Few things warm you up on a cold February night like good food and good music, and both were present in spades when Cherish the Ladies brought their U.S. tour to Boston.
The dining room of City Winery was completely sold out, leaving most guests shoulder-to-shoulder while eating dinner. I ordered a meal of roast chicken, potatoes, and carrots, which turned out to be a perfect accompaniment for a night of traditional Irish music.
Now, traditional Irish music isn’t for everyone. For some, it’s enjoyable, nice background noise in a bar or a fun party playlist on Saint Patrick’s Day. But for others, it grabs them by the soul, reaches into their chest and pulls out a longing for a place they may not even have ever been to. There’s a beauty in the traditional music of Ireland, in the lilting melodies of the fiddles and wistful lyrics, that, done well, will tug at the heartstrings, and draw laughter and tears at the same time. The moment the ensemble began to play, the room stopped feeling like an upscale dining room in a winery. It felt like a homey pub in a small town nestled into the hills of western Ireland.
The group played a mix of old and new music, highlighting tracks from their newest release, Heart of the Home (released last September). Perhaps the most crowd-pleasing moments, though, came when Irish dancers David Geaney and Michael Holland joined the ladies onstage to show off their talents as well.
Holland is an Ohio native who’s got a world championship title under his belt; Geaney is a five-time world champion and Britain’s Got Talent semifinalist hailing from Dingle, Ireland. Both incredibly talented and fleet of foot, the extra energy they brought to the jigs and reels being played onstage were exactly what the crowd needed, especially in between the more somber songs.
Other special guests included singer Kate Purcell, who features on the album and treated the audience to a few songs from her native County Clare, and students from a local school of Irish dance.
Cherish the Ladies continue to tour throughout the United States for the rest of March—their upcoming tour dates can be found here.