LIVE: An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas with Eileen Ivers @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 12/18/11
The stage at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall was aglow in the warmth of the traditional red, green and yellow holiday lights. Christmas wreaths and tinsel adorned the back walls and microphone stands. The welcoming decorations set the mood for a festive holiday show where the audience could join in with Irish-American fiddler Eileen Ivers and her band mates in celebrating the spirit of Christmas.
For two glorious sets, the music flowed with an engaging mix of seasonal favorites: Irish, American and European traditional Christmas songs ran the gamut from Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” to “Deck The Halls,” complete with a joyous audience sing-a-long.
The performance was chock-full of soaring fiddle pyrotechnics by Ivers, captivating bass solos from Leo Traversa, sensitive guitar accompaniment from Greg Anderson, hardy tenor vocals and amazing percussion from Latin congas to classic drums beats from Tommy McDonnell and wonderful keyboard and accordion virtuosity from Buddy Connolly.
The songs ran seamlessly one into another with Ivers introducing titles and telling childhood stories in between them. On several selections, the lovely Tri-City Christmas Ensemble Choir lent their collective voices, and on other tunes, the four young dancers from the local Boland School of Irish Dance added foot percussion and colorful movement.
All in all, a great show!
For a moment’s escape from Christmas commercialism, Ivers and her musical crew delivered an entertaining and engaging matinee performance that captured the real magic of the holiday season.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk