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Pipes, pints, players on tap at Edgefield for St. Pattys weekend

by: Jim Clark Reanna Maroon, 7, of Gresham listens to traditional Irish music by the Bob Soper Band at Mcmenamins Edgefield's 2011 St. Patrick's Celebration.

Music, dance, drink and grub are all on hand this weekend at McMenamins Edgefield, which is pulling out all the stops to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on March 17.

Most of the events are free, open to all ages and take place all day Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17. Leprechauns will roam the ground with free candy; there'll be activities such as face painting for children; and food items for sale include Irish stew and Reuben sandwiches.

Edgefield stages will feature some of the best Irish and pop musicians in the Portland area. About 2,000 people are expected to traverse the grounds of Edgefield this weekend, says Renee Rank, spokeswoman.

'Let's hope for a nice sunny day, but even if it's not, we'll have a big tent set up for the music,' she says.

The music kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Friday with Irish band Cul an Ti and concludes with swampy rock 'n' rollers The Strange Tones later that night.

On Saturday, Irish dancers will display their talents at noon, followed by The Bob Soper duo at 1 p.m. Music continues throughout the day with shows at the Winery, the Loading Dock and the Little Red Shed.

Here's a sample of who's performing:

Cul an Ti (Irish for 'back of the house') play everything from songs centuries old to hits by the Pogues and features Cary Novotny, guitarist-vocalist and Danny O'Hanlon, bassist, percussionist and singer.

Along with a revolving cast of members, the duo has been plying its musical trade everywhere from classy Celtic cultural festivals to boisterous barrooms since 1995. Both men confess to having been obsessed from time to time with Irish music, given its ability to evoke emotions through its drive, drones and tunings.

'I listened to the instrumental tunes,' Novotny says when asked about how he went from playing classical guitar to Irish. 'They dance back and forth between minors, majors and modals.'

Johnny B. Connolly will perform a 21-and-older show at the Winery at 7 p.m. Friday, with Novotny on guitar and vocals and Joe Trump on percussion.

Connolly jams on the button accordion and has performed and recorded with many internationally renowned artists including Kevin Burke, the Chieftains, Anam, Patrick Ourceau and Aidan Brennan.

The River City Pipe Band is a pipe and drum band that's been known to perform such tunes as 'Amazing Grace,' 'Scotland the Brave' and 'Bonnie Dundee.' The band will rove the grounds of Edgefield both days.

Hanz Araki and Kathryn Claire will perform on the Loading Dock at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Two island nations - Japan and Ireland - have shaped the music of Araki, who played with The Paperboys, an internationally acclaimed Canadian folk band, back in the 1990s. Since then, he has carved a solo niche for himself playing Irish music on the flute and singing as well. He has played with the Seattle Symphony, the University of Washington Wind Ensemble and is featured on more than a dozen recordings and soundtracks, from feature films and documentaries to popular video games.

Violinist Claire has collaborated with the likes of Portland pop-rock stalwarts JONAH, Sassparilla, Pogues tribute band KMRIA and The Portland Cello Project, as well as has performed her music around the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.

Other bands on hand for the festivities include Whitethorn, The Mad Yankees, The Angry Monks, State and Standard, Brongaene Griffin, and Seth and May.



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