How it’s New York: Tracy Crawford and hubby Kevin (of Lunasa) visit NYC often (we wish it were even more). And Joanie Madden of Cherish the Ladies, and Jefferson Hamer of The Murphy Beds, will both be playing too!
How it’s Irish:  It’s a Trad music weekend in Ireland, and it’s connected to The Gathering.


Got a tin whistle?

No? Well, then, got a mouth?

Kevin Crawford wants you to learn a tune on the tin whistle and join in playing
“The Siege of Ennis,” in Ennis (where else?) this June, for a Day of Music that will be  part of The Gathering.

The idea was Tracy Crawford’s, Kevin’s wife, and the head of Bally-O  Promotions. Tracy had organized an event in 2012 in Ennis on International Music Day, June 21.

This year that successful afternoon will extend into a three-day weekend.
It will be called the Ennis Roots Music weekend, and take place from June  21st – 23rd 2013.  On the bill: the Kilfenora Ceili Band, The Lost Brothers, Joanie Madden, Jefferson Hamer, Lunasa.

Did we mention that it’s a free concert?

“It’s partly to do with the Gathering Year that surrounds us at the moment. We hope there will be a lot more people traveling to Ireland,”

gatheringlogoKevin told us.

The tin whistle angle is that they are hoping to break the Guinness World Records  for the most tin whistle players gathered (get it?) in one place, Kevin said.

“The Siege of Ennis” is

“a polka, a tune that has resonance in County Clare.

“Hopefully so many people will play it that it will come across as a siege of Ennis again,”

Kevin said.

To break the world record, there need to be more than 1,020 players in the  ensemble.siegeofennis

A few months ago, Kevin said he’s already heard from people who have told him that the event has given them the boost they need to start practicing. They are already buying their tickets and planning to come to Ennis and participate in sessions.

One of the people learning is Tracy herself. And she’s making progress.

“I think she’s going to somebody else for lessons on the sly,”

Kevin said. When he put on the video with Lúnasa guitarist Ed Boyd, Tracy began playing.

“I said, ‘You’re going to somebody else for lessons because you’re way more advanced than you should be!’”

To learn more about the Ennis Roots Music Weekend,, like them on Facebook, and follow

@EnnisRootsMusic. To get tickets, email

The YouTube tutorial can be found here:

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.