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Bealtaine at Home with north-west music legends

THREE of the north-west best known musicians will be featured in this weekend’s opening Bealtaine Festival events.

The Regional Cultural Centre (RCC) Letterkenny presents Pat Gallagher (Goats Don’t Shave) and Brendan Quinn & Dermot Byrne in two separate concerts this bank holiday weekend.

The concerts, recorded at the RCC and premiering this weekend, are being presented as part of the annual festival Bealtaine at Home online events.

On Sunday night, 2nd May, at 7pm Irish folk rock legend, Pat Gallagher (with special guest Sarah Gallagher) performs some of his greatest hits.

There are only a handful of bands that can use the term ‘legendary’, but Donegal’s Goats Don’t Shave are undoubtedly one of them.

Their iconic hit Las Vegas (in the Hills of Donegal) is still one of Irish folk rock’s most instantly recognisable songs.

Frontman and songwriter Gallagher’s songs have been recorded by many artists all over the world, but this is a rare opportunity to hear the stripped back versions (Duration: 40 minutes).

Brendan Quinn & Dermot Byrne

On Bank Holiday Monday, 3rd May, at 7pm Country music favourite Brendan Quinn is accompanied by renowned Donegal musician, Dermot Byrne.

Magherafelt native Quinn started in the music business playing guitar with The Malachi Doris Céilí Band at the age of 15.

While playing in various Irish showbands like ‘The Breakaways’ and ‘The Signs’, he recorded Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ in 1969 which received extensive airplay in Ireland, and 1972 saw Brendan with an Irish Number 1.

Quinn, who these days lives in Fanad, has since had plenty of more Number 1 hits in Ireland and toured extensively through North America and Europe with The Bluebirds and later The Kicking Mule.

Dermot Byrne’s seemingly effortless playing, combined with great subtlety and a faultless ear, makes him one of the finest accordion players of his generation.

A member of the renowned Irish traditional music band Altan from 1994 to 2013, Dermot has also collaborated with many great musicians including Seamus and Manus McGuire, Sharon Shannon, Frankie Gavin, Pierre Schryer, Tim O’Brien, The Stunning, Salsa Celtica and the late jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli (Duration: 30 minutes).

Both concerts of this weekend’s Bealtaine at Home concerts will be streamed on the RCC’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Subscribe HERE

Bealtaine at Home, 1st to 31st May 2021, an Age & Opportunity Arts Initiative, Bealtaine in Donegal is organised by Donegal County Council Culture Division in association with a wide range of partners and is co-ordinated by the RCC and Donegal County Library.

The Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny is proudly funded by Donegal County Council and Arts Council Ireland.

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