It’s St Patrick's Day 2015 and it's Hooley XI at Evanston's Celtic Knot Public House, a four day celebration of the best in people, music, song and dance!
Now established as one of the North Shore's premier Irish pubs and restaurants, owners Patrick Breslin and Liz Bartlow Breslin are bringing together a top line up of musicians and singers from the Midwest – and from Ireland – for St Patrick's Week.
From March 14th over four days, the Eleventh Annual Hooley will feature among many others Kerry's own Tim O'Shea and locally-based traditional Irish music from John Williams.
While traditional Irish music, ballads and foot tapping tunes will be bursting from the Church Street venue, the Knot knows plenty about how songs and melodies, like people, have been travelling back and forth across the Atlantic. So there is more than a flavor of bluegrass and American roots thrown into the mix.
There's a packed program with entertainment all day and well into the night on St Patrick's Day itself.
From 12pm to 3pm on the 17th, the champion dancers from The McNulty School of Irish Dance will dazzle with their original and contemporary take on the ancient art of Irish dance. The dancers will also be performing on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th from noon until 3pm
.From 3:30pm to 5:30pm, Annie Andrews, Patrick Murray and Donald Terao, no strangers to The Celtic Knot as they are regulars at the weekly sessions, take to the stage for some fine traditional Irish music.
One of the Girls, Chicago-based but deeply influenced by traditional and popular Irish folk, take to the stage at 6pm on St Patrick's Day. One of the Girls specializes in rollicking tunes, rousing drinking songs and cry in your beer ballads.
And at 9 pm, veteran County Kerry musicians Tim O’Shea and Phillip Crickard, will make you feel that you are back in Ireland for a three hour trip.
Tim O'Shea along with Phillip Crickard are back for two gigs at the Celtic Knot over the week. On the road solo and with various friends for 20 years, O'Shea, recognized in Ireland as one of the most gifted traditional singers and guitarists by the public, his peers and the press, has made Chicago a real home away home. And if it's St Patrick's week and it's Chicagoland, the Celtic Knot is where O'Shea says he wants to be. Happily, there will be two chances to hear what Cork's Irish Examiner daily newspaper described as “real music as it should be played”. They will be playing on Sunday March 15th starting at 6 pm (reservations recommended for this one) and on St. Patrick’s Day at 9 pm.
On Saturday evening at 5:30pm, Evanstonian and master musician of all things Irish, John Williams will be joined by Maggie Danaher for two hours of top class folk music.
St Patrick's week at the Knot would not be the same without more than a passing nod to the owners' commitment to bluegrass and American roots. And Mad Bread, on stage at 10 pm on Saturday night, March 14th, perfectly captures that mix. With two albums of original material and in ten years of solid gigging, Mad Bread has built a solid following in Chicago and beyond.
Playing a unique blend of acoustic and electric, using traditional instruments with modern songwriting, expect bluegrass, folk and Chicago-style blues rock – and everything in between.
.Also during St Patrick's week, from 7 pm on Monday, Gus and Friends will be playing their regular Eclectic Celtic music session.
A full menu – including Guinness Beef Pasty, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Shepherds' Pie, Fish and Chips and Lamb Stew – is available each day and there's No Cover for any of the events. Reservations are not being accepted on Saturday 14th or Tuesday 17th. So get there early and get comfortable.
Knot co-owner Patrick Breslin, a County Down native, who has been booking bands at the Celtic Knot since it opened 10 years ago, said: “This is the best St. Patrick's line-up we have put together, no doubt about it. We are delighted to have such a great bunch of down to earth talented musicians, dancers and singers to celebrate with us. That's what a Hooley is all about – bringing good people together and having a great time.”
The Celtic Knot Public House, 626 Church Street, Evanston, IL 60201. Check out the website at www.celticknotpub.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 847-864-1679.