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March 2: Ten Strings And A Goat Skin to soar at the Myrna Loy

The acclaimed Prince Edward Island band Ten Strings And A Goat Skin has been hailed by their fans as "the best of contemporary/traditional Celtic music."

They bring their infectious and fiery Franco-Canadian, Breton, Irish and Scottish tunes to the Myrna Loy Center stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 2, for what promises to be a rollicking concert.

“We’re going to be playing a really nice mix of upbeat traditional French Canadian and Scottish and Irish Canadian music,” said percussionist Caleb Gallant. There will be “some ballads, some songs. It’s usually a pretty big mix of the two languages our tradition is based in and instrumental tunes as well.”

Their quirky name comes from a church benefit concert when the emcee took a look at their instruments -- a fiddle, a guitar and a bodhràn -- and coined it on the spot.

The moniker stuck.

Now, nine years later they are earning top reviews internationally.

Joining Gallant on stage are his brother Rowen on violin and guitarist Jesse Périard.

Their live performances are “upbeat and energetic,” said Caleb. And they highly encourage the audience to join in by singing, dancing, clapping and stomping their feet.

“A seamless, polished, barrel-drum-tight, rhythmically innovative and wildly entertaining traditional music powerhouse,” wrote The Guardian.

Their album, “Après du Poêle,” which means “around the wood stove,”

garnered them the 2017 East Coast Music Awards honor for Roots/Traditional Recording of the year.

Tickets are $25 and are available at 443-0287, online at, or at the box office, 15 N. Ewing.

March 2: Food Share benefit concert -- The Black Donnellys Dublin

Originally from Dublin, this duo consists of multi-award-winning guitarist and lead singer/songwriter Dave Rooney and Guinness World Record breaking guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Dave Browne.

The pair is known for their original “heartfelt ballads, raucous vocals, and rip-roaring fretwork.”

Their concert 7 p.m. Friday, March 2, at Grandstreet Theatre is a benefit for Helena Food Share.

Rooney was voted 2012 Best Irish Singer/Songwriter of the Year by NYCS “Radio Irish.” He and multi-instrumentalist Browne play traditional Irish, Celtic rock, folk, original, contemporary, country, and Appalachian music.

Browne broke the world record for marathon guitar playing in June 2014, playing guitar continuously for 114 hours at the Temple Bar Irish Pub in Temple Bar, Dublin, according to an article in Montana Senior News.

“The Black Donnellys Dublin are renowned for their lively performances,” according to the article.

Advance single tickets are $15, and $20 at the door. They are available at Helena Food Share’s office, 1616 Lewis St., or at

The performance costs are sponsored by musician Kevin Downey, so all ticket sales go to Helena Food Share.

March 13: Irish sensations Dervish play the Myrna Loy

Renowned Irish band Dervish celebrates St. Patrick’s Day early with a concert 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, at the Myrna Loy Center.

“Simply brilliant,” writes The Guardian of the near-legendary ensemble, while the BBC has called them “an icon of Irish music.”

Band members include some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians, fronted by one of the country’s best-known singers, Cathy Jordan, who is joined by Shane Mitchell, accordion; Liam Kelly, flute/whistle; Brian McDonagh, mandola/mandolin; Michael Holmes, bouzouki; and Tom Morrow on fiddle.

All six members of Dervish are steeped in the musical traditions of counties Sligo and Leitrim in north-west Ireland.

In its 25-year history Dervish has been long-established as one of the biggest names in Irish music internationally and is acclaimed for its live performances that match dazzling sets of tunes with stunning interpretations of traditional songs.

The band releases a new album this year and has shared the stage with such legendary pop and rock artists as U2, James Brown, Neil Young and Sting.

Tickets are $38 and are available at 443-0287, online at, or at the box office, 15 N. Ewing.

March 20: Socks in the Frying Pan star for Starz on Stage

Yet another Irish band with a flamboyant name --Socks in the Frying Pan -- sets Helenans dancing.

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The Socks take the stage 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, at the Helena Civic Center Ballroom.

According to Fiachra Hayes, who plays fiddle and banjo for the trio from County Clare Ireland, they just might reveal to the audience the story behind their sizzling name.

And then again ...maybe not.

The group will play a mix of songs from their three albums, he said, in an IR phone interview from Ireland, where they were bracing for the Siberian cold blast (“the beast from the east”) that’s sweeping Europe.

Their concerts feature old story songs that they’ve researched, Hayes said, adding with a laugh that 99 percent are about death and famine and 1 percent are about drinking.

And they’ll perform some of their original instrumental works.

This is the band’s first trip to Montana, although they’ve toured extensively in the U.S. and in Europe.

He likes to describe the Socks as a “high intensity, high energy band.”

They love live performances, Hayes added. “We feed off the energy of the crowd.”

They also love to laugh and joke, including their tales of giving up “high paying jobs as underwear models” to pursue music.

Growing up in Ennis, Ireland, Fiachra and his accordion-playing brother Shane were surrounded by great Irish music that’s played nightly in the local pubs.

The brothers are joined by Aodán Coyne on guitar, with all three trio members doing vocals.

“Their dynamic vocal harmonies, virtuosic musical ability and their onstage wit has captured and captivated audiences the world around,” according to Joy Novota of Starz on Stage.

They’ve earned critical acclaim, including being named New Band of the Year by the Irish Music Association.

Tickets are $26 and $30 and are limited. Call 227-9711 or purchase online at

Starz on Stage offers a cabaret setting with an adult beverage bar. The Tiernan Irish dancers of Helena will make a guest appearance.


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