Internationally renowned guitar and mandolin master Robin Bullock will be bringing his interpretation of Celtic, Irish and Appalachian music to Danbury Community Church this Saturday, Oct. 17. at 7 p.m.
The performance will help raise funds for local food banks, part of an ongoing effort at Danbury Community Church to help the community through music.
“Music for the Community is what we call it,” said Skip Staples who helped organize the event. “It has been a ministry in the church since I have been a member here. We have a lot of musicians in our church and so three to four times a year we will have an event where we invite people to come in and we take donations to then give to various charities in the area. Whatever donations we get we do not use for the church but for organizations outside of the church.”
He said in the past the church has contributed to animal shelter funds, but noted it had been a while since they had helped local food pantries through the program.
“We have had some pretty good donations in the past,” said Staples. “We are fortunate to be such a small church and be blessed with so many talented musicians, but this event is different because we have hired a world class musician to come in.”
Bullock is a prolific composer and multi-instrumentalist, whose virtuosity on guitar, cittern and mandolin blends the ancient melodies of the Celtic lands and their vigorous Appalachian descendants into one powerful musical vision. The 17th-century harp tunes of legendary Irish bard Turlough O’Carolan, the spirited jigs and reels of rural Ireland, the haunting ballads of the southern Appalachians and evocative original compositions all find a musical common ground in his music, where lightning-fast fingerwork one moment is perfectly balanced with tender, quiet intimacy the next.
Originally rising to prominence as a founding member of the innovative acoustic world-music trio Helicon (winners of the Association for Independent Music’s prestigious INDIE Award for Best Seasonal Recording), Bullock’s solo career has won him three Washington Area Music Association WAMMIE Awards, a Governor’s Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, and a feature broadcast on National Public Radio’s hugely popular Celtic music program “The Thistle and Shamrock.” His recorded work includes nine critically acclaimed solo CDs and numerous collaborations, the most recent of which, Celtic Guitar Summit with California fingerstylist Steve Baughman, was honored by Acoustic Guitar Magazine with three “Editor’s Pick” awards as one of the top ten CDs of the year.
“I have known Robin for about 15 years and have taken classes from him, so I thought rather than the standard bluegrass music we normally do, it would be nice to get someone who plays the music we like but from a different perspective,” said Staples. “He will not only play the music but talk about the origins of where it came from.”
Staples said Bullock was planning a two-hour performance during which he would share both music and history.
“For example there is a very famous fiddle tune called the ‘Eighth of January’,” said Staples. “Everybody knows it, but it is actually an old Irish tune from the old country. In Ireland it has different name. Robin will be able to go back and he can play it as people recognize ti today abut also maybe lay an older version from Europe and point out the differences.
“It will be a very intimate setting,” added Staples. “And it is the type of music where you can just close your eyes and let it take you away. Robin is one of those guys who makes it look so easy.”
Staples said tickets will be available at the door for $10.
“All of the profits will go to the local food pantries,” he said, adding that attendees were also welcome to bring canned foods to donate in additional to paying the ticket price. “Bring your friends and enjoy it.”
Danbury Community Church is located at 617 North Main Street in Danbury. For more information, or to reserve tickets, call Staples at 593-8520.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.