As the leader of any number of the Local 518’s finest Irish bands over the years – from Donnybrook Fair to the McKrells – Kevin McKrell is quite accustomed to having an over-loaded gig list when St. Patrick’s Day rolls along on the calendar.
But in recent years, the Christmas season has become just as hectic and jam-packed for him.
He’s back at The Egg in Albany at 8pm on Saturday and again at 2pm on Sunday for the annual “Mountain Snow & Mistletoe” celebration led by folk faves Christopher Shaw and Bridget Ball. Once again, Kevin joins fiddler John Kirk and percussionist Brian Melick as the three-piece Mountain Snow Orchestra, and the McKrell-Melick duet of “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (better known as “The Night Before Christmas”) is always a riotous highlight of the seasonal show. Tix are $24.
Then next week, Kevin and the McKrells roll into a four-day stand at Proctors in Schenectady, returning as special guests for the 32nd annual Melodies of Christmas concerts, featuring the Empire State Orchestra & Youth Chorale. Showtimes are 7pm on Thursday-Saturday (December 15-17) as well as 3pm on Sunday, December 18. Tix are $25, although there are a limited number of $15 tix available for Thursday and Friday.
The following week, the McKrells fire up a string of their own Christmas concerts, beginning with a benefit concert at the First Baptist Church of Saratoga at 7pm on Wednesday, December 21. Tix are $10; $8 for children, with proceeds going to the First Baptist Church and Hospice Gateway House of Saratoga.
Then the McKrells will wrap up their rooftop-to-rooftop holiday joyride with a two-night stand of their seasonal shindig at their home-away-from-home, the Parting Glass in Saratoga Springs. Showtimes are 7pm on Thursday, December 22 and 8pm on Friday, December 23. Tix are $10. (UPDATE 12/12: The 7pm Thursday and 8pm Friday shows are both sold out. A 9pm Thursday show has been added.)
But that’s not all that Kevin has on his plate this month. In addition to his well-known talents as a singer-songwriter, McKrell is also quite an accomplished artist, and you’ll see an exhibit of his recent paintings for sale if you happen to stop by Celtic Treasures in Saratoga Springs.
Hopefully, Kevin will get a chance to rest up a bit once January rolls around…