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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Alabama Celtic Association

Celtic Alabama News
Volume 2 Issue 8
The people are thus inclined:  religious, franke, amorous, irefull, sufferable of paines infinite, very glorious, many sorcerers, excellent horsemen, delighted with warres, great alms-givers, (sur)passing in hospitalitie...They are sharpe-witted, lovers of learning, capable of any studie whereunto they bend themselves, constant in travaile, adventurous, intractable, kinde-hearted, secret in displeasure." 
---Edmund Campion, Elizabethan Jesuit martyred in Tyburn 1581, describing the Irish.
Castlebay Cafe' Now Open in on Hwy 280 in Greystone
The Scottish-minded in Birmingham are in for a treat when they visit the newly opened Castlebay Café in the Greystone area. The specialty coffee shop and café is the creation of Don and Sande Neil whose passion for things Scottish shines through every aspect of their business. Don Neil, a descendant of the Clan MacNeil and active member of the Celtic community, chose the Scottish theme for his shop with his heritage in mind. The tables are covered with the MacNeil tartan and the bookshelves are lined with Scottish books and heirlooms. While Castlebay Café offers a wonderful selection of gourmet coffee and tea, they also have a fantastic range of sandwiches and side items. Even the menu pays tribute to Scotland, featuring specialty sandwiches like The Highlander, St. Andrew’s Club, Edinburgh Stroller, Inverness Veggie, Isle of Barra, Celtic Cordon Bleu and William Wallace. Don and Sande have spent many months seeking out the very finest sources for their products as well as experimenting with some of their own special recipes. Sande Neil’s own Castlebay Chicken Salad is one of their hottest items. The doors are open to a variety of functions and they especially look forward to hosting Celtic gatherings in the future. A Celtic music session is planned for August 10 at 5 p.m.  Located on Highway 280 East at Hugh Daniels Drive in the Greystone area, Castlebay Café (205-437-3484) is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Come by and see what everyone is talking about. It’s a bit of Scotland in Alabama! Photos of Castlebay Cafe'
Join us at Killarney's in Birmingham for "Pub Night", Celtic Open Mike and more on
Wednesday Night, August 14 from 7 P.M.
Come on down to Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant for "Pub Night" - a gathering of Celts from the Central Alabama area on the second Wednesday of every month.  Everyone is welcome to come by for dinner, pints, darts and pool, or just some general Celtic-flavored socializing.  Musicians are welcome to share tunes, kilts are part of the dress code and Irish Dancing may occur!  Killarney's is family-friendly - so bring your friends and family and join the Celtic company!  Killarney's is in Eastwood Mall on Crestwood Blvd. in Birmingham.  Photos from Pub Night in July
Birmingham Music Club welcomes - Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill
The Birmingham Music Club is bringing Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill to town as part of the World Music Series on Saturday, October 5,  2002. Irish fiddle virtuoso Martin Hayes and American guitarist Dennis Cahill have garnered international acclaim for taking traditional Irish music to the very edge. Hayes, a six-time All-Ireland fiddle champion is renowned for his slow building, fiery performances of which Cahill provides the perfect harmonic and rhythmic accompaniment. The Sydney Morning Herald says of Hayes, "He is just so much better than anything you've seen before. He redefines your concept of excellence and reveals levels of beauty and artistry that previously hadn't existed in your frame of reference." .  Ticket for the show are $15 and $22 and are available at 205-975-2787.  SPECIAL NOTE:  ACA has planned an Advanced Fiddle Workshop with Martin Hayes for Saturday afternoon (October 5) in Birmingham.  There are only 12 spots available for the hour and a half session and the cost is $25.  For more details, contact
Sundilla Festival in Auburn features Southwind and Henri's Notions This Weekend
The Sundilla Festival will feature Alabama's own Celtic artists, Southwind and Henri's Notions on Saturday, August 3 at Pebble Hill in Auburn. Weather permitting, this show will take place on the lawn at Pebble Hill. (Pebble Hill is the large white mansion on Debardeleben, across the street from where Magnolia ends; it's about a half-block away from the AUUF.) The music will start at 6:30, so pack a picnic basket, bring a blanket, and watch the sun set and the stars come out to the lively sounds of Henri's Notions and Southwind. Admission is just $10, and children 12 and under are admitted free of charge.  There will be free coffee, tea, water and snacks and you can also  bring food/beverage of your choice along. There is an alternate site in the event of rain. For more details, contact , 334-826-0102 or visit .
Celtic Alabama News now available through Electric Scotland
Electric Scotland is a web site bringing Scots and Scots descendants together from around the world. You'll find over 8,000 web pages of information on Scottish history and clans as well as people and places of Scots descent. Electric Scotland also features books on Scottish history, recipes for you to enjoy, Scots language and stories in Real Audio to listen to, travel information on Scotland and much more.   Electric Scotland, in conjunction with The Family Tree, has offered to post Celtic newsletters on the Electric Scotland web site for free.  You can find the Celtic Alabama News and other newsletters at by clicking on 'The Family Tree' and then clicking on 'Newsletters'.  Thanks Electric Scotland and Family Tree!
Spirits of the House coming to Killarney's on August 3
Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant welcomes Spirits of the House for a special performance on Saturday, August 3. From driving reels to shimmering sean nos singing, Spirits will get you up out of your seat and keep you coming back for more. Released on compact disc in March 2001, The Holland Handkerchief is the band's premiere recording. "The sounds of Holland Handkerchief take you to that place in Ireland where there is the utmost of glee and a melancholy unmatched by other cultures. The group has a knack for presenting the mighty Celtic sound without neglecting the delicate touch that the music demands." - The Planet Weekly, April 4, 2001.  Learn more at
Karl Drake School of Irish Dance Workshop
The Drake School will offer an Irish dance workshop, Saturday, Sept 7 from 12:00 to 3:00 at Time Step Studios in Irondale.  The cost is $30.  Mr. Karl Drake (TCRG) and World Class Champion Irish Dancer, was born and trained in Dublin, Ireland.  He came to the U.S. and established the Drake School of Irish Dance in Atlanta, Georgia and South Florida in 1990, later adding schools in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Mr. Drake is a full time professional teacher and travels regularly to all of his studios to teach.  The Drake School produced eight Southern Region Champion Dancers in 2001 who went on to compete in the World Irish Dance Championships held in Glasgow, Scotland in March of 2002. Mr. Drake also travels extensively throughout North America and Europe doing performances and choreography.  Some of his  past appearances include Carnegie Hall in New York (with the Chieftains); the Capitol City Ballet; the 1996 Olympic Games; the Miami Orange Bowl Parade; as well as giving numerous workshops and Master classes throughout North America and Europe.  Mr. Drake also performs each year for a five week period each Spring at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  For more details, or visit
ACA Welcomes ScotPress/ Unicorn Limited to Alabama in 2003
One of America's best sources of Celtic literature is moving its operations to Alabama in March of 2003.  Unicorn Limited and ScotPress Publishing proprietor, Dr. Renny McLeod, has retired from academia after 31 years in Celtic, Viking and Scottish history at West Virginia University and is now returning to Alabama.  MacLeod is a former graduate of Auburn University and will be relocating to the Auburn area.  He is very interested in improving both the library and the courses at AU and to that end has moved almost 3,000 titles etc. to the Auburn University library with many of them in Celtic Studies.  Renny and Vicki are looking forward to being an active part of Alabama's Celtic community.  The Alabama Celtic Association is very happy to welcome Renny and Vicki MacLeod to Alabama.  You can visit Unicorn Limited / Scotpress at .
Celtic Author Billy Kennedy coming to Gadsden, Alabama
Belfast author and journalist, Billy Kennedy, will be offering a lecture for the Northeast Alabama Genealogical Society at the Gadsden Public Library on October 15, 2002.  Mr. Kennedy has just released the seventh book of his highly popular chronicles on the Scots-Irish diaspora, The Making of America: How the Scots-Irish Shaped a Nation.  Previous books include:  The Scots-Irish in the Hills of Tennessee, The Scots-Irish in the Shenandoah Valley, The Scots-Irish in the Carolinas, The Scots-Irish in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, Faith and Freedon - The Scots-Irish in America and Heros of the Scots-Irish in America. Copies of his books will be available at the lecture.  For more information on his appearance in Gadsden, contact Rosemary J. Hyatt 256-538-1122 or .
Alabama Highland Games hosting the 2002 North-South Challenge Cup!
The North-South Challenge Cup, an annual team competition between the best six amateur athletes in the North and the best six athletes in the South, will take place at the Alabama Highland Games in Montgomery on September 28, 2002. Each team will be comprised of 5 men and 1 woman. The NSCC has been hosted previously in New Orleans LA, Kalamazoo MI, Allentown PA and Jackson LA.  The winning team keeps a 'travelling cup' until the next year's competition. The South Team is defending its title for the second year in a row.  It's a colorful and exciting event - one of the best Scottish Athletic meets in the country. Lord Hugh Montgomerie will be the Honored Guest at the AHG which takes place at the Shakespeare Festival Grounds in Montgomery.  Featured Celtic entertainers will be, Jack Tamson's Bairns  of Scotland and Jennifer Roland  of Cape Breton.  Both are critically acclaimed in Celtic music circles and we look forward to seeing them perform at this event!  The Alabama Highland Games are the last weekend in September so mark you calendars today!  Details at .
The Band that made the movie 'Titanic' rock - Gaelic Storm is coming to Birmingham!
The Hoover Library Theatre kicks off its 2002-2003 season with two perfomances from the contemporary Celtic quintet, Gaelic Storm.  Gaelic Storm gained fame as the "steerage band" in the movie Titanic.  Their mix of traditional Irish tunes, rousing Celtic dance music and rowdy pub songs has brought down the house from Brooklyn to New Zealand.  Gaelic Storm will be perfoming at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 20 and Satuday September 21. Tickets are $15 and may reserved by calling 205-444-7888.  Photo of Gaelic Storm
The Full Moon Ensemble Mull of KintyreTour - SOLD OUT in Record Time
One of Scotland's premiere music events, The Mull of Kintrye Festival in Cambeltown sold out in a record 20 minutes leaving hundreds disappointed and organizers stunned.  The previous sales record was 6 hours.  The Full Moon Ensemble of Florence, Alabama are headlining the festival with Capercaille of Scotland and Four Men and a Dog from Ireland. FME is the first Celtic band from Alabama to tour there. FME will be in the British Isles about 10 days. After a bit in Ireland they will also be going to London to visit Mae McKenna for a couple of days, then work their way up to Glasgow and down the Kintyre peninsula to Campbelltown for the festival. "Years ago when we were looking for material for our second CD, we had intentions of doing a tune we heard on an old Thistle and Shamrock show -- the accent of the guy singing the song was so thick we could not understand all the words --- but it sounded like "The Road to Drumleavon" or something. We finally tracked down the band (Ossian) and the singer and finally got the correct words and title, The Road To Drumleman. We recorded our version of the song," explained Scooter Muse of The Full Moon Ensemble. "The song was written by a man named Willie Mitchell in the 1940's. Willie lived in Campbelltown, about 14 miles from Drumlemble. (Drumlemble is the town, ‘Drumleman’ is the old way they pronounced the name. Mitchell had a good friend who lived in Drumlemble and would quite frequently ride his bike over there to visit. Willie was also a great poet and singer as was his whole family. I eventually received some e-mail from Willie Mitchell's grandson who had heard about us (FME) and our version of the song. One thing led to another and the next thing I know is they want us over there for the Festival so we are going. Its exciting for us," added Muse. Photos of FME at Grandfather Mountain
Shillelagh Law - EVERY Sunday Night at Killarney's!
The famous foursome of Beau Goss, Jeremy Burns, Beth Weatherall and Jason Bailey are the band that moves the crowd at Killarney's Irish Pub every Sunday night.  Shillelagh Law leads the listeners through familiar favorites as well as tunes both traditional and new every week.  For the uninitiated - it can be surprising to see members of the audience draw drums of every size from hidden places and occassionally join in with the band. It's all part of the experience.  Shillelagh Law also definitely raises the best toasts in town.  Stop by Killarney's on a Sunday, claim a seat (and a pint) and check out the Shillelagh Law experience.  Details at 205-595-4088 . 
Gerry O'Beirne at "House Concerts" in Birmingham and Montgomery
Irish songwriter, guitarist and singer Gerry O’Beirne was born in Ennis in County Clare and raised in the West of Ireland and in Ghana in West Africa. Gerry is not only a self-taught master of the six and twelve string guitar, he is also a renowned songwriter. He has toured around the globe with several bands and artists including Patrick Street, The Sharon Shannon Band, Midnight Well (which featured his unique slide guitar playing), The Waterboys, Andy M. Stewart, Martin Hayes, Kevin Burke and Andy Irvine. He has performed at the White House, opened for the Grateful Dead, and played electric guitar with Marianne Faithfull. Up close and unplugged is one of the best ways to enjoy Celtic music.  House Concerts offer a rare opportunity to connect with an artist without the distractions in a larger venue. Seating for the two Gerry O'Beirne performances will be intimate and limited so don't delay getting your foot in the door! 
In Montgomery - Gerry O'Beirne will be appearing on Friday, October 25.  Earlybird tickets are $12 ($15 after August 12).  Refreshments are included and CDs will be available.  For more details:
In Birmingham - Hosted by Webb and Mae Robertson, the Birmingham concert on Saturday, October 26 will open its doors at 7:00 for the show which starts at 7:30. Desserts and coffee and tea will be available. Donations of $15 will hold a place for you and all proceeds go directly to the artist. If you would like to reserve a seat for the show, you need to send an email to to get on the list. Once seat availability is confirmed via email, you can send a check, payable to Lyric Partners, to: Lyric Partners, PO Box 531165, Birmingham, AL 35253.
Celtic Alabama Announcements
Birmingham School of Celtic Arts Classes begin with new schedule on August 13
Birmingham School of Celtic Arts (BSCA) is gearing up to begin another year of dancing. BSCA will be offering classes on Tuesday nights at the Childrens Dance Foundation in Homewood.  Beginners are from 5:30-6:30,  Intermediate Soft Shoe and Beginning Hard shoe are from 6:30-7:30 and Intermediate Soft and Hard Shoe are from 7:30 to 9:00.  Class size is VERY limited and most classes are full.  To register, call Mary at 979-9653 or email at  Classes begin August 13th.  BSCA's first performance will be in Jackson Celtic Fest in Mississippi, September 6 & 7 2002. 
BSOP welcomes New Pipe Major, Jim McRae
Jim McRae has been named acting Pipe Major for the Birmingham Society of Piping.  He brings many years of Piping excellence and experience to the role. Jim began piping in 1961 at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie-Mellon Univ.). In 1974, Jim was co-founder of Invermich Gaelic Society Pipe Band in Chicago which later became the University of Chicago Pipe Band. This band traveled to Scotland for World Championships in 1987, 1990,1993,1996 and 1999. In 1993 the band was awarded "Best Overseas in Grade 3." Jim has also piped with the Oak (Shrine) Pipe Band (Indiana), Chicago Caledonian PB, and the Atlanta Pipe Band. Jim has competed and won prizes at the Grade 1 level.  Jim also offers lessons to all levels of pipers as well as piobaireachd.  Jim and his wife Judy are Trussville residents. For more details, contact
Tuscaloosa St. Andrew's Society hosting Scottish Exhibit
St. Andrew's Society of Tuscaloosa is putting together a library exhibit for Scottish Heritage month.  The exhibit will be on view at the Tuscaloosa Public Library on Jack Warner Parkway (aka River Road) throughout the month of September. For details, contact Serena Blount at .
Caledonian Society of Alabama  - Fall Picnic and Open House on Sept.7
The Caledonian Society of Alabama invites friends who are interested in Scottish heritage and culture to join them at Oak Mountain State Park for their annual Fall Picnic.  Bring a covered dish and dress comfortably.  The gathering is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the White Oak Pavillion, Oak Mountain State Park.  For more details, call Angus MacQueen at  205-907-9281or .
Whistle and Flute Lessons  - Trent Bradford
Multi-talented Celtic musician, Trent Bradford, will be offering private lessons for Whistle and Flute players beginning August 1.  Trent, who teaches music in the Birmingham School system, is also a founding member of the Celtic band Hooley.  For more details about lessons, contact Trent Bradford at or call 205-822-4997.
Mobile Scottish Society Meeting on August 18
The Mobile Scottish Society will be meeting at the Botanical Gardens at the Municipal Park at 7 p.m. on August 18, 2002.  If you live in the Mobile area and are interested in exploring your Scottish heritage or Scottish culture in general, please contact Harriet at for more details about the Mobile Scottish Society.
FREE Bagpipe Lessons being offered in Birmingham on Saturdays
Free bagpipe lessons are being offered by various members of Heritage Pipes & Drums, including Ryan Morrison, Kathleen Ryan and "Wee" John Douglas. Lessons available on a first come first served basis from 9 A.M. to 10 A.M. at Reformed Heritage Presbyterian Church, 1401 Montgomery Hwy in Vestavia. Heritage is also offering free lessons for Scottish snare from John Kirkpatrick and for tenor drum from Ryan and Sherry Morrison. Contact Ryan Morrison at home at (205) 836-2306 or work at (205) 823-1988 or e-mail at Also check out the new HPD web site at . Now's the time to take up the Pipes!
Welsh Page Planned for 
Alabama has a unique and fascinating connection with Welsh history!  One of the oldest debates on the European explorations of America center around Prince Madoc of Wales. Madoc, an illegitimate son of King Owain of Gwyneth, is recorded in Welsh histories as crossing the Atlantic before 1170 A.D and returning with tales of sailing up the coast of an enormous land to the West. Madoc then gathered a large group of settlers and ships and with his brother, Riryd, set sail across the Atlantic to make a new home in the ‘land to the west’. He and his ten ships were never heard from again. Many scholars, historians and archealogists believe that Prince Madoc of Wales ventured to Mobile Bay and gradually migrated north along Southeastern waterways, mingling with the Native American culture over the centuries.  There is a historical marker in Mobile that commerates this legend.  The Welsh page will explore this theory and legend that makes Alabama the likely first settlement of Welsh in the New World.
Please share your Celtic Calendar Items and Announcements with us! 
The Celtic Alabama News is always looking for news of, announcements for and photos of various Celtic events around the state to share around through the CAN and the web site.  We depend on YOU to share photos and news with us.  IF YOU DON"T LET US KNOW  - WE CAN"T LET EVERYONE ELSE KNOW - so send your news today!  ALSO - is now easier to view. We've reduced the file size on most of the photos so they will load faster. Check out the Celtic Alabama News Photo Gallery !  Also, be sure to visit the NEW Photo Gallery Archives for 2001 and 2002.
How can I ensure Alabama's Celtic Legacy? Become an ACA Patron!
ACA depends on the support of our friends in the Celtic community for all of its operating expenses. Patrons make ACA Possible!  ACA Patrons receive four quarterly issues of the deluxe version of Celtic Alabama News for as well as the occasional preferred seating or ticket option.  It's a great way to show your Celtic Pride and ensure our cultural legacy in Alabama! You can become a Patron of ACA today by sending a $25 check to:  Alabama Celtic Association, P.O. Box 724, Trussville AL 35173.  Please include your preferred mailing address.  (For more details: Click Here for ACA Patrons)
Celtic Alabama News Calendar
August 2, 2002  -  Henri's Notions - Live Celtic Music
Where:  Humphrey Bar and Grill, Huntsville  Details:
August 3, 2002  -  Southwind AND Henri's Notions - Sundilla Summer Concert Series
Where:  Auburn, Alabama  Details: or
August 3 - Spirits of the House - Live at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details:  7 p.m., 205-595-4088
August 4, 2002 - Shillelagh Law - Live at Killarney's every Sunday night (August 11, 18 and 25)
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub  Details: 205-595-4088
August 10, 2002 - Trent Bradford - Uillean Pipes and more
Where:  Pepper Place Farmers Market  Details:  8 a.m. till 10 a.m.
August 14, 2002  -  "Pub Night" at Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Join the Celtic crowd every SECOND Wednesday at Killarney's for dinner, a pint, darts, pool or the pleasure of Celtic company!  Musicians are honored guests, Kilts are allowed, toasts are common and Irish Dancing can occur!  All welcome - family friendly.
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant in Eastwood Mall, Birmingham  Details:
August 16 - 26, 2002 - The Full Moon Ensemble - with Capercaille and Old Blind Dogs
Where:  10th Annual Mull of Kintyre Festival, Cambelltown, Argyle Scotland
August 17, 2002 - Southwind - Benefit for the Birmingham Aids Outreach
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details: 
August 18, 2002 - Mobile Scottish Society Meeting
Where:  Botanical Gardens, Municipal Park, Mobile  Details:  Harriet at
September 6, 2002 -  Henri's Notions - Live Celtic Music
Where:  Humphrey Bar and Grill, Huntsville  Details:
September 6, 2002 - Hooley - Live at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details:
September 7, 2002  -  Caledonian Society of Alabama Fall Picnic
Where:  10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Covered Dish, White Oak Pavillion, Oak Mountain State Park  Details: 205-907-9281,
September 7, 2002 - Irish Dance workshop with Karl Drake - Drake Irish Dance School
Where:  Time Step Studios, Irondale  Details: 12-3 p.m. $30
September 21, 2002 - Hooley - Live at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details:
September 12-22, 2002  -  Henri's Notions - performing at Walnut Valley Festival
Where:  Winfield, Kansas  Details:
September 28, 2002  -  Alabama Highland Games
Where:  Alabama Shakespeare Festival Grounds - Wynton Blount Park  Details:

Visit our ACA Calendar for more details and  EVERYTHING ELSE that you don't want to miss!

The on-line version of Celtic Alabama News is a free service of the Alabama Celtic Association. Help us grow the Celtic Community -  Share this with your friends!  If you do not want to receive this monthly e-newsletter, contact  Please include your name and e-mail address when making this request for removal.  If you would like to reproduce any of this copy in another publication, please credit Celtic Alabama News and author, if noted.

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