Words from venues and audience members…

After the concert on Friday evening when I said that I was going to write and “critique” the performance, in reality what I want to write about is all of the things that made it so spectacular.  As I hope that you could tell by the reaction of the audience, it was well received and excellent.  You are both excellent musicians, both as vocalists and instrumentalists.  And especially noticeable is that “the wall” was missing.  By that, at almost all performances either large or small, there is an invisible barrier between the performers and the audience.  That didn’t exist on Friday.  You gave the audience the feeling that you were “one of us,” with the occasional off the cuff banter between the 2 of you, and also the occasional interaction between you and some one(s) in the audience.  Your explanations were not “a lecture,” but simply a talk with friends.  All of that made the audience a part of the whole evening.

But the music itself was excellent.  You had a wonderful variety. A couple of pieces stuck out for me.  Aoife, the one number you did (and the name escapes me) where there were so many syllables was not only beautiful as a piece of music, but just your presentation of it was a work of art.  (I hope I hear that again sometime.)  And Bill, when you did Blue Christmas, one would have thought that “The King” himself was singing it.  I mean that seriously.  You didn’t do a parody, but you did the song itself (which is a beautiful song) just as it was originally performed.  Those are just a couple of outstanding examples of the excellence of your music and the evening.

Robert Young – 2018 Christmas Concert, Flat Rock, NC.

“Bill and Aoife continually amaze our audience with the range of their song selection – from quiet Irish traditional ballads, to the works of John Prine and the jazz standards of the thirties and forties.

More than that, they reveal themselves as real people with whom our audiences easily relate.

They’re wonderful, and we love them ! “

Bill Garnett – Nottingham Community Church Concert Series – March 2018

From: bill g
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2018 7:30 PM
To: Aoife Clancy
Subject: Never had a response like this


Gary and I have been doing these concerts for a decade or more. People are still (two weeks later!) coming up to us and marveling at your performance and your selection of tunes.

Today, I had trouble getting out of the dump of all places – people just kept talking about it.

Usually, we get several people who remark that they “enjoyed the concert”, and then we hear nothing after a couple of days. This is a new experience for us!

Thank you guys so much for everything!  We’ll do it again!

Bill Garnett – Nottingham Community Church Concert Series
(Follow up email after a Celtic ConFusion concert)

“Aoife and Bill are the perfect duet. They filled the house with an audience that loved every minute of the performance and followed it with a standing ovation.

The music was beautiful, and both Aoife and Bill were flexible, professional, and incredibly friendly, involving the audience often and spending time with our patrons off-stage.

It was a magical experience.”

Lauren Wolk, Associate Director – Cultural Center of Cape Cod

From the facebook page of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod

Dear Aoife & Bill,

I wanted to thank you for a perfect St Patrick’s night. My brothers and I were raised on the music, predominantly the Clancy Brothers. My Dad, Duke Gray, was a local entertainer, playing harmonica to accompany his friend, Vincent Colgan (who was actually a friend of the Clancys and Tommy Makem).  Once I was old enough, St Patrick’s “season” meant going to whatever gigs Vince and my Dad were playing. It was all about the music.

 My brother, Steve, followed in my Dad’s footsteps as a musician, playing guitar since he was seven.  Naturally, he was more into rock and blues as a young fella, and played in many local bands.  Once my Dad passed away, Steve started playing the Irish music we were raised on.  A tribute to my Dad.  My St Patrick’s Days then were split between continuing to follow Vince’s gigs and going to my brother’s.  The gigs were year round, but St Patrick’s season was particularly busy.  I never had to think about what to do on St Patrick’s Day. It was more like, how many gigs can I fit in.  Our day would start with Mass and breakfast at Eamonn McGirr’s pub, and last well into the night.

Four years ago, when I retired, I moved to the cape from the Albany, NY area.  Being on my own this year, I wasn’t planning on doing anything for St Patrick’s Day.  Bars are not really my scene, unless it’s to hear some good music. But on St Patrick’s weekend… well, you know what they’re like.  Too many amateurs.  😉  Then, like divine intervention, I saw that you were performing at the Cape Cod Cultural Center right here in town.  I didn’t have to think twice.

 Thank you SO much!  It was perfect!  You two are awesome!  I love the fusion of music you perform, and you do it so beautifully, interwoven with stories and poetry.  I cried several times… but then, I’m Irish; and I laughed more.  Thank you for turning a sad St Patrick’s Day into a happy one for me. 

 I apologize for this long email, but I thought you might like to hear just one story of the joy you bring to people.  I hope you realize what an effect your music has.  Music is powerful, and you harness that power in a beautiful and meaningful way.  Please keep doing what you do. It’s all about the music! 

 Warmest Regards,

Mary Ellen Gray

Yarmouth, MA