A good Celtic tune can lift our hearts, set our feet dancing, and make life seem sweeter. This summer’s Celtic Fest – Sept. 24 and 25 in Frederick, CO – features two ensembles that offer a fresh take on what Celtic music means.
Angus Mohr leads off Celtic Fest with their distinctive Highland rock sound. They play tunes ancient and modern, with plenty of original compositions. Paul McDaniel is one of the band’s original members, which started in 2004. Inspired by a Seven Nations Celtic rock group performance that left the McDaniel family “blown away,” Paul’s son Matt decided to learn to play bagpipe, and two years later Angus Mohr was born.
He’s excited to be getting back to playing festivals after two years of pandemic-canceled schedules. “They’re always multi-generational. We’ve had friends and followers since 2005 who turn up,” McDaniel said. “And I love having fun with tunes that have been played by five and six generations of musicians.”
Beth Gadbaw, half of the Gadbaw & Krimmel duo, is similarly looking forward to the return of festivals. She loves the vibrancy of the Celtic music scene in Colorado and the diversity of the different groups. In addition to singing, she plays the bodhran (“BOW-rahn” – rhymes with “cow Ron”), the Celtic drum that looks like a large round tray. She’s self-taught and really enjoys seeing the traditional separation of “singing circles” and “instrumental circles” breaking down in the Celtic music world. She and harpist Margot Krimmel play traditional Celtic tunes as well as original music, and both of them have released CDs.
Gadbaw says she has a special place in her heart for Celtic Fest in Frederick, which for her “combines the social and spiritual aspects of getting together.” She particularly enjoys Celtic Fest’s worship opportunities, the “blessing of the beer,” and the opportunities for fun and fellowship. “Once you have the language of music, you can communicate with anyone,” she said.
St. Brigit Episcopal Church hosts the annual Celtic Fest (www.celticfestbrigit.org) in Frederick, CO on its grounds at 110 Johnson St.
Angus Mohr website: http://www.angusmohr.com/
Gadbaw & Krimmel website: https://whitebirdsmusic.bandcamp.com/