By Earle Hitchner
April 20, 1999 is a day few of us will ever forget. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., slaughtered a dozen of their classmates and a teacher in an eruption of gunfire before the two teenagers turned their guns on themselves.
On April 26, 2000, just six days after the anniversary of those killings, the Jefferson County, Colo., attorney’s office released a videotape documenting in often graphic detail the Columbine massacre.
The tape, selling for $25, features camcorder footage from inside the high school and film taken by news helicopters. One lingering camera shot shows a large pool of blood on the floor of the school library as "I Will Remember You" plays on the soundtrack.
The unauthorized inclusion of this song incensed its composers, Sarah McLachlan and Seamus Egan. Describing the videotape as "exploitative," a spokesperson for Arista Records, McLachlan’s record label, issued a statement on April 26 demanding the song’s immediate removal. Soon after, a member of McLachlan’s management reemphasized that "Sarah is very upset" at the inclusion of the song and was actively seeking its deletion.
Egan, a founding member of Solas, first learned his music was on the video when he watched the evening news on April 26.
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"It was tough enough to see a portion of the tape on TV," he said, "but when I heard the song playing in the background, I just couldn’t believe it."
Right away, Egan called the manager for Solas to start making inquiries.
McLachlan and Egan weren’t the only ones shocked by the music on the videotape. Folksinger Cheryl Wheeler, whose anti-gun song "If It Were Up to Me" appeared on the tape, was pursuing a restraining order when the Jefferson County attorney’s office, under obvious pressure, announced on April 28 that the two songs would be pulled.
The videotape, now minus those songs, is still for sale.
De Dannan at Symphony Space
Celebrating their silver anniversary as a band, De Dannan swing into New York City on Thursday night, May 18, for an 8 o’clock concert at Symphony Space, 95th and Broadway. The group will again be anchored by founding members Frankie Gavin on fiddle and Alec Finn on bouzouki, and they’ll be joined by veteran member Colm Murphy on bodhrán and by ex-Four Men and a Dog member Brian McGrath on banjo and keyboards and Andrew Murray on vocals. The latter two musicians joined De Dannan in 1996.
Adding special appeal to De Dannan’s strong musical mix will be two distinguished guests, each a former band member: Caherlistrane, Co. Galway, singer Dolores Keane and button accordionist Martin O’Connor.
For ticket information, call Dara Records at (800) 714-3272 or the Symphony Space box office at (212) 864-5400.
For those in Washington, D.C., on May 16, De Dannan will be performing at 8:30 p.m. in the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center ( 444-1324) as part of the two-week "Island: Arts From Ireland" festival.
Liz Carroll comes east
On the heels of her exceptional new solo album, "Lost in the Loop" (Green Linnet), fiddler extraordinaire Liz Carroll of Chicago will also be making a rare appearance in our nation’s capital to participate in "Island: Arts From Ireland." On Monday, May 18, at 8:30 p.m. Carroll will appear at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater ( 444-1324) with Green Fields of America, headed by Mick Moloney, as well as fiddler Andy McGann, button accordionist Joe Derrane, and uilleann piper Joe Shannon.
Other East Coast concert dates for Liz Carroll are Friday, May 12, with shows at 9 and 10:30 p.m., at the Blarney Star, 43 Murray St., NYC ( 732-2873), where she’ll be accompanied by Solas guitarist John Doyle, and Sunday, May 14, Mother’s Day, at 3 p.m., at the Pequot Library, Southport, Conn. ( 256-8453), where Doyle will again back her.
Returning to the Midwest, Carroll will be performing at the Old Time Fiddlers Gathering in Lafayette, Ind., on Saturday, June 24 ( 742-1419). Later, in July, she’ll embark on a 10-date concert tour of Britain.
This past February, Bill Margeson, a columnist for Chicago’s Irish American News, announced his selections for the top artists in Irish traditional music during the decade of the 1990s. Among those he cited are Liz Carroll, best female musician; Joe Derrane, best male musician; Moving Cloud, best instrumental group; Cathie Ryan, best female singer; and Tommy Fleming, formerly of De Dannan, best male singer.
Joe Reavy issues new CD
Son of renowned Cavan composer and fiddler Ed Reavy (1898-1988), Joe Reavy has just released "Reavy," a 15-track CD on which he plays fiddle with keyboardist Brian Delaney (his nephew) and guitarists Richard Pacienza and Keith Giosa. Two years in the making, the CD is available for sale ($15, plus $3.55 shipping and handling) at J. M. Reavy Music, 555 Grant St., Newtown, PA 18940, by calling (215) 579-8376, or at reavymusic.com on the web.
Also available for sale ($25, plus $5 for shipping and handling) is an engrossing videocassette, "The Music of Ed Reavy," completed by Drexel University in Philadelphia. Performing in the video are Sean, Louis, Brian, and Kevin Quinn, sons of New York’s esteemed Armagh-born fiddler Louis Quinn (1904-1991), who was a close friend of Ed Reavy. Commentary in the video is provided by Ed Reavy’s sons: Joe, George, and Ed Jr. For more information about this videocassette, contact the Ed Reavy Foundation, 2004 Aspen Circle, Springfield, PA 19064 or call (610) 543-3295.
Casey at bat
Ex-Solas lead singer Karan Casey is now on tour of America. With her are Nomos concertina virtuoso Niall Vallely and guitarist Robbie Overson.
The threesome’s itinerary includes May 10, 7 p.m., Iron Horse, 20 Center St., Northampton, Mass. ( 584-0610); May 12, Somerville Theater, Somerville, Mass. ( 876-4275); May 13, 9 p.m., co-bill with Grey Eye Glances, Towne Crier Cafe, 130 Rte. 22, Pawling, N.Y. ( 855-1300); May 14, 8 p.m., Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard St., NYC ( 219-3006); May 15, O’Friel’s, Wilmington, Del. ( 798-4811), and May 17, University of Hartford ( 274-8587).
Casey, who recently sang on Michael McGoldrick’s second solo album, "Fused" (Vertical Records), will be featured on "The Seal Maiden," a recording to be released this autumn by Music for Little People, a children’s label based in Redway, Calif. She’s also hard at work on her next solo album for Shanachie Records.
Other solo albums to watch for
Three talented Clare resident musicians — fiddler Manus McGuire, button accordionist Conor McCarthy, and flutist Kevin Crawford — will each release a solo CD before the year is out. "Saffron and Blue" is the title of the Green Linnet recording by McGuire, a member of Moving Cloud and Buttons and Bows. McCarthy, a member of the Kilfenora Céilí Band, will be backed by guitarist Alph Duggan on his upcoming solo CD.
Crawford, a colleague of Manus McGuire in Moving Cloud and a member of Lúnasa, will be pairing himself with such fiddlers as Tommy Peoples, Martin Hayes, Lúnasa bandmate Seán Smyth, and McGuire. Guitarist Arty McGlynn and Moving Cloud keyboardist Carl Hession will provide accompaniment.