Albannach, Rathkeltair, Searson and Dublin City Ramblers Headline St. Augustine Celtic Festival

The 5th Annual Saint Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival is being held at the city's Francis Field March 13th through 15th.  The oldest city in the United States, Saint Augustine was founded in 1565 and repeatedly subject to rapine pillage as the British, French and Spanish Empires fought for control of the Caribbean.  It is a place where the past is palpable and spirits are just out of sight.  Surrounded by water, inlets, back bays and not far from the ocean, this place has an Otherworldly quality.

The 2015 festival boasuts an impressive lineup of musical talent which includes  Albannach, Rathekeltair, Searson and the Dublin City Ramblers. In addition the Festival enjoys exhibits from various Celtic clans, vendors proffering  Celtic crafts and Celtic cuisine puncuated by a Saint Patrick’s Day along the city’s historic Quay.

Albannach are electrifying performers with a combustible combination of Pipes and Drums who have become a dominant presence on the Celtic Festival entertainment circuit. Albannach's leader, Jamesie Johnston, views the band as Ambassadors of Celtic Culture and sees the growth of Celtic festivals in America as important in keeping the culture alive.  The band is based in Glasgow and all members were born in Scotland.  In a March 23, 2013 Transceltic article, "Albannach: Scottish-CelticCulture Warriors", Johnston in response to the question, “Do you consider Albannach to be ambassadors of Celtic culture", stated: “Yes – When people watch us perform they are experiencing Celtic culture and I see that as the takeaway from our performance, that the audience is experiencing Celtic culture when they attend our performance.”

Another familiar presence on the Festival circuit is Rathkeltair. Named after the historical site in County Down in Ireland near the birthplace of band member Nick Watson, Rathkeltair brings a wealth of experience and music making ability to this year’s Festival. Watson, the band’s drummer, previously played with the ward winning “Field  Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band”, and band member Trevor Tanner is the former front man for 80’s MTV era band “The Bolshoi”. Neil Anderson on the Pipes is a founding member of the Seven Nations (Clan Na Gael) which continues to be a familiar presence on the Celtic Festival musical circuit. Anderson has played with several Celtic Rock bands including Scythian and the Grammy award winning band “The Chieftans”.

Also appearing this year are The Dublin City Ramblers. This legendary band have been going 35 years strong with their own brand of foot-tapping music. Boasting over 30 albums, top ten hits and numerous and 8 Gold Albums, it is no wonder the Ramblers are  classed as Ireland’s Number One Group.

Searson, comprised of sisters Erin and Colleen Searson,  are originally from the Ottawa Valley in Ontario. The sisters began to study music at a very young age, performing locally and competing at Step Dance & Fiddle Contests. Erin has been classically trained in piano at the Royal Conservatory of music and Colleen has been studying violin and fiddle methods from all styles around the world since age 9. Both sisters began step dance lessons at an early age and are thus accomplished performers and musicians.


5th Annual Saint Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival

St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival

This blog is provided for general informational purposes only. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone and not necessarily those of