Keith Harkin (of Celtic Thunder) at The Firefly Lounge
PLEASE NOTE that this show has been rescheduled to February 3rd, 2020 at 6:00pm!
Were inside the Full Circle (an old church turned music venue) in Venice Beach, California. A salty mist fills the night outside. Waves crash and hiss not far away. But here a welcoming warmth bathes the guests who have gathered for a night of unforgettable music.
Keith Harkin stands onstage, guitar in hand. His journey to this place has been long and adventurous. Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, hes been lifelong wanderer, riding the winds of music throughout the world, as a featured performer with the Celtic Thunder ensemble, more often with a smaller group or on his own, playing songs inspired by love and the lure of the road.
Here, though, Harkin is home. Hes lived in Venice Beach for more than six years now, ridden its surf countless times, met and married the love of his life. And on this night, he is making a statement hes been waiting his life to make.
I was with Celtic Thunder for a great 10 years, he explains, looking back on that evening when he recorded his new album, Keith Harkin In The Round. But I never got to actually show what I do best. A lot of people didnt know I could even play three chords on guitar, much less hold a whole concert together on my own. They didnt know I wrote my own songs. So the time finally came for me to show that side of me.
This may puzzle those who count themselves as fans of Harkin. Thousands know him through his previous albums. Keith Harkin topped the Amazon.com International charts in 2012, and On Mercy Street in 2015 and the Christmas album Nollaig in 2016 rose to No. 1 on the Billboard World Music listings. He has already touched the hearts of listeners in performances from the White House in Washington to venues large and small throughout Europe, North America and Australia.
But In The Round presents Harkin in an especially intimate setting and as a result, establishes him as a uniquely accomplished artist. Backed only by longtime friend and guitarist Dave Bakey, he casts a spell from the first notes of Lauren And I, which he wrote and performed originally with Celtic Thunder. This feeling intensifies and broadens through each track, as he conjures the thrill of new love (I Remember It All, The First Time, Care Free Heart) and love made sweeter by time (My Love Goes On). Through his keening vocals, haunting lyrics and deft instrumental skills, we share the lonely adventure of chasing the horizon (Along The Road). His love for the sea washes through Take Me Down and the rollicking Ring Tailed Rat. When evenings end draws near, Harkin embraces all who have opened their hearts to his songs (Keep On Rolling) and the one with whom he walks in the full bloom of love (Wait On Me).
And now we see we know Keith Harkin more fully than before, either because or in spite of the fact that this was actually one of his more challenging gigs. They left all the lights on in the room because they wanted to show everyone in the audience on the DVD, he says, smiling. That kind of threw me because when its dark in the venue, there could be 2,000 people or 20 people but its still just you on the stage. Plus the stage monitors were kept quiet so they wouldnt bleed into the recording. So if anyone in the room so much as breathed, I heard as if it were Dave sitting next to me.
Harkin laughs at the memory. Then he adds, It turned out great in the end. I put my trust in the crew and everyone who was there. Besides, I work best if Im under pressure.
For all that Harkin has done up to this point, this is his most ambitious project to date. I want people to see the real me for the first time, he says. The real me gets up at 6 AM to surf at the beach and hang with my buddies. The real me is intrigued by love. To me, the people who show generosity to each other, theyre the ones who are going to change our world. Thats why when I start writing a song, even if its about the most random thing, it always seems to lead back to love. Whether its a relationship or surfing or fishing or whatever you really enjoy doing, I wish everybody could give 100 percent, all they can, to what they love.
Thats what Harkin has always done. Its just that with In The Round were hearing it really hearing it for the first time.
The Firefly Lounge (View)
1015 N State St
Bellingham, WA 98225
|Minimum Age: 21|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|