Men of Worth bring the music of Scotland and Ireland, Nov. 21
The Celtic musical duo, Men of Worth, will offer an evening of authentic traditional Irish and Scottish music Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. in Fiddlers Crossing. Their tunes and songs are so closely connected to their heritage, that Scotsman Donnie Macdonald sings some in his native Gaelic and Irishman James Keigher performs songs saved from the centuries-old oral traditions of his native County Mayo.
"Our music has its history in the crofting life of my Hebridean homeland and James' western Ireland. It was a part of the fabric of everyday life, and it came to America with the immigrants a century ago," explained Macdonald. "Now we're playing it again, to audiences for whom it could only be a generational memory." (Crofters are people who work a small plot of land, often tenant farmers.)
"For us, the irony is we were brought up in Scotland and Ireland, but as boys we listened mostly to the music of America, and not the music of our own areas. On our radios, we heard Hank Williams, Sr. and Jim Reeves. We wanted to see the Arkansas River, not Loch Lomond. Jim Reeves' hometown of Carthage, in east Texas, had more romance for me than did the Isle of Lewis."
Irishman Keigher admits that Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Crosby, Stills and Nash influenced him greatly. As a teen, he was already performing his own songs in the Irish pubs where he also learned the wit and humor he adds to the performances. "But now I have returned to my own musical bloodlines, too," he said.
The pair could not escape the emotion and tradition of the musical heritage of their homelands. "We could not grow away from those sounds," said Macdonald, "so we have preserved them as accurately and authentically as we can in our performances. We have an ancient yet fresh musical story to tell."
The musicians met in California in 1985, and each plays multiple instruments, among them mandolin, guitar, mandocello, banjo, concertina and bodhran. Now based in Oregon, they share their music across the U.S. as well as internationally, and are sought after for school programs. They also take guided tours back to their musical roots, leading Celtic music fans to the western isles of Scotland and to Ireland's heartland.
If you can't make that journey, you can hear the music when these talented troubadours bring it to you Nov. 21 at Fiddlers Crossing.
Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson St., in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased at Mountain Music, Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, Lucky's Barbershop, or online at fiddlerscrossing.com. Tickets to the concert are $20, and as always, coffee and goodies are included. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.