Goodnight everyone, and have an Ireland is calling weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

Milwaukee Irish Fest is a week away and the Journal Sentinel has a preview. THIS weekend it’s La Crosse Irish Fest on the west side of Wisconsin with plenty of great musicians. To get you in the mood for Milwaukee’s event, the largest Irish festival in the world, some of the La Crosse acts highlight this week’s feature one night early.

We open with a group from County Mayo on the West coast of Ireland. Boxing Banjo has four accomplished Irish musicians: brothers Dara (accordion) and Mick Healy (banjo) along with Joseph McNulty (fiddle) and Seán O’Meara (guitar).

Boxing Banjo will be performing all four days at Milwaukee Irish Fest. Miller Lite Stage on Thursday, Coors Light Stage Friday – Sunday.

This next super Irish band has been around for two decades and has performed in more than 2,000 shows.  

“You have to see us live. We are the true working-mans’ band,” says Ryan Lacey, who joined the lineup in 2003. “We still, and most likely always will, tour most of the year, and that’s how we constantly hone our craft.”

Alas, Gaelic Storm will not be in Milwaukee next week. But they’re in La Crosse Friday and in Appleton September 16-17.

Another crowd favorite: We Banjo 3 from Galway. Many websites have posted this review:

One of the best live acts to come out of Ireland in recent years, the multi-award winning We Banjo 3 combine supergroup credentials with a breath-taking command of the emotive power of fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo. Any single member of this group could a electrify a venue with a solo performance, but together, in the joyous musical alchemy of We Banjo 3, their passionate lead vocalist like a young Springsteen adopted by the Chieftans, the result is truly unforgettable. Simply put, the gold standard of Irish and American roots music.

We Banjo 3 performs in Milwaukee on the Coors Light Stage Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

These young women will NOT be in Milwaukee next weekend, but they should be.

Camille and Kennerly Kitt are identical twin harpists known as the Harp Twins. They’ve represented the United States at four different World Harp Festivals, have attracted  more than  2.5 million fans across their social media sites and have received  130 million views on their YouTube music videos.

“Elegant, wistful, excellent!”
 CBS News

“Some things in the world are so beautiful and pure attempting to describe them in words would be futile. Such is the case with electric harpists and identical twins, Camille and Kennerly.”
The Huffington Post

“We have spent a LOT of time playing and performing classical music and we still love the classical genre. However, even while we were harp performance majors, we always felt like the harp could be so much more. Harp has been relegated to a background or orchestral instrument for basically all of its history. The only harpists that seem to have ever broken that barrier are singers – which means that the harp still is a background instrument because the vocals carry the melody and the harp part becomes simplified and not as significant. We wanted to play the kind of music that we wanted to play without being confined to the same music that harpists have been playing for centuries. We wanted to wear what we wanted to wear and not be relegated to the long skirts and sensible heels of the classical harpist. We wanted to break barriers, cross genres, and take the harp to where it has never been before – in every way! We never expected that there would be a niche for harps playing rock music, but we seemed to have created one! We don’t want the harp to define us. We want to define the harp.”
The Harp Twins

That’s it for this week’s normally Friday feature.

Have a great weekend!

Our family has become good friends with this family band. We met them backstage at La Crosse last August.

Kyla dances with the Glencastle Irish Dancers who will be performing in La Crosse this weekend and Milwaukee next week. Sadly our friends won’t be in Milwaukee, but can’t wait to see them in La Crosse!

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