Shut Up and Sing

Irish decor at Yesterdays in Warwick, New York

As hard as it is, especially in the wake of having had to endure the most recent round of presidential primary  returns, I will attempt to refrain from the usual political pontificating that has all too often populated the pages of Pub Talk. After all, it is Saint Patrick’s Day! So for the sake of that day, I will defer to those voices that are much better suited to the task of sinking our sorrows and raising our joys!

Click on the titles or thumbs below to enjoy some of our Celtic favorites from the American Public House Review Jukebox.

 Billy                                                         Mulligan as seen                                                         in American                                                         Public House                                                         Review Billy Mulligan “Traditional Tunes

Jealousy by                                                     RUNA as seen in                                                     American Public                                                     House review Runa “Courted a Sailor

Gerry Timlin as                                                     seen in American                                                     Public House Review Gerry Timlin “Will Ye Go Lassie Go

Charlie                                                       Zahm's album; THE                                                       CELTIC CONCERT as                                                       seen in American                                                       Public House                                                       Review Charlie Zahm “The Minstrel Boy

Totes                                                   for Goats Burning Bridget Cleary “The king and the Fair Maid



Stand Your Round and Sing those Songs

“Let it flow outta ya as it’s been flowin’ inta ya for the last couple a hours!”    (The late Tommy Makem’s signature appeal for audience sing-along participation)

I was in conversation a few days ago with a Joe Jencks, a very passionate and talented singer/songwriter who can also tout his fair share of Erin’s heritage. He spoke of a recent house party at which the host made multiple requests that he sing some of the old Irish drinking songs. Rather than regale his parlor audience with those raucous strains, he chose instead to give his host a history lesson.

By his account, those particular songs only speak to the diabolical behavior of the British during the Great Famine of the 19th century in which the English government kept a starving population from engaging in a violent civil uprising by keeping them pleasantly plied on whiskey and beer. While there is probably some degree of truth in that particular point of view, there are many political, social and economic factors that fueled this terrible human tragedy. During the famine years, Ireland was in fact a net exporter of food to England. And during the first nine months of what was to become known as “Black 47” the actual export of grain distilled spirits from Ireland was 1,336,220 gallons.

This great starvation was not a matter of there not being enough food, but instead it was a matter of there not being enough human compassion coupled to an over abundance of prejudice and greed.

So it would still be my inclination  to stand my round and to sing those merry songs that may have been rooted in a very sad bit of Irish history.

We wish all of our friends and readers a very joyous St. Patrick’s Day!

And to help you along with the festivities of the day we invite to listen to and download some of our favorite Celtic artists from our podcasts at Sit Downs and Sessions.

Green Tag

What We Really Need is a Good Tune and a Good Drink

Jukebox at J.J. Bitting Brewing Co.

       The jukebox at the J.J. Bitting Brewing Company

As the Northeast prepares for yet another day of record-breaking heat, I realize that I don’t need to be adding to the abundance of hot air circulating over the continental United States. So rather than embarking on another round of some maudlin discourse or political pontificating, I thought it might be nice to provide some relief to the sultry weather with some tunes and a tonic.  

Some featured favorites from the our jukebox:

Runa Courted a Sailor

Garnet RogersBetter Days

David John and the Comstock CowboysShenandoah

Jackie TiceYou Love the Rain

 Jack TannehillBabe


Gerry TimlinWill You Go Lassie Go


Now as to that tonic, might I recommend a Singapore Sling mixed with Bluecoat American Dry Gin from our friends at Philadelphia Distilling.

Posted by: Chris Poh

The Celts invade Bethlehem, PA again

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is a city known throughout the country for what it used to be.  Once home to the beating heart of American industrialization, the giant Bethlehem Steel plant went quiet leaving the city in dire financial circumstances.  In fact, Billy Joel’s famous song “Allentown” was supposedly written about Bethlehem, but the name just didn’t fit the tune as well, I guess.

Bethlehem's Celtic Classic

Bethlehem's Celtic Classic

But the impression that some people have of Bethlehem as a big industrial ghost town is simply not the case.  Sure, it may not be one of country’s most important manufacturing areas anymore, but it is a terrific place full of cultural delights and rich in history.  Music is at the core of Bethlehem’s appeal, and once a year the Celts takeover for a festival that brings people from all over the Mid-Atlantic to rediscover this still great city.

Gaelic Storm raise the roof at the Celtic Classic

Gaelic Storm raise the roof at the Celtic Classic

Bethlehem’s Celtic Classic, known by locals as Celticfest, is a tradition well into its third decade of existence.  It brings together Celtic food, history, culture, and especially music, to create a weekend party that simply must be experienced.  If you are like me, and you are a lover of Celtic music, this free event showcases some of the absolute best nationally renowned acts in the genre. 

This year’s schedule was one of the most exciting in recent memory.  As usual there were dozens of great acts.  The headliners were Gaelic Storm, the band first made famous by their appearance in the film “Titanic”, but they have since gone on to produce some of the most enjoyable and fun releases in the Celtic music genre.  Also in attendance were the Canadian band The Town Pants, a personal favorite of mine, as well as two artists featured on the APHR Jukebox; Charlie Zahm and Gerry Timlin.  Besides a great Irish balladeer, Mr. Timlin also owns a terrific pub called the Shanacie which the American Public House Review featured earlier this year.

the Keogh brothers of the Town Pants

the Keogh brothers of the Town Pants

Like it is every year, the 2009 installment of Bethlehem’s Celtic Classic was terrific fun.  There were great vendors selling Celtic gifts and music, wonderful food and drink, and entertainment aplenty.  My thanks go out to all who make this amazing and free event happen every year.

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Posted by: David McBridegreen_2



Published in: on September 29, 2009 at 8:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Music of Gerry Timlin

Celtic Artist Gerry Timlin Music always has and continues to be an important part of the pub experience. That is why we have incorporated streaming audio of our favorite musicians into every issue of American Public House Review. We invite you now to enjoy the superb work of our goof friend and fellow publican, Gerry Timlin.

Published in: on May 1, 2008 at 11:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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