Despite the bleak weather, Celtic Rock Fest 2014 a smashing success!

By Chyrisse Tabone


I had been anticipating the Dunedin Celtic Festival since I  joined an Irish Music Meet-Up group in Clearwater, Florida.  With the luck of the Irish, I was able to score a Groupon for the event, which made the 90-minute drive more bearable, even on an overcast, misty Saturday  afternoon.  When I  arrived  at the Highlander Park in Dunedin, Florida, I was impressed to see such a lofty turnout of lawn-chaired concert –goers, vendor tents, and food trucks (although I did not see Irish fare, possibly since I arrived late in the day).  There were plenty of long-haired “men in kilts” with Doc Martin boots, which prompted me to fist-pump and yell “Freedom!” ala’ “Braveheart” as they passed.

After downing a baked potato with cheese and broccoli, I was ready to sit back, huddle in the chill, and soak up the bands.  The first band I enjoyed was “My Three Kilts” a Celtic party band from North Carolina. We all chuckled when the song “Maggie’s Ass” came on. You gotta’ love the humor in singing about a girl that looks like a woman’s ass. Lots of fun with this band!

The next band was a hard-driving acoustic band “Cutthroat Shamrock”, hailing from Tennessee. If you like rollicking party music like “Dropkick Murphys” you will love this group.  They would be the band to party down with on St. Patrick’s Day.

Another Celtic rock band that really left an indelible impression on me was the Australian Celtic band “Brother.” Where do I even begin to describe the band and music other than asking “Where have you been all my life?” The music could possibly be described as mongrel trance music with a pounding backbeat, bag pipes that almost sound like a lead guitar, and the ethereal primeval hum of a digeridoo with a pick-up. Who would have thought of combining these instruments? Their music is danceable, uplifting, and humorous… “I’m a tourist, not a terrorist… I’m looking for a good year, not 1984.”



At the end of the set “Brother” was joined by the Scottish drum group “Albannach.” With the beating of the bodhrans and bass drums, the whine of the bag pipes, and the vibrating purr of the digideroo , the music formed almost an erotic, tribal feel. It was very pleasing and memorable. The only thing missing was a large bonfire encircled by leaping tribal dancers.



The evening of the Celtic fest was tremendous and I plan to continue following these groups. It appears that Albannach will be at the Sertoma Ranch, Brooksville, Celtic Fest  in February 2015. You know where I’ll be that weekend.






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Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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