Irish Music and a great Irish Pub

Few things in this world go together as well as traditional Irish music and a great Irish pub.  Last month, those of us lucky enough to be in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania got to see the fruits of such a great combination as the High Kings, one of Ireland’s best folk groups, played at Brittingham’s, a truly fine Irish pub.

The High Kings are Ireland’s latest “supergroup” of folk music, with all four members coming to the band with enormous resumes and impressive pedigree.  Martin Furey and Finbarr Clancy come from perhaps the two most prominent families in Irish music history, while Brian Dunphy and Darren Holden joined the band after careers spanning from Ireland to Broadway and back again.  Together they bring a new yet solidly traditional take on some of Ireland’s best known and loved folksongs.

The High Kings made their name in Irish music with a PBS special that is not at all representative of what the band is now.  The polished performance of old has been replaced by what is now a raucous and romping Irish band.  Yes, you will have to put the pint down every once in a while to clap or sing.

Last month they blew the doors off of Brittingham’s pub in Lafayette Hill, PA.  The Kings played two fantastic shows for an eager crowd, and Brittingham’s provided just the right setting for the night.  If you get a chance and are in the area, check out Brittingham’s.

And while you are there, take the few steps up the street to the General Lafayette Inn and Brewery, a terrific brewpub we featured in APHR. 

Posted by: David McBride

Galloping into McCoole’s at the Historic Red Lion Inn

Ahh, those were the days!  The good old days when you could ride into town and hitch your horse up outside a great tavern or saloon and go in for a few.  Well that’s exactly what I did this afternoon…except it wasn’t my horse…I didn’t actually ride it…and even if it was and I did ride him into town I am not sure I would know how to “hitch” it to anything  without it running off while laughing at me.

Knight Eagle

Knight Eagle

So what does this beautiful animal have to do with the American Public House Review?  Well I was lucky enough to hitch a ride on his carriage, thankfully with an expert doing the driving, through Quakertown, Pennsylvania for a stop at a gorgeous tavern called McCoole’s at the Historic Red Lion Inn.  I had a great time with my new equine pal named Knight Eagle.  In the coming weeks you’ll be able to see the full story about this horse and why he should make pub crawlers excited on APHR.  We’ll also bring you a couple of great stories from the taverns of Quakertown.  So keep checking back.

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Posted by: David McBride

Published in: on November 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm  Comments (1)  
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Five months to St. Patty’s Day…not that we are counting or anything…

Friday is the 17th of October.  And you know what that means?  It is exactly five months until Saint Patrick’s Day!  What, that didn’t occur to you right away??

looking down Broadway in Jim Thorpe, PA

looking down Broadway in Jim Thorpe, PA

Well, if the 17th of every month does not make you immediately think of that great Irish holiday, then that must mean you have never been to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania on the Sunday before St. Patty’s Day for their annual parade and Celtic flavored, town wide bash.  I have been there many times, and let me assure you that once you attend, you will look forward to going back for the rest of the year.

But don’t wait for March to come around to visit this gem of a town tucked into the mountains of eastern Pennsylvania.  Before you go, check out our coverage of the best places to drink in Jim Thorpe that appeared in the American Public House Review this past March and April.  We visited a cozy café called the Black Bread, an ale house appropriately named JT’S, the only combination tavern and art gallery I have ever seen called FLOW, and the  town’s signature Irish pub the Molly Maguire’s.  Plus you can learn about how wonderful the parade can be and even discover the amazingly rich Irish-American heritage of this old coal mining town.

Posted by: David McBride

American Public House Review celebrates first anniversary!

Today we begin our one year anniversary of the American Public House Review.  Last October our journey began and it is hard to believe that we have been at it for a year already.  But this is a labor of love, and as is the case of with most fun things time really flies.
details at the Braveheart

details at the Braveheart

In observance of this anniversary month, we here at the Pub Talk blog will take a look back at some of our favorite places we visited in this last year.  To begin, we travel back to a place we enjoyed in our very first issue.  It is a fabulous Scottish Pub in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley called “Braveheart Highland Pub”.

With big towns like Bethlehem, Easton, and Allentown right near by, it is easy to pass over Hellertown.  But if you are a lover of great pubs, that would be a mistake.  “Braveheart” is an attraction onto itself.  Whether you want great food, a terrific beer selection, or football from the United Kingdom you’ll find it there.

Posted by: David McBride

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