February 2010 - Distribution 8000+



Welcome to the February (85th) edition of the Blarney Bulletin - the voice of Australians with a proud Celtic heritage, incorporating the Blarney Podcast and the Australian Celtic Tiger resource directory.

Well the New Year is a new year no longer as we approach the busy autumn festival season, so I hope you all have plans to participate fully. I?m back in Darwin again after a great week away at the Lake School in Koroit (see photo above) - and I?am planning a road trip in late March with my mate Simon Dillon that will take in the Eel Festival at Lake Bolac, the National Folk Festival in Canberra, and the Man From Snowy River Bush Festival in Corryong. Certainly something to look forward to.

In our first broadcast for 2010, the Blarney Podcast features the Saw Doctors (She Loves Me She Loves Me Not), Karen Lynne (We Should Only Have Time For Love), Eleanor McEvoy (Wrong So Wrong), Neil Murray (Where My People Go), the Ade Kelly Band (The Drunken Landlady), the Pigram Brothers (Roadtrain), and the Blarney Pilgrims (Never Gonna Drink Again). Then there?s the first four entrants in the 2010 Rebel Yelp Songwriters Award - Anna van Riel (Matilda?s Waltz), Reapers Riddle (Selfish), Alistair King (Cross On a Chain), and Phil Young (Shadows in the Grass). And we close the Podcast with Jimmy Chi & Kuckles with the original version of Bran Nue Dae.

So just sit back and relax, click on the Podcast and listen to your very own national Australian Celtic broadcast while you read your Bulletin and enter the competitions. Alternatively, you can download the Podcast and listen at your pleasure - at home, at work, or in the car.

* CLICK: to hear the Blarney Podcast

(on a Mac: click to listen; click and hold to download;  on a PC: left click to listen, right click to download)

Remember, if you have any special requests - special songs or tunes you would like to hear on the Blarney Podcast, please email them in to us.  

As usual, you?ll find the Blarney Events Calendar packed full of great events and activities, including the Sydney Road Street Party, Gynanfa Ganu Welsh Festival, an Irish Evening with Joe Lynch, the Port Fairy Folk Festival, the Echuca Moama Celtic Festival, Eleanor McEvoy at the Emerald Lounge, Brunswick Music Festival, Welcome Back Cousin Jack Cornish festival, Lake Bolac Eel Festival, the Tullamore Irish Festival and the National Folk Festival over Easter, the Man From Snowy River Bush Festival, the International School of Scottish Fiddle in NZ, Braemar?s Scottish Cruise on the Yarra, the Koroit Irish Festival, and the Top Half Folk Festival outside Darwin.

And don?t forget the fantastic international touring artists - Brian Kennedy, Eleanor McEvoy, the Maírtin O?Connor Band, the Saw Doctors, and Aslan.

Ah, you wouldn?t be dead for quids! And anyone with a drop of Celtic blood in their veins who doesn?t attend at least one of these great events would have to be a mug!

In the February Blarney Bulletin there?s news of the 2010 Spud Poets Award winner, performer applications for the Fleurieu Folk Festival are open, there?s a request to look out for musical instruments stolen from Ballarat, there?s the O?Mahony Clan get together, the National Folk Festival has a new managing director, and there?s a new book about the Black Saturday tragedy. There?s also news of the sad loss of Alistair Hulett and Rowen Paterson.

You will find reviews of Port Adelaide?s Celtica Festival, the 2010 Lake School, Karen Lynne?s CD Changes, and Eleanor McEvoy?s CD Singled Out. And the Blarney Bulletin has another clutch of ?must see? video clips - including Israel ?Iz? Kamakawiwo?ole song Over the Rainbow, the Saw Doctors, Brian Kennedy, Dougie Maclean, Eleanor McEvoy, Aslan, Lunasa, and Alistair Hulett.

In McCarthy?s Bar, Paddy wonders at Tony Abbott?s new Climate Change Policy, while the Jameson Joke of the Month winner is Pat Dillon.

For the songwriters, we hear from the first four entrants in the 2010 Rebel Yelp Songwriter Award, there?s a call for entries in the Award, and a call to participate in our Rebel Songwriters Forum and Concert at the National Folk Festival.

In the Community Action segment,you are asked to participate in the Vindaloo Against Violence campaign on February 24, and the Save Live Music march in Melbourne on February 23. There are also details of sessions at the Lake School, the Melbourne slow sessions, Daylesford?s open mic, Darwin?s Campfire session, and the Quiet Man?s trad Irish music session in Melbourne each Sunday.

This edition?s give-aways include a copies of Karen Lynne?s CD Changes, and Eleanor McEvoy?s CD Singled Out, and of course there?s a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey for the joke of the month - so get your entries in!

As usual, there?s the popular reader?s feedback segment, and ALL is revealed in the Blarney Events Calendar.

And while you?re at it, why not let your mouse do the walking to the Australian Celtic Tiger resource directory at www.australianceltictiger.com.au where you can now SEE and HEAR the listings. Whether it?s a holiday, genuine crafted Celtic jewellery, authentic Irish & Scottish foods, a family history, festival tickets, music, entertainment, musical instruments, tuition, a website or other business services, you will find it all on the Australian Celtic Tiger.

so until next month, slán go fóill

Kevin “Blarney” McCarthy

Irish Saw Doctors back in Australia


It?s been a 17 year wait, and now Ireland?s Saw Doctors are returning to Australia for a tour which will have them rocking right around the country in March 2010, including Sydney?s Metro Theatre on St Patrick's Day, March 17.

The rock and rollercoaster history of The Saw Doctors defies logical explanation until you remember that, in the end, perseverance gets rewarded. In the last eighteen months, the Saw Doctors have blazed back phoenix-like from almost two decades of unsung glory. Out of the blue, their rambunctious cover of The Sugababes? About You Now rocketed to No 1 in Ireland, restoring them to their rightful place as that nation?s best-loved good-time band.

Fronted by two criminally underrated songwriters, Leo Moran and Davy Carton, this is the band that entered the record books back in 1990 when I Useta Lover spent nine weeks at number one, becoming Ireland?s best-selling single of all time. They followed up with the No 2 hit, N17, and a chart-topping album If This Is Rock And Roll, I Want My Old Job Back.

The Saw Doctors were formed in Tuam, Galway, Ireland, in 1986, and although membership has fluctuated over the years, two founder-members have remained constant - Leo Moran and Davy Carton were there right at the start, when it felt like success to be able to play in local venues such as Tuam's Imperial Hotel.

Even after the first flush of success faded, The Saw Doctors were never far out of earshot. Guinness, for example, used the Saw Doctors? song Never Mind the Strangers in a multimillion dollar ad campaign for Harp Lager in the USA. The band made a film appearance in Walter Foote?s directorial debut, The Tavern, which featured Same Oul? Town, and their song She Says became the theme to the BBC Northern Ireland comedy series Give My Head Peace.

In May 1997, the Saw Doctors undertook their first major coast to coast US tour and as a result landed a US record deal with Paradigm Records in New York. Sing A Powerful Song was released in November 1997, prompting Geoffrey Himes to write in The Washington Post that ?the Saw Doctors are one of the world?s most appealing roots-rock outfits?.

Through it all, the twin planks of the band?s enduring appeal have been immensely singable songs and riotous live performances. Their songs range from bringing in the harvest, to running away to join the army, from the plight of Ireland?s unmarried mothers to the effect of strong religion on a nation?s youth, from playing football against a neighbouring village to loving the prettiest girl in town from a distance, but lacking the courage to tell her.

The Saw Doctors current line-up features Leo Moran (vocals, guitar), Davy Carton (vocals, guitar), Kevin Duffy (keyboards), Anthony Thistlethwaite (bass guitar, saxophone), and Eímhín Cradock (drums).

The Saw Doctors Australian Tour - March 2010:

Thursday March 4: Fly By Night Fremantle WA 08 9430 5976

March 6 & 7: Port Fairy Folk Festival VIC

Tuesday March 9: Republic Bar Hobart TAS 03 6234 6954

Thursday March 11: Corner Hotel Melbourne VIC 03 9427 9198

Friday March 12: Gully Hotel Ferntree Gully VIC 03 9758 6544

Sunday March 14: Southern Cross Club Canberra ACT 02 6283 7289

Tuesday March 16: Mean Fiddler Sydney NSW 02 9629 4811

Wednesday March 17: Metro Theatre Sydney NSW 02 9550 3666, Ticketek: 132 849

Thursday March 18: The Gov Adelaide SA 08 8340 0744

Friday March 19: The Hi-Fi West End Brisbane 1300 843 4434

you can listen to The Saw Doctors perform She Loves Me She Loves Me Not on the Blarney Podcast

And you can have a look at The Saw Doctors singing About You Now:

Universal Music Australia will release the compilation CD To Win Just Once ... The Best of The Saw Doctors in Australia on Friday February 26, and it will be available from good music stores. You can find out more about the Saw Doctors at www.sawdoctors.com and www.facebook.com/sawdoctors


WIN: the Blarney Bulletin now has a copy of the Saw Doctor?s new CD To Win Just Once to give away. To enter the draw, simply email your contact details (name, address & telephone number) to macca@blarneybulletin.com

Brian Kennedy on tour in Australia in February/March

Brian Kennedy, one of Ireland?s most loved and successful ambassadors of music, is returning to Australian shores for an extensive national tour in February and March 2010, including a highly anticipated return to the 2010 Port Fairy Folk Festival.


Brian?s tour comes on the back of his 2008 album, Interpretations, and will no doubt follow the now established local tradition with Australian audiences embracing Brian?s previous shows over two highly successful tours.

Tickets are on sale now - go to: www.chuggentertainment.com

Brunswick Music Festival

BMF_2010-header.jpg MairtinCathalSeamie

Australia?s only inner city festival of folk, roots and world music is on again on March 11-21, and the Celts are out in force at the 2010 Brunswick Music Festival.

The 22nd Brunswick Festival presents a top class line up of Celtic, traditional and folk musicians. The international contingent includes, from Ireland - the extraordinary button accordion player Mairtin O?Connor with Cathal Hayden (fiddle and banjo, he of 4 Men and a Dog fame) and Seamie O?Dowd guitar and vocals; and Paddy Keenan, arguably the greatest uilleann piper performing today. Also on the program is Scottish singer songwriter Dougie Maclean


From Scotland, fabulous singers Eddi Reader and Scots Singer of the Year 2008/09 Emily Smith - with multi instrumentalist Jamie McClennan. From Canada, the return of Genticorum the extraordinary exponents of Quebecois musical culture.

These are well supported with a full line up of Australian celtic artists - Tony O?Neill Trio, Enda Kenny, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, String Theory and Squeebz. Also appearing in their only Melbourne shows will be John McCutcheon (US), Vin Garbut (UK), Ted Egan & Jan Wositsky in a new show - songs and stories from ?North of the Ten Commandments?, Archie Roach, The Pigram Brothers and many more!

you can listen to The Pigram Brothers perform Roadtrain on the Blarney Podcast

To find out all you need to know about the Brunswick Music Festival, to view the program, to register for the festival e-newsletter and get early warning for online bookings ... go to the festival website: www.brunswickmusicfestival.com.au

The Brunswick Music Festival booking office opens Monday February 1 on 03 9388 1460, and the Sydney Road Street Party is on Sunday February 28.


Port Fairy Folk Festival - book now!


The Port Fairy Folk Festival, one of the world?s premier folk and roots music festivals, will again transform the beautiful coastal village of Port Fairy along Victoria?s shipwreck coast on March 5-8.

Port Fairy remains one of the great storytelling gatherings in contemporary culture.

The 2010 program is simply amazing, with over 100 national & 22 international acts:


Vin Garbutt, Genticorum, The Greencards, Nanci Griffith, Colin Hay, Eilen Jewell, Brian Kennedy, Ego Lemos, Dougie Maclean, Eleanor Mc Evoy, John Mc Cutcheon, Narasirato Pan Pipers, Mairtin O?Connor Band, Charlie Parr, Lulo Reinhardt Band, Kim Richey, The Saw Doctors, Chris Smither, Emily Smith & Jamie McClennan, Truckstop Honeymoon, Tenzin Choegyal & The Monks of Tibet, Uncle Earl, Josh White Jr, and the Whitetop Mountaineers

Kerrianne Cox, Festival Choir, Shane Howard, Jigzag, Jugularity, Enda Kenny Band, Ashleigh Mannix, Archie Roach, Totally Gourdgeous, Wheeze & Suck Band

Bonjah, Brian Cadd, Kim Churchill, Jen Cloher & The Endless Sea, Alanna & Alicia Egan Band, Jaimi Faulkner, Hussy Hicks, The Sky Rockats, The Tealeaves, Kate Vigo & The Underground Orchestra


Celtic Fire Featuring Angela Little, Claymore, The Craic, The Fooks, Damian Howard And The Ploughboys, The Message, Saoirse

Kelly Auty?s Wild Women, The Badloves, Blue Shaddy, Jim Conway?s Big Wheel, Flap!, Tom Richardson Project, Tank Dilemma, Rick E Vengeance

Troy Cassar-Daley, Dev?lish Mary, Ted Egan, Suzannah Espie And The Last Word, Jim Haynes, Sal Kimber & The Rollin? Wheel, Louie & The Rustlers, The Pigs, Mick Thomas And The Sure Thing, Van Walker

Band Of Brothers, The Crooked Fiddle Band, Dereb Desalegn & Lion Of Judah, Ganga Giri, Rafa Godoy, I Viaggiatori, Kavisha Mazzella Trio, Mihirangi, Pigram Brothers, Vulgargrad, Zydeco Jump

This is one festival not to be missed ... there simply wouldn?t be another place on the planet with such an incredible line-up of musicians!
To find out more about the Port Fairy Folk Festival, to book your tickets, or to volunteer your services, go to the festival website: www.portfairyfolkfestival.com

2010 National Folk Festival


Easter is the ?National? holiday, when the National Folk Festival invades Exhibition Park in Canberra from April 1-5.

The National draws together people from all around Australia and the world. They come to share in the songs, dances, tunes, and verse that have flowed through the ages from many communities into Australian folk culture. For five days Exhibition Park becomes a magic place, filled with colour and sound. Hundreds of the world?s best musicians perform daily, in a non-stop flow of entertainment across twenty two fabulous venues. Every day is packed with workshops and sessions, where you can join in the dancing, singing and playing and become part of the celebration. It?s all there for you! Once you?ve bought your ticket and come through the gates you won?t need to leave.

The Concert Program
Over 100 concerts are programmed, an while the line-up is not yet finalised, it will include Chris Smither (USA), Patty Larkin (USA), Vin Garbutt (UK), Apodimi Compania (Greece), Emily Smith & Jamie McClennan (Scot), plus TaikOz, Riley Lee and Jeff Peterson, Keith Potger, The Ballpoint Penguins, Kamerunga, and Sally Dastey, plus the Festival fringe - slightly different but very familiar, community choirs from across Australia, a rather tall Scotsman and his dog, The Stockcamp, The Kids Festival, Instrument Makers Pavilion, and Tradition Bearers.

The world famous Session Bar
The Session Bar at the National simply has to be seen to be believed ... extraordinary!

The Dance Program
There are dance classes all day, with everyone welcome to join in. Each night there are dances and balls with the finest dance bands in the country providing the music. Dance display groups from communities all over Australia come to the Festival to share with the rest of the country.

The Spoken Word
Yarns, storytelling and poetry - including the World Poetry Debate and the come-all-ye Poets? Breakfasts, a daily heart-starter where all poets, the budding and the already bloomed - and you - can roll out their purple prose over morning coffee and croissants.

National Folk School
If you want extended classes with some of the best instrument and voice teachers, this is for you, for three days before the main festival.

For Kids
The family festival inside the main grounds is a purpose-made area for children?s performances and participation for children only, and professionally supervised child care is also available in the Childcare facility.

All this is for one Season ticket price, or Day and Evening tickets are available (food and drink is not included, of course). Camping is available with a Season ticket. Early Bird Ticketing operates on-line from December 1. Tickets are available only at the gate after early bird ticketing stops.

We have a large volunteer team committed to enjoying themselves through contributing their time in many areas. If you want to be part of an enthusiastic team who love what they?re doing and want to learn new skills please get in touch with us soon. Places fill up fast.

Tickets are on sale now - so for tickets, to volunteer your services, and to find out everything else you need to know about the 2010 National Folk Festival, go to the festival website now: www.folkfestival.asn.au

There will be a Rebel Songwriters Forum and Concert at the National Folk Festival - so songwriters wishing to participate in the forum should contact macca@blarneybulletin.com and I will keep you updated on details as they come to hand.

LET the Celtic Tiger ROAR

celtic tiger logo

The Australian Celtic Tiger resource directory is literally ROARING - so you can not only SEE but also HEAR from all those businesses, organisations and individuals who so proudly identify with their Celtic heritage.

The Australian Celtic Tiger has a first class range of goods and services available. So whether it’s a holiday away, genuine crafted jewellery, authentic Irish & Scottish foods, a family history, entertainment, musical instruments, tuition, or business services, let your mouse do the walking to the Australian Celtic Tiger at  www.australianceltictiger.com.au 

A 12-month listing in the Australian Celtic Tiger (incl audio production) will cost only $275.

Listed on the Australian Celtic Tiger resource directory you will find the likes of Anti-Damp, Australian Institute of Celtic Studies, Australian Migration & Visa Lawyers, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Bears Over There, Celtic Jeweller Donal O’Grady, Cole Clark Guitars, Consulate General of Ireland, Cosmo International, The Drunken Poet, Embassy of Ireland, Emerald Travel, Enterprise Ireland, Ezibinder, Footscray Collision Care Centre, Fraynework Multimedia, Guinness, Highland House, Hotel Shamrock in Bendigo, Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce, Irish Design Shop; Jameson Irish Whiskey, JGB Carpentry, Kerry Ingredients, the Lake School, Lansdowne Club, Moo Media, Kevin Moran - financial planner, Mt Isa Irish Club, O’Sullivan Sibeen Irish Pub, Personalised Ceramics, Pierce Body Works, PJ O’Brien’s Irish Pubs, PJ Gallagher’s Irish Pubs, Primeplan financial services, Quiet Man Irish Pub, Ri Na Mara skin products, Scottish Accessories Shoppe, Sou’West Collectables & Music, Taibreamh Celtic Jewellery, Taste Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Webnation, WhosUrPaddy.com, and Yelp Studio.

So don’t forget to play your part in keeping the Australian Celtic Community alive and well by letting your mouse do the walking to the Australian Celtic Tiger at www.australianceltictiger.com.au

If you want to be listed in the Australian Celtic Tiger resource directory, or if you know somebody who should be listed in the Australian Celtic Tiger resource directory, or if you want to find out more about the Australian Celtic Tiger resource directory, then contact Kevin McCarthy at the Blarney Bulletin on  macca@blarneybulletin.com  or  0411 135 418



Karen Lynne - Changes

Karen Lynne?s album Changes is a contemporary Bluegrass & Acoustic album that it will absolutely delight - from the gentleness and acoustic sweetness of the opening ballad We Should Only Have Time for Love, to the power and strength of the opposing uptempo traditional bluegrass tracks such as Jealous, to the traditional acoustic and almost folky feel of Phil Ochs? Changes.

Changes contains 14 tracks including a couple of songs from Karen?s own hand - both originals are co-writes, one with previous collaborator Heather Field, the other with Richard Porteous. The album is produced by Rod McCormack and Herm Kovac - two of the industry?s best producers, and features the A team of Australian Bluegrass musicians - Ian Simpson (banjo), Mick Albeck (Fiddle), James Gillard (Double Bass), Trev Warner (Mandolin) and Rod McCormack (Guitar). The first three singles from the album have reached the top 5 on the Australian Country Music Chart - a singular achievement for bluegrass songs in Australia.

Karen?s amazing vocal ability and her very individual approach to even those tracks we may have heard from other artists, make this album an absolute treat. Changes is a beautiful piece of work and is an album destined to be noticed .

From Changes, you can listen to Karen Lynne perform We Should Only Have Time For Love on the Blarney Podcast

Karen Lynne?s music comes directly from the heart, speaking about love, Australia and its people. There is a special quality in Karen?s voice and this, combined with a mixture of great songs is her secret to success as a multi-award winning singer songwriter. Karen works as a soloist, in a Duo with Pat Drummond and in various Bluegrass Band formats.

You can catch up with Karen Lynne at the following venues:
Saturday Feb 20 at 7pm: Pat Drummond & Karen Lynne, Oberon Collectors Club, Oberon
Friday Feb 26: Karen Lynne & Blue Mountain Rain Bluegrass Band - hoping to be gigging in Victoria, contact Karen for more details
Saturday Feb 27: Karen Lynne & Blue Mountain Rain Bluegrass Band ? Bendigo, contact Karen for more details
Sunday Feb 28 at 10am: Karen Lynne & Blue Mountain Rain Bluegrass Band, Bunyip Country Music Festival, Bunyip
Friday Mar 5 at 7.30pm: Pat Drummond & Karen Lynne, Wyong RSL, Wyong
April 1-5: Karen Lynne & Blue Mountain Rain Bluegrass Band, National Folk festival, Canberra
Saturday April 17 at 8pm: Pat Drummond & Karen Lynne, Macquarie Towns Music Club, Richmond
Friday April 30 at 8pm: Pat Drummond & Karen Lynne AND Craig & Simone Dawson - ?twice the concert!?, Folkus Canberra

Changes can be purchased for $25 from Karen Lynne Music KarenLynne@bigpond.com www.karenlynne.com or from Shoestring records www.shoestringrecords.tv or can be ordered through good music stores

WIN: the Blarney Bulletin now has a copy of Karen Lynne?s new CD Changes to give away. To enter the draw, simply email your contact details (name, address & telephone number) to macca@blarneybulletin.com



Eleanor McEvoy - Singled Out

Eleanor McEvoy is touring Australia again in 2010 to promote her new album Singled Out - a compilation of her independent single releases from the past 10 years Eleanor?s critically acclaimed canon of work spans six albums, several singles and appearances on numerous compilation albums and she is now recognised as Ireland's most successful female singer songwriter having enjoyed personal chart success and numerous cover versions of her songs. (Emmylou Harris, Mary Black, and Phil Coulter, among others).

The new 15-track album Singled Out features Oh Uganda, Isn?t It A Little Late? Did I Hurt You, I?ll Be Willing, Make Mine A Small One, Days Roll By, You?ll Hear Better Songs (Than This), Non Smoking Single Female, Suffer So Well, Mercy Mercy Me, Wrong So Wrong, Love Must Be Tough, Old New Borrowed and Blue, Easy In Love, and Shame On The Moon. The album also contains a bonus video featuring Wrong So Wrong.

From Singled Out, you can listen to Eleanor McEvoy perform Wrong So Wrong on the Blarney Podcast

Eleanor McEvoy is one of Irelands leading female singer/songwriters. Respected as a fine multi-instrumentalist in both traditional and contemporary music, she is best known for writing Only A Woman?s Heart, the title track of an anthology album that?s gone on to be the best selling recording in Irish History. Eleanor?s strong Irish accent adds to her renditions of her quirky, perceptive songs, ranging from love ballads and storytelling to left-of-centre takes on the vagaries of life. Her song Sophie - about a girl suffering anorexia, has become an internet phenomenon with over 1,500,000 hits on YouTube.

Have a look at Eleanor McEvoy singing Only A Woman?s Heart:

And you can catch up with Eleanor McEvoy in Australia at the following venues:
February 26 - March 1: Nannup Folk Festival Nannup WA
Wednesday March 3: Kulcha Freemantle WA
March 5-8: Port Fairy Folk Festival VIC
Wednesday March 10: Emerald Lounge, Clifton Hill Hotel VIC
March 12-14: Blue Mountains Folk Festival Katoomba NSW
Tuesday March 16: The Basement (double header With Kim Ritchy) Circular Quay NSW
Friday March 19: Illawarra Folk Club Wollongong NSW
Saturday March 20: Harp Hotel Tempe NSW
Sunday March 21: St Patick?s Day Festival Hyde Park Sydney NSW

For more information about Eleanor McEvoy go to www.eleanormcevoy.com or www.myspace.com/emcevoymusic

WIN: the Blarney Bulletin now has a copy of Eleanor McEvoy?s new CD Singled Out to give away. To enter the draw, simply email your contact details (name, address & telephone number) to macca@blarneybulletin.com


Blarney Pilgrims? classic tracks

The Blarney Pilgrims get together from time to time to record various “classic” demo tracks - beginning in 2001 with Duopenilitis (which you will find on the GetUp compilation CD Stand Up & Shout), to:
The Baa National Anthem
The Battle For Bennelong
The Big Fella
Black WAS the Colour
Dirty Old Man
The Great Australian Dream
Kiwi Dreaming
Margie’s Song
Never Gonna Drink Again
A Sign of the Cross
So Near
Song For Australia,
Your Aussie Wildlife Warrior

You can listen to samples of these tracks here: Blarney Music

With the festive season behind us, you can listen to the Blarney Pilgrims resolve to Never Gonna Drink Again on the Blarney Podcast

If you would like a particular Blarney Pilgrims track to play around the home or at work, or to sing along with, drop an email to macca@blarneybulletin.com 


2010 Rebel Yelp Songwriter Award

The 2010 Rebel Yelp Songwriters Award is now open. The first four entries come from Anna van Riel, Reapers Riddle, Alistair King and Phil Young.

Anna van Riel - Matilda?s Waltz

Melbourne shoot 16

Anna: I originally wrote the song for the Australian Political Sex Party, but I think the message is broad and can be applied to any campaign lobbying for equal rights and environmental awareness. It always gathers a great response during live performances.

You can listen to Anna van Riel sing Matilda?s Waltz on the Blarney Podcast

Anna van Riel is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand. She has recently recorded her second album - Einey Meiny Miney Mo - following her 2008 debut album - Solar Panel. Anna toured New Zealand twice in 2009 and has just returned from India where she featured as a guest artist at the Ladhak Confluence International Music Festival.

Although a Kiwi, Anna has recently based herself in Sydney to pursue her songwriting and performance career.

Anna hopes to launch her website www.annavanriel.com this year. You can listen to her latest music updates at www.myspace.com/annavanriel


Reapers Riddle - Selfish


Clayton Mitchell : We have a song that is about a touchy issue yet one very close to our heart - and an increasing problem throughout the world. The song is called SELFISH and it is a play on how some minds take the option of suicide. I am not (neither is the band) in anyway affectionate or supportive of suicide.

You can listen to Reapers Riddle sing Selfish on the Blarney Podcast

Reapers Riddle formed early 2008, deriving from the four corners of Perth city to form an allegiance to the Might of Metal. All influenced by different eras and styles, joining forces to create a sound that will explode your eardrums and turn you into a zombie requiring more of the Iron Flesh.

Spending their first 2 months together in the rehearsal studios refining their sound. Unveiling their devastation in April 2008 and leaving their trail of destruction across some of Western Australia?s Top Venues.

Pouring Blood and Sweat into every lick and lyric, they have collaborated to forge a unique array of tracks, to get the crowd thrashing and blowing their throats. Rocking the foundations and melting minds with their full sound and stage presence. The Reapers have set forth to spread the word across the land of Oz and collect Souls in search of Heavy, Hard and Raw Metal.

Reapers Riddle are currently recording an E.P in Perth that is set to release early 2010, You can find out more about the Reapers at www.myspace.com/reapersriddle


Alistair King - Cross on a Chain


Alistair: Cross on a Chain is my response to all those sickly sweet ?coming of age? songs which present losing your cherry as a deeply moving and sensitive occasion. I wish they?d tell it like it really is for most people.
For me - I was terrified, mortified and felt extremely sinful - like my mother was right there ... in my head! Mainly I was terrified that I?d be found out. You see, like most young men, I liked to make out that I was hip - been there, done that, nothing fazed me. Then I realised this girl was going to call my bluff. She was experienced and I just knew she?d see through me straight away. But what I mostly remember is that crucifix around her neck which lay right across her ample bosom ...

You can listen to Alistair King sing Cross on a Chain on the Blarney Podcast

Alistair King is a Melbourne singer songwriter who plays solo and with his band Kahootz. Alistair?s songs know no boundaries in turns of style - they cross over rock, folk, Celtic, country, reggae. What is common about them is the lyrical content - sometimes soulful, sometimes whimsical - but most often authentic and insightful. There's a good deal of life experience there - and a few grey hairs as well! Alistair will be releasing his debut CD, produced by Hugh McDonald (Redgum) in 2010.

Visit www.myspace.com/alistairkingsong


Phil Young - Shadows in the Grass


Phil: Shadows In The Grass is about the appalling situation in Darfur - written after watching the documentary The Devil Comes On Horseback. The enduring image I was left with from this program was the ?shadows in the grass? left after people are burned to death by the Janjaweed (Devils on horseback). It?s more than two years now since the program was first aired here and very little has changed. I don?t think many people even know what?s going on there, much less care.

You can listen to Phil Young sing Shadows in the Grass on the Blarney Podcast

Phil Young has been writing songs for 38 years in several genres and played music professionally or for leisure for the majority of that time. With the group Brightwater and a cadre of other Melbourne musicians he has produced and released three albums of original material.

Pet projects include founding the Melbourne Unplugged Musicians Society, establishing the respected Roddy Read Memorial Songwriting Contest and the Maldon Minstrel Award, both held at the annual Maldon Folk Festival, and live sound engineering for folk and acoustic venues. His services have also been sought out in creating other song writing contests.

With 17 years of professional and community radio experience in production and on air presentation, he has heard and analysed a vast amount of music. Amongst other things all this has resulted in a category win at the Australian Songwriters Association Awards in 1994 and more recent success in the annual song writing contest at the Peninsula Folk Club.

2010 Rebel Yelp Songwriter Award

Entry to the 2010 Rebel Yelp Songwriter Award is now open, so keep sending those entries in!
In the finest Australian Celtic tradition, the 2010 Rebel Yelp Award provides a platform for songwriters to stand up and speak out on issues near and dear to them. As you all know, it is not the responsibility of the songwriters to stomp on the cockroaches, but simply to turn on the kitchen light and watch the little critters scurry!

So if you have an ORIGINAL UNPUBLISHED REBEL song that you want to share with the world, contact the Blarney Bulletin at macca@blarneybulletin.com

PS: ?rebel? is defined broadly as an issue you feel passionately about, and ?unpublished? means not available commercially at the time of entry.
The 2010 Rebel Yelp Songwriter Award - Australia?s only songwriting award with a social conscience - is proudly sponsored by Pete Bird?s Yelp Studio, Trad & Now, and Cole Clark Guitars. The 2010 Award winner will receive a four-hour recording session with Yelp Studio and a year?s subscription to Australia?s leading folk & roots magazine, Trad & Now.

Rebel Songwriters Forum & Concert

There will be a Rebel Songwriters Forum and Concert at the National Folk Festival in Canberra over Easter. Songwriters wishing to participate in the forum should contact macca@blarneybulletin.com and I will keep you updated on details as they come to hand.

McCarthy’s Bar

This month, Paddy wonders at Tony Abbott’s new Climate Change policy.


“Make the Australian taxpayers pay for it ... now there?s a fine neo conservative approach if I?ve ever heard one. It?s like blaming the smokers for spreading lung cancer!”


Bless Me Father - 2010 Spud Poets Award winner

spud poets 009

Each year the Lake School of Celtic Music Song & Dance hosts the Spud Poets Award.

This year, fifteen poets competed, taking their audience at Crossley Hall on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

The 2010 Award was won by last year?s winner, Clare Milesi with her poem Bless Me Father - about a priest who dies while hearing a confession and consequent repercussions. Bless Me Father was judged unanimously a winner, and was clearly popular with the audience.

Clare Milesi received the $1000 Award prize for her effort - and is pictured here with the Award judges Bernadette Milton, Shane Howard & Kevin McCarthy.

Eleanor McEvoy @ the Emerald Lounge


Eleanor McEvoy, undoubtedly one of Ireland?s leading female singer songwriters, is appearing at the Emerald Lounge in the Clifton Hill Hotel on Wednesday March 10, from 8pm

Ticket price is $25 ($20 concession) and can be purchased at Clifton Hill Hotel or by calling the venue on (03) 9489 8705. Bill Jackson & The Acoustic Orchestra (trio) are the support act.

Besides a fine singer songwriter, Eleanor is a respected multi-instrumentalist in both traditional and contemporary music. She is best known for writing Only A Woman?s Heart, the title track of an anthology album that?s gone on to be the best selling recording in Irish History. Eleanor?s strong Irish accent adds to her renditions of her quirky, perceptive songs, ranging from love ballads and storytelling to left-of-centre takes on the vagaries of life. Another song Sophie about a girl suffering anorexia has become an internet phenomenon with over 1,500,000 hits on YouTube. And another song All I Have features in a recent series of the HBO cult series Six Feet Under.

You will find the Clifton Hill Hotel at 89 Queens Parade Clifton Hill

For more information on Eleanor McEvoy go to www.eleanormcevoy.com

Aslan DownUnder


Troubadour Music is proud to announce multi-platinum selling Irish group Aslan will tour Australia this April following a ten year absence.

Having toured here in 2000 to great success, this promises to be a triumphant return for one of Ireland?s most celebrated live acts.

The tour dates are:
April 22+23: Rosie O?Grady?s, Northbridge, Perth
April 24+25: The Clifton Hill Hotel, Clifton Hill, Melbourne
April 26: Scruffy Murphy?s Sydney (Meet&Greet + Short Acoustic Set)
April 28: Canberra Irish Club, Weston
April 30: The Forum, The Entertainment Quarter, Sydney
May 1: Brisbane - venue to be confirmed

Aslan took their name from the heroic lion in CS Lewis?s series of books chronicling the fictional land of Narnia, (Aslan is the Turkish for Lion). Aslan emerged from the working class areas of Finglas and Ballymun in Dublin?s Northside in the mid 1980s. They released a demo single, 'This Is' in the Spring of 1986, which was a huge hit and became the longest ever play-listed single on Ireland?s pop radio station, RTÉ 2fm.

Aslan is celebrating 28 years together and remain one of Ireland?s great live acts. Aslan comprises Christy Dignam (singer) , Billy McGuinness (rhythm guitarist, harmonica, keyboard), Joe Jewell (lead guitarist) , Alan Downey (drummer), and Rodney O?Brien (bass guitar - replacing Tony McGuinness).

For more information about Aslan go to: www.aslan.ie
and for more information about the tour: www.troubadour-music.com

Cruisin? with Braemar


The captain and crew are ship-shape, the cooks are cooking, and Braemar & friends are tuning up ... all that?s needed now is YOU .... and your friends!

Popular Melbourne-based group Braemar presents The Scottish Cruise on the Yarra on Sunday April 18. The Victoria Star function boat is boarding 12.30pm, departing Pier 9 (Opposite Etihad Stadium) at 1.00pm for four hours of Scottish music and a sumptuous two course lunch.

Braemar?s Scottish Cruise promises a smorgasbord of Scottish music by Colin MacLeod, Natasha Trinkle, Jamie MacKinnon, and of course Braemar ... and you will always be able to hear the music and enjoy the scenery inside and outside of the boat.

Cost is only $60.00 flat rate includes the cruise, the meal, and the entertainment (sorry, no concessions) No BYO - Drinks at Bar Prices.
For more details contact Eddie on 9408 4665 or 0419 333 850 or www.braemar.info

Maírtin O?Connor Band back in Australia


Since 2001, Maírtin O?Connor, Cathal Hayden, and Seamie O?Dowd have been building a formidable musical relationship under the guise of the Maírtin O?Connor Band.

Their rapport with each other and the audience is immediate and the band have successfully toured Ireland, Britain, Europe, and Australia, where they played as part of the Masters of Tradition concerts at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall in January 2010.

Individually they have built solid reputations as master musicians with astounding skill, diversity and virtuosity. Together they produce a vibrant and musically charged experience that redefines one?s concept of brilliance, verging on perfection.

Maírtin O?Connor Band Australian Tour:
March 3: The Clarendon Hotel Katoomba
March 4: Riverside Theatre Parramatta
March 5 & 6: WOMADelaide www.womadelaide.com.au
March 7 & 8: Port Fairy Folk Festival www.portfairyfolkfestival.com
March 9: The Courthouse Café Camperdown VIC
March 12 - 14: WOMAD New Plymouth NZ
March 16: Brunswick Music Festival
March 17: The Basement Sydney
March 18: Southern Cross Club Canberra
March 19: Queensland Irish Club Brisbane

The trio first played together in Sligo town in 2001 and have been evolving ever since. Maírtin is a spectacularly good accordionist and a very fine composer, a veteran of DeDannan, one of the main musical forces behind the Riverdance phenomena and in 1995 he became the first recipient of the Allied Irish Banks Traditional Musician of the Year award at a ceremony in his home town of Galway.
County Tyrone-born Cathal Hayden is a multiple All-Ireland Championship winner, who was in the fine group Arcady before he achieved world-wide recognition as one of the founder members of Four Men and a Dog.
Sligo-born guitarist Seamie O?Dowd toured the world with the excellent band Dervish.

For more information about the Maírtin O?Connor Band go to www.myspace.com/mairtinoconnorband

Alistair Hulett RIP

Alistair Hulett the ex Roaring Jack singer songwriter based in his native Scotland after 25 years in Australia, sadly passed away on January 28 . This is a message from his wife Fatima:

It is with overwhelming sadness I write to report the death of Alistair Hulett - singer, songwriter, international socialist, revolutionary, ecologist, community activist and my partner and best friend of 17 years.
Alistair died on Thursday evening, January 28 at 6:30pm at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. Many friends have been shocked by the severity and speed of his deterioration, none more so than myself.
Alistair became ill very suddenly on New Year?s Day and was hospitalised on January 5 with suspected food poisoning. Liver failure was later diagnosed and it was hoped that he could receive a liver transplant, but further investigation revealed a very aggressive form of cancer which had already spread from his liver to his lungs and stomach. Alistair died peacefully only days after the cancer was first detected.
I would like to thank, with all my heart, the hundreds of people who wrote letters, sent emails, cards and left telephone messages of support during his short illness. They were a huge comfort to myself and his family.
A memorial will also be held in Sydney organised by his family and friends in the next couple of months.
Alistair was a kind, gentle man who was committed to fighting for a better world - a world based on the principles of justice, equality, love and respect for all of humanity. The world was a better place for knowing him and is a sadder place for his loss. He leaves a great legacy in his music that will continue to bring inspiration to many who, like him, believed a better world was possible.

Find out more about Alistair Hulett at www.alistairhulett.com

Rowen Paterson RIP


this very sad message from The Borderers ... an announcement no parent ever wants to make:

Hi Friend Of The BordererS
Alex & I normally like to keep you posted of uplifting events and positive statements but this message to you is one that we thought we?d never have to do. Rowan ( our son ) committed suicide on Saturday January 23.
We?re all devastated! He was always a free spirit and had his own will but he was showing signs of maturing and following a career. All his family and friends miss him dearly.
Alex & I will not be performing for a while but we may hold a celebration of Rowan?s life concert sometime in the future.
Jim Paterson, Alex & Asia
The BordererS

I?m sure all Blarney Bulletin readers will have Jim, Alex & Asia in their thought and in their prayers at this time of sorrow

Top Half Folk Festival

The 40th Top Half Folk Festival will be held at Mary River Park on June 11-14.

This year?s Top Half Folk Festival will be held at the beautiful Mary River Park on the Arnhem Highway and will focus on 40 years of great music in the Top End of Australia. This year we are encouraging all who have been a part of the festivals to reform your bands and come back to show us some of the old and some of the new.

The Top Half Folk Festival is a low budget festival and we cannot support many artists, but we do have a small amount of funding to assist needy artists to attend this year with a focus on getting as many past artists as possible to return. We invite you to fill out the Expression of interest form, that will give us an indication of who can attend this year?s celebrations, what you would like to offer the festival and what funding assistance you will require. Please get your expression of interest back to us by February 30 to be considered for funding assistance.

For those who have never been to Mary River Park, it is situated on the Arnhem Highway approximately 1 hour from Darwin. The park has 26 cabins, a limited number of powered sites and unlimited unpowered sites on beautiful grassed areas. Meals will be available at the venue throughout the weekend or if you are camping you can cook your own. If you want to book a cabin or a powered site we recommend you book early as cabins are already being booked for the festival. Contact: www.maryriverpark.com.au phone 08 8978 8877 or fax 08 8978 8899 - and don?t forget to mention you are coming for the festival when booking.

Don?t miss this great opportunity to catch up with old friends, enjoy reminiscing, and encourage more people to attend the fabulous 2010 Top Half Folk Festival.

Keep an eye on the website for festival updates: www.topendfolkclub.org

Fleurieu Folk Festival - applications open

Performer applications for the 2010 Fleurieu Folk Festival are now open.

This year?s Festival will be held from October 22-24 at the picturesque town of Willunga, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, approx halfway between Adelaide and Victor Harbour. It?s a medium sized festival, so naturally the size of our program & budget is limited - please take that into account when lodging an application.
Information for applicants can be found on the Festival's website: www.fleurieufolkfestival.com.au - just follow the link to ?how to participate?.
The deadline for performer applications is April 30.
Peter Thornton - Festival Coordinator
08 83272797; 0407614990; admin@fleurieufolkfestival.com.au
PO Box 52 Seaford SA 5169

Joe Lynch in Concert


A message from Queensland singer, songwriter, poet, and 2008 Rebel Yelp Songwriter Award winner, Joe Lynch:

Ever since I did my little gig in Landsborough (the one you were at), I have been asked by lots of people on the Gold Coast to do one down there, so finally I bit the bullet and I booked ?the Basement? at the Gold Coast Arts Centre for the Sunday evening March 14 - three days before St Pat?s Day.
The Centre has a maximum capacity of 150 and it?s going to be called An Irish Evening with Joe Lynch.
Tickets will be available through the Arts Centre.

You can contact Joe on 07 5439 9556 or accuratediggings@hotmail.com

Stolen Instruments

A call for help from Steve McKenna in Ballarat:

My wife and l have had all our musical instruments stolen from our work address at 624 Drummond St South, Redan (Ballarat) on January 11.

The stolen instruments are:
BANJO: White Swallow tenor banjo, made of maple and mahogany.
Serial number: MHT 1139612. In hard case.

GUITAR: Ibanez steel-string guitar, in flight case (black with silver trimming, with yellow velvet interior)

BUTTON ACCORDION: Erica 2-row, G-C button accordion. Black/grey in colour.

Steve McKenna
03 5336 4570 (Work); 0409 535 205; stevemck58@hotmail.com

New MD at The National

Sebastian Flynn has been appointed Managing Director of the National Folk Festival.

He will take up his position on February 15, following four years as Director of the highly successful Queensland Multicultural Festival. Originally from Liverpool, England, with a background as a classically trained violinist, Sebastian has performed and recorded as a professional folk musician in Europe from 1980 -1995.

He became involved in production of world music events after immigrating to Australia in 1995. Sebastian worked for 5 years as Programming and Production Coordinator for Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre (BEMAC) from 2001-2006, before becoming Director of the Queensland Multicultural Festival in 2006.

Find out more about the National Folk Festival at www.folkfestival.asn.au



A message from Blarney Bulletin reader Jeff Cole of Buxton:

Even though I didn?t get to meet Prince William, he will be taking a part of me back to England - a picture of me in a book and a few of my close friends stories as well.
For those of you that reside here in Oz, there is a new book out called Firestorm, Black Saturday?s Tragedy. A comprehensive account of Australia?s worst natural disaster ever.
$49.95 at all your leading book stores and newsagents, money goes towards fire brigades effected by the fires.
Macca if you have any spare space on your next Blarney Bulletin, that would be great mate, been missing you at Beechworth!
Regards all
Jeff (Joffa) Cole
Buxton Fire Brigade.


I loved the song Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World but did not know the story.

Israel ?Iz? Kamakawiwo?ole (May 20, 1959 - June 26, 1997) was an Hawaiian musician who became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993 with his medley of Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World, which became Iz?s signature song.
Kamakawiwo?ole was nicknamed The Gentle Giant, and he was best known for his love of the land and of the people of Hawai?i. Through his consummate ukulele playing and incorporation of other idioms (such as jazz and reggae), Iz remains one of the major influences in Hawaiian music over the last 15 years.
Israel?s recording of Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World reached No#12 on Billboard?s Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of 31/1/04, possibly due to its use in the Adam Sandler film 50 First Dates, and the Brad Pitt film Meet Joe Black.
A recording of the same song by Iz was used in the closing scenes of the final episode of Life on Mars (TV Series), and also featured in the movie Finding Forrester. In 2002, the song was used to powerful effect in the closing scenes of Anthony Edwards' last appearance in ER as Dr. Mark Greene.
Throughout the later part of his life, Iz was obese and at one point carried 344 kg on his 6 feet 2 inches (1.9 m) frame. He endured several hospitalisations and died of weight-related respiratory illness on June 26, 1997 at the age of 38.
The Hawai?i State Flag flew at half-staff on July 10, 1997, the day of Iz's funeral. His koa wood coffin lay in state at the Capitol building in Honolulu, and he was the third person in Hawaiian history to be accorded this honour. Over 10,000 people attended his funeral. Thousands of fans gathered and cheered as his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at M?kua Beach on July 12, 1997.


This month?s joke - 86 year old mystery - comes from Pat Dillon of Junortoun, who will receive a magnificent bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey:

An 86-year-old man went along to his doctor for his quarterly check-up.

The doctor asked him how he was feeling, and the 86-year-old replied: ?Things are great Doc, I?ve never felt better .... I now have a 20 year-old bride who is pregnant with my child. What do you think about that??

The doctor considered his question for a minute and then began to tell a story: ?I have an older friend, much like you, who is an avid hunter and never misses a season.
One day he was setting off to go hunting and, in a bit of a hurry, he accidentally picked up his walking cane instead of his gun. As he neared a lake, he came across a very large male beaver sitting at the water's edge. The old man realised he?d left his gun at home and so he couldn?t shoot the magnificent creature. But of habit he raised his cane, aimed it at the animal as if it were his favourite hunting rifle and went: ?bang, bang?.
Miraculously, two shots rang out and the beaver fell over dead! Now, what do you think of that?? asked the doctor.

The 86-year-old said: ?Logic would strongly suggest that somebody else pumped a couple of rounds into that beaver?.

?My point exactly!? the doctor replied.


If you have a good joke and want to be a contender for a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey, simply email your joke and contact details (name, address & telephone number) to: macca@blarneybulletin.com   The jokes can be in text form, photos, graphics or online video (but not powerpoint presentations), or you can record your joke and send in an audio CD. 

Jameson, of course, is Australia’s finest Irish Whiskey - and that’s no joke! 


2010 Lake School review

We have received two reviews of the 2010 Lake School of Celtic Music Song & Dance held in Koroit in January. The first comes from Mitch Dillon:


Being my first time at the Lake School I wasn?t sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised by its relaxed atmosphere - everyone there seemed to be having fun all the time, right from the word go, and the same could be said for me. During the week it seemed we were always kept busy before, during and after lessons. With, among other things, jam sessions with friends you had only just met. My week was very tiring but fortunately I had time between lessons for a Nanna Nap. Being a guitar player I was very interested in learning different tunings which led me to the DADGAD class run by Tommy Carty. In the first of these lessons the basic major / minor chord progressions were learnt, and over the rest of the week the scales and little runs slowly built.

On the first day of lessons I was encouraged to sit in with the Maity Swallow Ceilidhe Band. At first I felt a little uncomfortable but over the week as my knowledge of the DADGAD structures in Irish tunes grew, I felt by the third rehearsal perfectly relaxed. In retrospect I believe the School improved not only my knowledge of guitar but of Celtic music in general. Being someone who hardly ever played Celtic music previously, The Lake School certainly has interested me greatly in it. I recommend this experience for anyone who is even slightly interested in Celtic music because by the end of the week you will be hooked ... just like me!

The second review comes from The Lake School artistic director Felix Meagher:

If its possible to say the weather was perfect - one might be inclined to say it was for Lake School number eleven in Koroit in January. Cool and cloudy days, with patches of bright blue in the sky as you looked over Tower Hill to the Southern Ocean, or across the dairy and spud farms to Killarney and Port Fairy. And when the sun did come out in the late afternoon, raising the temperature to a mild mid twenties, then a blessed breeze from the south west blew just gently enough to lift the froth off the pints of Guinness that were beginning to flow outside Micky Bourke?s Hotel.


In the evening the stars came out, but perhaps they didn?t quite shine as brightly as the dancers and the players and at the Illowa Hall which was the featured venue for the Tuesday night Ceildhe. Marie Brouder, the dance tutor at her first Lake School, had fifty or sixty strong dancing the Siege of Ennis and The Walls of Limerick, to a band of thirty or forty lead by the legendary Paddy Fitzgerald on the accordion. It was the Lake School?s first foray out to Illowa, and the locals voted with their feet and came out in force.

The Koroit Tower Hill Caravan park was the place to be during the week. A myriad of sessions, rehearsals and impromptu performances, while musicians in between classes strummed and relaxed in the shade of the exotic trees of the Koroit Botanical Gardens. For the seventeen strong Belfrage family, dinner was a show in itself. A line of tent shades, a collection of camp chairs, children sitting in a circle humming the tunes of the day and an impressive buffet of pastas, curries and salads ... a brief respite and coming together before joining the throng to rush off to the next session, ceildhe or concert.

Mary Bourke has likened Koroit during Lake School to Vienna. Music coming form every shop and residence and hordes of people hurrying around with violin cases, guitars and flutes. In place of the trucks of Koroit driving a load of bellowing milkers down a deserted streetscape in winter, the summer brings music and musicians and a colourful energy to ?the Stroit?. Gary Rose?s song The Trucks of Koroit has renamed Commercial Road ?the Stroit? and they were the most requested lyrics of the week.

An open day at Crossley Hall attracted about thirty people keen to be introduced to the Irish language by Lake School tutor Chris Mooney. Chris, also a first timer to Lake School - stepping in for Mossie Scanlon, noticed the energy and the youthful interest in the old language. Perhaps enough interest to drive regular local classes in Irish language and a weekend workshop schedule for July 2-4. The Youth Concert, later in the day at Crossley Hall attracted over a hundred people, and Teresa O?Brien reported that ?we raised enough from donations to make our first mortgage payment on the St Brigids Church and Hall?.


The new Lake School Art Exhibition featured the work of Brenda Grimshaw, who hung her very finely crafted copies of The Book of Kells at the Crater Gallery, and gave all a chance to mooch around, nibble on the cheese and drink the champagne on offer. New also this year were the harp, mandolin and banjo classes that played at the Grand Ceildhe, along with the usual fiddles, whistles, pipes, guitars, flutes and bodhrans.

A somewhat warmer day on Friday, the last day, saw a Tutors Concert, the launching of yet another amazing Paddy O'Neill Award band - this year called Shanachie, and an epic Songwriters Concert to ?finish us all off?. Those who weren?t quite finished off lounged around in directors chairs for another day before refreshing themselves, and cleaning out the effects of innumerable Guinness, in the waves of Eastern Beach or Potato Soup.

Record numbers came to the Lake School this year and they gloried in the beautiful music, the soulful singing, the energetic dancing, the congenial atmosphere and the warm friendships. Hopefully the weather will hold out for next year.

Port Adelaide?s Celtica Festival review


This review comes from Marguerite Campbell-Workman:

A parade of Celtic nations flags, led by the South Australian Pipes and Drums, heralded the opening of Port Adelaide?s Celtica Festival in December.

Wending its way through the Art at the Hart market stalls, the parade of costumed Celts each holding aloft their nation?s flag, followed the pipe band along the wharf to a site where the flags were placed to fly with pride throughout the festival.

This year there were three performance spaces and included the main Dockside stage, the Celtica acoustic stage at the end of the market promenade, and another in the Clan Room, providing a wide range of musical choices for the punters.

Now in its fourth year, the festival is located on the wharf with views across the Port Adelaide River and with the historic mill buildings looming as a backdrop, and is fast gaining a reputation as a premier event. An estimated 12,000 people attended the festival this year with many travelling from country South Australia and interstate. Celtica?s artistic director, Suzanne Laslett, said she has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from audience and performers, all keen to attend and be involved in future events.

As well as the performances by some of Australia?s leading Celtic musicians and dancers, the festival program included workshops, a huge visual arts component, including exhibitions by Irish, Welsh and Scottish artists as well as contemporary Celtic Australian artists, cultural stalls in the Clan Room, sessions and performances in the pubs and a Scottish ceilidh.

Colin workshop

The workshops are becoming an integral part of the festival and this year included Irish, Welsh and Cornish language, Scottish fiddle, bodhran, history of piping, Irish dance (set and step dancing), Welsh cooking, puppet-making workshops for children, Scottish ceilidh dance steps and a wide range of visual arts mediums. Visual artist, Andrew Smith, who was involved in the visual arts program, flew out from Wales especially for the festival and said he thoroughly enjoyed the whole Celtica experience.

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scottish poet, Robert Burns, Glaswegian Rosemary McKay, recited from Burns in the Clan Room.

The enthusiastic audience, many of whom returned on the second day, was very appreciative of the quality and variety of the music and dance. The main stage was MC?d by the stalwart Chief of the Port Adelaide Caledonian Society, Trevor Powell , while Kym Fullgrabe (chair of SA Folk Federation) and Robert Petchell (co-ordinator of Art at the Hart) looked after the other two performance areas.


This year?s performers included David Hyams and the Miles to Go Trio from Western Australia, Ricketty Bridge, Ced Le Meledo and Bric-a-Brac, Saoirse, Braemar and Colin MacLeod (all from Victoria) and a strong South Australian contingent - Jack Brennan and Kinsale, Creole Cowboyz, Gartloney Rats, Schroedinger?s Cat, Gurdy Girl, Adelaide Scottish Fiddle Club, An Ghillie Mor and the Border Celts, Bridgland Brothers Bluegrass, Rob McDade, The Dudleys, Siobhan Owen, SA Pipes and Drums, Scoil Rince Ni Cashel, Port Adelaide Caledonian Society Highland Dancers, Bygone Error, Sassy A?Capella Choir, Rum and Raspberry, Celtic Music Club and Nobody?s Fault but Mine Choir.

The workshops were conducted by Colin MacLeod, Geoff Jones, Terry Johnson, Veronica Calarco, Traff Mooney, Belinda Blesing, Paul Smith, the girls from Saoirse and Jean Lumsden and the Burnside Ceilidh Band.

As with every festival, an event of this calibre could not be orchestrated without the support of the sponsors (Port Partnership, City of Port Adelaide Enfield, Arts SA, Aussie Cider, 5EBI Ethnic Broadcasters, Port Community Arts Centre, Murray River Expeditions and all the local businesses who contributed) and of course the Celtica Festival committee and the band of volunteers. Thank you to everyone who helped make Celtica such a huge success.


?Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.?  - Martin Luther King Jr.

Save Live Music

From musician Tonchi McIntosh:

S.L.A.M. (Save Live Australia?s Music) is calling on Victoria?s music community to raise your voice and protest the plight of our local music scene!!

The recent closure of The Tote and the announcement of The Arthouse?s intention to do the same is causing increasing alarm amongst Victoria?s music scene and wider music community. These closures, a result of the destructive impact caused by Liquor Licensing Victoria?s decision to treat live music venues as high-risk, penalising them with higher fees and greater costs for required security, is now posing a greater threat to more of the states venues and in turn the livelihood of the local music community. In a reaction to the lack of response from the government to amend these regulations, S.L.A.M. (Save Live Australia?s Music) have announced a Public Rally in the city to be held on Tuesday 23rd February commencing at 4pm in the city. (proposed assembly point at the State Library - check website for the details).

S.L.A.M. is a collective of Victoria?s broader musical community who have joined forces to the have make their voice heard as local music becomes increasingly under threat due to these ill conceived Liquor Licensing Laws. S.L.A.M. are calling on musicians and music lovers from all genres, creeds and generations to unite together to Protest to Save Live Australia?s Music on the 34th anniversary of AC/DC?s iconic ?Long Way To The Top? clip being filmed on the same very route. Leading the procession will be the extraordinary Rockwiz Orchestra performing on the back of a truck AC/DC style with Lucky Luscombe, James Black and Mark Ferrie and everyone?s favourite host with the most Brian Nankervis leading the chant to save live music. Joined by some of the original troupe of bag pipe players who joined AC/DC and be filmed by Paul Dane who shot the legendary clip back in 1976, this historic event aims to make the Government to hear our cry to save live music from the clutches of Victoria?s draconian Liquor Licensing Laws. Our aim is to de-link the high risk conditions and need for security on all liquor licenses for venues that play live and amplified music and push for these to be given fairer consideration. Live music venues are not high risk and we have asked that Victorian community join in a peaceful protest!

So bring your band, your fans, your friends and family and join this protest of a lifetime. To register your band or become a volunteer check out the S.L.A.M. website: www.slamrally.org

Save Our Music, Save Our Community?Save Live Australia?s Music S.L.A.M.

For further details please contact: Mishell Vreman : 041 226 2766 mishell@shock.com.au

Vindaloo Against Violence


From fiddler Sandy Blake:

Protest against racially motivated violence in Melbourne by dining at your local Indian restaurant on Wednesday February 24.

I wanted to find a way to show support for the Indian community and signal that I will not turn a blind eye to violence in our city. This violence threatens all Melbournians sense of safety and pride in their home. I want the Melbourne Indian community - and all immigrant communities - to know that they are welcome and entitled to feel safe here.

How cool would it be if Melbourne displayed a show of force by all going out and eating Indian on February 24, to embrace and show solidarity with our local Indian community?

Let?s do it!

Register your attendance and get more details at http://vindalooagainstviolence.wordpress.com


The events listed below have specifically invited the Australian Celtic Community to come along and enjoy themselves.

The ?not so? Quiet Man
If it is entertainment you are after then the Quiet Man is a must.
Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights from 9pm you can see the best of Melbourne's contemporary Celtic acts. Irish button accordion master Joe Fitzgerald leads the trad music session each Sunday afternoon - from 5.30pm - with Pat Mckernan in the front bar from 9pm - the perfect way to finish off your weekend.
Monday is Set Dancing night, from 8pm.
If it?s good food you desire then you wont be disappointed. There is a great choice on the menu and extended dining hours (to 10pm) on Friday & Saturday nights. Bookings essential.
It?s the warm and friendly atmosphere that makes The Quiet Man Irish pub the place to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.
For more information about what's on at the Quiet Man, 271 Racecourse Road Flemington, phone (03) 9376 6232, email info@thequietman.com.au or log onto www.thequietman.com.au 

Gymanfa Ganu
The Metropolitan Male Choir of South Australia will be holding their "Gymanfa Ganu", a Welsh Hymn Festival for St David's Day, on Sunday February 28 at Elder Hall Adelaide. The concert begins at 2.00 pm, and tickets, costing $10 each, will be available at the door.
For more information go to www.mmcsa.org

2010 Echuca Moama Celtic Festival
The 2010 Echuca Moama Celtic Festival will be held on the banks of the Mighty Murray River on March 7 and March 12-14. There will be Celtic bands, concerts, pipe bands, dancers, Gathering of the Clans dinner, Celtic heritage workshops, fine food & wines, Celtic religious service, and a spiritual pilgrimage along the Murray. The twin cities of Echuca & Moama are the paddle steamer capital of Australia.
For all you need to know about the 2010 Echuca Moama Celtic Festival go to www.celticfestival.com.au email info@celticfestival.com.au or call 0400 563 399

Welcome Back Cousin Jack
The Cornish Association of Victoria will run a "Welcome Back Cousin Jack" Festival at Eaglehawk (Bendigo) in March 18-21. There will be family history, displays, language class, heritage lectures, Bardic ceremony, Cornish dance class, street procession, festival dinner, and Cornish church service. This event will be part of the Dahlia and Arts Festival. So come along and celebrate your Cornish heritage.
For further information call (03) 98772968 or go to http://home.vicnet.net.au/~caov

Lake Bolac Eel Festival
The 2010 Lake Bolac Eel Festival will be held on the banks of Lake Bolac in Western Victoria on Saturday March 27. This family friendly music and art festival highlights the environment and celebrates indigenous culture and dance. The day commences at 11am with the Environmental Forum ?Brolgas and wetlands?, then there?s live music from the Festival stage from 1pm with Archie Roach, Neil Murray, Rory Faithfield, Loren, The Stiff Gins, Luke Watt, and Atlantis Lights. The Connies, Nick the magician, cartoonist MBJ, workshops & climbing wall will add to the informative displays, craft and produce stalls and a selection of healthy food to make for an enjoyable day out. The Twilight Celebration ?Brolga Dreaming? will feature the premiere performance of Anne Norman?s Brolga Suite for shakuhachi accompanied by violin, cello, didgeridoo and community choir, with giant Brolga puppets, Indigenous story telling and dancing. The Festival Art Exhibition will open on Friday evening, and entries are invited for the Recycled Sculpture competition with the theme ?Wetlands?
$50 family, $25 adult, $12 U/18, Free U/12
BYO festival chairs. Camping is available on the foreshore
For more information go to www.eelfestival.org.au or call (03) 5350 2204

you can listen to Neil Murray sing Where My People Go on the Blarney Podcast. Neil wrote the song for the first Eel Festival

Tullamore Irish Festival
The 7th annual Tullamore Irish festival will enliven the Central West NSW village from the 1st to 4th of April 2010. Tullamore will come alive with the spirited sounds of Irish bands, the lilting strains of Irish singers and the energy of Irish dancing. There will be Irish films, an ecumenical gathering, a Celtic Campfire Concert, poetry recital, a Street Parade, Irish food and drinks, Irish games and competitions, Irish hurdles, a traditional Irish Hooley, wearing of the green, and dare to ride the Irish bike!
Featured entertainers are Jimmy Moore and Claddagh, Eileen McCann and Maria Forde.
Entry is only $20 for adults and $5 for under 18, with no charge to toddlers. The showground offers camping sites with amenities at reasonable prices.
For further information log on to www.tullamoreinc.com.au/irishfestival.php

Man From Snowy River Bush Festival
The 2010 Man from Snowy River Bush Festival on April 8-11 is held in Corryong, Victoria in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains halfway between Melbourne and Sydney. It?s a celebration of bush folklore, skills and traditions based around the icon Jack Riley and all he represented. It?s a unique bush gathering of mountain riders, poets, artists and lovers of the Australian High Country and pioneering spirit. The program includes The Man from Snowy River Challenge, Art and Photography Exhibition, Bush Poetry and Music, The Re Enactment of Banjo's famous poem, Aussie Bush Idol, and Ute Muster. It?s the perfect stopover on your way home from the National Folk Festival over Easter.
For all you need to know about the Man From Snowy River Bush Festival, go to www.manfromsnowyriverbushfestival.com.au

2010 International School of Scottish Fiddle
The 7th annual Southern Hemisphere International School of Scottish Fiddle is on April 11-18, 2010 in Camp Kaitoke, Upper Hutt, New Zealand.
For more info go to www.shissf.com or contact co-director Duncan Smith in Melbourne on (03) 9756 7366 or email info@shissf.com

Koroit Irish Festival
The 2010 Koroit Irish Festival will be help on Friday April 30 and Saturday May 1.
The village of Koroit is located in Australia?s Celtic heartland in western Victoria, and home to Micky Bourke?s Pub and the annual Lake School of Celtic Music Song & Dance. So mark the date in your calendar today and keep an eye on the festival website for program and ticketing details:
www.koroitirishfestival.com.au or phone Chas Cleland on 03 5565 9355

O?Mahony Clan Get Together
The O?Mahony Clan are gathering at the Geelong RSL in Victoria on Saturday May 8. All Mahonys and anyone else interested can contact Greg Mahony at mahonygreg@yahoo.com.au


The Session lies at the very heart of Celtic culture - a place to gather, to listen, to play music, to sing and to dance, to chat and to enjoy.  So if you know of any in your area, please let me know! 

Lake School Sessions


Of course the Lake School of Celtic Music Song & Dance held in Koroit in January is renowned for its fine sessions that run day and night. With Paddy Fitzgerald as session master, Mark McDonnell running slow sessions, and the Lake School Ceilidh Band in the thick of it, the 2010 Lake School lived up to it?s awesome reputation.

And on the Blarney Podcast, you can listen to the Ade Kelly Band play the Drunken Landlady set from their CD Ace of Hearts. Ade is the Bodhran tutor at the Lake School and involved with the Paddy O?Neill Award band.

Melbourne?s Slow Sessions

From Mark McDonnell:
Greeting Everyone,
I have just launched our new slow session website (http://irishsession.net). It is filled with new information so check it out.
Our first formal session of 2010 will be held at Father Flannagan?s Irish Pub in Collingwood on Tuesday February 2. It will be a Beginner Slow Session, and the sessions will run every Tuesday after that.
We are looking forward to another great year of playing Irish music. I hope to see you at one of our sessions.

Daylesford Open Mic

From Vanessa Craven:
Hi Everyone,
The New Year is upon us and so are the monthly Open Mic nights at the Daylesford Inn - 158 Ballan Road Daylesford. Please put February 19 in your diaries as the first one for 2010.
Everyone gets three songs per set with time to do more if time permits. Original songs, poems, covers and instrumentals are all welcome.
The Feature Act for the night gets 6 songs. If you?d like to be a Feature Act in future Open Mic nights, please give me a buzz or email me. First in best dressed.
The venue is very special. It?s warm and cosy, fully licensed and reasonable food available from $10. You won?t be disappointed!
So come along and share your music and your talents and meet other like minded souls!
Looking forward to catching up with many of you then.
If you have queries please contact me on vanessa.craven@mmnet.com.au or call 0408 994 393.

Campfire Music

Musicians, singers, songwriters & lovers of campfire music, start the weekend on a musical note with a Campfire Music night - a Territory-style acoustic jam session held around the campfire at the Darwin North RSL on the 1st Friday of the month - from 7pm.
The NEXT Campfire Music night is on Friday March 5
Come along and sit yourself down around the campfire - share your music, sing along, and tell your stories the Territory way in a supportive "campfire" environment. You will find the Darwin North RSL on Batten Road Marrara (off Amy Johnson Avenue). Good, cheap meals are available and if you tire of the music, you can always try your hand at barefoot bowls!
For more info contact Kevin macca@blarneybulletin.com

Melbourne-based fiddle teacher Sean Kenan sent in this link to the very talented Irish band, Lunasa, playing Boy in the Boat:


Here’s a sample of the recent feedback from Blarney readers/listeners: 

From: Mary Hickey
Date: 11 January 2010 3:35:29 PM

The Sydney St Patrick's Day Committee is delighted to announce the 2010 Irish Bachelor of the Year Awards will take place on Saturday 20th February 2010, at the Four Seasons Hotel Grand Ballroom, George St, Sydney.
The Gala dinner will include a sumptuous sit down three-course meal and drinks package to midnight for 400 guests, commencing with a welcome reception at 6.30pm. The evening will include entertainment, fund-raising raffles, the Bachelor finalist interviews and talent section, culminating with our winning Irish Bachelor of the Year 2010 being announced by our judges. The night will continue with music and dancing until 1am (cash bar only from midnight - 1am.)
Tickets available NOW, priced $165 per person, available individually or for tables of 10. Tickets are tax deductible as the event is a fundraiser for a non-profit organisation (the Sydney St Patrick's Day Parade and Family Day) The Four Seasons Hotel is offering a special rate for guests of the Irish Bachelor of the Year on the night of 20th February, please quote Bachelor of the Year when booking to avail of a 15% discount to standard rates.
Mary Hickey
Marketing Manager
Sydney St Patrick?s Day Parade and Family Day
Email: media@stpatricksday.org.au
Tel: 0414 652 442

From: Laura Watson
Subject: SA Rose of Tralee
Date: 19 January 2010 8:26:48 AM

Hi, I am the co-ordinator of the South Australian Rose of Tralee. We are about to launch our quest for 2010 and are looking for the next representative for South Australia. The lucky young lady will win an all expenses paid trip to Ireland and the experience of a LIFETIME!. I was wondering if you would be able to put a note about this in your next newsletter with our contact email address (sarosequest@yahoo.com.au) so that any interested girls can get in touch with us.
Thank you!

From: Dave Letch
Subject: Hi Macca...
Date: 11 January 2010 2:23:10 PM

Really been enjoying getting the Blarney Bulletin, but I'm going away for a time and won't be accessing email. To save you trouble please take me off the list, but feel free to stalk me in around 6 months time!

From: Angela Little
Subject: RE: your November Blarney Bulletin & Podcast is now online
Date: 6 January 2010 7:09:37 AM

Hi Kevin,
I get your blarney bulletins via email thanks to my wonderful friend and collaborator on the film ?Australia?, Felix Meagher.
I have been working on a new live musical and visual show called CELTIC FIRE, which features an epic mix of modern and traditional Celtic music to re-create the mythical stories of the ancient Celts.
Thanks so much for keeping people up to date with all things Celtic!
Best wishes,

From: Val Noone
Subject: Re: your November Blarney Bulletin & Podcast is now online
Date: 2 January 2010 9:21:03 AM

Dear Kevin and Kerry
all the best for 2010
what a contribution Liam Clancy (and co) made

From: Dean Bird
Subject: Re: Rebel Yelp Songwriter Award
Date: 22 December 2009 9:26:50 AM

Hi Kev and thanks for the info.
Wishing you good health and and all the best for Christmas and a bright 2010

From: Sean McGrade
Subject: Christmas Wishes
Date: 23 December 2009 9:44:29 PM

Many thanks Kevin
Greetings From Ireland.
Hope you and the family had a nice Christmas and I wish you all that?s good in 2010
Sean McGrade,
Purple Heather Promotions,
8 Forthill Road,
Co. Fermanagh BT74 6AW.

From: Kay & Ron Harbeck
Subject: Re: Relieved it's Christmas
Date: 21 December 2009 7:23:44 PM

merry christmas Kevin, safe trip to vic and enjoy Koroit ,
hope to see you in 2010
cheers kay and ron

From: Florence McClenaghan
Subject: Change of email address
Date: 19 December 2009 9:04:14 AM

Hi Kevin
Thanks for another year of The Blarney Bulletin. Really enjoy it!
Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2010.
Florence McClenaghan

From: Tony King
Subject: Re: 2009 Rebel Yelp Songwriter Award
Date: 16 December 2009 8:54:57 AM

Thanks Kevin, I feel honoured to have been amongst the finalists.
It?s a great website and community you are fostering.
All the best

From: Tim Shirley
Subject: Sessions or similar in NE Victoria
Date: 16 December 2009 10:22:05 AM

Hi all,
I'm an Irish flute player (I mean, a player of Irish music on a flute) and I recently moved to Benalla in NE Victoria.
Does anyone know of sessions or other musicians in the area? Benalla, Wangaratta, Shepparton, Euroa, Beechworth, etc etc...
Many thanks



The lucky winners of the two copies of the Liminality CD, Angels We Have Heard, are Jim O?Mara of Frankston and John Worcester of Ferntree Gully.

Of course you can still enjoy your own copy of this great CD - just go out and buy one or three

February 23

Save Live Australia?s Music (SLAM) rally in Melbourne CBD

February 24

Vindaloo Against Violence

February 24 - March 23

Brian Kennedy Australian tour

February 26 - March 21

Eleanor McEvoy?s Australian tour - details in Blarney Bulletin

February 28

Gymanfa Ganu a Welsh Hymn Festival @ Elder Hall Adelaide
For more information go to www.mmcsa.org

February 28

Sydney Road Sreet Party

March 3

An Irish Evening with Joe Lynch at The Basement, Gold Coast Arts Centre
07 5439 9556 or accuratediggings@hotmail.com

March 3-19

Maírtin O?Connor Band Australian Tour - details in Blarney Bulletin

March 4-19

Saw Doctors Australian tour - details in Blarney Bulletin

March 5

Campfire Music @ Darwin North RSL

March 5-8

Port Fairy Folk Festival

March 7 & March 12-14

Echuca Moama Celtic Festival
www.celticfestival.com.au info@celticfestival.com.au or 0400 563 399

March 10

Eleanor McEvoy @ Emerald Lounge Clifton Hill Hotel
tickets at Clifton Hill Hotel or (03) 9489 8705

March 11-21

Brunswick Music Festival in Melbourne

March 18-21

Welcome Back Cousin Jack Cornish Festival in Eaglehawk (Bendigo)
(03) 98772968 or http://home.vicnet.net.au/~caov

March 27

Lake Bolac Eel Festival
www.eelfestival.org.au or (03) 5350 2204

April 1-4

Tullamore Irish Festival

April 1-5

National Folk Festival Exhibition Park Canberra

April 1-5

Rebel Songwriters Forum & Concert at National Folk Festival Canberra
macca@blarneybulletin.com www.folkfestival.asn.au

April 8-11

Man From Snowy River Bush Festival Corryong

April 11-18

2010 International School of Scottish Fiddle Camp Kaitoke, Upper Hutt, NZ
www.shissf.com (03) 9756 7366 or info@shissf.com

April 18

Braemar?s Scottish Cruise on the River Yarra
Eddie on 9408 4665 or 0419 333 850 or www.braemar.info

April 22 - May 1

Aslan tour Australia - details in Blarney Bulletin

April 30 - May 1

Koroit Irish Festival
www.koroitirishfestival.com.au or phone Chas Cleland on 03 5565 9355

May 8

Mahony Clan gathering @ Geelong RSL

June 11-14

Top Half Folk Festival Mary River Park