It's St. Patrick’s Day weekend coming up, where, for some reason, we celebrate the life of a legendary priest from the Fifth Century, who supposedly drove the snakes out of Ireland, although there never were snakes there. What he actually did was drive out the Druids and convert them to Christianity. Whatever. In his honor, and because we’re all Irish, we wear green attire and go to "cèilidhs," which is how we’ll start the coming weekend.
Humboldt Folklife Society hosts a St. Patrick’s Day Barn Dance and Céilidh at the Arcata Veterans Hall on Friday, March 15, with Celtic music by Covered with Moss and caller Summer McCall. A céilidh is a traditional Irish social event with folk music and singing, trad dancing, and storytelling. Doors at 6:30 p.m. with “instructed dancing” from 7 p.m.
With her red curls, Summer McCall looks kinda Irish, although she’s of Scottish lineage. She’ll call the dances, like with square dances, “:swinging your partner,” “do si do” etc. but Celtic style. Covered with Moss is a relatively new trio with Chris Hinderyckx, Sam McNeil and Blake Ritter playing trad Celtic and Scandinavian music on fiddle, concertina, bouzouki, nyckleharpa, banjo, etc. (They’re really good.)
Needless to say, it’s a busy weekend for Celtic musicians here in green Humboldt. Summer and Blake play again Saturday night at North of Fourth in Eureka, then for Sunday brunch at T’s Cafe (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.), at Mad River Brewing 3 to 4:30 p.m., and then head back to North of Fourth for a trad session 8 until closing with the other Moss boys joining in, along with just about any Celtic musician who wants to play some tunes.
Sam McNeil is also in the relatively venerable Celtic band Good Company, who kick things off at the annual St. Pat’s/Anniversary party Sunday (St. Pat’s proper) at Six Rivers Brewing in McKinleyville (and no, they’ll never change that town’s name). The Brew with a View place is marking their 15-year anniversary with music, food and drink specials all day, plus “St. Pat's decor galore, and your favorite green glitter beer.”
The music starts at noon with Good Company, followed dance music (probably not just Irish) by DJ Knutz, and starting at 8 p.m. 6RV faves Hollins & Hollins Mortuary Entertainment featuring the music of The Pine Box Boys, Lester T. Raww's Graveside Quartet, and Gentleman Jimmy Had
ley, which is actually one band reconfiguring itself as they play murder ballads and the like. Also, starting at 4:20, they have the culmination of the “Brew Your Beard” contest in support of McKinleyville Teen Center with winners taking home “awesome prizes!”
Sunday, the Logger in Blue Lake, has an all-day St. Paddy’s Day celebration including complimentary corned beef and cabbage, a traditional Irish music session, the Humboldt Highlanders Pipe Band, the Emerald Coast Irish Dancers (at 7 p.m.), Vanishing Pints (8 p.m.) Plus Guinness on nitro tap. “Erin go Bragh!”
Alice DiMicele is coming back to Humboldt from her home in Southern Oregon. I dropped her a line looking for details. “What do you want to know?” she began. “The basics are, I’m coming to town to play two shows in Humboldt: Thursday, March the 14 at the Arcata Playhouse, and Friday, the 15 at the Redwood Playhouse in Garberville. Thirteen-year-old phenom Delaney Rose is opening both shows, which makes me very excited because I’ve known her since she was a baby. Her mom Francine is one of my favorite people to sing with.” (You may know mom from Francine and Nimiah.)
“I’m coming solo this time around, which is exciting because most of my last shows, for quite a few years, have been with a band. Kind of fun for me to just bring my guitars and get to pull out old tunes and be real spontaneous.”
Any new songs? “I seem to be writing less,” she admitted, “but the songs seem to be a little more potent. I’m currently working on a song called Compassion. That’s kind of my obsession right now, developing compassion in myself and wanting for compassion to be developed in our world. The current political state of our government is so much about ‘me first, I got to get mine,’ and not really caring about others. I’m quite distraught over it all, and so I think what is coming out in my music is my sense of wanting to look deeper at ways of caring for everyone… The focus of my music is to try to bring some Joy, but also to go deep and remind myself and the listener that compassion really needs to come first. Without it we are really doomed. The last election gave me a little bit of hope, with all the gals that got elected all over the country. I still think we need a council of Indigenous Grandmothers for President.” (More on grandmothers and more at thehum.online.)
When Rosalind Parducci, self-described “singer-songwriter/fiddler/musical-mad-scientist” came to town awhile back from Grass Valley, she was the leader of the Stringtown Ambassadors, basically her and anybody who wanted to play with her. Now she’s the Artist-in-Residence for the Westhaven Center for the Arts. She played there recently (with Aleister Paige), but this time she’s turning the place over to troubadour Samara Jade from Asheville, who plays what she calls “Harmoniously homegrown Philosopholk” on Saturday, March 16. Can’t make that concert? Samara is also playing Friday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at Humboldt Cider Company out by Redwood Acres.
Sometime in the last decade, I went to see The California Honeydrops playing in Arcata. They started off doing a second-line parade in the street, with Polish bandleader Lech Wierzynski out front on trumpet leading the way to an almost empty club.
It was their first visit to town, and they killed with their mix of R&B, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues, and Louisiana second-line. Their reputation grew from there, and at this point they’re celebrating 10 years together with the release of their seventh studio album, the double disk, Call It Home: Vol. 1 & 2. When they play Friday, March 15 at Humbrews, it won’t be to an empty club, in fact it may be hard to get in.
For our weekly Deadhead shout out, we have Rosewater offering “three sets of Grateful Dead music” Saturday, March 16, at The Jam. It starts with “Layla Dias” from 6 to 6:30 p.m. (I have no idea what that is.) Then an all ages set 6-8, a break to get the kids out, then a last set at 9:30 p.m. where there’s a cover.
Also on Saturday, Full Moon Fever, Humboldt’s Petty Tribute plays at The Logger. I recently learned the Piet Dalmolen, guitarist for Full Moon Fever and Money (the Floyd tribute) has joined The Undercovers. That band plays Sunday afternoon for a not-very-Irish family-friendly “St. Patty’s Party” at the Jam with the funky Dynasty One. (Didn’t Piet play in that band too?)
That’s all for now. Check TheHum.Online for more.