Celtic Ceilidh held at Virginia Highlands Festival


Celtic Ceilidh held at Virginia Highlands Festival
August 20159
Celtic Ceilidh held at Virginia Highlands Festival
The Virginia Highlands Festival,
Abingdon, Va., holds its Celtic Ceilidh
Sunday, Aug. 2 from 1-9 p.m., in the
Abingdon Market Pavilion. Always a
popular event, the day of Celtic music
features The Appalachian Highlanders
at 1 p.m., The BorderCollies at 1:30
p.m., Barleyjuice at 3 p.m., and 6
p.m., Sharon Knight at 4:30 p.m., and
Tuatha Dea at 7:45 p.m.
The House of Douglas Scottish
Bakery offers food throughout the day.
Bring lawn chairs or blankets and plan
to spend the day. The pavilion will be
covered by a tent in cae of rain.
The Appalachian Highlanders Pipes and Drums are based in
Abingdon, Virginia, and bring together
enthusiasts from all over Southwest
Virginia and Northeast Tennessee who
share a love for the sound of the great
Highlands bagpipe.
The BorderCollies are a contemporary Celtic band, featuring a blend
of traditional Celtic and folk influences Sharon Knight and Winter
in their music. Their latest CD, “Sticks
and Stones,” showcases the band’s
original compositions and their ability to interpret and arrange traditional material. Based out
of Duluth, Georgia, the band performs regionally around the Southeast at concerts, festivals,
Highland games, pubs and clubs.
The BorderCollies
Barleyjuice has six studio albums and a double CD collection in their sporrans to date.
These five spirited Yanks are currently one of the most beloved Celtic rock bands in the USA.
Frontmen Kyf Brewer and Keith “Swanny” Swanson cover lead vocals, guitars, accordion,
harmonica, mandolin, bouzouki and bagpipes. Both originally piped in the Loch Rannoch Pipe
Band, and performed in Edinburgh’s Millennium March for Prince Charles. While Swanson was
once a member of New York’s legendary Flailin’ Shilaleghs, Kyf’s been a pro performer since
his first band, The Ravyns, produced the hit “Raised on the Radio” for the 1982 film “Fast
Times At Ridgemont High.”
Backing Brewer & Swanson are a trio of characters: fiddler Alice O’Quirke, whose classical roots stray to Irish and bluegrass in the middle of the most authentic jigs and hornpipes;
drummer Barnes, a powerhouse; and bassist Eric Worthington, musical snake-charmer.
Sharon Knight and her longtime collaborator Winter are internationally touring musicians in the mythic-Celtic vein. Their penchant for combining fierce and gutsy bravado with
ethereal beauty, a hearty dose of fantastical lyrics and a love of storytelling has inspired
their style, “Neofolk Romantique.” This often sounds less Celtic and more “Folktales that ran
away with the Faeries at the turn of the century and took cover in an old trunk bound for the
circus, which was then commandeered by pirates,” she says.
Tuatha Dea is “pure primal energy” with a Celtic and world twist. Hailing from the
Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, the clan has been described as “The Appalachian Fae”
organically blending their Celtic, Native American and tribal roots into a Gypsy rock vibe. The
band’s eclectic sound blends the tribal vibe of primitive drums with conventional and nonconventional instruments such as guitar, bass, modern and Native American flutes, didgeridoo and more as well as a myriad of vocal styles to create their sound.
From the beginning, the band has embraced its Celtic heritage and meshed the traditional music of Scotland, Ireland and Great Britain with the heartbeat of drums to produce
versions of traditional favorites like “Danny Boy,” “Whiskey In A Jar,” “Loch Lomond” and
others. The group’s eclectic nature also incorporates a rock, blues, new age, world and even
punk edge into their repertoire of material. Recently, Tuatha Dea released its fourth CD,
inspired by and based on the novels of science-fiction and fantasy writer Alex Bledsoe.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. To purchase tickets online, visit www.
Tuatha Dea