Mopping up St. Patrick’s Day at home


The White Horse Black Mountain keeps the St. Patrick’s Day after-party rolling with a special evening of Irish music and other Celtic songs and tunes on Saturday, March 19. Music will be provided by singer Aoife Clancy, The Southern Highlanders, the White Horse Irish Session Players, Bob Hinkle and others. The event also marks the annual return of that notorious test of skill and coordination, the Irish Potato Roll, along with Irish jokes, poetry and stories.

Informal pub sessions are the heart of Irish traditional music, a time for players to swap tunes and socialize. Every Tuesday night the White Horse rings with the sound of fiddles, flutes, whistles, tenor banjo, bodhran and more when the 7 p.m. Irish session convenes. A session is as much a social event as a performance, and listeners are invited to gather round the circle to listen, voice support, and even dance if the spirit moves.

The Southern Highlanders (veteran folk performers Doug and Darcy Orr and Joe and Karen Hobert) offer acoustic arrangements of songs and tunes from the British Isles and the American Celtic diaspora. Orr, president emeritus of Warren Wilson College and founder of the Swannanoa Gathering, has long had an interest in the Scots-Irish musical heritage of the Appalachians. With wife Darcy and “Thistle and Shamrock” radio host Fiona Ritchie, he has written a well-received book on the subject entitled “Wayfaring Strangers.” A New York Times best-seller, the book is the highest-selling book in the history of the UNC Press.

Clancy, the show’s closer, is the daughter of Bobby Clancy of the legendary Clancy Brothers. A performer since the age of 14, she’s sung with many of the greats of Irish music, including Christy Moore and the Furey Brothers. In 1994 she was asked to join the all-female Irish-American supergroup Cherish the Ladies as vocalist, guitarist and bodhran drum player. For the past four years she’s toured heavily as a soloist and with her band, singing not only traditional Irish material but also contemporary songs.

St. Pat’s postpartum

What: St. Patrick’s Day Party

When: 6 p.m. March 19

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $12 advance, $15 door