by Roger Walk
As part of the monthly Acoustic Concert Series the folk music group Scalaheen presented Irish pub songs and traditional Celtic tunes at the Central Library Thursday, December 5.
All five members of Scalaheen are from Chester. Kathy Widdle (flute and whistle), Paul Willson (guitar), Margaret Graham (fiddle), Jeff Brown (tenor banjo and Anglo concertina – a small accordion-type instrument), and Ken Hall on the goat-skin “bodhrán”Irish frame drum have been playing together for about three years. Scalaheen performs regularly in pubs in Petersburg and Richmond.
With their easy-going style and their simple tunes they created a merry and dance-inviting atmosphere for the concert series audience at the library.
Kids were sitting in the isle fascinated by the whistle and the bodhrán drum and clapping their hands to the rhythms of the music. Scalaheen’s performance showed that pub music can create a happy crowd even outside of the Irish pub.
As Kathy Widdle explains, the musicians see themselves more as contributing to the fun and camaraderie at a local pub evening or gathering of friends than as performing and recording artists.