Together, musicians John Doyle, Nuala Kennedy and Eamon O’Leary make up the trad group, The Alt. Originally hailing from Ireland this trio of musicians come together with their guitar, flute, whistle, bouzouki and voices to create one of the finest touring trad groups this side of the Atlantic. On Saturday, Sept. 3 they land in Boothbay Harbor to perform at the historic Opera House.
The beautiful mountain Knocknarea in Ireland’s County Sligo is said to be the final resting place of the ancient Irish warrior-queen Maeve. The ‘Alt’ is a storied glen on the side of Knocknarea, and it was in the shadow of this glen in the little village of Coolaney that the three master Irish traditional musicians John Doyle, Nuala Kennedy, and Eamon O’Leary first gathered to rehearse. The old ballads, winding tunes, and freshly discovered songs that each musician brings to the table reflect the pure love of the song that has made Irish music so beautiful and compelling over thousands of years.
It’s this same love of the song that the Irish brought to America, nestling into their new homes in Appalachia and forming the bedrock that would bring us American country, bluegrass, and old-time music. The Alt are fully aware of this history, and in fact chose to record their debut album in the quiet isolation of a small cabin in North Carolina’s Appalachian mountains.
In recent years, Grammy-nominated John Doyle has gained major prominence in the Celtic and Folk worlds in duos with Chicago fiddler Liz Carroll, as Karan Casey and John Doyle; and with the Teetotallers. John spent three years on the road with the legendary Joan Baez as her music director and guitarist.
Traditional singer, flute player, tunesmith and songwriter Nuala Kennedy grew up playing music in Dundalk, Ireland and later moved to Edinburgh, Scotland. The combination of the best of two cultures, Scotland and Ireland, she claims is what has made Nuala the artist she is today.
Originally from Dublin, Eamon O’Leary has lived in New York City for the last 20 years. He has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, performing and recording with many of Irish music's great players.
Advance discounted tickets - $25 - are available at the box office, 86 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor / 633-5519. Advance discounted tickets, $30 are available at boothbayoperahouse.com and at the door on the evening of the performance. Doors for seating open at 7 p.m., and the concert begins at 7:30.