Irish Super Group “The Alt” Coming to Harrisburg Sunday October 4th

Three master Irish traditional musicians performing together as The Alt—John Doyle, Nuala Kennedy, and Eamon O’Leary—come to Harrisburg on Sunday, October 4, 2015, for a 7:30 p.m.concert sponsored by Susquehanna Folk Music Society at the Fort Hunter Centennial Barn, 5300 N. Front Street, Harrisburg. The group takes its name from a storied glen on the side of the beautiful mountain Knocknarea in Ireland’s County Sligo. It was in the little village of Coolaney in the shadow of the glen that they first gathered to rehearse.

the alt

The old ballads, winding tunes, and freshly-discovered songs that each of the three contributed reflect the pure love of the song that has made Irish music so beautiful and compelling over thousands of years. The Irish brought that same love of song to America, nestling into their new homes in Appalachia and forming the bedrock that brought us American country, bluegrass, and old-time music. In an homage to that migration, the members of The Alt chose to record their debut album in the quiet isolation of a small cabin in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains.

Each member of The Alt is a leading light of today’s folk scene. John Doyle was born and raised in Dublin and now lives in Asheville, NC. He is considered one of the preeminent guitarists and vocalists of his generation. His work with the Irish band Solas and with Karen Casey has influenced many other artists, and his guitar accompaniment style is iconic in Irish music. Nuala Kennedy is a flutist and singer/songwriter, well-known internationally for her beautiful vocals and her unusual arrangements of traditional songs. Eamon O’Leary, who plays guitar and bouzouki, is one of the most in-demand Irish guitarists and vocalists in the U.S. today based on his work with The Murphy Beds.


Although each member of The Alt is a songwriter, for their debut album they concentrated on traditional Irish songs that they grew up with or collected from friends and teachers, archival recordings, and written collections. “The singular sound of The Alt that came from this recording session is greater than the sum of its parts,” Hearth Music says, “at once delicate, deliberate, and always in deference to the song at its core.”

Concert tickets are $26 General Admission, $22 for SFMS members and $10 for students ages 3-22. Advance tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets online at or toll-free (800) 838-3006. The concert is presented in cooperation with Dauphin County Parks and Recreation. Funding for Susquehanna Folk Music Society concerts is provided by the Cultural Enrichment Fund and by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, administered locally by the Cultural Alliance of York County. For more information, visit the Susquehanna Folk Music Society website at

The local family band, Irish Blessing will open. Irish Blessing, a York (PA) based family band, has wowed audiences from New Zealand to New York. The band includes family members Cushla Srour (keyboard/ flute/ whistles), husband Jim (bodhrán), and sons Josh (fiddle) and Jonathon (wooden flute). Both sons dance, and between them they have won World Championships in both Irish music and dance, toured with Michael Flately’s Lord of the Dance, and participated in America’s Got Talent with HAMMERSTEP (a dance fusion group based out of Brooklyn).


Son Josh is soon to be deployed to Cuba, and this is the last chance for the public to see them perform together as a family before he leaves!


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