Irish songs will ring out all weekend

Scott Mervis – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – March 14, 2018

Bas­tard Bearded Ir­ish­men, Pittsburgh’s premier St. Patrick’s Day attraction, will raise a toast on Satur­day with their first album in three years, “Drinkin’ to the Dead.”

The Celtic punk band will rock Mar­ket Square af­ter the St. Patrick’s Day Pa­rade and the Rex Theater on the South Side later in the eve­ning.

If you’re looking for something more subdued or more traditional, there are lots of choices:


The Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance perform in the middle of the Boulevard of the Allies during the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Pittsburgh Saturday, March 11, 2017.

The Dub­lin­ers did it. Thin Lizzy did it. Me­tal­lica did it and won a Grammy.

That doesn’t stop Keith Har­kin from work­ing through his own revved-up acous­tic ver­sion of “Whis­key in the Jar,” which can be found on his new live al­bum, “In the Round.”

The 31-year-old na­tive of Derry, North­ern Ire­land, who plays Bri­co­lage Theater on Fri­day, made his name as a mem­ber of the Ir­ish su­per­group Celtic Thun­der from 2007 through 2016.

In 2012, Grammy-win­ning pro­ducer David Foster signed him to Verve Records for his de­but solo al­bum, which hit No. 1 on the World Mu­sic Chart. He fol­lowed that with “On Mercy Street” in 2015 and the hol­i­day al­bum, “Nol­laig,” a year later. His lat­est ef­fort is the live un­plugged “In the Round,” recorded and filmed last sum­mer at Full Cir­cle in his new home base of Ven­ice Beach, Calif.

“I was with Celtic Thun­der for a great 10 years, but I never got to ac­tu­ally show what I do best,” he said in a state­ment. “A lot of peo­ple didn’t know I could even play three chords on gui­tar, much less hold a whole con­cert to­gether on my own. They didn’t know I wrote my own songs. So, the time fi­nally came for me to show that side of me.”

He plays Bri­co­lage at 937 Lib­erty Ave., Down­town, at 7 p.m. Tick­ets: $35-$55; https://​keithhar­kin.tick­


If it’s St. Patrick’s Day, Guar­an­teed Ir­ish is guar­an­teed to be play­ing in mul­ti­ple places.

This year is dif­fer­ent for the Ir­ish bal­la­deers as long­time co-leader Paddy Folan will be joined by a new mem­ber, Jimmy Lamb, with the de­par­ture of Bruce Fo­ley.

“Bruce moved to New York three years ago,” Mr. Folan says. “But he still comes back oc­ca­sion­ally for mu­sic jobs. This year, be­cause the pa­rade falls on the same day as St. Patrick’s Day, he is stay­ing in New York. He played with us for over 30 years.”

Guar­an­teed Ir­ish per­forms at 6 p.m. Fri­day at Mt. Leb­a­non Li­brary with sto­ry­teller Alan Irvine; im­me­di­ately af­ter the pa­rade at Cafe Fifth, 818 Fifth Ave., Down­town, un­til about 4 p.m.; and from 7:30 till mid­night at Mul­laney’s Harp and Fid­dle, Strip. In­for­ma­tion: http://​www.guar­an­tee­d­


Pitts­burgh folk fa­vor­ite Mark Dignam, who came here from his na­tive Ire­land in 2001, will do his part to steer St. Patrick’s Day away from the green beer.

He per­forms his sixth an­nual Calm Be­fore the Storm show at Club Cafe, South Side, on Fri­day, prom­is­ing Ir­ish songs and po­etry in a con­cert set­ting show­cas­ing “the breadth of the cul­ture of the Emer­ald Isle.”

He’s joined by Nathan Zoob (Wreck Loose), Jess Hoh­man, Ben Shan­non, Jo­anna Lowe, Guy Russo, Les­lie Ann McIl­roy, Gary Mu­sisko, Mark Hoh­man (Brewer’s Row).

It be­gins at 8 p.m. Tick­ets are $15; club­cafe­


River City Brass per­forms its fifth an­nual Celtic Hur­ri­cane show, at Car­ne­gie Mu­sic Hall in Oak­land, with mu­sic from “River­dance,” “Lord of the Dance” and more played with brass band, pipes and drums. Thurs­day at 7:30 p.m. $21-$41; riv­er­city­

Other St. Patrick’s Day high­lights:


Mul­laney’s Harp & Fid­dle, Strip: Pro­duc­tion of “Fin­negan’s Wake” with Don­nie Ir­ish (8 p.m.). 412-642-6622; harpand­fid­

Clad­dagh Ir­ish Pub, SouthSide Works: Tul­ly­cavy (6 p.m.). 412-381-4800; claddaghirish­​pitts­burgh.

So­er­gel Or­chards, 2573 Brandt School Road, Frank­lin Park: Ab­bots Cross (7 p.m.). 724-935-1743;­er­


Mul­laney’s Harp & Fid­dle, Strip: John Wi­atrak (5:30 p.m.); Johnny Gal­la­gher (9 p.m.). 412-642-6622; harpand­fid­

Clad­dagh Ir­ish Pub, SouthSide Works: Ir­ish Pre­tend­ers (6 p.m.); The Wild Geese (9 p.m.). 412-381-4800; clad­daghirish­​pitts­burgh.


Mul­laney’s Harp & Fid­dle, Strip: In­side: Mark Guiser (noon); Whis­key Limer­ick (4 p.m.); Skip­per John­son Band (8 p.m.). In the tent: Don­nie Ir­ish Band (1 p.m.); Tul­ly­cavy (5 p.m.); Guar­an­teed Ir­ish (7:15 p.m.).

Clad­dagh Ir­ish Pub, SouthSide Works: The an­nual St. Bal­drick’s Grow It, Shave It, Beat It event runs from 9 a.m.-noon (sign up to have your head shaved to help fight child­hood can­cer). In the tent, mu­sic by Trin­ity Wise­man (noon), Week­end at Blar­ney’s (3 p.m.) and The Naugh­ties (7 p.m.). In the pub, Ab­botts Cross (10 a.m.), Cue Ball (1 p.m.), Ir­ish Dancers (3 p.m.) and Billy Schie­der (6 p.m.) . 412-381-4800; clad­daghirish­​pitts­burgh.

Rex Theater, South Side: Bas­tard Bearded Ir­ish­men, Gene the Were­wolf, The Cheats, 7 p.m. www.rexthe­

Hard Rock Cafe, Sta­tion Square: After-Pa­rade Party in Bes­se­mer Court with The Wild Geese (noon), Corn Beef and Curry (1:45 p.m.) and The Ador­ab­ulls (4:30 p.m.). In­side: with The Clin­tones (9 p.m.). $10 each.​ca­fes/​pitts­burgh or 412-481-7625.

Cafe Fifth, 818 Fifth Ave., Down­town: Guar­an­teed Ir­ish (noon-4 p.m.). 412-261-2215 or http://​cafefifth­

Coach’s Bot­tle­shop & Grille, 3105 Banks­ville Road, Banks­ville: Week­end at Blar­ney’s (8 p.m.). 412-207-9397.

Crafthouse Stage and Grill, Bald­win Bor­ough: Celtic Shores and The Rick Patrick Trio (noon-8 p.m.). 412-653-2695 or

Park House, 403 E. Ohio St., North Side: Bindley Hardware Co. and Abby Adams, 8 p.m.

Nied’s Hotel, 5438 Butler St., Lawrenceville: Parade Day Matinee with Slim Forsythe’s Irish Band, Candy Mountain, Tricky Mannion, Steve Sciulli, Dennis Childers, 2 p.m.

Sieb’s Pub, 3382 Bab­cock Blvd., Ross: Live bands be­gin­ning at 2 p.m. 412-364-8511 or www.sieb­

Blar­ney Bash at the Amer­i­can Ser­bian Club, 2524 Sarah St., South Side, at noon Satur­day with the party band Juke­box. $10 do­na­tion. 412-431-9351 or www.amer­i­canser­bi­an­


Clad­dagh Ir­ish Pub, SouthSide Works: The Low Kings (noon-3 p.m.). 412-381-4800; www.claddaghirish­​pitts­burgh.

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