Pluck o' the Irish

Paddy Brannan's Irish Pub and The Playwright Public House will provide libations, Guinness included, and Local Drone will furnish the music for a good ol' Irish holiday.

The Celtic duo with Mark Tuttle on fiddle, guitar and bodhran and Daniel Carr on guitar, mandolin and banjo will spread its traditional Irish repertoire over five gigs and two venues this weekend.

The pair will play lively reels and jigs, slow airs and some good ol' Irish tunes at 6 p.m. Friday, March 16, and 4:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at Paddy Brannan's, 23 S. Second St., Ashland; and at 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 16, and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at The Playwright, 258 A St., Ashland.

Tuttle says the band hopes to bring a little culture and tradition to the holiday, which has long been equated with drunken revelry.

The duo's repertoire includes Cape Breton-style fiddle tunes, The Clancy Brothers covers and folk songs, some dating back 1,000 years — "what you'd find in a traditional, Irish, open session," Carr says.

The pair has no qualms about putting "O'Sullivan's March," which marks the retreat of a Gaelic clan leader to Northern Ireland during the Nine Years War, in the same set as Jerry Holland's "Rubber Face," a reel about "a friend who got drunk and ran through a party with a plastic bag over his head," Tuttle says.

"All the traditional Irish tunes have a story," he says.

Neither Carr nor Tuttle are native to the Emerald Isle, but the music found them nonetheless. Carr is one in a family of Celtic musicians and grew up listening to the genre.

"My parents met playing Irish music," he says. "So without it, I probably wouldn't exist."

When Carr was in his early 20s, his father offered him and his sister, Molly, a trip to Galicia, Spain, if they learned the region's Celtic-influenced music tradition.

Tuttle grew up playing guitar but switched to fiddle in his 20s, after his boss loaned him one. He primarily is self-taught but also spent time studying fiddle in Nova Scotia, Canada, with his mentor, Holland. Tuttle played in three Irish bands in Jackson, Wyo., before moving to Ashland last September. Both musicians spent several months playing in Ireland, as well.

If all goes according to plan, Local Drone will have its debut, live album available at Saturday's shows.

As part of its St. Patrick's Day celebration, The Playwright also will feature father-son duo Generation Jones, playing Celtic rock, at 6 p.m. Friday, March 16, and 5 p.m. Saturday, March 17; and guitarist Jeff Baxter at 3 p.m. Saturday.

There is no cover to any of the band's shows this weekend. Call 541-488-7973 and 541-488-9128.

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