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Celtic music of RUNA at Caltech this Saturday, May 9; Topanga Festival and Tour of California Next Weekend

Just two days until the Pasadena Folk Music Society presents Celtic band RUNA at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 9 in Beckman Institute Auditorium (Little Beckman). Don’t miss this show as we wind up our “Celtic winter” and “Celtic spring” on a high note, before going on to Americana for a couple of shows. RUNA is a very talented quintet that combines an intriguing variety of Celtic contemporary and traditional songs and tunes that makes their repertoire very unique.

Jamie O’Brien, of The Irish Edition, wrote of their new recording Current Affairs, “This is RUNA’s fourth album, as far as I can see, and each one represents another step forward. The band has selected 13 tracks in a variety of styles: Irish, old timey, gospel, modern, old, traditional — a fine mix. The quintet’s sound revolves around strong vocals and full instrumental work. Shannon Lambert-Ryan has a flute like voice – rich, warm, and versatile — and performs flawless vocals on nine of the songs. These range from the soft gentle A Chomaraigh Aoibhínn O, sung in Irish, to the up-tempo, tragic Henry Lee.” With one of those voices that is hard to ignore, she draws you into the lyrics and makes the stories come alive.” See the entire review and others on RUNA’s website.

Better yet, listen to sample of a few songs:

Current Affairs is really is a fine recording that makes us very eager with anticipation. If you aren’t yet convinced, listen to them at the 2013 Philadelphia Folk Festival to hear more. Their web site is http://www.runamusic.com.

Tickets for the show are $20 for adults and $5 for Caltech students and children. Order them at the Caltech Ticket Office, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at (626) 395-4652 or in person (no service charge) at Winnett Student Center on campus. You can buy tickets online for this show (must do it today, before 4:00 p.m. Thursday, for this show), as well as upcoming shows, Bryan Bowers, great autoharp player and storyteller on Saturday, May 30 ($15/$5) and the bluegrass and mountain folk music of Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band on Saturday, June 13 ($15/$5). Ticket sales for RUNA have been solid, but we anticipate that you will be able to buy them at the door.

We remind you that the 55th annual Topanga Banjo, Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival coming up NEXT week, Sunday, May 17. If you want to join lots of others who love acoustic music (many who play it) and lots of choices at different music stages, all celebrated in an old western town setting in the mountains, you can’t miss this event near Agoura Hills, in the Santa Monica Mountains. It isn’t as far away as you might think! Learn more at http://www.topangabanjofiddle.org.

Another local treat coming up, though non-musical, is the Amgen Tour of California 8-stage bicycle race that starts this Sunday in Northern California, but will be coming through both Pasadena and Los Angeles NEXT Sunday, May 17. Some of the fine riders include Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, and Marcel Kittle. The challenge is to decide what spot along the course to wait and view the riders when they speed by. It is early enough that you can go to the Topanga Festival in the early afternoon! And on the day before, May 16, you can experience the exciting mountain climb up the Mt. Baldy Road, starting in Ontario, during Stage 7. See http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/stage8 to find out about the LA Live to Pasadena’s Rose Bowl race on Sunday, and http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com for the overall race.