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Irish Descendants coming to Skye
REGION -- New England Celtic Arts will host Newfoundland’s top rated Celtic band The Irish Descendants at the Franco American Heritage Center in Lewiston on Monday, Feb. 6, at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, Feb. 7, and at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in South Carthage on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Curtain at the Franco Center and Skye is 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Unity.
Formed in the spring of 1990, The Irish Descendants, have been a mainstay in the Newfoundland and Canadian music industry for over two decades. In that time the band has performed over 4,000 shows across North America and beyond! With the founding members all hailing from various outpost fishing communities, the original goal for the group was to take the music that they all learned and performed home in their kitchens, to the festival stages, pubs, and concert halls of their beloved Newfoundland. In a very short time, after the release of their first CD Misty Morning Shore (1991), the first CD ever released by a Newfoundland band, it was clear that they were on track to take their music on a worldwide journey! This tour is the launch of their 14th recording, Rise Again in the US and the start of their 2012 Winter Tour..
In 1997, the band was selected to perform for the 500th anniversary celebrations of the discovery of the Island, by John Cabot in 1497, This summer long journey saw them perform for the Queen of England, and heads of state, of Ireland, and Spain. To date the band has released 13 studio recordings, the most recent entitled Southern Shore (2008). It is preparing to release the next studio album, number 14, on September 9. 2011, and are looking forward to a very busy couple of years as they tour the world in support of the new release!
Over the years, the line-up of the band has been led under the guidance of front man and founding member, Con O’Brien. One of Newfoundland’s most recognized entertainers, his rich baritone voice, once described as, “ a voice that could wake the dead”, has been performing Irish Newfoundland music for a quarter century. The current line-up, for the winter and spring 2012 touring season, will see regulars, Robert Kelley (bass and vocals), and veteran St John’s musician Dave Panting (guitar, bouzouki, mandolin and vocals), joined by another icon and veteran traditional player Patrick Moran (fiddle and vocals).
The brand of music that The Irish Descendants are known and loved for is steeped in a rich tradition. Con O’Brien is the oldest member of the 12th generation of his family living on the Island! The O’Brien’s of Bay Bulls as they are locally known, came from Waterford City Ireland in 1721. These forefathers settled in the little town of, Bay Bulls, (Today’s population 1200).
Located on the Southern Shore of the Avalon Peninsula, 20 miles to the south of the capital city St John’s, North America’s oldest city! Here in this place they were able to carve out a life for themselves using the almighty cod fishery as a means to survive, all the while, like all of the Newfoundland Irish, passing on the traditions and culture of their Irish home, generation to generation! The Irish Descendants are one of the products of this proud heritage!
The Franco American Heritage Center is located on 46 Cedar St. in Lewiston, Skye Theater is located three miles west of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Dr. off Winter Hill Road and Rt. 2 in South Carthage. UCCPA is at 42 Depot St. in Unity. Ticket price is $20 at the door. For reservations, call FAHC at 783-1585, Skye Theatre at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469. Reservations are strongly suggested at all three venues.