Celtic music for St. Patrick's Day

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BENNINGTON — What's a St. Patrick's Day celebration without the strum of a fiddle and banjo?

Not a festive celebration.

Scottish singer and guitarist Allan Carr and Celtic music recording artist and roots musician Jane Rothfield will accessorize the holiday with their musical talents Friday at The Meeting House Cafe of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

The duo has played traditional and original Appalachian style music for about 30 years while touring throughout the U.S., Canada, Scotland, England and in Wales at music festivals.

Carr is originally from Aberdeen, Scotland and grew out of a family of singers, fiddlers, pipers and accordion players, according to a release. Rothfield, his partner and wife, said they have a unique blend when mixed with her American, traditional music style.

"He comes from [musical background], he had that in his family," she said. "He has a deep connection to old music. That's unusual these days "

She noted that Carr's specialty is storytelling, a perfect fit for his genre.

"It's a way of explaining a song," she said. "A lot of the words and phrases is something not a lot of people are familiar with. He translates the song and that's the story telling part."

The couple met while Rothfield was in college in Scotland — Carr was performing at a folk music concert and Rothfield said she admired his singing. They resided in Scotland for most of the 80s and moved to the states later on to tour and record music. Two children and many recordings later, the duo now lives in Pennsylvania and continues to perform at old song festivals and other concerts.

Rothfield's daughter, Shona Carr, followed in her parents' musical footsteps and performs with a band called The Buck Stops Here as well as Johnny Cash's son, John Carter Cash.

Rothfield said her favorite part about this particular genre of music is the themes that are reflected in contemporary society — but told in stories that were passed down from unknown creators.

"For me personally, it's really connecting with people with stories of the songs," she said. "The stories that happen with traditional songs are themes that happen today — relationships, moving, agricultural references, protest songs — things in the old days are relevant today. (It's about) connecting with the community and entertaining them and having an opportunity to connect with people in a personal way sharing our experiences in our music."

Rothfield and Carr start at 8 p.m. at The Meeting House Cafe. Tickets cost $10 for students and $15 for the general public. Visit uubennington.org for more information.

Reach staff writer Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-6471 or @MC_McGeeney.


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