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!  

Finbar Furey
Wednesday Aug 26th @ 7:30pm

Finbar Furey is a multi-instrumental folk musicial from Dublin. With his siblings, he was part of the extremely successful group The Fureys who were formed in Ballyfermot, where they grew up. His father was a well known musician who played the pipes. Finbar went on to win 3 All Ireland Medals, The Oireachtas, and many Feisanna in fact he was the only piper ever to win the All Ireland, the Oireachtas medal and the 4 province titles in the same year.

His passion for his music, and the rich Traveler tradition he grew up with, make his performances unique experiences that combine the contemporary with the deeply historic.




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An evening of Cape Breton music with Andrea Beaton & Troy McGillivray
Wednesday Sep 2nd @ 7:30pm

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Boston is known for its lively Cape Breton community & the wonderful Scottish influenced music it brings to town regularly. In this concert, two beloved stalwarts of that tradition - Andrea Beaton & Troy McGillivray will light up the Backroom with a Downeast Ceili. Don't be surprised if some other musicians will join them on stage as well. Surprises are part of the series, & its hard to keep people away from a good kitchen party. Take a listen...Video of each below. When they come together, watch out!

Seeleft for a sample. Starts with an air & develops from there. Keep watching to the end. Well worth it.

David Munnelly & Phil Masure, double bill with
The Fretless

Wednesday, September 23rd @ 7:30pm
Munnelly & Masure
But wait, that's not all! I have been hoping to work with The Fretless for quite a while...The Fretless is a new approach to folk music that is quickly gaining high acclaim around the world. But here in Boston, they made a big impact on me, & now with Masure & Munnelly, they agreed to a Burren gig like no other. This unique band is taking string music to fascinating places as it transforms fiddle tunes & folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements.

Click below for a sample.
I know. I know. I say this a lot but these two groups will rock the joint from top to bottom. If you come, I guarantee this as a major musical memory. (If you can honestly say it wasn't, I'll buy you & your guests a pint!)

Munnelly & Masure met at a session in Mayo in 1998. Philip's Flemish background & Munnelly's impeccable box style have created something unique. Click below to see a sample.
The Fretless
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Archie Fisher & Garnet Rogers
Wednesday Oct 7th @ 7:30pm

Archie Fisher riveted the room the first time he played this series a little over a year ago. Now he teams up with his old partner for what promises to be an amazing evening of singing and, knowing these guys, story-telling.

Archie is from Scotland of course, and Garnett from a very musical family (his late brother was Stan Rogers) in Canada. These powerful combinations make for a terrific duo and a varied repertoire. Just take a listen to this recorded live....

Archie Fisher Garnet Rogers

To have them play in the intimate confines of Burren Backroom is a rare treat indeed.  Tickets will be gone in a flash, so if you a reading this ACT NOW!  

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Eleanor McEvoy
Saturday, Oct 10th @ 7:30pm

Eleanor McEvoy

One of the great contemporary singer/songwriters, Eleanor McEvoy's work has spanned many decades of diverse work and collaborations from her sensational "Only a Woman's Heart" to her most recent release, The Thought of You. Her repertoire and style range from folk ballads and love songs to hard hitting social commentary.

This will be definitely one of the most contemporary nights of the Backroom Series to date. With McEvoy's renewed and energized commitment to writing, recording and touring, it will also be one of its most compelling.

Take a listen below to that range. Start with "A Woman's Heart" and then her latest, The Thought of You below it. Very different, equally compelling.

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Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill: Two shows
Wednesday Oct 21st @ 7:30pm & 9:30pm


So this is a rare opportunity. This will sell out in a flash. Two shows. 7:30 & 9:30. Grab your access while you can.
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Martin Hayes from County Clare is today one of the best known and sought after traditional Irish fiddlers in the world. His recordings & performances with Chicago native Dennis Cahill have become the stuff of legend, & now they have decided (like so many others) to play the intimate Backroom Series as opposed to the big theatre they would certainly fill.

See below for a sample. Starts with an air & develops from there. Keep watching to the end. Well worth it.

Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman
Wednesday, Nov 4th @ 7:30pm

Jeremy Kittel
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This will be one of those "special" nights at the Burren.  I guarantee it.  Máire is from a big musical family from my area of Ireland, West Cork.  (Nollaig Casey is her sister.) Her husband Chris is just an outstanding, creative guitarist, & together they simply rock live performances.  

Take a listen below for an example: It starts as a gorgeous waltz, but watch til the end.  Worth it.

Annual Benefit For Somerville Homeless Coalition
Wednesday Dec 2nd @ 7:30pm

Our annual event sells out quickly..  Always on the first Wednesday of December features feature a wide variety of local and visiting talent.  The purpose is to raise funds for the Somerville Homeless Coalition while celebrating the diversity of live music in this wonderful space.  

The line up is still being set but last year it included Robbie O'Connell & Aoife Clancy, Tommy McCarthy & Louise Costello, Matt & Shannon Heaton, Deadstring Ensemble, Ry Cavanaugh, Maeve Gilchrist with Nic Gareiss, Cat in the Moon, Danielle Miraglia & Tom

Somerville Homeless
Bianchi....so that give you an indication.  This will sell out rapidly so get tickets now.  Again, 100% of everything goes to Somerville Homeless, so please be generous.'
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Ten Strings & A Goatskin
Wednesday Feb 17th @ 7:30pm
Ten Strings & a Goat Skin

Introducing new groups to the Boston audiences is one of the joys of this series.  Ten Strings & A Goatskin, are from Prince Edward Island.  They take the trad influences of Scotlish/Irish/French/Bluegrass & make it into their own unique mix. Youthful, adventurous, a little wild and yet with the welcoming spirit of the gorgeous & storied Island they grew up on!  

Take a listen below:  

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More shows coming up....stay tuned!