They say everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. We found that Charleston, West Virginia’s first weekend in March “Celtic Calling” turns an entire downtown community into an Emerald Isle festival.  Libraries, nightclubs and bookstores host Irish readings, dance and music.  We had the great opportunity to see and hear one of the great traditional Irish Bands-Teada.

These world-wide headliners hailing from several Irish counties delighted the packed house at Charleston’s’ historic Capitol Theater.  From Oisin Mac Diarmada’s gifted fiddle playing to Samantha Harvey’s Irish Step Dancing, this troupe of homespun musician’s quickly became the audience’s favorites – and our friends.

The leader of the clan and the band was an Irish godsend.  Seamus Begley is the quintessential Irish musician, famous for his sharp wit and the beautiful sweetness of his voice (helped by a wee bit of Irish whiskey in a snifter.) Seamus told jokes, squeezed his button accordion, and offered us a self-deprecating yet sincere taste of what it’s really like to be Irish.

Young children danced in front of the stage to Teada’s lively reels, jigs and polka’s. A trio of local young ladies came down to show the wee ones how a high-stepping jig is really done.  The concert kept smiles on our faces and both happy and sad melodies dancing through our heads.

This concert was presented by FOOTMAD, West Virginia’s “Friends Of Old Time Music And Dance.”  Check and see if there’s a dedicated group of volunteers in your region who bring great local talents and true ethnic performances for all to see and hear. Go and learn and enjoy. You’ll be glad you did.

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