The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

What's Happening

March 10, 2011

Storm is brewing | High-energy Celtic rockers will perform at Pasquerilla arts center



A storm of Celtic music with a rollicking twist has been forecasted to blow in.

Celtic rockers Gaelic Storm will bring its Shamboozle Tour to the area at 7:30 p.m. March 19 at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Richland Township.

The high-energy band first brought its show to the arts center in October 2005.

The stop will highlight the group’s latest CD, “Cabbage,” released last year.

“Cabbage” brings influences of rock, bluegrass, Jamaican, African and Middle Eastern music into the band’s rock-tinged Celtic music.

Guitarist and lead vocalist Steve Twigger of Coventry, England, is the primary songwriter for the group and produced “Cabbage” along with percussionist Ryan Lacey of Pasadena, Calif.

“I wrote most of it and co-wrote some with Patrick Murphy,” Twigger said during a telephone interview. “I also co-wrote with Steve Wehmeyer, one of the original members.”

Murphy, of Cork, Ireland, is the band’s lead singer, accordion player, resident Irishman and the generally recognizable face of the band.

His storytelling is the inspiration for many of the group’s songs.

“Raised on Black and Tans,” one of the songs from “Cabbage,” is about Irish-Americans who have never been to Ireland, but feel it’s in their blood.

It has been described as a ringing Celtic rock anthem and a toast to the band’s rabid Irish-American fan base.

“ ‘Raised on Black and Tans’ is a great audience sing-along,” Twigger said. “The audience also enjoys ‘Red Hair, Green Eyes’ and our cover of Paul Simon’s ‘Cecelia.’ ”

The concert also should include older favorites such as “Johnny Tarr,” “Courtin’ in the Kitchen,” “Johnny Jump Up” and “Nancy Whiskey.”

Twigger said the local concert will be an eclectic mix of traditional Celtic, African drum and folk, pop and rock tunes and will include a variety of acoustic instruments.

“The audience might break out in dancing here and there,” he said. 

“We are first and foremost a live band. We got together to play music and to enjoy ourselves and enjoy being out with the audience.

“We made ourselves a promise that the day we don’t enjoy it anymore, we stop playing,” Twigger said.

Gaelic Storm had its start in 1995, playing monthly shows for friends at  O’Brien’s Tavern in Santa Monica, Calif.

The band’s popularity skyrocketed when it appeared as the Celtic party band in ship’s steerage in James Cameron’s “Titanic.”

Since then, Gaelic Storm has collected a large, loyal and growing following.

Other band members are Peter Purvis on Highland bagpipes, uilleann pipes, whistle and vocals, and Jessie Burns on fiddle and vocals.

Onstage

What: Gaelic Storm Shamboozle Tour.

Where: Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Richland Township.

When: 7:30 p.m. March 19.

Tickets: $33 and $35.

Information: 269-7200, (800) 846-2787 or www.upjarts.org.

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