A very Celtic Christmas: Celtic Woman traveling light but bringing plenty of holiday cheer
by Brooke Carbo
bcarbo@annistonstar.com
Dec 16, 2012 | 4159 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Although she’s spent the month of December an ocean from home, Celtic Woman’s frolicking fiddle player Máiréad Nesbitt is not short on Christmas cheer.

Nesbitt and her fellow Celtic women have managed to squeeze in some holiday shopping between stops on the group’s latest U.S. tour. The news this week that Celtic Woman held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Billboard World Music Chart certainly helped keep spirits bright.

In a phone interview Thursday, Nesbitt shared the real secret to the group’s holiday spirit.

“We get our quota of Christmas cheer every night with our shows,” she said.

The all-female Irish ensemble will bring its unique brand of holiday cheer to Anniston on Friday, as the Knox Concerts Series presents the group’s Christmas Celebration Symphony Tour.

In the six years since the release of its first holiday album, the platinum “A Christmas Celebration,” the Celtic Woman’s ethereal sound has become a fixture of the season.

“People always come back to it for Christmas,” Nesbitt said. “It really is timeless.”

A second holiday offering, “Home for Christmas” released Oct. 9, takes a new crop of seasonal classics and gives them the group’s signature treatment — unadulterated talent and an endless supply of charm. Several songs off the new album are featured in the show alongside the traditional Celtic fare for which the group is known.

“The Christmas tour this year has been really fantastic,” said Nesbitt. “The music is really, really beautiful.”

For fans who caught the ladies on tour last year, or on one of their hugely popular PBS specials, this show will have a comparatively low-key air about it. Gone are the elaborate costume changes and set designs that have been hallmarks of past Celtic Woman performances. The group is traveling light this time around. They even left the band at home, opting instead to be accompanied by a new orchestra of local musicians at each venue. As the only non-vocalist, this is particularly exciting for Nesbitt.

“It’s great to perform with a live orchestra,” she confirmed. “The power of it is just incredible.”

Nesbitt, along with vocalists Chloë Agnew, Lisa Lambe and Susan McFadden, will be at the Anniston Performing Arts Center at Anniston High School on Friday for one of the last shows of the tour. Following a final performance in Huntsville on Saturday, they will make their way back to Ireland, arriving home just in time for Christmas Eve, Nesbitt said.

For now, though, she’s content to soak up the holiday spirit shared on the stage.

“I love to listen to the girls sing every night — it’s really beautiful,” she said, adding, “The music is the most important thing.”

Celtic Woman Christmas Celebration

When:
7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Anniston Performing Arts Center

Tickets: Sold out

Info: 256-235-2553 or www.knoxconcertseries.org
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