Changing from garlic to gaelic

Today being St. Patrick’s Day and my heritage, including two
Irish brothers by the name of Murphy who wedded two sisters on the
same day of October 18, 1865 (my great-great-grandmother Nancy and
her sister Charlotte), I would be remiss if I did not include items
of a Celtic nature in today’s column.
Today being St. Patrick’s Day and my heritage, including two Irish brothers by the name of Murphy who wedded two sisters on the same day of October 18, 1865 (my great-great-grandmother Nancy and her sister Charlotte), I would be remiss if I did not include items of a Celtic nature in today’s column.

If you missed last Saturday night’s St. Patrick’s Dinner benefit for the low-income in South County, then you missed Father Dan Derry’s stand-up routine of telling Irish jokes (he claims no one listens to him on Sunday morning) and the jaw-dropping auctioneering skills of our mayor, Al Pinheiro (whose wife doesn’t look any older than the day local retired Rev. Krahenbuhl married them). Irish singer Audrey Kavanagh brought both her honeyed voice and a band of musicians skilled in playing Irish tunes to the dinner of corned beef and cabbage served by local dignitaries.

If you have not found a way to celebrate your Irish side yet this March, you might consider joining all the biggest supporters of the arts in the South County area to hear Northern California’s foremost traditional Celtic ensemble. This group of four skilled musicians who call themselves “Molly’s Revenge,” will provide entertainment for all ages Saturday night at Morgan Hill’s Community Playhouse.

They’ve played Highland pipes, fiddles, mandolins, and bouzoukis everyplace from Shanghai, China, to Tasmania, and from Sebastopol to Ballarat, Australia – and now The Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay has brought them to our neck of the woods as a slightly post-St. Patrick’s Day treat.

Scintillatingly witty Gilroyan Bob Breheny first introduced me to The Celtic Society’s activities in our area, saying, “Anything I can do to make the Garlic capital the Gaelic capital.” Shunning the limelight for himself, he prefers that the musicians receive the attention. But he works hard behind the scenes to bring Celtic music to Gilroy and Morgan Hill, arranging for musicians to play in private homes when other venues are not feasible and always striving to keep the rich musical traditions of Celtic culture alive.

The Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay had its origin in 1989 when Tam Paterson, then host of “The Eagle’s Whistle” on KAZU, announced a meeting at The White Cockade in Boulder Creek for those wishing to form a Celtic Society. About a dozen people showed up. Well, there are precedents for ventures with only 12 disciples.

Get-togethers at various private residences followed with local musicians providing entertainment. These eventually led to full-fledged concert events, the first one being a performance by the Irish singer Michael Black in the little seaside community of Moss Landing. Since then, The Celtic Society has arranged concerts all around the south county area.

Molly’s Revenge is likely to leave your feet tapping and your hands clapping as you shout for more. Tickets are on sale at Booksmart in Morgan Hill or the California Music Company in Gilroy. Celtic Society membership is open to all and members receive the quarterly newsletter, discounts at all concerts and other selected events, and become eligible for free CD offers. You can also be a host for house concerts.

For details on Molly’s Revenge or The Celtic Society, contact Bob Breheny at [email protected] or 847-6982, or visit www.celticsociety.org/.

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