McDermott’s Handy, one of the most noted traditional Irish music groups in the region, will be performing at our May Meeting (5/9). Doors open at 7:30. The concert is free to SJARMS members and first time visitors and is $10 for returning non-members.

McDermott’s Handy, a duo consisting of Kathy DeAngelo and Dennis Gormely, has a stage presence honed by more than 25 years of experience performing in a wide variety of impressive venues including the New Jersey Folk Festival, Appel Farm, The Painted Bride, Penns Landing, Wheaton Village, Rutgers University, Lasalle University and countless other arts centers and coffeehouses. Kathy plays the Irish harp, fiddle and banjo (and occassionally the bodhran and mandolin). She has a commanding and expressive voice that belies her diminutive statute. Although she started playing guitar and folk music as a teenager, it was her meeting legendary Irish fiddler, Ed McDermott, in 1971 that sparked a lifelong passion for traditional Irish music. Kathy has been actively entrenched in the New Jersey folk music scene since the early 1970s, and is well known in folk harp circles as a performer and teacher. Kathy’s husband and performing partner Dennis had a long-standing performing career on the Philadelphia folk scene prior to meeting Kathy and taking up Irish music in the late 1970s. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Dennis is a wonderful guitarist and flute and whistle player.

Following their performance at SJARMS, Kathy and Dennis will hang around for our monthly acoustic jam and demonstrate how a traditional Irish jam session works. Although there are many similarities between traditional bluegrass and Irish music, the respective jams for each style of music carry their own unique format and culture. Kathy and Dennis will be playing three traditional Irish tunes that are frequently heard at Irish Sessions: The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Swinging On A Gate and The Merry Blacksmith. There are many versions of these tunes available on the internet — we will be posting links to some verions on our Facebook page. We encourage members to familiarize themselves with these tunes in advance and then participate in the jam.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!