It was a raucous good time when An Irish Hooley! came to Harris Center for the Arts last season for two sold-out performances. This year, it’s the perfect lead-up to St. Patrick’s Day with a show on March 15.
From the producer of An Irish Christmas comes this Irish Hooley! (“boisterous party”) — pipes, flutes, harp, fiddle, bodhrans, dancing, singing, and storytelling — featuring the six-piece band Slugger O’Toole and members of the superb Kerry Records Dance team.
The musicians of Slugger O’Toole share their passion for the music of Ireland and the Celtic Nations by concocting a heady brew of foot-stomping pub songs, heart-rending ballads, and deft instrumentals.
Epic live shows at bars, theatres, fairs and festivals combined with a blue-collar work ethic and never-surrender attitude have led the L.A. Weekly to anoint Slugger O’Toole as “L.A.’s hardest-working Irish band.” With traditional instrumentation including fiddle, button accordion, mandolin, banjo, bodhran, pennywhistle, flute and guitars, the band entertains audiences with its brilliant close-harmony acapella renditions of the Irish classics that are true to the Celtic core.
The band Slugger O’Toole is comprised of Matt Foyer (mandolin, pennywhistle, flute), Dan Harper (guitar), Johnny “The Box” McKenna (button accordion, bodhran), Tim “Clough” McNamara (bass), Peter Romano (guitar), and newest member, John Sommers (fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar).
Special guests are Kimberly Gerard, Keara Osborne and Stephanie Hunter. Also included is The Kerry Dance Troupe, comprised of dancers from Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Magic of the Dance and local champion dancers. These ambassadors of Irish dance work with Kerry Records on various aspects of Irish folk-dance traditions, incorporating old Irish dance styles into modern Irish dance styles. Through this process, the best of ethnic and modern Ireland is represented, exposing audiences to the beauty, value, passion, and uniqueness of the traditional Irish dance.
An Irish Hooley! with Slugger O’Toole will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 15. Tickets are $19 to $29 with premium seats available for $39; students with ID pay $12. Tickets are available online at harriscenter.net or from Harris Center ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.