Spotlight on Celtic Christmas: Boston Blackthorne

Boston Blackthorne

BOSTON BLACKTHORNE has played Traditional Celtic and original Celtic-influenced music throughout New England for over 20 years. Combining 4 part harmonies with trad instruments such as fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, and bouzouki with a driving rhythm section the band’s love show has become a highlight of festivals and concerts all year round but especially in March! Many of the original songs are based on true stories of their family history in Ireland and settling in Western Massachusetts. The song “Christmas in Pittsburgh 1943″ is the true story of songwriter Jim O’Connor’s father’s experience during the leadup to the Normandy Invasion.

I love Christmas because…

of great memories growing up in an Irish-Polish family with 6 kids. Most important were the many sessions of storytelling led by my father, Bill O’Connor who was a true Seanachie (Celtic storyteller) in America.

Favorite Christmas album is…

hmmm… perhaps Bells of Dublin by the Chieftains. Of course the Ray Charles Christmas album is a treat too.

Best Christmas vacation was…

growing up they were all fun- we lived near a beautiful pond in Northampton MA and skated there every day of our vacation.

For me, “Celtic Christmas” is…

telling stories, swapping songs with my musical family, my sons play guitars and flutes (Evan is on the featured song), nowadays every Christmas ends with a sessuin.

My holiday charity is…

Wounded Warriors program. My brother and sister in law are in the FBI counter-terrorism squad and have been to Iraq and Afghanistan many times combating terrorism. They support this worthy charity and the band has participated in fund raisers with them.

Guilty pleasures…

Jameson’s, coffee and fresh whipped cream of course!

Cats. Kilts. Science Fiction. Irish drinking songs. Nowhere else but from the bizarre imagination of Marc Gunn would those four elements be so riotously integrated. He is the Chief Editor of the Celtic Music Magazine and host of the award-winning Irish & Celtic Music Podcast and the Celtic Christmas Podcast.

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