Celtic Christmas set for Dec. 21 at Hagood Mill

Celtic Christmas Concert 2013PICKENS — Hagood Mill’s annual “Music in the Mountains” will wind up the year by hosting a multi-year tradition of a Celtic music-oriented yuletide celebration on Saturday, Dec. 21.

This year’s event will be held in memory of Ed Harrison, who made the Celtic Christmas concert the popular event that it is today. Music will be featured from noon until 3 p.m. There will be fiddles, uilleann pipes, penny whistles, guitars, mandolins and more, all playing different types of Celtic music, songs from around the world, jigs and reels as well as old-time music, all to celebrate the season with the folks at Hagood Mill and remember Harrison. The old gristmill and other demonstrations will be running from 10 a.m. until 4 a.m.

In 2004, the Hagood Mill staff approached well-known local uilleann pipe player Harrison to host a Celtic Christmas show in December. The event has become an annual event and has featured many fine local and even international musicians sharing songs of the season.

Harrison was a remarkably versatile musician with a passion for playing multiple styles of roots music on a wide variety of instruments. He was an accomplished dobro player and clawhammer banjo player, as well as playing Cajun accordion and uilleann pipes. His warmth, good humor and ready laugh were a comfort to his family and many friends in the area. Sadly, after more than 20 years of battling cancer, Harrison passed away last year. This year’s show is dedicated to his memory. Also to be remembered this year is Bill Landrum, whose storytelling has graced the Celtic Christmas show over the past several years.

This years’ event features three local musical acts: Daniel Hendrix and Friends, Lucy Allen and Marshall Goers and the always popular Nick and Kathy Hallman.

Allen and Goers are an acoustic duo whose passion for roots music combines elements of various musical genres. For the past seven years, Allen and Goers have shared the stage, creating memorable musical performances. They have made two recordings together: “Just Passing Through” and their recently released “Won’t See Tadpoles Covered in Fur,” an album dedicated to kids of all ages. Allen and Goers have been regulars at the Celtic Christmas show the last few years, hosting a sing-along portion of the event.

Hendrix is a local uilleann pipe player who was mentored and befriended by Harrison. He has been a regular performer at the Celtic Christmas show over the past several years. The yilleann pipes are generally thought to have evolved from the old Irish war-pipes about the beginning of the 18th century. Their distinguishing characteristics are a bag filled by a bellows, a melody pipe (chanter) which gives a two-octave range, and the addition of regulators which can be used for accompanying the melody. Though the correct name for the instrument is held by some authorities to be “union” pipes — referring to the union of chanter and regulators — the term “uilleann pipes” (meaning elbow pipes) has now come into standard usage.

South Carolina Folk Heritage Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and master fiddler, Nick Hallman and his multi-talented partner in life, Kathy Hallman will be entertaining the audience with traditional tunes and tales of the season. Regular friends of the Hagood Mill we are very excited to see them return as part of this year’s Ed Harrison Memorial.