You don’t have to know how to pronounce an Irish ceili to enjoy one. (Pronounced “kay-lee”, by the way).
Although it’s typically defined as a dance -- or slightly broader as a party -- in Dahlonega, the ceili at Canvas & Cork, which takes place on the second Saturday each month, is a gathering of talented musicians, set within a delightful wine tasting room and art gallery. It’s the perfect mix of art, wine, good humor and traditional, enthusiastic Celtic music.
On Saturday, March 12, from 2-5 pm this month’s ceili will not only be an early celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, but also commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the Easter Rebellion, which led to Irish independence. A core group of about 6 musicians, plus unannounced others, will play Celtic songs with fun and flair, plus perhaps a couple of revolutionary tunes in honor of the day.
The band will feature Dahlonega local Owen Devine’s wit and his talent on the Bodhran (an Irish drum); fiddler Carl Rapp; Ken Ross playing accordion; John Day and Ken Shearer on guitar; Julia McDermott playing the hammered dulcimer and Paul Matthews on the whistle. Beyond that, Devine says you never know who might show up with flutes and maybe even a banjo, since the roots of regional old time music run deep in Irish soil. It keeps things fluid and delightful, and with either a flight of wine tastings, or a glass of Cavender Creek wine, you can’t go wrong.
At the center of a ceili afternoon is a sense of camaraderie – not only among the players, but also among the audience. The space is small, but those there will make room – the mood is like a house party and it won’t take long to meet and greet most of those there. The sound may remind you of well-known Irish bands of the past like the Clancy Brothers, the Dubliners or The Chieftains.
It’s almost impossible to miss this event, since a large speaker broadcasts the music across Hancock Park to downtown Dahlonega – just follow the sound of Celtic music to a good time.
Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau | 13 South Park Street | Dahlonega, GA 30533 | (706) 864-3711 or (800) 231-5543.