Bohola—music with an Irish flavor

It’s not St. Patrick’s Day yet, but the Irish group Bohola will put the “spring” in your step if you move in rhythm to their music. See for yourself at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, as Charlotte’s Web hosts Bohola at the Mendelssohn Club, 415 N. Church St.

The Irish Voice describes them this way: “… bohola is an acoustic power for the new century, a group whose instrumental virtuosity, strong vocals and stunning arrangements place them at the leading edge of today’s traditional music scene.”

Accordion virtuoso Jimmy Keane along with fiddler extraordinaire Sean Cleland, the remarkable dordan player and singer Pat Broaders, and the lovely singer, Kat Eggleston, compose Bohola. A driving, muscular, yet very emotive style of Irish music with deep roots in the “pure drop” tradition, which has been forged with the raw and gritty urbanized musical vernacular of the Irish-American experience.

Bohola’s debut album on Shanachie Records is championed by The Irish Voice as “one of the most impressive debut recordings ever It’s not St. Patrick’s Day yet, but the Irish group Bohola will put the “spring” in your step if you move in rhythm to their music. See for yourself at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, as Charlotte’s Web hosts Bohola at the Mendelssohn Club, 415 N. Church St.

The Irish Voice describes them this way: “… bohola is an acoustic power for the new century, a group whose instrumental virtuosity, strong vocals and stunning arrangements place them at the leading edge of today’s traditional music scene.”

Accordion virtuoso Jimmy Keane along with fiddler extraordinaire Sean Cleland, the remarkable dordan player and singer Pat Broaders, and the lovely singer, Kat Eggleston, compose Bohola. A driving, muscular, yet very emotive style of Irish music with deep roots in the “pure drop” tradition, which has been forged with the raw and gritty urbanized musical vernacular of the Irish-American experience.

Bohola’s debut album on Shanachie Records is championed by The Irish Voice as “one of the most impressive debut recordings ever by an Irish traditional music group.” The Courier News added: “Though most of the tunes bohola plays are well over 150 years old, the music comes across more vibrant than the moribund sounds of much of today’s alternative rock. Their sound comes from the Irish version of jam sessions, but bohola puts the noodling of many current jam bands…to shame.”

Bohola’s key to their sound is the interplay between the musicians and the approach they take to their music. “It is really the music that counts,” said Keane. “We really listen to and respond to each other when we play—bending, twisting, and caressing the music as it flows along.”

The Chicago Tribune wrote: “bohola plays 300-year-old jigs and reels as if they were trying to tear the house down. Keane’s rippling accordion and Sean Cleland’s darting fiddle play rapid, swirling melodies, while Pat Broaders accents the rhythm with his staccato bouzouki strumming. Broaders also takes the spotlight to sing plaintive ballads.”

In concert, bohola perform music selections that weave in and out between tunes and songs that can continue for 20 minutes or so, ever evolving and flowing. They play tunes that range from 100-year-old harp pieces, reels, jigs, slides, polkas and barn dances to newly composed pieces in the traditional idiom.The songs run the gamut from ancient melodies of Ireland, to songs brought to North America by immigrants, to newly composed songs from here and abroad. All are played with a freshness and subtlety of approach that is unique in Irish music today.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets are available at the Mendelssohn Club, 415 N. Church St., 964-9713; Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State St., 963-6765; The Postal Shoppe, Edgebrook Center, 397-7301; and Tin Whistle, N. Main & Auburn, 963-0270; or by mail with check and SASE, 10928 N. Main, Rockton, IL 61072. For Web information, call 964-2238.

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