Concerts and concertinas: The week’s best trad gigs

Highlights include Cormac Begley and Rushad Eggleston; and a Gerry Whelan tribute

Cormac Begley and Rushad Eggleston


Cormac Begley and Rushad Eggleston

Tullamore Rugby Club, Co Offaly

8pm 15 087-2661822 Also Sat, Kilkenny; Thurs, Kerry

Now here’s a combination that’ll put the hairs standing on the back of your neck. Begley is a west Kerry master of the baritone, bass, treble and piccolo concertina and has done more to enable listeners get beneath the skin of his chosen instrument than most (and that’s saying a lot, given the renaissance in concertina over recent years). Eggleston is a cellist who just happens to mix a particularly game take on clowning with his music, to spell-binding effect. Two left field players who thrive on the unpredictability of live performance.

Cathy Jordan, Jarlath Henderson and Mick Daly

Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Co Donegal


8pm €12/€10 Also Sun, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin; Tues, Clifden, Co Galway; Wed, Newbridge, Co Kildare; Thurs, Waterford

This gathering of three fine singers, whose collective song store embraces the familiar and the well-worn as well as the occasionally obscure, is a treat for singers seeking some fresh insights into how a song can be transformed by thoughtful interpretation. Henderson’s pipes and whistle playing promise to add great breadth and depth to the mix, while Mick Daly’s guitar and banjo playing, not to mention sharp wit, provides a perfect foil for Jordan’s equally astute asides.

Gerry Whelan Memorial Weekend

Various venues, Cootehill, Co Gavin

Remembering the Mohill accordion player and lilter, Gerry Whelan, this now well-established annual gathering is a chance to catch a raft of local and visiting musicians and singers in full flight. The weekend is packed with Irish-language classes, singing and storytelling and music workshops. Feargal Bogue and irrepressible lilter Seamus Fay will be joined by many other local musicians for what is a community celebration, founded by the local Comhaltas Ceoltóirí éireann branch.

Alan Kelly Gang and Eddi Reader

Ionad Dara, Goresbridge, Co Kilkenny 8.30pm €22 086-0443152

Also Sun, Cork; Tues, Roscommon; Wed, Castlebar, Co Mayo

Having become an annual staple over recent years, this collaboration between sublime piano accordion player Alan Kelly and his band, and the intensely charismatic Scottish singer Eddi Reader, is a treat in every sense: Reader’s dervish-like qualities are shot through with a remarkable facility for burrowing deep into the heart of a song are the perfect foil for Kelly’s free-spirited accordion, and Steph Geremia’s flute playing.