From the anecdotal sigtings of glittering green shamrock decorations sprouting up on many of the houses in my neighborhood (which I’ve now dubbed “Little Dublin”), I’ve deduced that Cape Bretoners look forward to St. Patrick’s Day with great anticipation. While this Irish national holiday (and official day off in Newfoundland and Labrador) is stereotypically celebrated with great deal of libation and off tune versions of “Goodnight Irene”, a quick scan of our events calendar reveals a couple of options to celebrate with the young Irish in your life prior to heading out to the nearest watering hole. The Dominion Arena is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Family Skate at 4pm. As part of the CBRM Winterfest, and Ski Ben Eoin will present a moonlight snowshoe jaunt prior to their St Paddy’s day party in their “Broken Buckle” pub.
Musical entertainment on the 17th can be found starting at 4pm with Buddy MacDonald, Daron Dunevan, Will’s Addiction, Bobby Currie and more at Governor’s Pub. Andrew Doyle and Cory Keeping will be at the Crown and Moose at 6pm. At 8pm catch Island Folk at the Steel City in Sydney and Crowdis Bridge at the Quality Inn. The Pub Boys will perform twice beginning at the Main Event in Glace Bay at 5:30pm and later at Daniel’s Lounge in Sydney at 10pm. The band returns on Saturday March 19th at the Riverdale Community Centre in Lower River Inhabitants with a St. Patrick’s Dance from 9-1.
A particular treat for lovers of Irish music will be a pair of performances by one of the current defining acts in modern Irish folk music – The Makem & Spain Brothers. The Makem Brothers – Shane, Conor and Rory – continue the lineage of one of Irish music’s dynasties, begun by their grandmother Sarah Makem, who was revered for her store of traditional Irish songs, and father Tommy Makem who is considered an icon who helped to bring Irish music into the international spotlight. The Spain Brothers, too, learned Irish songs at their father’s knee. Mickey’s rich, baritone voice and Liam’s mastery of stringed instruments quickly found a home when the Makems met the Spains and the brothers realized the power of their combined talents.
The band has honed their craft over nearly two decades of international performances and are now one of the truly stalwart, road-tested Irish vocal groups. They have played before millions of people from Canada to Texas, from California to the Caribbean and over to Ireland, highlighting national PBS specials and popular Irish talk shows along the way. The band brings a great stage presence, five male vocals, using precise three-part harmonies, and a host of various instruments to their performances.
The Makem and Spain Brothers will perform at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on Friday, March 18.
On Saturday, March 19, in support of the Kinsmen Club of Sydney’s Ann Terry Curl for Cancer, the band will perform at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre with East Coast stalwarts Evans & Doherty. Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty have been an integral part of the East Coast music scene for twenty-nine years with performances featuring a lively blend of traditional, original and contemporary songs with a liberal sprinkling of stories and humour.