Tuning in to Roots Music, Irish Style
By Teresa O’Dea Hein
October 9, 2013
The Comhaltas Echoes of Erin Tour in North America.
Lucky residents of the Northeast and Midwest now have the chance to enjoy the best of Irish music, song and dance because the 41st Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Echoes of Erin tour of North America is underway.
On Tuesday, October 8, the 13-member troupe, which includes many present and past All-Ireland champions, launched Echoes of Erin before an enthusiastic audience at the Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk & Queens in Mineola, N.Y.
The high-kicking, high-energy dancers, including Kerry’s Tomás Ó’Sé and Seán Hanafin, were particular stand-outs.
Another audience favorite was Noel Battle from Westmeath who played first one, then another mouth organ on the same set of tunes without missing a beat.
Many of the tour participants are multi-talented, entrancing the audience with their skills on a variety of instruments, as well as in song and dance. For example, three gifted concertina players were featured on stage, including Róisín Broderick from Galway, Cork’s Aisling Vaughan and Christine Mulcahy, from west Limerick. Broderick also sang beautifully and played the fiddle expertly while Vaughan and Mulcahy dazzled with dance. Longford’s Elaine Reilly masterfully played both the banjo and mandolin while Dublin’s Emer Toale alternated elegantly on the harp and keyboard.
And in the true spirit of show business, accordionist Joseph Keane of Laois demonstrated that “the show must go on,” despite the fact that he badly sprained his ankle and is on crutches. It’s “the luck of the Irish,” pointed out Tour Manager Martin Murphy, “that Keane isn’t one of the four dancers.”
Even though the group is composed primarily of young adults, they play together in an easy, well synchronized style because this is their third tour, building on successful sweeps of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Sponsored by Tourism Ireland, Echoes of Erin now heads to Lincroft, N.J.; Fairfield, Conn.; Waltham, Mass.; Rome, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; St. Louis; Chicago and Indianapolis. For more details, click here to visit the Echoes of Erin website.