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!  

Wednesday April 1st @ 7:30pm

Battlefield Band

Sean Tyrrell is no stranger to the Burren Backroom or indeed, this series.  In the past, he has wooed the audience with tales and songs about Irish American Heroes, Ghostly Hunters, crazy bombers, lonely lovers, and broken hearted travellers.  Last year in this series, he celebrated his recording of some of the "big" Irish songs that, to paraphrase Yogi Berra, were so popular, nobody sang them any more.  

One patron a few years agao, described him as "the Robert Johnson of Ireland."   Can't wait to have him back with us.

Click on the Video to the left to listen to a unique and brilliant reinterpretation of The Rising of the Moon.

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Martin O'Connor Trio
Wednesday, April 15th @ 7:30pm

This is something to look forward to indeed.  AND one of those events that doesn't come around too often.  Máirtín O'Connor is recognized as one of the foremost proponents of the accordion or "the box" as it is affectionately and more widely known these days.  Add in fiddler, Cathal Hayden, and singer/guitarist Shamie O'Dowd, and you have what can only be described as a super-trio of traditional music.  

Little more for me to say, cept WOW!  This will be gone in a flash.  Simple as that.  
Battlefield Band
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Wednesday April 22nd @ 7:30pm

What a concert the April Verch Band gave last year in their debut at the Backroom Series.

Along 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.

April Verch Band
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Open The Door For Three

WEDNESDAY, May 6th @ 7:30pm

Crawford Valelly

"Road-tested, audience-approved, high-octane, fist-in-glove, laughing-out-loud trio of Irish musicians" is how this new trio has been described and if their new CD is any indication, this will be one of the great nights of music in the Backroom Series this year.  

Each individually is well known in their field;  Liz as one of the best and most diverse fiddlers, Ciaran as a well travelled Piper (who was a star of the 2011 edition of A Christmas Celtic Sojourn btw), and Pat Broaders multi instrumentalist specializing on bouzouki, singer, and Dublin raconteur.  

Coming together as they have in a trio named after a well known Irish jig, a most interesting and entertaining concert of music, songs and wit is on tap with this one.

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Alba's Edge (CD Release Party)
Wednesday May 20th @ 7:30pm

I have gotten to hear Alba's Edge a number of times now in concert and must admit to being very impressed indeed by the innovative, unbridled, and adventurous approach to new and traditional tunes alike.  But its the phenomenal level musical chops and sheer energy they bring to their performances that has most impressed.

This will be a CD release so expect lots and lots of great and enthusiastic guests some of which you will already know of!!  
Battlefield Band
"Alba's Edge is a tapestry of cultures: the expressive Scottish and original fiddle melodies are woven together with jazz improvisation and harmony, funk bass lines and the rhythms of Latin America to form a cohesive and singular musical experience. Fiddle, piano, drums and bass come together seamlessly in a new sound that BBC Radio Scotland has called "a wonderful concoction".  Fresh off a US State Department funded tour of Mexico, Alba's Edge performs and leads clinics across the US and internationally at venues ranging from house concerts to festival stages."



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Wednesday, May 27th @ 7:30pm

Paddy Keenan Paddy Keenan is known throughout the world as one of the finest practitioners of this extraordinary instrument.  He was born in Trim, Co. Meath, a Travelling family steeped in traditional music; both Paddy's father (Johnny) and grandfather were pipers. Paddy himself took up the pipes at the age of ten. He later played with the rest of his family in a group called The Pavees a name that pays tribute to their proud Traveler heritage.

An original member of the seminal Bothy Band, his contributions to the popularization of Irish traditional music over the past four decades can hardly be overstated.  This will be a rare opportunity to see and hear the great Paddy Keen upclose and personal.  We have asked him to bring along some musical friends so you never know what will happen during the course of the evening. 
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Nuala Kennedy with Eamon O'Leary
Wednesday June 24th @ 7:30pm

Ok. Each of these musicians has played the Backroom Series before and so memorably!

Nuala Kennedy is an Irish singer and flute player whose music features liltingly beautiful vocals, adventurous instrumentation, and an imaginative mix of influences. Although she is rooted in the Celtic music of her native Ireland and adopted homeland of Scotland, Nuala has gained critical attention for her eclectic cross-genre work.

Eamon O'Leary is originally from Dublin and now a fixture on the trad Irish scene in New York where he lives. A multi-instrumentalist and find singer and harmonizer, he has performed a few times now in the Backroom Series with Jefferson Hamer as part of The Murphy Beds, and as part of the trio called The Alt that featured John Doyle as well as Nuala.  

Nula Kennedy and Eamon O'Leary

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The Duhks
Wednesday July 8th @ 7:30pm

The Duhks

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Formed in 2002 in Canada, The Duhks soon became recognized as one of the more dynamic, more agressive, more "punky" bands of the new wave of roots-based contemporary music. During a period of many personnel changes, several critically acclaimed albums, and quite a number of touring miles, the Duhks still retained that edge.

They played the Burren before and what a concert it was. If you were there, you know what I am talking about. If not, come on out for a rollicking treat in the special intimacy of this special room.


More shows coming up....stay tuned!