The Burren Backroom Series, launched in October of 2011, has firmly established itself as one of the premiere series, focusing on traditional music, in the world. A new CD featuring tracks from the first three years, was released in January of 2015 to much acclaim. The shows are now well known for their intimacy, pristine sound, and affable audience and the unique atmosphere created by well-known traditional musicians Tommy McCarthy & Louise Costello.

Hosted by Brian O'Donovan of "A Celtic Sojourn”, these gatherings feature core performers from many aspects of traditional Celtic music as well as special guests, and conversations around the music. They are broadcast regularly on WGBH radio in Boston on Saturday afternoons, and on the internet at www.wgbh.org/celtic.

Tickets prices vary, with a $5 discount for WGBH Members. If you are a member, send an e-mail to celtic@wgbh.org to get the discount code.

Upcoming Shows...

  Seating is VERY limited and most shows sell out in advance, so get your tickets today!
Charlie Lennon and Eilis Lennon
Wednesday Feb 7th @ 7:30pm

Recognised as one of Ireland's leading composers of traditional music, and a standout fiddler and piano accompanist in his own right, Charlie Lennon, will make his Burren Backroom debut in the fine fiddling company of his daughter Eilis.  

Charlie has written several books, suites and most recently a highly anticipated orchestral work commemorating the Easter Rising of 1916. A few years ago, he visited Boston with brother Ben, and Maurice Lennon, to listen to his Island Suite being played by the Orchestra of Indian Hill.

He is also visiting Boston this time on a new project, which we will announce and talk about at this concert.  

But I dare say, its Charlies brilliant approach to traditional Irish music that will be on display at the Backroom on this unique night.  See below for a sampling; a great set of tunes along with Mairtin O'Connor and Liz Carroll.

A terrific fiddler and all round musician in her own right, Éilís Lennon is Director of Cuan Studios in Galway and has worked on many projects in the Creative Arts in the last 15 years.

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Niamh Varian Barry (Solas) & Peter Staunton
Wednesday Feb 21 @ 7:30pm

The duo of Niamh Varian Barry & Peter Staunton is a blend of vocals and instrumentals with a distinctly Irish character.

This charming duet build rapport with audiences and invite them into the 'conversation' of a performance. Unrivaled in their on-stage relationship with the audience, not only are they masters of their instruments, they are also masters of performing and entertaining.  Check them out below...

Sarah Bauhan: CD Release Party
Sunday Feb 25 @ 4pm


Expect reels, jigs, hornpipes, waltzes and some lovely songs when Sarah Bauhan launches her fifth album, Elmwood Station, with a concert at the The Burren in Somerville on , Sunday, February 25th, at 4 p.m.
Bauhan, a native of the Monadnock region of New hampshire is a noted Celtic flutist and whistle player who has been part of the New England traditional music scene since her teenage days in the 1970s.

She will be joined at the concert by a host of musician friends who can also be heard on the album: David Surette on guitar, mandolin, and bouzouki, Kent Allyn on piano and bass, Jane and Russell Orzechowski on fiddle, Francis Orzechowski on piano, and vocalists Susie Burke and Chloe Green.

This will be a celebration of community as well as of the music itself.  

Sarah Bauhan: Take a look/listen by clicking below.


Robbie O'Connell with Rose Clancy
Wednesday Feb 28 @ 7:30pm

Robbie O'Connell made his Burren Series debut four years ago and since then, his yearly appearances have been among the most anticipated.  His story-telling, wit, song-writing, and a personality that exudes warmth will again make this February evening an occasion to drive the winter chill away.

One of my favorites songs of Robbie's below, a re-working of an old song.  Keg of Brandy...

Wednesday Mar 7 @ 7:30pm


Fast gaining recognition as one of the finest voices in traditional Irish music in America, Shannon Lambert Ryan fronts Runa, who are also building huge popularity on the Festival circuit.  Her husband, Fionnan DeBarra from Ireland, is also a part of Fiddler's Bid and a members of one of the first families of Irish music. This will be Runa's second visit to the series and with some new recordings in the interim, promises to be a triumphant one.  See some new video below.  


The Karan Casey Trio
Sunday Mar 11 @ 4pm

Karan Casey comes to us as her first time performing with her own trio at the Burren Backroom.  This will be a treat. Fresh off of her triumphant appearances with Niall and Caoimhin Vallely and Robbie Overson for our St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn series last year, and a recent stint with Childsplay, Karan is soo looking forward to coming back to Boston.  

So this is a rare opportunity.  

See below for a sample. One of my favorite traditional songs...

The Seamus Egan Project
Wednesday Mar 14th @ 7:30pm

In 2017, Seamus Egan, founding member of the seminal band Solas, will be touring for the first time ever, as The Seamus Egan Project, bringing along friends and musical guests, and introducing fans to both the entirety of his immense and influential catalog of music, as well as new music hes never recorded or performed live. Beginning with tunes from his groundbreaking album, When Juniper Sleeps, which was the impetus for the formation of Solas, through the 20 year recording career of this iconic band, along with new tunes, Egan will continue to explore the further reaches of the Irish tradition, and beyond.

So this is a rare opportunity to see something new, and dynamic!  Moira Smiley, Kyle Sanna, and Owen Marshall will be part of the group.  

See below for a sample, a teaser....

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The April Verch Band...
Sunday Mar 25 @ 4pm


Its been two years since this dynamic Fiddler, singer, and stepdancer has been with us.  She grew up surrounded by living, breathing roots musicher fathers country band rehearsing; the lively music at church and at community dances; the tunes she rocked out to win fiddle competitions. She thought every little girl learned to stepdance at the age of three and fiddle at the age of six. She knew nothing else and decided early on that she wanted to be a professional musician.

She took that leap, and for over two decades has been recording and captivating audiences worldwide, exploring new and nuanced places each step of the way. On February 17, 2017, she will release The April Verch Anthology (Slab Town Records), an 18-track collection celebrating her lifes work. Hand-picked by Verch, the songs on this compilation offer an enchanting mix of regional Canadian, American old-time, bluegrass, country and Americana tracks.

Check her out below:  

Night Tree: with Jenna Moynihan
Wednesday Mar 28 @ 7:30pm

e Nordic Fiddlers Bloc with Qristina & Quinn Bachand

Night Tree's CD release in October in this series was sold-out!
This time, they will be joined by Jenna Moynihan fresh off of her stunning impact at A Christmas Celtic Sojourn.  What a night this promises to be.  

Inspired by fiddler and Solas founder Win Horan, I went to see these guys in a recital at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall this spring and it was just jaw dropping. Taking the traditional base that Win had introduced and using all of the chops, skills, and musical curiosity these six musicians had assembled, a unique sound was created.  Such was the impact, that all of the professors and NEC in addition to Win herself and several others involved in music advised them to stay together, record an album and tour it.  And that is precisely what they are doing.  

Produced by Seamus Egan, this new recording will be celebrated in their official CD release party as part of our series.  Anything goes this night, and I just can't wait for the recording - and the celebration of it in Somerville.  Hope you can join us for this one.  Check them out below as an opener for Solas in Beverly.  

Jenna Moynihan fresh off her huge impact with Christmas Celtic Sojourn this year, will open and if true to the spirit of the Burren Backroom, we predict she will also collaborate!.

  Stay tuned....more shows to be announced....