On 'The Bog Road' with Eileen Ivers
Grammy Award-winning and Emmy-nominated Irish-American fiddler Eileen Ivers and her band present "Beyond The Bog Road," celebrating the history of Irish immigrants in America through music, story, dance and film as part of the "Wine Down Series," 7 p.m. April 16, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar available.
The Allentown show incorporates 17 hours of high-definition scenes of Ireland and portrays immigrants and their work. Joining her on stage will be Irish dancers from the O'Grady Quinlan Academy of Irish Dance.
In a phone interview, Ivers describes her music as "real, honest, passionate, respectful, emotive, highly technical, but with a lot of fun."
Ivers, a daughter of Irish immigrants, grew up in the Bronx. Her childhood was surrounded by the music of her parents' homeland. While she received a mathematics degree, she became a professional musician with nine fiddle championships and 35 medals from the All-Ireland Fiddle Championships.
Ivers has been called "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin" by The New York Times. She has been a guest artist with more than 40 orchestras, was in the original cast of "Riverdance," played with Sting, Hall and Oates and The Chieftains and is a founding member of Cherish The Ladies. She has played on movie soundtracks including "Gangs Of New York" and performed for presidents and royalty.
The CD, "Beyond The Bog Road," released in February, is an account of her travels and the Irish experience's impact on the New World. It combines African and Native American cultures with Francophone and Appalachian music and dance.
"I want my listeners to experience tradition and an emotional state from my music," Ivers says.
The band performs bluegrass, Appalachian and Cajun music, which tie immigration and integration to the roots of Americana music.
Her band includes singer Tommy McDonnell, formerly of the Blues Brothers; Buddy Connolly, All-Ireland Accordion Champion; Greg Anderson, acoustic guitar, and Lindsey Horner, upright and electric bass.
Tickets: Miller Symphony Hall Box Office, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown; allentownsymphony.org; 610-432-6715