Four Shillings Short at the Orpheum, Hancock
Super Multi-Instrumentalists Four Shillings Short treated Orpheum guests with a Sunday full of traditional Celtic and Worldwide instrumentation and a song mastery of the archaic musical rhythms within all of us. The show ranged from playful jibes at British Imperial Power from a lovely Irish and American assemblage of persona and pipe.
The Celtic, Folk and World music duo Four Shillings Short have been touring in the US and Ireland since 1997 performing a variety of traditional, original and contemporary music on over 20 instruments. The international duo "is nothing short of musical excellence encompassing an eclectic array of world music. They have carved out a musical identity all their own." (River Stages, Dubuque IA)
With over a decade of touring in the US and Ireland under their belts the husband and wife duo of Aodh Og O'Tuama from Cork, Ireland and Californian Christy Martin live as full time minstrels in their Dodge Caravan loaded with an ever increasing array of musical instruments including hammered dulcimer, mandolins, Renaissance woodwinds, North Indian Sitar, recorders, tinwhistles, banjo, guitar, percussion and even a bowed psaltry.
In a single night, Four Shillings Short perform Traditional Irish and Scottish songs, tunes and airs, Indian Ragas, Folk Ballads, Old-Time songs, Medieval and Renaissance instrumentals and a cappella numbers as well as contemporary folk and original compositions. Their sound has been described as "wondrously diverse", "truly refreshing" and "alternative neo-Celtic folk of the first order".
"Like a medieval fair in New Delhi, the music of Four Shillings Short is intriguing and worth investigating. Their music is a global potpourri….(New Times, Miami FL)
"They are not the Clancy Brothers or Jean Richie or Ravi Shankar but a combination of all three, laced with Irish (meaning dark) humor-- to go along with the Guiness-and some sharp and smart political commentary that generated lotsa laughs. The collection of instruments is museum-like and I've never seen the place so packed as it was last weekend."
(Edward McCann, Sausalito, CA 2006)
“The wavering, mystical tones of the sitar hover behind the Celtic melodies like a sari-wrapped ghost hovering over the moors….the duo bring an experimental spirit to traditional music, mixing Irish, Indian, and American influences into a sound as multi-cultural as a U.N. meeting.” Albuquerque Journal 2003
I’ve heard a lot of Irish music and occasionally someone brings it alive for me. Four Shillings Short does this!” Jim Garrett, Baltimore, MD 2005
"I think you are the ultimate in coffeehouse entertainment. The variety of musical instrumentation really keeps me interested. Equal amounts of male and female energy keep the emotional content well-balanced. Song lyrics don't get hidden underneath too much accompaniment. Harmonies are sweet; instrumental solos spirited. And best of all, your demeanor belies a commitment to the ideal of rising up singing. The world could use a few more performers who are willing to take the risk of making statements that may not sit well with some of the people in the audience."
(Dave Wasilewski, Forty Fort, PA 2008)