Logo: Susquehanna Folk Music Society
Central Pennsylvania's grass-roots voice for folk music and dance!

Karan Casey

Wednesday, March 8, 2023 7:30 pm at The Abbey Bar @ABC

About This Event:

Called “...the Irish equivalent of Emmylou Harris” (Washington Post), Karan Casey is an incomparable vocalist and a talented songwriter. Karan’s 25+ year career has seen her singing everything from traditional Irish ballads to jazz and blues, and working with artists ranging from Solas and Lúnasa to the Boston Pops Orchestra to James Taylor and Tim O’Brien.

Karan Casey

photo by Amelia Stein

Sheila Falls, Matt Heaton and Karan Casey

Fiddler Sheila Falls (left), guitarist Matt Heaton (center) and Karan Casey (right)

Called “...the Irish equivalent of Emmylou Harris” (Washington Post), Karan Casey is an incomparable vocalist and a talented songwriter. Karan’s 25+ year career has seen her singing everything from traditional Irish ballads to jazz and blues, and working with artists ranging from Solas and Lúnasa to the Boston Pops Orchestra to James Taylor and Tim O’Brien.

For this show, Karan is joined by Sheila Falls on fiddle and guitarist Matt Heaton, an evocative trio who have toured together for several years. This show premieres new material from Karan’s new album “Nine Apples of Gold” (to be released in January 2023) as well as favourites from Karan’s back repertoire. The songs draw inspiration from a wide range of sources from the personal to the historical and political, touching on themes of family, loss, love, the empowerment of women and Irish revolutionary struggle.

A sense of social responsibility is woven through Karan’s work. In 2018 she helped to found FairPlé, an organization aimed at achieving fairness and gender balance for female performers in Irish traditional and folk musics.

Karan has released eleven albums of her own, and has appeared on more than 50 albums as a contributing artist. Karan’s recent album Hieroglyphs That Tell the Tale is “likely to appeal equally to fans of alt-country and Irish folk alike,” and her song “Down in the Glen” from that album was nominated for Best Original Folk Song at the RTE Folk Awards 2019.

Karan’s show I Walked into My Head premiered at the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2021. It is “a moving, darkly humorous and sometimes joyful exploration of the trials and tribulations of life as a singer.” Her newest project, The Women, We Will Rise shares through song the experiences of gallant women from Ireland’s past, while singing into being a vision for the women of the future.

Karan Casey
Karan Casey
Karan Casey

Sheila Falls

Violinist, fiddler,composer, Sheila Falls has been performing since the age of 9. She is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music. and has an impressive symphony resume, including touring as Concertmaster for Miami's New World Symphony.

On the trad side, Sheila is a three-time North American Irish Fiddle Champion, and she won the All-Ireland Fiddle Championship at the age of 15. She toured with the Boston-based fiddle group “Childsplay” with whom she has recorded multiple albums which include a number of her compositions. She released a solo album and has recordings in the Smithsonian Folk Life Collection and the Library of Congress.

Sheila has recorded for numerous films including PBS, “The Mine Wars” on American Experience and “Tommy Makem’s Ireland.” Sheila regularly joins Irish folksinger Karan Casey on her U.S. tours. Sheila is Associate Professor of Music at Wheaton College, Norton, MA and Director of the World Music Ensemble. She is a member of the music faculty at Boston College and Director of the Gaelic Roots Music, Song, and Dance Series.

Matt Heaton

Matt Heaton is the son of noted organist/composer Charles Heaton, who instilled in Matt a love of music from an early age. His earliest exposure to Irish music was through an unlabelled cassette tape which contained “The Planxty Collection.” His search for more led him to the vibrant Chicago session scene, and eventually to flute player (and now wife) Shannon Heaton.

Matt has performed with countless ensembles, including the Karan Casey Band, Boys of the Lough, and Robbie O’Connell. In addition to his work as an Irish accompanist on guitar and bouzouki, Matt is an active performer for children and families. He has received multiple MCC grants for his engaging singalongs and rockabilly tinged albums. He also fronts surf-rock band Electric Heaters.

Matt’s guitar style reflects an amalgam of influences without losing the context of the music. His background includes a degree in Classical Guitar, recordings with a tango ensemble, late nights with a rock band and more recently, an early morning career playing music for young kids. Through it all he remains a sensitive and informed accompanist for whom the music is more important than the instrument. He has taught at a number of camps including: Portal Irish Music Week, Milwaukee Irish Fest School, Catskills IrishArts Week, O’Flaherty Retreat, Acadia Trad week and others. His easy-going manner and ability to demystify both technique and theory make him a favorite among students.

Tickets

Concert: 7:30 pm Doors: 6:30 pm US Eastern Time

General ticket info

Venues

The Abbey Bar, Appalachian Brewing Company

50 N Cameron St, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Free parking behind the building.

This is a seated concert in a listening-room environment.

COVID Safety Policy

For SFMS events, we follow CDC recommendations on the event date, adding any additional precautions required by the venue or the artist. Details on our COVID policy page.

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