If you think Buffalo’s three-day St. Patrick’s Day hooley in March is enough to celebrate one of the region’s most prominent ethnicities, then you’ve thoroughly underestimated this city’s love of the Irish (and festivals).
Starting at 5 p.m. Aug. 22 with its Parade of Ireland’s 32 Counties – which will welcome attendees to march with the flags of their ancestors – the Buffalo Irish Festival will feature two stages full of local and touring musicians, all eager to cycle through songs and styles born of Celtic tradition. One by one, they’ll call on the thumping rhythms and narrative verses that form the foundation of a cherished culture—and will help you tip a few pints in the process.
But maybe you hate the Irish. Maybe the color green makes you nauseous, goat-hair sweaters make you sneeze and Disney’s “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” traumatized you as a child. If you need to find non-ethnically aligned music this weekend away from the beauty of Buffalo’s waterfront, don’t worry. There are options to be found in this week’s Farrell Four:
Hey Mavis, 9:30 p.m. Aug. 22 in the Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.)
Ask someone about the music of Akron, Ohio and they may start citing tracks off The Black Keys’ “Rubber Factory.” But with fiddle-fueled Appalachian Americana, fellow Summit County natives Hey Mavis are slowly carving their own path, one fueled by haunting string-laden stompers and the shared vocals of Laurie Michelle Caner and Brent Kirby. Still touring off the rustic vibes etched into 2013’s “Honey Man,” the Cuyahoga quartet will add another up-and-coming name to Sportsmen’s stellar schedule on Aug. 22.
Before you go, listen to: “Already Down”
Venue and show info: www.sportsmenstavern.net
Fully Clothed Gents, 8 p.m. Aug. 23 in Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.)
The Band’s “The Last Waltz” in 1976 set an unbelievably high standard for farewell shows. Walk-ons by Dr. John, Neil Young and Bob Dylan; a confusing appearance by Neil Diamond; and arguably the greatest purple-sequined performance of any kind by Van Morrison. So with the expected level of finale spectacle understood, how close will local Barenaked Ladies tribute band Fully Clothed Gents’ “Last Polka” – (probably) their last show ever – come to approaching replication? Find Iron Works on Aug. 23 to find out, as the sextet plans to roll through Ladies favorites one last time.
Before you go, listen to: The Barenaked Ladies’ “Enid”
Venue and show information: www.buffaloironworks.com
BlueShift, 11:30 p.m. Aug. 23 in Mr. Goodbar (1110 Elmwood Ave.)
When a band’s members cite their affinity for Genesis, it could be a good or bad thing. Does it mean they’re continuously striving to record songs like “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” or does it mean they’re fond of Peter Gabriel’s on-stage fashion choices? Tour through the eclectic music of Hamburg’s BlueShift and you’ll (thankfully) find hints of the former, with a wild blend of prog rock, grunge and jazz joining for compositions fit for their first full-length effort, “Disparate Elements,” set to be unleashed on disc and on stage as part of their CD release bash at Goodbar.
Before you go, listen to: “In A Decade Passed”
Venue and show information: www.mrgoodbarbuffalo.com
Beoga, 6 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Buffalo Irish Festival, Canalside
Yes, I respect your interest in sampling other Buffalo music options on a Sunday, but why would you want to when an internationally renowned quintet like Beoga is playing two sets (noon and 6 p.m.) off the Canalside waterfront? The County Antrim natives’ instrumental stylings have been lauded by Irish Music magazine and the Wall Street Journal alike, citing the talents of dueling accordionists Damian McKee and Sean Og Graham, and four-time All-Ireland bodhran champion Eamon Murray. Come down to bask in the cycling, folk-formed sessions, all while recognizing an ethnic heritage that helped build the city of Buffalo.
Before you go, listen to: “Dolan’s 6 a.m.”
Venue and show info: www.buffaloirish.com
Story topics: Barenaked Ladies/ Beoga/ Blueshift/ Buffalo Irish Festival/ Buffalo Iron Works/ concert previews/ concerts/ Farrell Four/ Fully Clothed Gents/ Hey Mavis/ Michael Farrell/ Mr. Goodbar/ Sportsmen's Tavern