Last Blast of Irish Music Thursday Night at St. Francis in the Foothills

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Fiddler Athena Tergis joins renowned Irish musician Mick Moloney at a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at St. Francis in the Foothills Church. - COURTESY
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  • Fiddler Athena Tergis joins renowned Irish musician Mick Moloney at a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at St. Francis in the Foothills Church.

Mick Moloney is a singer of songs, a teller of tales, a player of tenor banjo and guitar, and a scholarly folklorist who can tell you the meaning and origin of every note and word he sings. And he’s funny and charming to boot.

That rare commodity, a folk musician with a Ph.D., Professor Moloney has taught Irish Studies at New York University for years. He can tell you how immigrants coming to America changed the Irish music they brought with them. A recent CD, If It Wasn’t for the Irish and the Jews, “celebrates the joyous and creative era in American popular song from the early 1890's to the end of vaudeville and the start of the Great Depression.” Every song on the album is a collaboration between Irish and Jewish musicians who were immigrants or the children of immigrants.

A Limerick man, Moloney performs and records widely. He’s worked with PBS on the TV documentaries Out of Ireland and The Irish in America: Long Journey Home. His book Far From the Shamrock Shore: The Story of Irish American History Through Song has an accompanying CD.

For the Tucson concert, the last blast of Tucson’s Irish Season, Moloney teems up with Athena Tergis, an American-born prodigy who began playing the fiddle at age 4. She’s a master of Irish fiddling styles from the Auld Sod as well as from the Irish diaspora in North America. She’s performed on Broadway in Riverdance, plays regularly with Moloney in the band Green Fields of America, and she even toured the world with the late Clarence Clemons, sax player with the E Street Band.

The show starts at 7:30 Thursday, March 23, at St. Francis in the Foothills, 4625 E. River Road, at Swan. The church’s music hall has only 200 seats. Advance tickets are $20, $18 for seniors and member of TFTM, $3 more at the door. You can get them at www.inconcerttucson.com and at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave., and The Folk hop, 2525 N. Campbell. For disability seats, call 981-1475. You can listen in to a sampling of songs here.

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