Celtic Junction Arts Center

Weaving the traditions of Dance, Music, Art & Language

836 Prior Avenue
St. Paul, MN, 55104

O'Rourke's Feast CD Launch, July 25

Music starts at 7:30pm. Advance tickets $13 or $8 seniors and kids under 12. At the door$15 or $10 seniors and kids under 12. BUY TICKETS NOW

O’Rourke’s Feast, will launch our debut recording on Friday, July 25, and everyone’s invited along to the concert. The band plays a wide variety of Irish traditional music, jigs and reels of course, plust slow airs, marches, set dances, hornpipes and polkas, as well as a number of original tunes by myself and Sherry Ladig arranged with harmonies. The current band lineup includes myself on button accordion, Suzanne Rhees and Amy Shaw on flutes, Kathleen Green, Ingrid Jans, and Rosa Wells on fiddle, and Sherry Ladig on keyboards. Our former members include fiddlers Danielle Enblom, Nathan Gourley, and Ann Mossey Sandberg, and we’re hoping some of them may be able to join us for the CD launch.

O’Rourke’s Feast takes its name from a tune we play. 16th-century Irish bard Hugh MacGauran wrote a poem commemorating a remarkable banquet given by Brian O'Rourke, a powerful chieftain of Ulster during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Eventually, in 1720, the poem was translated into English by Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, and it was his lyrics were set to music by his contemporary Turlough O'Carolan, the blind harper from Ireland, who was born in 1670 and died in 1738. Swift’s version of the song begins: 

O'Rourke's noble fare / Will ne'er be forgot
By those who were there / Or those who were not!

The interesting thing about this recording is that it was actually made in stages by two different incarnations of the band, as we had to replace our fiddle players, who for some reason kept moving away from the Twin Cities. We recorded in three sessions between April 2008 and October 2013 at The Hideaway Studio, Minneapolis, where Joe Mabbott was our intrepid sound engineer/recordist. We’re looking forward to sharing our music with the wider world.