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!
The Press Gang
Wednesday Nov 1 @ 7:30pm

THE PRESS GANG perform the instrumental dance music of Ireland on fiddle, accordion, and guitar,and now with Hanz Araki in the line-up, terrific vocals (just see below.)  Based in Portland, Maine, these three musicians have become popular over the past four years for their skillful playing and deep understanding of the musicand for their humorous stage presence.

This will be a celebration of a new CD, and as such, will most likely have many musical guests.  Looking forward to this ALOT!  

Take a listen to this...

Buy Tickets

Maeve Gilchrist and Keith Murphy
Wednesday Nov 8 @ 7:30pm


Talk about musicians having currency. These two are in serious demand for the musicality and also for their talents as artistic/musical directors.  Maeve is the Assistant Music Director for A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, and Keith has been music director for our St. Patrick's Day series for the past five years.  

Harp, vocals, Scotland, Ireland, guitar, mandolin, Newfoundland, Vermont, Cape Breton, Richard Thompson, original tunes, Quebecois, Acadian, percussion... all come to mind when I think of each of these folks.  Together, well the sky is the limit, but I do know that this is one of the shows I am most excited about this Fall.  Take a listen to the two tracks below....   

Sunday Nov 12 @ 4pm

Flo Fahy "is among those gifted young players who are helping to sustain the older dialects of Clare music."  So says Fintan Vallely the venerable writer and a great musician himself.  

For those of you who dont know who flo is: She a concertina player from North Clare, born and bred in the small town land of New Quay in Co. Clare, only a short drive from Bellharbour and home to the famous Chris Droney. She has been playing the concertina since the age of 10 and her father, Martin Fahy, a wonderful concertina player himself, is her inspiration and greatest musical influences.

Recently, Flo released her first much anticipated album with the wonderful Clare name of "Tunes from the Flaggy Shore."  Its a gem and will be celebrated when she gathers with musical friends and her own family at this special Backroom concert. Admission is free, but tickets are required so get them while they last.

Take a listen below as she introduces her own music, some reels....

Buy Tickets

Wednesday Nov 15 @ 7:30pm & 10pm

e Nordic Fiddlers Bloc with Qristina & Quinn Bachand

Le Vent Du Nord returns for their second concert ever in the Backroom. I love exploring the connections between Celtic Music and its cousins, both close and distant.  From the waves of immigration to Canada over the centuries, so much collaboration and cross influence has happened over the years, and today this music while predominantly French, resonates loudly with lovers of Celtic music - and for good reason.

From Quebec, Le Vent du Nord knows how to turn the lost past into intense and beautiful performances that push their roots in striking global directions. The group is blazing a path that connects their Québecois roots to the wider world, in both arrangements and on stage.

Considered a driving force in progressive folk, Le Vent du Nord captures the energy and mirth of a Saturday night kitchen party, infusing old Québec with a breath of fresh, cosmopolitan air.

Since its founding in 2002, Le Vent du Nord have become compelling Francophone ambassadors, winning critical acclaim and audience adoration across Europe, Oceania and America. The quartet has performed well over 1,400 concerts, racking up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canadas Grammys), a Canadian Folk Music Award, and Artist of the Year at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala.

The band delivers catchy songs and tunes, some taken from the Québec traditional folk repertoire while others are original compositions. The group has a rich and varied instrumentation, well-polished musical arrangements, and wonderful vocals.

SHARON SHANNON - Surprise Visit (Two Shows!)
Sunday Nov 19 @ 2pm & 4:30pm

Sharon just called and will be coming through Boston on Sunday November 19th. She wants to come and play two small shows with us on Sunday afternoon.  We said, Sharon you are ALWAYS welcome, and we are delighted.  So, two shows.  First will be at 2PM so could be a brunch/lunch show for you.  Second, will be at 4:30 again a very enjoyable time for music like this on a Sunday afternoon.  

These will sell out rapidly of course, so get your tickets asap.

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.  

Just look a the energy she exudes while staying totally connected to the tradition....

Buy Tickets

Annual Benefit For Somerville Homeless Coalition
Wednesday Dec 6 @ 7:30pm

This is always a sell-out and features the best in eclectic music and some Christmas Sing-Alongs as well. Now a Boston-area tradition and for such a greatcause. I would get tickets NOW if I were you! This event sells out quickly..

It will feature as always 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. Again, 100% of everything goes to Somerville Homeless, so please be generous.

Buy Tickets



Tony McManus...returns for a rare area performance
Wednesday Dec 13 @ 7:30pm


Tony McManus has been a featured performer in A Christmas Celtic Sojourn and St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn as well as a regular visitor to WGBH.  But only played our Backroom series once before and not since 2013, so this will be a treat.  

To find a unique voice on so ubiquitous an instrument as the acoustic guitar is quite an achievement: to do so within a centuries old idiom where the instrument has no real history is truly remarkable.

Tony McManus has come to be recognized throughout the world as the leading guitarist in Celtic Music. From early childhood his twin obsessions of traditional music and acoustic guitar have worked together to produce a startlingly original approach to this ancient art. In Tony's hands the complex ornamentation normally associated with fiddles and pipes are accurately transferred to guitar in a way that preserves the integrity and emotional impact of the music.

Self taught from childhood, initially through listening to the family record collection, McManus abandoned academia in his twenties to pursue music full time. The session scene in Glasgow and Edinburgh provided the springboard for gigs around Scotland and a studio set for BBC Radio, frequently rebroadcast, began to spread the word.

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