The Burren Backroom Series, launched in October of 2011, has already created many memorable, intimate, informal presentations. These shows are held in a truly atmospheric space, created by well-known traditional musicians Tommy & Louise McCarthy in Davis Square, Somerville, Masachusetts.  

Hosted by Brian O'Donovan of A "A Celtic Sojurn" on WGBH radio, these gatherings feature core performers from many aspects of traditional music as well as special guests, & conversations around the music.  

Tickets are $23 in advance, with a $5 discount for WGBH Members.  If you are a member, send an e-mail to celtic@wgbh.org & we will send you the code.

Upcoming Shows...   Seating is VERY limited and these events have been selling out, so get your tickets today!  

Matt Cranitch, Jackie Daly & Paul De Grae
(with support)

WEDNESDAY, July 23rd @ 7:30pm

Cranitch, Daly & DeGrae Matt Cranitch was with us last year as part of Sliabh Notes.  And he joined us for a St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn in Sander's Theatre with Jackie Daly, the great accordion player (and one-time DeDannan and Patrick Street member)  They are joined by one of my personal favorite accompaniment players in Paul DeGrae.  

Have seen this trio numerous times at The Catskills Irish Arts Weeks. They are not to be missed!
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Teada with Seamus Begley (& Catching Sparks)

WEDNESDAY,JULY 30th @ 7:30pm

Back for the second year in what might become a tradition, Teada is just a GREAT band!   Simple as that.  They have been around for quite a while and have recorded several albums.  Two years ago, they were with us for our St. Pats show at Sanders and New Bedford and really wowed the audiences.  Top notch individual players who come together seamlessly.


Add in Seamus Begley and you have a combination of accordion player, dancer, raconteur, and rogue.  Oh and by the way, one of the sweetest, ancient, purist, old-style singing voice you will come across.  Add a repertoire of the great Gaelic and English songs from his native Kerry and you are in for a treat indeed.  

This promises to be a great night! Buy Tickets

Wednesday, Aug 6th
Two Shows: 7:30pm & 9:00pm (Sold Out)
Thursday, Aug 7th Two Shows: 7:30pm & 9:00pm (Tickets Available)

Sharon Shannon


Sharon Shannon burst on the scene in Ireland in the early 1990s.  Her amazing ability on the accordion combined with an exuberant personality and a constant smile, attracted people immediately to the wonderful music she grew up with.  

In subsequent years, she has become as much of an ambassador of the music and as much of an icon, as the Chieftains.  

Sharon Shannon usually plays big festivals, and large theaters here in the Boston area.  So, imagine what this will be like.  Limited to 100 tickets per show, it will be a unique intimate experience, up-close and personal, with one of the great exponents of traditional Irish music.  I would advise you get your tickets immediately.

Tickets $28.00   

Wednesday 6thSold Out 7:30pm Thursday 7th
Buy Tickets 7:30
Sold Out 9pm tickets 9:30

THE ALT (John Doyle, Nuala Kennedy, Eamon O’Leary)

WEDNESDAY, September 17th @ 7:30pm

The Alt
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Ok.  Each of these musicians has played the Backroom Series before and so memorably!  But to think this new grouping will come together and be part of the new season is just thrilling.  What!  I can hardly imagine what this will sound like.  

John Doyle, undisputed, one of the great guitarist/song-writers/singers of our time; Nuala Kennedy, squarely part of the new generation of singers crossing between Irish, Scottish and contemporary music, and Eamon O'Leary, one half of the Murphy Beds who stunned the audience here last year with their unique songs, close harmonies, and extraordinary string work.   This will be a Cirque moment in the series!  

The April Verch Band (with Opener)

WEDNESDAY, Oct 15th @ 7:30pm

long with this amazingly talented front woman who sings, dances and plays multiple instruments, The April Verch Band features world-class musicians Hayes Griffin on guitar and Cody Walters on upright-electric bass and banjo. Together, these three passionate musicians tour tirelessly across Canada, the United States, the U.K., Europe and Australia. They have established a reputation as consummate performers, winning over audiences not only with sheer virtuosity on their respective instruments, but also with charm, humor and boundless energy on stage.

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April Verch

The Battlefield Band (with Opener)
Wednesday, Nov 5th
@ 7:30pm

Battlefield Band

  Last time this band played at the Burren Backroom Series, they sold out, rock solid.  So this is the time to buy your tickets.  

I remember first seeing The Battlefield in Sanders Theatre opening up for Robin Williamson in or around 1981!  They stole the show. This was a period when I had just come to Boston and maybe ironically, was just getting exposed to the young dynamic approach to Scottish traditional music I had witnessed in Ireland from bands like, Planxty and the Bothy Band.  It was a revelation to me and when these gusy took the stage, boy! did they pack a punch.
Since then, individual band members have come and gone, and the band we will welcome back to the Burren doesn't have a single player from that winter's night in Cambridge.  But the concept behind the band - contemporary interpretations of Scottish traditional music and song, dynamic arrangements with deep respect for the tradition, all coming from immensely talented young and not-so young! musicians, still stands.  This will be an explosive night of music.   
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Cillian Valelley & Kevin Crawford (with opener)

WEDNESDAY, November 19th @ 7:30pm

Crawford Valelly

A subset of the group Lunasa, Cillian and Kevin are no strangers to the Burren or this concert series!   As a duo tho, there is something about their style, grace and repertoire that is an once intriguing and comfortably familiar.  With the wit, affability, and musicianship, this will be like coming home to a small, exquisite session on a winter's night.

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More shows coming up...including:
"Sean Tyrell" & "This is how we Fly"....stay tuned!