Celebrating Scottish poet Robert Burns

To celebrate Scottish poet Robert Burns, is to celebrate the everyday person. Burns wrote of the plight of the common man with a wit and pathos that has endured well past his death in 1796. Burns was born on Jan. 25, 1759 and this date is marked by Burns Suppers and concerts throughout the world, where the recitation of his verse and the singing of his songs bring to life the man who had spoken so strongly for the underdog and downtrodden.

Brian Freeman and Thistledown will be presenting the fourth annual Evening of Scottish Music featuring the songs of Robert Burns at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The first half of the evening will be devoted to the songs of Burns. The second half will feature an assortment of lively Scottish music.

Freeman will be playing guitar, octave mandolin and vocals. Joining him will be members of his Celtic band "Thistledown" featuring Larry Levin on guitar, mandolins, concertina and vocals; and Christine Williams on piano and vocals. Also singing will be Jim Finnegan who together with Brian Freeman have participated in nearly 25 years of Burns Night Celebrations.

Freeman has been performing both traditional and contemporary Scots folk songs in the United States and Scotland for more than twenty years in concerts, at festivals, and any other place where a wee song sung in a lilting, incomprehensible dialect is appreciated.

Levin is an alumnus of the Hawaiian-based Celtic group Irish Hearts, bringing jigs and reels to the land of the uke, and often joins the Celtic session at the Black Sheep on Sunday afternoons. Williams is a veteran of Oregon Shakespeare Festival and has sung locally with the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers. Finnegan also is a regular at the Celtic sessions and a past OSF company member.

This show often sells out, so advance tickets or reservations are encouraged.

Tickets are $15, and $6 for children under 12. Tickets are available at the Music Coop, Ashland and at the door.

Call 482-1915.

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