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Shooting Stars Blackthorn brings Irish music and comedy


James Martinez, The Clarkston News 06/22/2005

Music lovers ready to laugh until their sides ache or crone loudly to bawdy Irish pub songs should head to the Concerts in the Park series June 24 to see Blackthorn.

Blackthorn performs traditional Celtic and contemporary Irish music with light comedy in-between songs.

"We perform traditional Irish music, some of it centuries old, some of it contemporary. We cover tunes by Andy Irvin and Sinead O'Conner or jigs and reels from a long time ago," said band member Gary McMullen.

The quartet collectively plays over ten instruments ranging from guitars to accordions to tin whistles.

The instruments are woven around the lead vocals of Belfast native Richard McMullan and the four-part harmony of the collective group.

Blackthorn's concerts take audiences across time, covering a wide continuum of emotions, while bringing the lore of Ireland to life.

"You can expect music that's both haunting melodically and poetically. There's a lot of real energetic, toe-tapping folk music. The audience can expect to sing along," said McMullen.

Since 1984, Blackthorn has toured the Great Lakes area including Detroit, Chicago, northern Michigan and Lansing. The group is a fixture at J.P. McCarthy's annual St. Patrick's Day show on WJR radio.

As part of the Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce's Concert in the Park Series, Blackthorn will follow the Local Talent Spotlight and play at Depot Park from 79 p.m. Depot Park is located west of Main Street on Depot Road in downtown Clarkston.

The Concert in the Park Series is scheduled on June 24 and July 1, 8, 15 and 22.

© Sherman Publications 2005
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