Weaving the traditions of Dance, Music, Art & Language

Celtic Junction Arts Center

Best Cultural Center in North America –IrishCentral, 2018

836 Prior Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55104

A 501(c)(3) organization

Chad McAnally and Shawn McBurnie Double CD Release, October 22

$10, 7:30pm

Continuing the storied tradition of song and Gaelic harp

Chad McAnally and Shawn McBurnie celebrate the launch of two projects recorded in the past year.  Special guests include guitarist Brian Barnes and percussionist Adam Modares.

In Blackbird from the Willow Sings Shawn and Chad collaborate to provide a glimpse of the musical world of Gaelic harp and voice as it might have been had the ancient tradition not been broken. Blackbird from the Willow Sings will appeal to fans of early music, traditional Irish and Scottish music, and contemporary folk.

Chad McAnally, a National Scottish Harp Champion, is at the forefront of the continuing revival of the ancient wire-strung Gaelic harp. Chad's lifelong passion for traditional music and deep respect for the uncommonly rich heritage of the harp's past informs all aspects of his performance and composition. In approaching the old material from the perspective of a living tradition rather than a broken one, he breathes new life into the music.

Few traditional musicians exhibit the breadth of singer and writer Shawn McBurnie. At ease singing in Scots leid, he also shows a rare ability to convey the musical and poetical sense of a ninth century Old Irish poem to the modern ear.  In addition, Shawn contributes a trio of original songs to Blackbird, bringing the time spanned by the material well beyond a thousand years.

Of Bards and Beggars is Chad McAnally's fist solo Gaelic harp recording and compositional debut. It features original compositions, variations and settings of traditional pieces, and a song performed by friend Shawn McBurnie. Of Bards and Beggars is a musical introduction to one mind; inspiration, improvisation, lamentation, and imagination all pause to make your delighted acquaintance.

Praise for Blackbird from the Willow Sings

"Chad McAnally and Shawn McBurnie have pulled off an all-too-rarely accomplished feat with the release of Blackbird from the Willow Sings: they have successfully blended the new and the traditional. Neither stale remakes nor pandering pop approaches can be found here. Aided by Rumgumption bandmate and guitarist Brian Barnes, both musicians have infused exciting lyrical and instrumental takes within a dizzying array of material reflective of Celtic/English styles. Dance, lyricism and balladry are all given the royal treatment by a world class ensemble."
- Kevin O'Connor, KBEM-FM music director

"Music and song, poetic and deep, ancient and modern, beautifully recorded and performed impeccably, Shawn's warm tones and Chad's virtuoso harp artistry seem to reverberate down the dark tunnel of the ages."
- Dáithí Sproule

"Your new album is transcendent. I love it, I've been listening to it repeatedly..."
- Gerard-Jean Boissy, Wild Sound Studios

"Congratulations for making this significant contribution to the Gaelic harp world."
- Ann Heymann

Chad McAnally is a fiscal year 2010 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.