This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sherwood Celtic Music Festival Music (Sept 22-23) & Directions

Celtic Festival

The Sherwood Celtic Music Festival is a celebration of Celtic music, history and heritage.  Our particular event does not focus on a specific time period; rather, we celebrate the entire arc of Celtic history from ancient times to the present.

With over 20 bands playing Celtic-influenced music (traditional and modern), our very own Highland Games and many crafters here to show you their goods, we've got plenty to keep you busy during this high-energy event!  In addition to the above we offer dancing competitions, bagpipe competitions, harp circles and even a trivia challenge.  Many local chapters of Clans will be present in order to share their histories with you as well.

We hope you enjoy all we have in store for you at this 2nd Annual Sherwood Celtic Music Festival!  Use the nagivation bar above to learn more.


2012 Sherwood Celtic Music Festival Lineup

One of Irish traditional music's leading exponents, Téada is driven by a fascination for the timeless, expressive force of music inherited from previous generations of musicians. An Irish band with a truly worldwide reach, Téada has appeared as a frequent headliner at major music festivals throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Russia, Israel and Australia. Founded by Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada, Téada first came together in 2001 to make an appearance on the innovative TG4 television series 'Flosc'. 2012 marks a pivotal year for Téada with the band welcoming a sixth member to the line-up, legendary West Kerry singer and button-accordionist Séamus Begley. With engaging textural arrangements,Téada, meaning "strings" in the Irish language, revels in the vibrant traditional music of Ireland. Sherwood Celtic Music Festival welcomes them as our very special guests for 2012!

A hard-edged ensemble of rockers returns to Sherwood Celtic Music Festival, bringing you "Stout Irish Rock." Informed by everything from Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley to Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath, Blaggards are Patrick Devlin on vocals and guitar, and Chad Smalley on vocals and bass, plus fiddler Brandi Belle Clarke and drummer Michael McAloon. Grab a stout ale, and settle in for a rockin' Stout Irish set by these rough-ridin' Dubliners… just don't call them "the" Blaggards and everything will be cool.

Brizeus *
Founded by world-renowned piper E.J. Jones, Brizeus is a group of pipers, drummers, and string players based all over the USA. They perform Celtic, historic European, and original folk dance music at outdoor festivals. They appeared at Sherwood Forest Faire in March, and now join us for Sherwood's second Celtic Music Festival. They not only play bagpipes, but also bouzouki, morebagpipes, flutes, smallpipes (yes - bagpipes!), and bombard. Always lively and always in tune, Brizeus will wow you with their own flavor of medieval dance music – and they will teach you the dances if you ask, too!

Clandestine is a hard-driving, toe-tapping Texas Celtic sound that brings you blasting tune sets, and fresh Celtic songs in three-part harmony. Al Cofrin leads on cittern, and sometimes joins piper E.J. Jones on bagpipes. Percussionist Emily Dugas captivates with her singular interpretations, and Fiddler Gregory McQueen adds fiery fiddle to the mix. Please welcome this amazing Celtic quartet for their second season at the festival.

CLEGHORN is a Texas Celtic rock band featuring the father and son team of John Cleghorn (vocals, guitars) and Dylan Cleghorn (fiddle, didgeridoo, vocals) with the rock solid rhythm of Mike Griffin (bass) and Paul Muller (drums). CLEGHORN music mixes original songwriting with blazing traditional Celtic fiddle tunes. CLEGHORN has performed for enthusiastic audiences and stirred up festivals all over the nation with their unique brand of Celtic rock.

The Jig is Up!
After many years of playing sessions together these five musicians decided to go public, and The Jig is Up! was formed. Houston's newest traditional Irish band combines flute, fiddle, accordion, vocals, and guitar for a vibrant rendition of the energetic traditional dance music and songs of Ireland. Whether playing flute tunes from Sligo and Roscommon, fiddle tunes from Clare, or polkas and slides from southwest Ireland, this group will fill you with the lively energy of PURE Irish music.

Lauren Morris and Robert Mitchell *
Lauren Morris and Robert Mitchell bring a hot modern electric Celtic sound to the festival this year with brand new original music. Lauren is a commercial music producer, film score composer, sound designer and engineer at Scorpion Sound in the Buda area. Lauren's California Celtic band, Celticana has enjoyed international success for over 10 years and their excellent release Soldier's Daughter can be found at Lauren and Robert's multi-dimensional music is a must see at the festival this year.

Marc Gunn *
Join Marc Gunn, known in the podcast world as "The Celt Father", for a lively celebration of all things Celtic, Comic, and Cat. A dedicated promoter of Celtic Music and a well-known podcaster, Marc has spread the message of Indie Celtic music far and wide. He has also been a prolific composer of music in the Celtic genre. Accompanied by his own autoharp, Marc plays original songs, parodied rewrites of traditional songs; and he presents his own renditions of classic Celtic songs, both familiar and obscure. Also look for Marc as one of the Brobdingnagian Bards, who will reunite at Sherwood Celtic Music Festival for the first time this decade!

Brobdingnagian Bards
The Brobdingnagian Bards (pronounced brob-din-nahg-EE-en) are the original celtic renaissance music duo from Austin, Texas; with Marc Gunn on autoharp and Andrew McKee on mandolin and recorder. After a decade of making Music together at Renaissance Faires, Comic conventions, and Celtic Festivals the bards went their separate ways. Their final show was at the Brown Coat Ball in 2008. Bard fans will be happy to know that Marc and Andrew will play a reunion set each day of Sherwood Celtic Music Festival. Whether you are seeing them again after all these years, or listening to their frolicsome style of FUN Celtic music for the first time, you will be happy you listened!

Black Irish Texas - Sunday only
These are the bad boys of Celtic Rock! They fuse Rockabilly and punk with fast and furious Celtic tunes. Their weapons include; Guitar, Banjo, upright bass, drums, Celtic fiddle… and they are fully all loaded. Since November '04 when the Black Irish got together they have enjoyed sharing stages with world renowned acts and punk veterans such as the Dropkick Murphys and the Street Dogs. Hailing from Austin, Texas these Psychobilly reelers are sure to get your feet a-stomping and your head a-bangin'.

Constant Billy - Saturday only
"Constant Billy, one of Houston's longest-standing and continuously-performing acts, preserves the tradition of timeless Celtic music deep in the heart of Texas. Their lively reels and jigs keep audiences toe tapping, hand clapping and hollering for more. But it is their songs- Irish, Scottish and English ballads and their own, self-penned originals that define them and their performances. The trio- Emily Standish, Bill Galbraith and David Randall – manage to combine energy, precision and fun in a way that encourages audiences to join them in song.

"Dedicated members of the Houston music community, Emily and Bill share their extensive knowledge of Celtic music as co-hosts on KPFT'S Irish Aires radio program. So, grab a pint and sing along to the rollicking melodies of Constant Billy!"
- Pete Little, KPFT Radio 90.1FM

Therese Honey
This harper has been perfecting her craft for decades, playing with Texas Renaissance favorite Wyndnwyre since 1976! Therese brings her harp to Sherwood Celtic Music Festival for some solo sets of pure beauty to your ears. Though she makes it look easy, she has studied these complicated numbers for many years. So find a shady bench, and let this master of the Celtic harp take you to the old country on a cloud of magical strings.

Earl Grey in the Morning
Sherwood Celtic Festival is proud to debut this incredible new violin and guitar duo. Based in Houston, Earl Grey in the Morning features the red-hot fiddler Kristen Jensen and our all-around musical virtuoso Al Cofrin. Come prepared for musical fireworks as these two jam their way through Celtic, Jazz, and Folk tunes, both original and traditional.

Harp Circle with Cindy Schaufenbuel
Sherwood Forest Celtic Festival welcomes Cindy back for more lovely harp tunes. She invites harp players of all ages, abilities, and instrument sizes to gather for a Harpers' Circle. Share a Celtic tune or a few, solo or with friends. This is not a performance! Rather, it is an opportunity for area harpers to meet and play for each other in a casual and supportive atmosphere. Spectators welcome. Free Sunday admission to the Festival for participants who register by September 14th. Please contact Cindy Schaufenbuel at for more information and to register.
Bedlam Bards * - Sunday only
The Bedlam Bards return to Sherwood Celtic Music Festival for more rollicking Irish tunes. These two scruffy bards have been delighting and frightening audiences at Renaissance Faires, Celtic Festivals, and comic conventions for many years. With Cedric on Fiddle, Hawke on Guitar, and both of them acting like class clowns, The Bedlam Bards provide a Celtic repertoire that will keep your belly laughing and your foot tapping. From Drinking songs and Irish tunes to bawdy songs and Space ballads the Bedlam Bards provide a funny and engaging show (just watch out for Hawke, who may actually try to engage you).

Saxon Moon *
Saxon Moon is an instrumental Nordic group with influences ranging from Celtic Northern Europe and Scandinavian Folklore to hints of Mediterranean World Music, similar to the Kalderash who journeyed North from the Southeastern regions of Europe to the Icelandic hemisphere of the Danes. Saxon Moon's sole focus is to transport its audience back to the olde world, to re-create images of Saxon ancestry and the perilous travels of ancient forefathers, the adventures that were sought, and the numerous stories that bled forth which embody the sounds of Saxon Moon.

Shillelagh! * - Saturday only
Shillelagh! have played at Sherwood Forest Faire for the past three seasons. Laura Leom sings all manner of Irish songs, accompanied by her own guitar, as well as flautist and guitarist Scott Boswell, percussionist Tree Leom, and fiddler Sean Orr. Come ready to dance along with this magical band of lively entertainers.

Maggie McMagnus *
Enjoy a singular one-lady show by Maggie McMagnus, with frolicsome fiddling (dancing encouraged), combined with tales and games of Celtic origin. Offering good family fun, Maggie will lift your spirits and move you to kick up your heels; and you may even find yourself part of the show! 

Also join Maggie for her quiz show, The Celticlectica Challenge. Test your knowledge of Celtic trivia—history, heroes, food, flora, fauna, language and mythology. Go head-to-head with other contestants, and compete for valuable prizes. The overall winner will be acknowledged as the 2012 Celticlectica Champion. With a maximum of 15 contestants, sign up early inside the front gate at Sherwood's Hollow Souvenir Shop. Check back at the website for scheduling; and be sure to sign up a full hour in advance of the show if you wish to compete.
Pignut Flea Circus
Have you got fleas? The Pignut Flea Circus sure does! The Flea Circus has toured all around Ireland, and has successfully taken part in numerous festivals, including the Galway Arts Festival. It's amazing! It's spectacular! It's astounding! It's tiny! The show involves feats of astonishing bravery and breathtaking beauty – acrobatics, trapeze, high wire and more – all performed by highly trained, teeny tiny fleas. It is suitable for all of the family, especially youngsters. You will find the Flea Circus in Sherwood's Children's area, Once Upon a Time…

Jason Gunn *
You won't want to miss the raucous Bagpipes of Jason Gunn. Currently a member of American Bagpipes, Bayou City Pipes and Drums, and a performer at Sherwood Forest Faire, Jason is a one-man Scottish pipe band.

Look for this roving group of Irish musicians in the lanes of Sherwood Forest. They are especially likely to be near the front gate. Here's their recipe for fun Celtic music on the run: Take one smidgen of traditional Irish tunes. Add a pinch of contemporary Celtic. Season to taste with humor and song. Blend well at high speed for 30 minutes or longer. Slam it down, chase with Scotch, and call it O'Malarkey!

San Antonio Pipes and Drums - Saturday only
The San Antonio Pipes and Drums, a non-profit organization formed in 1986, strives to present traditional bagpipe band music for the enjoyment of both musician and audience. Members wear traditional Scottish attire, each kilt in an authentic tartan of the member's choice so that many clans are represented. Instruments played are the Great Highland Bagpipes and specially tuned drums. The group strives to improve performance and to encourage and assist beginners. Participants range in age from teenagers to "over 70" retirees. They average from 60 to 70 performances each year in special events, festivals, and celebrations over much of Texas. A popular attraction at the Texas Folklife Festival each year since their formation, the band is also proud to have played for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the president of Mexico when they visited San Antonio. They represented the city of San Antonio in a Fiestas Octubre Parade in Guadalajara,Mexico, and were first musical group offically to perform in the Alamodome.

Denotes a Sherwood Resident Performer – come see them again during Sherwood Forest Faire!



Click here for a printable map and directions


Sherwood Forest is located on US Hwy 290 approximately 35 miles east of Austin.

Parking Lot Entrance (for day-trippers)

  • Address: 1883 Old Hwy 20, McDade TX 78650 [view map]
  • Turn off US Highway 290 (right if coming from Houston, left if from Austin) onto Old Potato Road.  Proceed 1/2 mile to the end of Old Potato Road and turn right onto Old Highway 20.  Our parking lot is 1/4 mile ahead on the right-hand side.
  • Some GPS systems do not like this address and will take you to a location several miles away.  Please examine the map.  If your GPS does not appear to be taking you to the vicinity of Old Potato Road, you might want to navigate to our Campground Entrance address instead, and then proceed 1 mile west to Old Potato Road from there.
  • Our Parking Lot is unmistakeable from Google Maps. Just look near Highway 290 & Old Potato Road

Campground Entrance (for overnight guests and faire workers)

  • 3106 US Hwy 290 E, Paige TX 78659 [view map]
  • The campground gate is located on US Highway 290 and is flanked by two unmistakable billboards.  That entrance is approximately 1 mile west of the Highway 21 overpass (which is your landmark coming from Houston) and 1 mile east of Old Potato Road (your landmark coming from Austin).  They are set back from the road quite a bit due to state regulations, and if you are driving too fast you might not have sufficient time to slow down.  We advise you to slow down when you encounter one of the landmarks mentioned above.

Proximity to nearby cities:

  • Austin – 35 miles
  • Bryan/College Station – 60 miles
  • Dallas/Fort Worth – 220 miles
  • El Campo – 100 miles
  • Houston – 120 miles
  • San Antonio – 120 miles
  • San Marcos – 70 miles
  • Victoria – 120 miles

Click here for a printable map and directions.

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