  You betcha hey, THE Eileen Ivers and her band will be here to give you some real culture this weekend.

As part of the Symphony's plan to attract new fans (bringing in Irish musicians is a really clever strategy) Eileen Ivers will be performing Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon.

The Peat Blogger met Eileen more than 22 years ago when she played with Cherish the Ladies on the Old Style Stage at Irish Fest.  She returned a few years later perfoming with Seamus Eagan and since then has appeared numerous times at Milwaukee Irish Fest, as a stage manager favorite.

As one of the nicest musicians I've ever met, the Peat Blogger decided years ago if Mrs Peat Blogger ever threw me out Eileen was my girl.  Never mind the fact she was married to the equally nice Brian Mulligan (I'm thinking a bus accident if you know what I mean . . . )  Oh well, never gonna happen.

If you want to see a truly enjoyable show with one of the finest irish fiddlers you'll ever see get stop and pick up tickets for a really great show this weekend.  You can get more information here

See you at the show right after I drop Brian at the bus station . . . .

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It Takes a Village

For those of you from Mars, this Saturday happens to be St Patrick's Day! Yay! Let's get up real early and put on our cool green glasses, and put some Jameson on our cornflakes before we go out for a day of partying! Yay! Think of all the places we're going to today! Yay!

Wait a second . . . we got married after college and had three kids Yay! We've got Little Tykes toys all over the house Yay!  We drive a minivan Yay!  Oh yeah that's right, we're not going anywhere Saturday! Boo!

Au contraire my little leprechauns.  This Saturday you can take the little shavers to the Village of Wauwatosa for Milwaukee Irish Fest family day! That's right boys and girls, Milwaukee Irish Fest is sponsoring the family St Patrick's Day celebration in the village. Yay! Instead of the usual green beer and corned beef, selected village business are providing a family friendly day of activities without the usual drunken louts you find on March 17th.

Stop at the Chancery, the Little Read Bookstore, little Red Store, and Arte for activities for the whole family.  Gosh, if the Peat Bloggers three wallet drainers were little kids he'd be there for sure.  At the Irish Fest Center from 9-3, families can find all kinds of activities; lace making, whistle and bodhran demonstrations, Irish Dancers and crafts for the kids. Yay! Maybe I can sneak a beer in my Starbucks cup! (or maybe not if I get the evil stinkeye look from the Mrs.)

Bring the kids out Saturday and give 'em a little Irish Culture in the Village.  (When they turn 16 and get a drivers license, dad can take them out on St. Patricks day for a different view of the culture. Yay!) Trust me, the kids will have a great time and you'll feel better too!  For more information call the MIlwaukee Irish Fest Center at 414-476-3378.  You can see more here

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Round Up Your Mates

As this Saturday is the High Holy Day (double high because it's on a Saturday!), I'm starting to see the St Paddy's emails with the funny jokes and videos.

The Peat Blogger's good friend Brian Meehan sent this one along today.  Brin as you can see by his name is a dyed in the wool Irishman who happens to run the marketing and PR firm Irish Fest uses. (Does a great job too btw).  He's so Irish he named his marketing firm Celtic which is pretty neat even though they do pronounce it incorrectly (like the NBA team).

This is pretty funny

Saturday is only a few days away . . . . .

Monday, March 5, 2012

Have You Seen St. Laurence O'Toole's Heart?

Boy, nothing ruins your day more than coming to work and finding the heart of your favorite saint missing. According to the Irish Times, that's what happened to the Very Rev. Dermot Dunne last Saturday when he opened up the doors of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin (church of Ireland) only to discover somone had stolen the heart of St Laurence O'Toole - patron saint of Dublin.  It had been in a wooden heart shaped box inside a sturdy (until now) metal cage in the church.

Laurence O'Toole was the first Irish Archbishop of Dublin and died waaaaay back in 1180 (I was in 1182 and the noise kept me up all night).  Suffice it to say it took about 832 years before someone decided it was worth stealing from the church.  I mean, it's not like it made out of gold or silver; it's an 832 year old heart for Pete's sake.

St. Laurence O'Toole's heart

Rev Dunne believes the thieves slept in the church overnight and made off with the heart after the church opened in the morning. There appears to be a fad of thieves stealing religious relics in Ireland.  In January the gardai found pieces of the "true cross" during a search on a home in the Midlands.  Recently thieves attempted to steal a reliquary containg part of the jaw of St. Brigid but fortunately it had been sent out for cleaning (I'm not kidding) and they left empty handed.  Someone better call St Peter's in Drogheda and tell them to keep an eye on Oliver Plunkett's head

What ever happened to stripping copper wire out of air conditioning units? 
I knew the economy in Ireland was bad but . . .

Heart-less bastards.