March 4, 2017
Doors open at 4:30pm
American Legion Post 2
450 South Barre Rd., Barre, MA
Larry Kirwan of Black 47 -- Ireland in Song
Larry Kirwan is one of the most popular performers/personalities in Irish-America. Apart from his groundbreaking work with Black 47 – the band that spearheaded the Celtic Rock movement - he also hosts Celtic Crush on SiriusXM, writes a bi-weekly column for the Irish Echo, and is president of Irish-American Writers & Artists. In a 25-year career Black 47 played 2,500 gigs, released 16 CDs, and appeared on all major TV shows including Letterman, Leno, O’Brien & Fallon. Kirwan's songs have been featured in many movies and recent editions of Sons of Anarchy and Gossip Girl; they are also used in hundreds of college and high school history classes. His latest book, A History of Irish Music, not only illuminates the music but links it to the social and political changes of the last 75 years in Ireland.

A critically acclaimed playwright with 15 plays and musicals, Kirwan will introduce songs from his acclaimed musical, Hard Times – now being developed for a Broadway production. Always a riveting performer, Kirwan holds audiences spellbound with his intensity, insightfulness and wit. He will weave excerpts from A History of Ireland in Song with selections from the vast Black 47 catalogue. This entertaining show combines both music and literature, spiced with history, politics and​ ​ autobiography. Armed with just an acoustic guitar and his published books, ​ Larry Kirwan​ takes audiences on a trip across two continents from a small town in Ireland to the heart of New York City.

Video: Songs & Stories promo
Video: "James Connolly" with special guest Bridie
Video: Rock & Read with Larry Kirwan
Yoke Shire
The Boston based Irish band Yoke Shire is comprised of Irish-American brothers Craig & Brian Herlihy. Yoke Shire mixes traditional Irish instruments including bodhran & tin whistle with mandolin, guitar, piano and sweet vocal harmonies to deliver rousing Irish pub favorites that audiences love. Yoke Shire has honed their craft for 25 years, performing clubs, festivals, corporate & private events throughout the Eastern United States. Yoke Shire recordings have received rave reviews, airplay and sales worldwide.

Video: "Awakening Celtic Spirits" Trailer
Video: "The Boys of Killybegs" live at Faneuil Hall
Quabaog Highlanders
Kicking off the event will be the Quaboag Highlanders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the performance and promotion of Celtic music. The band’s instruments include Bagpipes and Drumming. The band consists of people from all walks of life with ages ranging from 8 to 80. All members are taught from within the band free of charge. Members are free to participate in as many events as their time allows. We believe we will have at least a few bagpipers and a couple of drums to start off our night of Celtic entertainment!

Video: Quaboag Highlanders live at Mass Mutual Center

Irish Step Dancers from Barre & Clinton
Enjoy Irish Step Dancers as they celebrate the luck of the Irish! At 5:15, young Irish step dancers from Barre and surrounding towns will perform. These dancers are studying with Amy LaPointe at the Listening Wellness Center in Barre. Amy took Irish Step from the McInerney School of Irish Dance for 12 years and has been teaching at Listening for 4 years. Listening Wellness Center offers an After School Enrichment Program for children ages 5-17 which includes a year long dance program concluding in May with a Dance Recital at the Quabbin Regional High School Auditorium. This is the first year that the students will be performing out in the community for St. Patrick's Day and are very excited to show off what they have learned. The Irish Rhythm School, a certified school of Irish step dancing from Clinton will also preform later in the evening to Irish favorites by Yoke Shire.

Amy LaPointe, Irish Step Dance Teacher - The Listening Wellness Center