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The Post  
 
The John Byrne Band Concert at the Colonial Plantation
 
  by: JoeS - Springfield, PA
started: 07/29/13 12:47 pm | updated: 07/29/13 12:47 pm
 
The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation hosted a concert by the John Byrne Group on Saturday evening July 27th at 7 PM. I met John before the show and talked about his career and the path he has followed down the road of Celtic and folk music. It is not surprising he is influenced by Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Planxty, and The Chieftains. They have just returned form a tour of New England and they have just released their new album, Celtic Folk. Celtic Folk follows the critically acclaimed After the Wake which is more in the vain of contemporary folk music. They have appeared at the World Cafe, as well as at the National Constitution Center and for Prime Minister Blair and President Clinton. Needless to say we were so pleased to have The John Byrne Band be part of our 40th Anniversary Celebration at The Plantation. The Pennsylvania Colonial Plantation is a historic farm located within Ridley Creek State Park.

The concert started right a 7PM. The setting is a 18th century farm with open fields, restored buildings from the era, and a host of farm animals. The weather was perfect and about 150 of us very lucky folks enjoyed an evening of Celtic and folk music. John is an engaging entertainer who seasoned his performance with stories about Ireland, Irish culture and the Irish American experience. He did it all very well and the audience enjoyed the stories and got a good laugh.

Accompanying John were Andy Keenan on banjo, guitar and backing vocals; Bob Shaffer on banjo, vocals and guitar; and Maura Dwyer on fiddle. It was apparent they enjoyed their music and projected that energy and enthusiasm to all of us. They played 20 or so songs in 2 sets with a brief intermission. The favorite of the night is a new single,” To Patsy.” You know what a nice guy John is when he writes a touching and very nice song about his mother-in-law. He mixed traditional music with his own songs and the mix worked.

The sets consisted of:

“The Well”
“Catharsis”
“Follow Me Up to Carlow”
“McAlpine's Fusiliers”
“To Patsy”
“Old Man's Disguise”
“Paddy's Lament”
“It's a Gas That Makes You Laugh Before it Kills You”
“ Already Gone"

intermission

“Wild Mountain”
“Merrily Kissed the Quaker”
“Body of America”
“Various Verses”
“The Lake of Pontchartrain”
“The Ballad of the Old Black Pearl”
“Poor Paddy”
“Parting Glass”
“See You”
“Rocky Road”

John has a strong voice with just enough of an Irish brogue to be interesting. The harmonies were 2 and 3 part , very solid and deep. It was a perfect night on every level, great weather, a stunning setting, fine music and wonderful company. Joe S

 
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