Enjoy a traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebration Sunday with live music by Cíana and corned beef and cabbage dinner served at Café at Adele’s.
The fun is planned for 6:30-9:30 p.m. and includes a variety of songs and tunes, two very different things according to Joe Blye (vocals, whistles and guitar), who, with his wife, Kathy (guitar and octave mandolin) and Tina Carlsen (fiddle and backing vocals), are Cíana.
“A song has words and a tune does not,” he explained, adding that in part, the trio is doing its part to keep the area’s Irish history alive.
“You know the Chinese and Irish were a big part of what built the Comstock, and after the rush the Legislature passed a law that all the Chinese must leave,” he said. “Seeing the writing on the wall, the Irish said, ‘San Francisco looks good,’ and they followed.”
Before heavy migration that saw many Irish people leave their homeland, the country’s music, songs and dance had for centuries been interconnected. This connection broke apart as immigrants spread across the globe and until recently, has remained fractured.
“Thanks to commercially successful folks such as Michael Flatley with Riverdance and Celtic Women, the awareness of Irish and Celtic music is growing, and we’re seeing the return of dance as well,” Joe said. “The dancer sets the pace for the music; there is a pattern. It’s a symbiotic process.”
Joe, Kathy and Tina met a couple of years ago at a “session,” an event that brings musicians together to play, chat and drink. They formalized their relationship in November 2010 and released a self-titled CD on Revel Records in 2012.
“We met at a session, gathered to play a couple times in a living room and here we are; we never expected this,” Joe said. “The unique and wonderful thing about an Irish session is that anywhere in the world a person goes, there are core songs that are always played.
“We could be at a session at Murphy’s in Lake Tahoe and a man could come in from New York and because he knows the same songs, he could play with us.”
The primary key to a session or to being a trio, for that matter, is that all parties play well together.
“We can play fast, yes, very fast together, and sometimes we do,” Joe said.
“More importantly, we play well and so, whether we’re playing a tune or a song, it is very gratifying to see the audience tapping their toes or, even better, dancing.”
The name Cíana is not easily translated from Gaelic to English and only loosely refers to time and distance, which speaks to the ancient expanse that defines western Nevada as well as the commitment of taking an ancient art and moving it to modern times, Joe explained.
“There is something about the music that speaks to a person’s soul,” he said. “And it is music that requires a lot of energy to listen to it, to perform it, and that is what makes it so great to dance to.”
Cíana will play a repertoire of half songs and half tunes, some ballads, a couple of rebel songs and some-lesser known, traditional songs. One thing is certain: Each one tells a story.
For more information about Cíana, including booking information, visit cianamusic.com, send an email to joe@ciana music.com or call 775-298-5050. You can also check them out on Facebook or at reverbnation.com.