Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ten Don't-Miss Things This Year At Irish Fest, Part 3

3. Different Drums Of Ireland. Three years or so ago at an Irish Fest directors conference, I asked Joe King of the Milwaukee Irish Fest what performer on the Milwaukee stages that year he was most excited about. With no hesitation he said Different Drums. The next morning, he gave me a CD and I was hooked. Since then I've been hounding poor Dave Shaughnessy to get these guys (and girl) here. This, finally, is the year.

This is a show unlike any I'd seen before. It's the pure power of rhythm accented by Dolores O'Hare with some of the best uilleann piping you'll ever hear. It's virtuosity on the most ancient and seemingly simple instrument. It's percussion redefined. Best of all, it's the simple idea that the old differences among the people of the North of Ireland might be if not erased then at least faded by the power of music. Truly Irish music, that jumps back and forth across the border as if it wasn't there.

Add the O'Riada dancers into the mix for Friday's show and you've got a force to be reckoned with. Be there.

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