Thursday, June 28, 2018

THE PARTY LIST - June 28 -July 4

Note: Please remember to check with the venue as to whether or not there is a cover charge or ticket required for the shows you plan to attend. Also, some venues have an age restriction. I have provided links to the venues when possible, making it easy for you to check it out.
Not all events take place in Texas. With that in mind I will begin listing them not only by day but by TEXAS and ON THE ROAD. With that in mind…

Let’s Get This Party STARTED!

Thursday – 28
Cody Joe Hodges –Fralo’s Pizza – San Antonio
Chuck Hawthorne – The Long Wooden Spoon – Amarillo
            /w Libby Koch

Friday – 29
Almost Patsy Cline – Luckenbach
Zane Williams (solo)  – Billy Joe’s Craft – Port Aransas
Aaron Einhouse – Lonestar Bar – Midland
Cody Joe Hodges – Downtown Hall of Fame – Hutto
Josh Ward – Billy Bob’s Texas – Ft. Worth

Saturday – 30
Jamie Richards – White Elephant Saloon – Ft. Worth
Almost Patsy Cline – Riverfest – Bandera
Zane Williams (solo) – McKinney Performing Arts Center – McKinney
William Clark Green – House Pasture Cattle Co – Concan
Terri Hendrix – The Bugle Boy – La Grange
Bart Crow Band – Freedom Fest – Floresville
Cody Joe Hodges – Riggins 4th of July Party – Livingston
Casey Donahew Band – Santa Rita Star Spangled Celebration – Big Lake

Sunday – July 1
Thomas Michael Riley – T-Bone Tom’s – Kemah

Monday – 2
NO Shows Found

Tuesday – 3
Zane Williams (solo) – Railhead – Willow Park

Wednesday – 4
Jamie Richards – Abilene Freedom Fest – Abilene
Matt & the Herdsmen – Weslacos 4th of July – Weslaco
Thomas Michael Riley – Blackboard BBQ – Sisterdale
Scott Taylor Band – Miller Lite Blast-off – Victoria
Asleep at the Wheel – Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic – Austin
Casey Donahew Band – Leander Liberty Fest - Leander

Thursday – 28
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Follow Yer Nose BBQ – Emigrant MT
ShinyRibs – Globe Hall – Denver CO
Aaron Tippin – Casino Del Sol – Tucson AZ
Billy Dean – Sandy Amphitheater – Sandy UT
Collin Raye – Roots n Boots Tour – Tucson AZ
            /w Aaron Tippin & Sammy Kershaw
Trace Adkins – Ponoka Stampede – Ponoka, AB, Canada

Friday – 29
William Clark Green – Zoo Amphitheater – Oklahoma City OK
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Wildwest Saloon – West Yellowstone MT
ShinyRibs – Louisville Street Fair – Louisville CO
Ronnie McDowell – Williams Catholic Church – Guntersville AL
Aaron Tippin – The Bridges of Montrose – Montrose CO
            Roots & Boots Tour /w Collin Ray & Sammy Kershaw
Kelly Willis – Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza – Worthington OH
Casey Donahew Band – Zoo Amphitheatre – Oklahoma City OK
Chuck Hawthorne – Rancho Pqueno House Concert – Sante Fe NM
            /w Libby Koch – Contact Libby for details -

 Saturday – 30
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Wildwest Saloon – West Yellowstone MT
ShinyRibs – The Paradise Theater – Paonia CO
Shenandoah – Tolschester Marina – Chestertown MD
Asleep at the Wheel – The Colonial – Bethlehem NH
Aaron Tippin – Island Grove Regional Park – Greeley CO
            Greeley Independence Stampede
            Roots & Boots Tour /w Collin Raye & Sammy Kershaw
Billy Dean – Two Rivers Convention Center – Grand Junction CO
Gary Allen – Carson Center – Paducah KY
Kelly Willis – Fitzgerald’s – Berwyn IL
Trace Adkins – Starlight Theatre – Oklahoma City OK
Josh Ward – Southbound Bar & Grill – Springfield MO

Sunday – July 1
ShinyRibs – The Caribou Room – Nederland CO
Asleep at the Wheel – Infinity Hall – Norfolk CT
The Baker Family – Baker Seed – Mansfield MO
The Baker Family – Pomona Christian Church – Pomona MO
Kelly Willis – Off Broadway – St. Louis MO

Monday – 2
NO Shows Found

Tuesday – 3
Shenanadoah – I Bar Ranch – Gunnison CO
Ronnie McDowell – Montana City Park – Roundup MT

Wednesday – 4
Aaron Tippin – Miccosukee Resort & Gaming – Miami FL
Bart Crow Band – Red, White, Blue Brew & Music Fest – Alamogordo NM
Chuck Hawthorne – Munger Mountain Music Festival – Jackson Hole WY
            /w Libby Koch

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

TURNTABLE TUESDAY - The Outside Circle

THE OUTSIDE CIRCLE, the thirteenth album from Mike Blakely, takes us on a true Western journey. With his iconic voice Mike treats us to track after track of Cowboy Americana, painting vivid pictures of a gone but not forgotten era. There’s just something about the cowboy life that calls to some part of us. Whether it’s making a hat your own, the way the leather of a saddle feels beneath you or the dust kicked up by a bronc in the rodeo arena there are memories we may or may not ever experience yet we feel as if they’ve been a part of our life.

While Mike has been writing about the western life both in song and fiction novels, he added a little extra spice to this album including three tracks co-written with a real-life cowboy, Damon Rogers. Rogers is a full-time cowboy, buckaroo and horse trainer.

As I listened to this album, I heard a lot of two previous CDs, RIDE THE RIVER and WEST OF YOU (Both Sold Out and no longer available). The first that caught my attention was The Hat Song.  Another, The Ballad of Josiah Wilbarger, had the undertones of The Last Comanche Moon (West Of You cd). There are two hidden tracks that make THE OUTSIDE CIRCLE stand out from Mike’s previous recordings.

While there are many talented musicians on THE OUTSIDE CIRCLE, such as Kurt Baumer (fiddle) Ray Rodriquez ( drums, percussion), Lloyd Maines (steel) as well as Mike Blakely and Walt Wilkins ( guitar) one of my favorites is Julie Carter (Cello) Her haunting opening on The Ballad of Josiah Wilbarger is a pleasant surprise that makes this CD complete.

As writers we often hear the term ‘voice’, meaning how an author strings words together that distinguishes his writing from other pen dancers. Mike Blakely is true to his voice in both songwriting and his novels. You know when you hear the tune or read the story, they were penned by the one and only Mike Blakely without having to see his name on a dust jacket or CD cover. The fact that he brought others on board that compliment his voice shows his true mastery. His textured voice is what keeps bringing me back to his music and his stories. The depth of his storytelling in any form will make you feel as if you are there.

Here's a video for the title track:

I’m tipping my hat:

You can purchase your copy of THE OUTSIDE CIRCLE through Mike Blakely's WEBSTORE

Vist Mike's Webpage or Facebook page to find out where you can catch a life performance. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

THE PARTY LIST - June 21 - 27

Note: Please remember to check with the venue as to whether or not there is a cover charge or ticket required for the shows you plan to attend. Also, some venues have an age restriction. I have provided links to the venues when possible, making it easy for you to check it out.
Not all events take place in Texas. With that in mind I will begin listing them not only by day but by TEXAS and ON THE ROAD. With that in mind…

Let’s Get This Party STARTED!

Thursday – 21
Terri Hendrix – Birdsong Amphitheater – Stephenville
            /w Lloyd Maines
Scott Taylor Band – Moonshine Drinkery – Victoria

Friday – 22
ShinyRibs – The Heights Theater – Houston
Shenandoah – Rockbox Theater – Fredricksburg
Asleep at the Wheel – Red, White & Sousa – Colleyville
Aaron Einhouse – Rockett Café – Waxahachie
Kelly Willis – Gruene Hall – New Braunfels
Libby Koch – Goodnight Charlie’s – Houston
Josh Ward – Big Texas Saloon - Spring

Saturday – 23
Jamie Richards – Rockett Café – Rockett
Matt & the Herdsmen – House Pasture Cattle Co. – Concan
            /w Josh Abbott
Almost Patsy Cline – Hondo’s On Main – Fredricksburg
William Clark Green – Johnny’s Steakhouse – Salado
Terri Hendrix – Anderson Fair – Houston
            /w Lloyd Maines
ShinyRibs – Coupland Dancehall – Coupland
Shenandoah – Texas Opry Theater – Weatherford
Aaron Einhouse – The Blue Light – Lubbock
Jamie Talbert – BASF Fishing Tournament – Hemphill
Josh Ward – Thorndale Fireman’s Park - Thorndale

Sunday – 24
Cody Joe Hodges – Aquabrew – San Marcos
Josh Ward – The Tap – College Station

Monday – 25
W. C. Jameson – Poodie’s – Spicewood
            Guest: Jimmy Davis

Tuesday – 26
Thomas Michael Riley – Fiddlestrings – San Angelo

Wednesday –27
Aaron Einhouse – Gruene Hall – New Braunfels
Casey Donahew Band – Hurricane Harry’s – College Station
            /w Josh Abbott
Chuck Hawthorne – House Concert – Amarillo
            Contact -

Thursday – 21
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Follow Yer Nose BBQ – Emigrant MT
Shenandoah – 3rd & Lindsley – Nashville TN
Bart Crow Band – Hill Country NYC – New York NY
Collin Raye – 3rd & Lindsley – Nashville TN
Randy Rogers Band – JBGB Amphitheatre – Fayetteville AR
Trace Adkins – Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield CT
Casey Donahew Band – Days of ’56 PRCA Rodeo – Ponca NE
Chuck Hawthorne – Mud On Main – Cherokee IA

Friday – 22
Jamie Richards – Gilley’s Casino – Durant OK
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – The Attic Bar – Livingston MT
The Baker Family – Bluegrass Festival – Black Hills SD
Bart Crow Band – Hill Country DC – Washington DC
Marty Stuart – Walmart AMP – Rogers AR
            /w Chris Stapleton
Trace Adkins – Penns Peak – Jim Thorpe PA
Casey Donahew Band – Moondance Jammin Country Fest – Walker MN
Chuck Hawthorne – The Outta Space – Berwyn IL

Saturday – 23
Dinnerbell Road – Recon Brewing – Butler PA
Zane Williams (solo) – City Winery – Nashville TN
Ronnie McDowell – Donoho Entertainment Center – Red Boiling Springs TN
Asleep at the Wheel – Emporia Granada Theatre – Emporia KS
The Baker Family – Bluegrass Festival – Black Hills SD
Bart Crow Band – Puckett’s Farm Equipment – Charlotte NC
Kelly Willis – Franklin Theatre – Franlin TN
Trace Adkins – Hollywood Casino – Charles Town WV
Casey Donahew Band – Oahe Days – Pierre SD
Chuck Hawthorne – House Concert – O’Fallon MO
            Contact Eric -

Sunday – 24
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – The Pony Bar – Pony MT
Asleep at the Wheel – Old Rock House – St. Louis MO
The Baker Family – Bluegrass Festival – Black Hills SD
Bart Crow Band – Exit/ In – Nashville TN
Kelly Willis – Smith’s Olde Bar – Atlanta GA
Chuck Hawthorne – Larson’s Landing – Effingham IL
            2018 Moccasin Creek Festival

Monday – 25
Bart Crow Band – Hi Tone Café – Memphis TN

Tuesday – 26
Asleep at the Wheel – Ram’s Head – Annapolis MD

Wednesday –27
Asleep at the Wheel – Tin Pan – Richmond VA

Thursday, June 14, 2018

THE PARTY LIST - June 14 - 20

Note: Please remember to check with the venue as to whether or not there is a cover charge or ticket required for the shows you plan to attend. Also, some venues have an age restriction. I have provided links to the venues when possible, making it easy for you to check it out.
Not all events take place in Texas. With that in mind I will begin listing them not only by day but by TEXAS and ON THE ROAD. With that in mind…

Let’s Get This Party STARTED!

Thursday – 14
William Clark Green – Hoot’s Pub – Amarillo
Scott Taylor Band – Moonshine Drinkery – Victoria

Friday – 15
Matt & the Herdsmen – Happy Cow Bar & Grill – New Braunfels
Almost Patsy Cline – O’Brien’s Restaurant – Bergheim
Kelly Willis – Coupland Dancehall – Coupland
Dave Thomas – Culpepper’s Steak House – Rockwall
Libby Koch – Cactus Café – Austin
Nanci Griffith Tribute Concert
Jamie Talbert – Sawdust Saloon – Beaumont
Josh Ward – Stonewall Peach Jamboree - Stonewall

Saturday – 16
Bellamy Brothers – Stonewall Peach Jamboree – Stonewall
Matt & the Herdsmen – The Roundup Outdoor Music Venue – Boerne
ShinyRibs – Lakeside Icehouse – Bryan
KellyWillis – Green Apple Arts Center – Eden
Dave Thomas – The Oar House – Rockwall
Jamie Talbert – Bareback Bar and Icehouse – Spring
Josh Ward – Banita Creek Hall – Nacogdoches

Sunday – 17
Terri Hendrix – Café Momentum Supper Club Concert Series – Dallas

Monday – 18
George Ensle – Poodie’s – Spicewood
            Guest: Charlie Roth

Tuesday – 19
NO Shows Found

Wednesday –20
Matt & the Herdsmen – Hillbilly’s – McAllen

Thursday – 14
Zane Williams – Drunken Roots – Elkhart KS
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Follow Yer Nose BBQ – Emigrant MT
Asleep at the Wheel – Clyde Theatre – Fort Wayne IN
The Baker Family – Blistered Fingers – Litchfield MD
Bart Crow Band – Drunken Roots – Elkhart KS
Cody Joe Hodges – Rock Bottom Brewery – Nashville TN
Chuck Hawthorne – Lake Geneva Canopy Tours – Lake Geneva WI
Josh Ward – Slwodown – Omaha NE

Friday – 15
Bellamy Brothers – Golden Nugget Casino – Biloxi MS
Zane Williams – Grizzly Rose – Denver CO
William Clark Green – Globe Hall – Denver CO
Ronnie McDowell – Tennessee Bell Buckle Banquet – Bell Buckle TN
Asleep at the Wheel – Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival – Brown County IN
Aaron Einhouse – Wild Horse Saloon – Durango CO
Aaron Tippin – IP Casino Resort & Spa – Biloxi MS
Billy Dean – Lexington Village Tehatre – Lexington MI
Bart Crow Band – Grizzly Rose – Denver CO
Collin Raye – IP Casino Resort & Spa – Biloxi MS
Cody Joe Hodges – Love Shack – Knoxville TN
Chuck Hawthorne – Artist Bottega – St. Paul MN

Saturday – 16
Zane Williams – Downtown Lovington – Lovington NM
            w/ Bart Crow & Frank Ray
William Clark Green – Riverwalk Park – Council Grove KS
            Washunga Days
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Gravel Bar – Ennis MT
Shenandoah – Cameron Elks Lodge – Cameron MO
Asleep at the Wheel – Old Town School of Folk – Chicago IL
Aaron Einhouse – Wild Horse Saloon – Durango CO
Aaron Tippin – Coushatta Casino Resort – Kinder LA
Bart Crow Band – Smokin’ on the Plaza – Lovington NM
Collin Raye – Coushatta Casino Resort – Kinder LA
Cody Joe Hodges – Love Shack – Knoxville TN
Trace Adkins – LA County Arboretum – Arcadia CA
Casey Donahew Band – Comstock Windmill Music Festival – Comstock NE
Chuck Hawthorne – The Dave Cave – Madison MN

Sunday – 17
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Pony Bar – Pony MT
Shenandoah – Porterfield Country Music Festival – Marinette WI
Billy Dean – Porterfield Country Music Festival – Marinette WI
Cody Joe Hodges – Love Shack – Knoxville TN
Chuck Hawthorne – Byron’s Bar – Pomeroy IA

Monday – 18
NO Shows Found

Tuesday – 19
NO Shows Found

Wednesday –20
The Baker Family – Sumtur Amphitheatre - Papillion NE
Trace Adkins – NYCB Theatre at Westbury – Westbury NY
Chuck Hawthorne – Okoboji Brewing – Spirit Lake IA

Thursday, June 7, 2018

THE PARTY LIST - June 7- 13

Note: Please remember to check with the venue as to whether or not there is a cover charge or ticket required for the shows you plan to attend. Also, some venues have an age restriction. I have provided links to the venues when possible, making it easy for you to check it out.
Not all events take place in Texas. With that in mind I will begin listing them not only by day but by TEXAS and ON THE ROAD. With that in mind…

Let’s Get This Party STARTED!

Thursday – 7
Zane Williams (Solo) – Deep Ellum Brewery – Dallas
Scott Taylor Band – Lonestar Gifts – Dripping Springs
Casey Donahew Band – Stephenville
            TexStar Ford Summer Nights Concert Series
Libby Koch – Anderson Fair - Anderson

Friday – 8
Thomas Michael Riley Festival – Luckenbach
            Max Stalling/ Tommy Alverson/ Blacktop Gypsy/
Tommy/ Dave Thomas/ Brett Watts
Matt & the Herdsmen – The Dog House – Brownsville
Zane Williams (Solo) – BierHaus – Lubbock
William Clark Green – Crosby Fair & Rodeo – Crosby
Terri Hendrix – Panhandle PBS Studio – Amarillo
            /w Lloyd Maines
Asleep at the Wheel – Coupland Dancehall – Coupland
Aaron Tippin – Love & War – Plano
The Baker Family – Blueberry Fest – Nacogdoches
Casey Donahew Band – Cowboys Dancehall – San Antonio
Kelly McGuire – Southdown Park - Pearland

Saturday – 9
Thomas Michael Riley Festival – Luckenbach
            Steve Helms Band / Davin James/ Jamie Richards/
            Chris Wall/ Forlini & Cross/ Travis Smith/ Doug Rose
Bellamy Brothers – House Pasture Cattle Co. – Concan
Matt & the Herdsmen – Gruene Hall - Gruene
            /w Kyle Park & Libby Koch
Zane Williams (solo) – Hoots Pub – Amarillo
William Clark Green – Floore’s – Helotes
Terri Hendrix – Rockin’ Box 33 – Lubbock
            /w Lloyd Maines
ShinyRibs – The Kessler – Dallas
Scott Taylor Band – The Barn – Mission Valley
Mike Blakely – Western Edge Cellars – Fredricksburg
            CD Release Party!

Sunday – 10
Zane Williams (solo)  – Landmark Bar & Kitchen – Ft.Worth
Libby Koch – Fulshear House Concerts - Fulshear

Monday – 11
W. C. Jameson – Poodie’s – Spicewood
            Guest: Bill Small

Tuesday – 12
NO Shows Found

Wednesday – 13
Brandon Luedtke – Threadgill’s – Austin

Thursday – 7
Bellamy Brothers – CMA Fest – Nashville TN
            Budweiser Forever Country Stage
            Music City Center
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Follow Yer Nose BBQ – Emigrant MN
ShinyRibs – Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa OK
Shenandoah – CMA Fest – Nashville TN
            Country Forever Stage
Aaron Einhouse – Lewis & Clark Brewery – Helena MT
Billy Dean – Hard Rock Café – Nashville TN
            20+ other artists over the course of CMA Fest
Eli Young Band – JBGB Amphitheatre – Fayetteville AR
Trace Adkins – Parker Days – Parker CO
Chuck Hawthorne – The Empty Glass – Charleston WV

Friday – 8
Bellamy Brothers – Bradley Co. Pink Tomato Festival – Warren AR
Jaryd Lane – LA Corn Festival – Bunkie LA
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Chico Hot Springs – Chico MT
ShinyRibs – Stickyz Chicken Shack – Little Rock AR
Shenandoah – Rt. 66  Casino – Albuquerque NM
Collin Raye – Virginia Kentucky District Fair – Wise VA
Kelly Willis – Birchmere – Alexandria VA
Chuck Hawthorne – Henderson Hall – Williamstown WV

Saturday – 9
Jaryd Lane – Orrpalooza – Glenmore LA
Dinnerbell Road – Penn Velly Athletic Club – Butler PA
            Trucks and Tunes
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Chico Hot Springs – Chico MT
Shenandoah – Downtown Carlsbad – Carlsbad NM
Ronnie McDowell – Mifflin Community Banquet Hall – Mifflin TN
Aaron Einhouse – The Remington – Whitefish MT
Aaron Tippin – Sugar Creek Casino – Hinton OK
The Baker Family – Big Springs Park Car Show – Van Buren MO
Billy Dean – Elizabethton City – Elizabethton TN
Cody Joe Hodges – First National Bar – Pocatello ID
Bo Phillips Band – Cookson – Tahlequah OK
            Lakes Country Fan Appreciation Show
Gary Allan – Downstream Casino – Quapaw OK
Kelly Willis – North Point House Concerts – Norfolk VA
Trace Adkins – Firekeepers Casino – Battlecreek MI
Casey Donahew Band – National Sand Bass Festival – Madill OK
Chuck Hawthorne – Barnyard BBQ – Burricane WV

Sunday – 10
Tessy Lou & the Shotgun Stars – Pony Bar – Pony MT
Cody Joe Hodges – Roadhouse Saloon – Idaho Falls ID
Mickey Gilley – American Music Theater – Lancaster PA
            Urban Cowboy Reunion Tour
            /w Johnny Lee
Kelly Willis – Rams Head on Stage – Annapolis MD
Chuck Hawthorne – Paul’s Night Club – Lancaster OH

 Monday – 11
Cody Joe Hodges – Celtic Cowboy – Great Falls MT

Tuesday – 12
NO Shows Found

Wednesday – 13
Zane Williams – Brickyard – Wichita KS
Aaron Einhouse – Shooter’s & Shenanigans – Pagosa Springs CO
            /w Charlie Stout
The Baker Family – Blistered Fingers – Litchfield MD
Bart Crow Band – The Brickyard – Wichita KS
Chuck Hawthorne – Refuge Lounge – Appleton WI

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Released in January of 2015 by Ed Harris, CELTICOPHILIA is a compilation of thirteen well-paired tracks that will take you back to a time that may not even have been a part of your heritage yet you'll feel as if you've come home. If you listen close you'll hear the fingerlings of everything available today, yet with a deeper sense of the way  music was meant to be played.

You will tap toes inside of handcrafted, soft leather shoes you didn't know you owned to tunes such as Bonaparte's Retreat, Hommage a Edmond Parizeau, The Reel of Mullinavat (free download from album link above), Music for a Found Harmonium Sean's Jig or Roy Ashby's - Buckney Burn.

As the evening winds down, the tempo changes to a more soulful, almost haunting range with Eirigh Suas A Storin, The Carraroe or Lament of Dearhair (A Brother's Lament) ( a tribute to his late brother). While Teh Carraroe has a slightly more moving tempo, you can hear a haunting undertone that draws you in. 

Overall, every album Ed Harris puts out is worth adding to your library. I'm tipping my cap:

Ed told us yesterday that Shenandoah has been one of his favorite tunes since he was a little boy. Here's his YouTube video:

You may purchase your copy of CELTICOPHILIA by going to one of the following links:

Follow Ed Harris on any of the following Social Media platforms:


Monday, June 4, 2018


This week, I want to introduce you to one of the most accomplished Celtic/ Bluegrass players I've ever met. Traditionally, Ed Harris is a Celtic musician but the roots of Bluegrass run deep across the pond, blessing us here with a unique sound of heart, soul and a lifetime of tradition.

I first met Ed on line about two years ago. We were in a chat room following the Bluegrass Music Awards. I'd never been in the group before but Ed especially made me feel right at home. I picked him up on Twitter and have been following and sharing his talent with my followers ever since. So let's open the chute!

Thank you for joining me this week, Ed. This is a real treat.
As you know I primarily cover traditional country as well as bluegrass music. But as we’ve discussed, these genres are fingerlings from Irish and Celtic music going back generations. The strains were brought to the US by Irish and Scottish immigrants.

When you first fell in love with the genre, did you have that ‘ah ha moment’ or a sense of coming home? Actually, it did! It was definitely an “Ah Ha” moment! Music has always been a part of me since I first picked up the guitar at age 5. I studied classically, took up trumpet and piano as well and played in jazz ensembles, orchestra, did the rock thing for a very short time when I was about 12-16 years old, then it was acoustic. I absolutely loved James Taylor, Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, John Denver. 

As I got older, I dabbled in jazz again, then bluegrass, new-grass, and folk, but never really considered the Irish/Celtic/Breton genre until I volunteered as a sound engineer for the Fiddle and Bow Music Society around 1987. Fiddle and Bow is still an active music society which was founded on and always supported promoted Celtic Music, and I immediately connected with it. I can’t believe it’s been almost 30 years ago now since I first ran sound for the group, “The Woods Tea Company” with Andy Irvine. I was hooked after that, and the rest is history! Besides, it is my heritage, and may in part be reason as well…

What is it about the music that speaks to you, what do you hear? What speaks to me most is in how it connects us to the past. Whether it’s the melodic quality of an Aire or that of a Strathospy, or the fast tempo of a Reel or Jig, it is a music style which remains ageless and reminds us that we as humans have not really changed all that much over time. Also, the rhythms and ornamentations are so subtle yet complex that the unaccustomed listener often misses out what is actually happening within the music. It is a style rich in culture and welcomes many different instrumental voicings ranging from the ancient Celtic harp, fiddle, tin whistle, Uilleann Pipes, tenor banjo, flute, and the list goes on. 

Unlike for example, bluegrass which I had found to be a bit more restrictive. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy and appreciate bluegrass very much. But a requirement is you need a Martin D-28 or D-18, a Gibson F-Style Mandolin, and so on. Don’t dare attend a bluegrass jam session with an A-Style (tear drop shape) mandolin or Taylor made guitar or you won’t be taken seriously! lol 

Just a side note, the fiddle I play is over 100 years old, and it has worn areas on its soundboard from where fiddle-sticks had been played as a percussive accompaniment. There is a special connection every time I pick my old fiddle. First, I always wonder about it’s history and all the hands that had held it before me. Secondly, I acquired it in 1993 just after my dad had died. He always enjoyed the fiddle but had never heard me play. Celtic music is much more than what you hear…it is about what you feel and in how you convey that feeling to others. I hope to be able to capture some of that magic one day…

Aside from your mom, who has been the most influential in your music career? There are many professional artists who have influenced me musically. Music is perpetual. Musicians will always be students in that we are always wanting to learn and share new musical experiences. In my life journey I have had the pleasure and privilege in meeting many talented and wonderful people. Since I play several instruments, those that inspired me the most are seemingly from one end of the musical spectrum to the other! However, they include, Segovia, Chet Atkins, James Taylor, Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt, Liz Carroll, Kevin Burke, Martin Hayes, John Doyle, Tony Rice, Doc Watson, to name a few.

If you could step back in time and had the opportunity to learn something about the music at the knee of someone, who would you choose and why? For Irish Fiddle, It would be a toss between Kevin Burke and Martin Hayes. Kevin, has a very down to earth approach on the fiddle and exemplifies a master you would find standing out during an Irish Seisiún and Martin Hayes for his almost inhuman technical ability. I could list mentors I would like to have spent time with for guitar, bouzouki, citern, mandolin, mandola, etc. but would take more time than intended. Since I’ve played guitar all my life I will mention that I would love to have spent time with Segovia for classical, and Chet Atkins for his sheer genius and with John Doyle for Irish Guitar. He is a master of the genre.

I’ve read that bluegrass seems to have a rigid instrumental blueprint, whereas Celtic does not. Are there instruments that lend themselves to both very well? To flip, are there instruments that are more in line with bluegrass, and ones more prominent with Celtic? Yes, this is true as I had mentioned earlier. However, there are a couple of instruments I can think of that do lend themselves to both genres with basic differences in design only. Guitar, Mandolin, and Fiddle. Typically, a bluegrass ensemble consists of a 5-string Banjo, F-Style Mandolin, Guitar, and Upright Bass. Occasionally, you will see a Fiddle (violin) but not as often as the others mentioned.

Unlike it’s cousin, Celtic music utilizes a plectrum or tenor banjo which picks the melody note for note. The 5-string is not conducive to Celtic music. I have seen accomplished claw-hammer banjoist perform Irish music and I’m certain an accomplished 5-string bluegrass musician would be capable in expressing Celtic tunes as well. However, it is not common to say the least. The mandolin difference only lies in the body style. The F-Style mandolin is discernible from the A-style by its rather ornate and curled asymmetrical extension near the fingerboard. The A-Style mandolin is best described as having a symmetrical tear-shaped or pear-shaped bout. No difference in their tuning but their projected sound is different due to their shape. 

Martin guitars are coveted and the staple for the bluegrass genre. The D-18 and D-28s have strong sound projections which “cut” through the competing volume of the banjo and mandolin which is the main reason they are common. Celtic guitar is customarily softer in tone and really isn’t used as a lead instrument much. This is why you see many Celtic guitars with cedar tops as opposed to the brighter and louder spruce tops of the bluegrass guitars. Celtic guitar players often use alternative tuning as opposed to the standard tuning which is common in other genres. The most prominent tuning for Celtic guitar is DADGAD. Of course there are other tunings used such as open C, dropped D, etc. as well and the purpose of these tunings is to attain a “modal” or “drone” sound.

Other than guitar, what other instruments do you play? I had mentioned a few earlier, but it all started with guitar. In addition, I dabbled on piano and played the trumpet (still pick it up now and then) during my school years and into college. If you’re looking for list, I guess it would include, acoustic and electric bass, mandolin, mandola, violin, viola, cello, harmonica, recorder, bodhran, keyboards, tenor banjo, bouzouki or octave mandolin, and cittern. Recently, I’ve been dabbling with claw-hammer style banjo which I would like to try and incorporate into some of my music sometime.  

What is your favorite tune to play and why? Oh my, I don’t know if I really have a favorite tune to play. My all time favorite song is Shenandoah which I have loved since early childhood. I have been asked on several occasions if I have any score or tap on how I perform “Si Bheag, Si Mhor” 

 Actually, I had an Irish TV station contact me asking for permission to use my video for one of their episodes on Canals in Ireland. They assumed I was a member of one of their licensing agencies there in Ireland. I informed I was not but licensing release could be worked out via BMI of which I am registered. Due to tight timelines it was not feasible however. Other tunes that are among my favorites are: “Two Rivers” ( and “Jock O’Hazeldean”  ( An original instrumental I hold dearest is “A Brother’s Lament”( It’s a tune I composed to commemorate the death of my youngest brother to lost his battle with cancer. There is a story behind how it came to be after numerous failed attempts…but that is another story.

Bluegrass seems to be making a resurgence. Thanks to groups such as Celtic Woman and Celtic Thunder, an appreciation for Celtic music also seems to be gaining in appreciation here in the states.  What do you want listeners to take away from hearing you, or any Celtic performance? From me, I’m not sure really! I just enjoy learning, creating, and recording music because it is a passion of mine. I’m not trying to save the world or become a household word or be discovered and signed by a record label. For me, it’s none of that. I have complete artistic freedom, in that I have absolutely no pressure to perform or wonder where my next gig is going to be, or if my audience or fans love me or not. I just do it for the sheer passion of doing it and if something connects at some level and brings some joy or reflection into someone’s life somewhere, then it’s all worthwhile. For me, it’s about connecting. 

Music is universal on do many levels. Now, for others, it is my sincere hope that exposure to not only this genre, but to other musical genres, will help broaden and deepen appreciation, respect, and tolerance among peoples of many cultures. Too often, I find music listeners have a narrow view musically when there is so much beautiful music out there.  

Thanks for joining me today, Ed. I look forward to continuing to share your music with my readers.

Please check out the YouTube links Ed provided and subscribe to his channel. If you'd like to learn more about Ed, you can check out his website and social media via the links below.


Purchase Links:

iTunes1   iTunes2   iTunes3   Spotify - WEdHarris