Monday, April 15, 2024
HomeCommunity'Men of Worth' Returning for Irish and Scottish Folk Concert

‘Men of Worth’ Returning for Irish and Scottish Folk Concert

menofworthtitleThe Lassen County Arts Council will be bringing the folk music of Scotland’s outer islands and Ireland’s west to the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Susanville with a return performance of ‘Men of Worth,’ on September 19th.

Men of Worth’s tunes and songs are so authentic, so closely connected to their heritage, that Scotsman Donnie Macdonald sings some in his native Gaelic; while Irishman James Keigher includes time-polished pieces saved from the oral traditions of his native County Mayo.

“Our music has its history in the crofting life of my Hebridean homeland and James’ western Ireland. It was a part of the fabric of everyday life and it came to America with the immigrants a century ago”, explains Macdonald. “Now, we’re playing it again, to audiences for whom it could only be a generational memory.”

“For us, the irony is we were brought up in Scotland and Ireland, and as boys we listened most eagerly to the music of America, and not especially to the music of own areas. On our radios, we heard Hank Williams Sr. and Jim Reeves. We wanted to see the Arkansas River, not Loch Lomond, and Reeves’ hometown of Carthage, in east Texas, had more romance for me than did the Isle of Lewis.”

“Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Crosby, Stills and Nash influenced me greatly”, admits Keigher, who as a teen was already performing his own songs in the Irish pubs where he learned his wit and humor. “But now I have returned to my own musical bloodlines, too.”

The pair could not escape the emotion and tradition of their homeland song heritage. “We could not grow away from those sounds”, said Macdonald, “so we have preserved them as accurately and authentically as we can, in our performances.”

“We entertain people with the real music of our regions. We have an ancient yet fresh musical story to tell.”

Scotsman Donnie Macdonald and Irishman James Keigher from Men of Worth
Scotsman Donnie Macdonald and Irishman James Keigher from Men of Worth

Sometimes that music comes from prosaic sources – Keigher wrote one song after overhearing two old ladies gossiping about him in a village market – and sometimes from traditional music passed down the generations. Several of Macdonald’s songs come from his mother’s own poetry and from Hebridean crofters’ airs.

The musicians, who met in California in 1985, each play a handful of instruments, among them mandolin, guitar, mandocello, banjo, concertina and bodhran (a handheld drum).

They have played concerts across the US, from Alaska to Texas. They also take guided tours to their own musical roots: leading folk fans to the western isles of Scotland and to Ireland’s heartland to hear the real music of the isles.

If you can’t make that journey yourself, you can hear the music when these talented troubadours bring it to you on Friday, September 19th at 7:00p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and are available for purchase at Margie’s Book Nook and the Lassen County Arts Council Gallery. For more information call 257-5222.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
few clouds
61 ° F
62.4 °
56.8 °
46 %
20 %
61 °
61 °
66 °
66 °
64 °
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

- Advertisement -