Irish singers head to Tucumcari

TV Hagenah

Tuesday will see the first performance in Tucumcari of this year’s New Mexico Presenters’ Alliance entertainers and according to Quay County Center for the Arts president Judy Hiner, it should be very good.

The Jan. 27, 7 p.m. performance will feature what is being billed as “a Musical Tour of Irish Musicians.”

“I have heard such wonderful things about this tour,” said Hiner. “I think they are just going to fabulous.”

Feature performer for the evening at the school auditorium is the internationally known Irish folk balladeer and rock singer Susan McKeown.

According to Hiner McKeown has made several albums which include both traditional Irish tunes and pieces she has written herself. McKeown has performed with such well-known performers as Sinead O’Connor, Mary Margaret O’Hara and Natalie Merchant. She has also performed on numerous American broadcast media.

McKeown will be backed up by her long-time band the New York based band The Chanting House.

Also performing on the same stage will be another Irish band, Flook, which the Albuquerque Sunday Journal calls “an all-instrumental powerhouse band.”

Flook is led by Sarah Allen on alto flute and accordion and this performance is part of the band’s first tour of the United States.

According to McKeown, the two band work well together presenting a good feel for the totality of Irish music.

“The bands complement each other well,” said McKeown. “I’m about songs and they’re (Flook) about tunes. To understand the whole of Irish music, you have to have both, and women are at the center of both ensembles.”

Hiner said Tucumcari marks virtually the only location outside either the metropolitan areas of New Mexico or the areas heavily into cultural activities like Taos and Santa Fe that the Irish musicians will be performing.

“I think this is a wonderful chance for Tucumcari to hear some excellent music and see some wonderful performers,” said Hiner about the Tuesday concert. “I hope as many people as possible take advantage of this.”

The musician will also be visiting the Tucumcari schools to interact with the students about their music and music in general.

Funding for the performances of Susan McKeown and the Chanting House Band and Flook has been provided by the Western States Arts Federation; NM Arts; and local donors and season ticket holders.

INFO box Where – High School Auditorium: When – Tuesday, Jan. 27. 7 p.m. Cost – $12 at Chamber of Commerce $15 at door.