Gaelic Storm - Cork, Cornwall and Celtic Rock

Gaelic Storm

The Celtic Fling and Highland Games on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire on the Mount Hope Estate and Winery in the lush Lancaster County countryside was the setting for a performance by Gaelic Storm the evening of June 21. Performing in the main amphitheater before a packed house, the audience was held captive by the wit and artful presence of Gaelic Storm co-founder Patrick Murphy.

I sat amongst the crowd who were eagerly awaiting the performance and watched the band prepare the stage as a Willie Nelson tape played in the background. The dominant sound that rose above the varied noises of the sound check was the soaring mastery of Kiana Weber’s fiddle, giving the illusion that there were two or three fiddlers causing this wonderful sound rather than the solitary demure young woman in an orange dress caressing her fiddle, mindful only of its strings, as the business of setting the stage proceeded around her.

Once the band took its place on stage, the theme of the performance was love making. Murphy, the dominant presence throughout the performance, made love to the audience with his smooth, at times almost glib, repartee. This man is a Master of Ceremony. The audience adore him. There was more love making when the band’s powerful Piper, Steve Purvis, picked up and took aim with his magical instrument.  It was then that his Pipes joined to the Fiddle playing of Weber’s petite dazzle, lifting above the stage, soaring into the canopy of trees and consummating the driving rhythm of this well-honed ensemble. It was as if the performance was at the height of a gale. The pipes and the fiddle made love in the air, the accordion strained to keep up. The audience was loved that night and they knew it.

This reviewer’s only regret at this performance is that we did not hear more of the interplay between Fiddler and Piper, a rapturous duo accentuated by the steady hand of guitarist and co-founder Steve Twigger. With Ryan Lacey on the drums, Fiddle and Pipes are a heady combination in the hands of Gaelic Storm. At one point in the performance the audience was spell bound by Twigger’s mastery of the Guitar opposed to the hypnotic effective of the interplay between Weber’s Fiddle and the soaring crescendo of the Pipes.

This is a band with a following. This is Celtic music. At times I had the illusion of listening to a really good country western band, but the Pipes did not let the illusion last long. The second song of the set was a tumultuous blending of fiddle, guitar, pipes and accordion which lifted above the stage and carried the crowd with the tune. This was a professional performance; a performance honed since the heady days of the 1990’s when Gaelic Storm were featured in the film Titanic, perhaps the most watched film in history. The band was in the scene where Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio escape First Class to attend a Ceili in steerage, to the tunes of Gaelic Storm. Thus, the band, Twigger and Murphy have an ease with an audience wrought by many successful years on stage. And the audience respond.

The band is made up of co-founders Murphy and Twigger along with relative newcomer Ryan Lacey, who joined the band in 2003.  Steve Purvis, an acclaimed championship Piper originally from Ottawa and Kiana Weber, a native of Michigan joining in 2012, round out Gaelic Storm. As part of their busy schedule performing at Celtic Festivals around North America, this year for the first time the band will participate in the “Rag and Bone Workshop” held at the Full Moon Resort July 29 through August 2 in New York Sate’s Catskill Mountains.  Quoting from their web page: “Gaelic Storm’s live shows have always had the familiar communal and interactive feel of a neighborhood pub”.  “The Rag & Bones Workshop takes this experience to the most personal level, as each individual band member will teach group classes in their respective areas of expertise – acoustic guitar, fiddle/violin, pipes and whistle, and percussion/drum classes(including bodhran and spoons), as well as song writing classes.”

Transceltic applauds Gaelic Storm as force in the preservation, protection and promotion of Celtic culture and recommend their music to our readers.


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