Like a beautiful tapestry, band members MacAdams, Johnston, FayeCullen and Champagne, wove their music into perfect Celtic harmony Saturday night at the Kirkland Fine Arts Center.
Lisa Kaye: WSOY – AM & FM Radio, Decatur, IL
Wonderfully harmonious Gaelic vocals, both Scots and Irish versions, and crisp instrumental sets. Lead singer Nancy Johnston has a velvety voice.
– Dirty Linen: Folk & World Music magazine
Celtic music that touches the heart, mind, and soul. Drawing on Scottish and Irish roots, Craicmore (Irish for ‘Great Fun’) enriches the tradition of joyful Celtic music.
…Champagne entering from the back of the hall playing “Scotland the Brave” and breaking into some fast and furious intricate finger work.
… masterfully played pennywhistle, flute and bagpipes, … the most integral bass guitar I recall hearing in a Celtic band, occasionally they would break into four-part harmony.
The highlight of the show was an a cappella duet by Johnston and MacAdams in a difficult and often rapid-fire Gaelic song of ancient harmony.
Scott Prinzing: Billings Outpost – Billings MT
Though it has been over 2 weeks, your excellent show had left us deep impression. We still remember your performances, which was so perfect and brilliant that we couldn’t help missing them in our dream!
– Shanghai Pudong Cultural Development Co. LTD.
…beautiful arrangements and sensitive interplay combine to create music that’s as contemporary as it is timeless.
– Sing Out!
The sweet, lilting strains … floated through the back room of the Martin … to the cheerful stomping and clapping of a sold-out audience.
…Craicmore, played Irish and Scottish tunes, some dating back to the 1600s.
Nancy Johnston’s low, rich voice provided counterpoint to the cheerful, floating lilt of Dave Champagne’s Irish penny-whistles and antique 1849 flute.
Craicmore’s stage presence was friendly and inclusive, which made it easy to become engulfed in the atmosphere of the music. Some songs gave the warm, pleasant feeling of being in a familiar pub with good friends.
For those new to the Celtic music scene, the show was delightfully unobtrusive and accessible. MacAdams simply explained the differences between jigs and reels, and Johnston gave charming background on the pieces played, she even donned tap shoes and danced along with a couple of songs.
– The Humbolt Sun: Winnemucca NV
… a sterling piece of work. Shimmering-yet-crystal-clear production courtesy of Grammy nominated mix engineer Scott Fraser (for his work with Kronos Quartet) the band’s eclectic blend of ideas comes through with a powerful punch. There’s no question that CRAICMORE have announced with “from hill & hoolie”, that Celtic-inspired folk music is a very live and vital animal.
– Ray’s Realm
Lead singer and percussionist Nancy Johnston, backed by a solid guitar/bass rhythm section, has a commanding alto…
…a rich chorus of harmony voices on the driving Gaelic song “Cunla.”
– Dirty Linen – Folk & World Music magazine
Celtic quartet Craicmore’s latest CD is a rich, absorbing listening experience from the get-go, anchored by John MacAdams’ driving guitar and Nancy Johnston’s lovely, deep alto voice. The band’s beautiful arrangements and sensitive interplay, and MacAdams’ innovative production combine to create an album that’s as contemporary as it is timeless.
– Sing Out!
Their disc “too bad for heaven, too good for hell…” includes wonderfully harmonious Gaelic vocals, both Scots and Irish versions, and crisp instrumental sets led by flute, whistle, or bouzouki. Lead singer Nancy Johnston has a velvety voice reminiscent of Dolores Keane’s, used to great effect on the propulsive Scottish waulking song “Seallaibh Curaigh Eoghainn”
– Dirty Linen – Folk & World Music magazine
…they return with the intriguingly titled Too Bad for Heaven, Too Good for Hell. Now a four piece with Nancy Johnston’s impressively calm vocals leading the pack, Craicmore mixes Irish and Scots traditional songs and tunes with American contemporary folk elements.
Much of Too Bad for Heaven, Too Good for Hell finds a band in transition and creating their own identity-the results are most impressive. Los Angeles the cool epicenter of Southern California is an unlikely haven for Celtic Music and Craicmore is one of the finest outfits treading the boards therein.
fROOTS folk & world music magazine
Your magnificent performance and professionalism were much appreciated and we look forward to working with you again soon.
Patti Glover, Director of Special Events, LA ZOO
Los Angeles, CA
CRAICMORE was great to work with. Band members were fun, easy-going and true professionals. After two standing ovations, folks left thanking us and wanting to know when CRAICMORE was returning to the Clark Center.
Connie O’Henley, Executive Director, Clark Center
Arroyo Grande CA
I want to express my appreciation for your wonderful concert. The superb musicianship of CRAICMORE was thoroughly appreciated by our audience, all of the feedback was positive.
From a presenter/booker’s point of view I appreciate the ease of booking CRAICMORE, your willingness to work with me to make the concert happen was really a joy. CRAICMORE was a huge financial as well as an artistic success. I hope that you will consider a return engagement.
Mary Tanner, Performing Arts Manager, Lancaster Performing Art Center
It was a true pleasure having CRAICMORE at the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts at Whittier College. I can’t tell you how many of our audience members came up to me to say things like ‘. . . they were WONDERFUL . . .’ and ‘ . . . you HAVE to bring them back.’ And I have to agree! The show was fun, full of great music and good humor. I really couldn’t have asked for more.
But wait, there WAS more! The school outreach program in the morning was one of the most well organized programs that we have ever presented here. The teacher packet that you provided was really perfect. The amount of interaction with the children worked to perfection. And the inclusion of geographical and cultural connections really helped broaden the appeal of this show. I truly look forward to having you back.
David C. Palmer, Theatre Manager, Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts
…thank you for a wonderful CRAICMORE concert as part of our summer Concert Series.
The was excellent and you are always a pleasure to work with. We had a great audience turnout and heard many positive comments from people about how much they enjoyed the show. Please pass my sincere thanks along to the rest of the band.
Ronda Billerbeck, Cultural Programs Manager, Kent Parks Service
Wow, that was a fantastic show! The mixture of Celtic and Holiday music really makes for a great concert. All the different instruments, with…the Celtic harp, it was a great show, I really liked it.
Allen Tripp , Theater Manager, Blackfoot Performing Arts Center
It was a pleasure working with you and your ensemble, This was the first time Festival Dance had presented a musical group, and it was an experiment to have our Celtic Youth Company performing to live music provided by your ensemble. Everyone was thrilled by the professionalism of the outcome and we certainly appreciated your patience in rehearsals and your courtesy in working with the dancers and our staff.
The public performances were outstanding, we were so pleased at the standing ovations you received. Your four education/outreach programs were among the best we have seen, and they were very much appreciated by the participating students and educators.
Joann Muneta, Director, Festival Dance & Performing Arts, Inc.
This group of delightful professionals brought their wonderful music to this community with light hearts and open minds. They were warmly received and the evening was completely enjoyable. They came to share and enjoy and were received most gratefully.
Marjorie Iburg, Chair, Performing Arts Committee, Arts Council of Pendleton
CRAICMORE had a wonderful Yuletide Program, as the audience was leaving I had so many people stop and say thank you so much. It was such a nice take on Christmas, a different look at the Holiday. We couldn’t have been happier with CRAICMORE, we totally enjoyed them.
Linda Dvorak – Arts in Education Coordinator CAM-PLEX
CRAICMORE’s outstanding educational program is one of the best I’ve seen. They combine the joyful rhythms of Celtic music with history, world geography and vocabulary, and everyone has a blast in the process. The students in our schools are still chanting along to their recordings, pointing out the differences between reels and jigs!
Their public concerts mix exquisite music with playful banter between artists and audience. Our community is already asking when they can come back!
Susan Wahlmann, Performing Arts & Arts-in-Education Director, Quad City Arts
Rock Island, IL
Tonight, at the Celtic Yuletide Celebration concert, the people are just raving about CRAICMORE and what a great time they had. We’re happy they’re here and we’vd love to have them back.
Susan Mann – Entertainment Coordinator, Blackfoot Performing Arts Center
What a fabulous week we had with you and the members of CRAICMORE! You performed for over 5,000 kindergarten through 12th grade students at 11 schools. I appreciate your ability to keep up with the schedule and the way you were able to tailor your show for the different grade levels. I received numerous comments from Teachers saying what a wonderful and educational show you put on.
Many of our patrons who attended the public performance said it was one of the best concerts they’ve seen!
Peggy Thompson, Executive Director, Tahoe Arts Project
South Lake Tahoe CA