Sunday, February 17, 2013

St. Patrick's 2013

Hi again - Aisling will be playing at the Brazenhead in Grandview, Ohio on March 16, 2013 from 2 to 5 pm. We'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Concert at the Upper Arlington Public Library

Aisling will be performing at the main library, this Sunday - April 17. 2 - 3 pm. Admission is free, but come early if you want to get a seat and to be in the auditorium. Last time we performed at the UAPL it was SRO.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Where have we been?????

Aisling is still around and going strong. You wouldn't be able to tell that from our dormant website and blog, though. Sorry about that, but when you have a band with four full time professional career types (scientist, lawyer, doctor, and engineer), other things besides updating websites take priority.

So, what have we been up to lateley? Working on some really cool new sets for the most part. We haven't been booking many gigs, primarily because no one has time to pursue opportunities, but we do have a concert coming up on April 17 at the Upper Arlington Public Library. We begin at 1 pm and the performance will be in the library's auditorium - a lovely venue for an intimate concert. We'll have some of our new sets ready to roll by then.

We're also scheduled to play on the Trinity and the Shamrock Pub stages at this year's Dublin Irish Festival - first weekend of August, as usual.

It would be great to have some more concert venue gigs, so if you know of any opportunities, please let us know. Better yet, please consider taking us on as a band. We desperately need a booking agent for setting up gigs in the Ohio Valley region.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Andi Wolfe, John Whelan and Flynn Cohen entertain at the AAW Symposium

Thursday evening's entertainment for this year's AAW symposium was capped off with an amazing performance by John Whelan and Flynn Cohen. I joined them for the first two sets, and then again at the end. Here are the first two sets, and another one in the middle.

Jigs and a reel: Garden Castle (original tune by Andi Wolfe), Boys of Ballylochland, Cliffs of Mohr, Farewell to Ireland.

Polkas: Ger the Rigger, My Cuz, Cuz Teehan

Hornpipes and some fancy dancing by Terry Martin and Jacques Vesery

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Trying out a new reel for Dublin

From a live rehearsal at Groveport Town Hall - Frank's Reel, featuring Carol Metheny and Andi Wolfe

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Benefit Concert

For Haiti Relief.

When: Apr 3, 2010

Where: Groveport Town Hall, Groveport, OH

Admission: Donations at the door

All proceeds go to Doctors without Borders in Haiti.

Refreshments donated by Kroger and Walmart. The historic Groveport Town Hall graciously donated by the city of Groveport.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Emma stars in an Aisling music video

Featuring "The Grail Bird" from An Obair

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The blog has been inactive, but the band has not!

Sorry for the long hiatus in posting to this blog. We've been chugging along, building a new sound for the band. Some of our new repertoire was introduced at last year's Dublin Irish Festival. We'll introduce some more new stuff for the St. Patrick's fun next month. We're also doing a benefit concert for Haiti relief.

When: Apr 3, 2010
Where: Groveport Town Hall, Groveport, Ohio
When: 6 - 8 pm

Admission is a donation at the door. All proceeds will be going directly to Doctors without Borders (Haiti). Please come join us and be generous in supporting our cause.

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Aisling portrait

L to R: Andi and Emma, Steve, Carol, Craig.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Band Member Changes

Our band membership has recently changed. Unfortunately both Stuart and Mary have decided to drop out for personal reasons. The good news, though, is that Carol Matheny has agreed to play fiddle for us. I'll be updating our web site ( as I find time and get some new photos.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Andi's solo album is released!

Andi started working on a solo CD project last February and finished the recording in May. Add a few weeks for processing and printing, and the project is finally done. The CD's have arrived and will make their official debut at the Dublin Irish Festival (DIF) next week. You can hear some of the tracks at Andi's MySpace Page. There are 14 tracks and 76+ minutes of music on this CD.

(Emma's contributions were in chewing up the bodhran tipper prior to recording, plus looking so adorable on the liner notes portrait.)

Also, you can be among the elite pre-DIF CD release recipients by using PayPal:

Musicians: Andi Wolfe, Craig Caldwell, Stuart Brand, Steve Wolfe, Mary Bertke, Sid Omasta, Rick Nelson.

From the liner notes: "I’ve appreciated the music of Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738) ever since I began to play traditional Irish music. He was a blind harper and composer who lived in Ireland during the Baroque era. His music shows influence from the harper tradition, the dance music of his time, and snatches and phrases from the Baroque music that would have been played in the Great Houses of Ireland where he entertained and gave lessons. O’Carolan’s music translates very nicely to the hammer dulcimer and I very much enjoyed arranging his tunes to go with traditional Irish dance music as well as original, contemporary Celtic music."

Here's what people have been saying about An Obair:

". . . Got the CD today and put it in my computer immediately! It's great! I can't wait to take it home and share it with others."

"The first day I had mine, I played it while I fixed supper. I know it made the food taste better."

"I am so taken with the music on An Obair; it is just lovely. I like it as much as my Handel and Bach. . . Now that I have the music on my computer and Shuffle I will let my husband have the CD for a little while. Congratulations on such an outstanding CD."

"The music is lovely!"

Monday, May 12, 2008

Andi's solo album is nearing completion

Solo album - hmmmm, more like a group project featuring the musicians of Aisling, Sid Omasta, and Rick Nelson. The good news is that all the tracks have been recorded now. The album title will be "An Obair," which is the Gaelic term for "The Work," and it is also the name of the town where Turlough O'Carolan was born.

There is a nice variety of music on the project: music by Turlough O'Carolan, some original tunes, traditional Irish tunes, and vocal tracks. Look for it to be released at the Dublin Irish Festival. It will also be available at CD Baby - stay tuned for news.

Andi Wolfe at the mic (triple harmony, anyone?). Most of the tracks feature Andi's hammer dulcimer playing, but she also played fiddle, bodhran and some interesting African percussion instruments.

Craig Caldwell on bouzouki. Craig did most of the guitar tracks and added mandolin to the mix.

Stuart Brand played some interesting violin parts ("Let's see what I can butcher together on the fly. . . ."). He also made his whistle debut on this project.

Steve Wolfe on flute and tin whistle.

Mary Bertke added some vocal harmony and banjo parts. She was furiously knitting a sweater to try to have it finished before she headed over to the UK for a vacation.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Aisling on Celtic Music Podcast

Our "Pilgrim's Road set" from our CD was featured on the 2008 St. Patrick's edition of the Celtic Music Podcast.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Aisling's first YouTube video

Check it out!

Here's the information from the YouTube page:

Aisling's first music video, featuring original tunes by Andi Wolfe:

A Walk in the Park
Drakensberg Storm
All Roads Lead to Underberg

These tunes were inspired by a memorable field season in South Africa and Lesotho in 2003. Andi is a botanist who works on parasitic plants in southern Africa. The 2003 field season was for a trip to the Drakensberg mountains and the highlands of Lesotho in search of Hyobanche, a parasitic genus in the broomrape family (Orobanchaceae). Collecting in these areas involves a lot of hiking and climbing in some breath taking scenery. Andi's field assistants included her graduate student, Jeff Morawetz, and two young lads from Cape Town who were the most amazing climbers: Nick and Chris Laidler. Andi isn't a young lass anymore and so it was kind of hard to keep up with these young men in the mountains. Thus, the title of the first tune is "A walk in the park" to commemorate one evening, after a very long hike, when Andi complained to these lads about how they thought these grueling hikes were just a walk in the park.

The second tune is in honor of the amazing thunderstorms that hit the highlands about noon each day. Thunder, lightning, torrential rains, hail stones the size of golf balls - you name it, you got it. Wow! Nature's fury at its best.

The third tune in this set is in honor of the Underberg Hotel, where Andi's team spent way too many nights because they couldn't get into Lesotho via Bushman's Nek. Communication between them and the pony trek guides fell apart and they waited, and waited, and waited some more. Finally, they drove up into Lesotho via Sani Pass. They had a lovely time at the Underberg Hotel, thanks to a pub and a lively bartender named Dean. The images in the video were taken by Andi Wolfe and are from the Drakensberg of South Africa and the highlands of Lesotho.

Aisling is a Celtic Folk band from central Ohio with band members including: Andi Wolfe (hammer dulcimer, fiddle, bodhran, vocals), Craig Caldwell (guitar, bouzouki, mandolin), Mary Bertke (banjo, bouzouki, vocals), Steve Wolfe (flute and tin whistle), and Stuart Brand (fiddle and flute). We play mostly traditional Irish music, but we also play our original tunes and arrange tunes to have a mix of genres ranging from jazz to chamber music.

Check our website at and our MySpace page at for more information.

The Pilgrim's Road is available from CD Baby.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dublin Irish Festival 2007

August 3, 4, 5 - 2007: The best party in the country is the Dublin Irish Festival. We had two stage times and Andi did two hammer dulcimer workshops. Members of Aisling also helped with stage management, the ceili tent, sessions, and committee work. We love the festival!

Friday evening:


As a warm-up to the festival, we performed at the Ohio State Fair on Thursday, August 2nd. This is a pic from setting up our sound system on the stage.


Steve and I did a five hour stint as stage managers at the Dublin Pub stage on Friday evening. The first act up is always O'Kelly and Cotter - namely, flutist Morton O'Kelly and drummer Eddie Cotter Jr.


Morton is a professor of geography at OSU and it was fun to hear the tunes of Ireland through his geographer's ears. He picked tunes from different counties and had the audience participate in a geography bee based on the tunes played.


It's always a treat to hear Eddie play bodhran.


Ditto for Morton - he played a nice variety of flutes and whistles for this set.


Every year at the festival there is a sand castle built during the weekend. This year's theme was on the sponsorship of Bob Evans. I never did see the finished sculpture - I don't know how it fare after the big storm (more on that later).


O'Kelly and Cotter always have to take a long break during their set to accommodate the opening ceremonies and speeches at the Emerald Club. Morton took the opportunity to play through some tunes while he was waiting in the wings.


The pipe and drum corps pipe in the opening ceremonies.


I always like to hear the pipes . . . .

from about a mile away.


The opening ceremony - lots of patriotism (US and Irish), congratulations, welcomes, and remembrances.


The view from backstage.


A quiet moment for Eileen Ivers, who was waiting to go on stage.


Sue Mogan sang the national anthems (US and Ireland).


Eileen Ivers played a beautiful air in memory of Tommy Makem, who had passed away just a few days before the festival.


John Whelan and the Cape May Ceili Band were next up on the Dublin Pub Stage. I think this picture captures the joy John has in the music. It's such a pleasure to hear him play dance tunes.


Cape May Ceili Band


Cape May Ceili Band


Cape May Ceili Band


Beth Patterson posing with Steve and I. We hadn't met Beth before this festival, and it was a real pleasure having the chance to talk to her and listen to her music.


Beth Patterson - queen of the bouzouki and one of the fastest wits in town. Her playing is brilliant, her songs are great (some very moving, some extremely funny), and she knows how to work a crowd.


There's never a dull moment when Beth is on stage.


Steve, lending a hand with the mic.


What is it about Irish music that draws characters such as this? Look back through the blog archive to our St. Pat's day gigs and you'll see more of the same. . .


The Ladies of Longford performing on the Sports Pub stage on Friday night.


The Ladies of Longford and friends.


Niamh Parsons and Graeme Dunn on the Pub Stage, Friday night.



Stuart Brand (Aisling) - Saturday in the entertainer's lounge before our first stage time.


Craig Caldwell (Aisling) watching Randy Clepper try out Craig's new bouzouki.


Bob Kirby holding court in the entertainer's lounge. The festival volunteers do a wonderful job each year.


Randy Clepper


Craig Markley and Craig Caldwell, backstage at the Dublin Pub.


Sue Mogan on the Pub stage.


Sue Mogan, Craig Markley, Pat Mogan, Sid O'Masta.




Flutio, aka Brian McCoy, and the rest of the Kells doing a flute workshop.


Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul on the Traditional Stage. Wow! What a show! This is a band you just have to hear. The crowd was overflowing and very enthusiastic about this act ("SOMEBODY SCREAM!!!!!").


Michael and Steve Wolfe (Aisling)


The crowd for Eileen Ivers


What line are you in?


Saturday night the festival broke the Guinness World record for the most people doing a jig simultaneously. Knot Fibb'n and friends played in the Sports Pub to help the crowd get into the dance.


Ed Norris (The Hooligans) and Tim O'Neil (Knot Fibb'n)


That's a lot of help for playing a jig.


I'm not so sure that everyone was actually doing the real steps to a jig, but everyone was moving.


This is the jig that never ends,
It just goes on and on my friends,
Somebody started doing it,
Not knowing what it was . . .

well, you know the rest of that story. . .


NO! Make it go away!


"They're still doing it! Make it stop!"



My annual picture with John Whelan. What a great guy!


Aisling was scheduled to play at the Sports Pub from noon to 1:45. While we were setting up the pipe and drum corps were warming up in the tent. Ouch! My ears hurt! They're loud!


Well, we were supposed to play until 1:45, but Mother Nature had other plans. We had a huge thunderstorm come through the festival grounds - big enough that the organizers called for an evacuation. The rain was so heavy that the stage flooded - not a good thing with all the electrical wires on the ground.


What to do, what to do? Follow the orders for evacuation or wait it out? We weren't given an option - everyone had to leave.


We thought about leaving the gear up on chairs so we didn't have to haul everything through torrential rain, but we ended up lugging everything back to the rec center. Ouch! No carts to help. We managed to get everything back in one piece and not too wet. What an adventure. The sad part is that we lost out on CD sales since we didn't get to finish our set. Sigh.


The silver lining of the evacuation is that we had a fantastic session going on in the entertainer's lounge during the wait for the all-clear.


We still had a hammer dulcimer workshop to get through and so Craig, Steve, Stuart and I went to the session tent to warm up. My camera was fogged up from all the moisture.


That's a bit better, but it took a bit more time for everything to dry out.


The finale is always a lot of fun. Stuart (Aisling), checking out the action backstage. He was probably watching Beth Patterson . . .


John Sherman


Beth Patterson


Newlyweds Josh and Charlene


Kim Ruttan (The Kells), John Sherman and Craig Caldwell (Aisling) in the background.


John Sherman and Craig Caldwell.


Members of Seven Nations and Gaelic Storm


Waiting backstage


Deborah Colon (Changeling) and Mary Bertke (Aisling).


More backstage waiting (Randy Clepper and Karl Colon (Changeling))


Pete Purvis (Gaelic Storm)


The Celtic Tenors


Paul from Brigid's Cross was the MC for the finale.


Beth Patterson with Gaelic Storm




Dan Stacey and Jon Pilatzke - Step Crew (Seven Nations and Quagmire, respectively)




Craig and Tania Markley


Seven Nations


Seven Nations


Paul with Seven Nations


Seven Nations


Kirk McLeod of Seven Nations


Morton O'Kelly


Craig Markley


A big finish for the finale - everyone's on stage


A fantastic audience


Karl Colon (on right) with Dan Fedoryka - Scythian


Karl Colon






Mary Bertke (on right)








Andi Wolfe (Aisling)


l to r: Craig Markley, Morton O'Kelly, Stuart Brand (Aisling)


Morton O'Kelly


Ed Norris and Peg (Brigid's Cross)


Flutio (Brian McCoy) with Andi Wolfe (Aisling) and Michael Wolfe


Flutio and admirers (Michael and his girlfriend, Elizabeth)


The final party for performers - nice food and good company. A great way to end the weekend.


Leks Fedoryka - Scythian, Charlie - one of the festival drivers, Ron Keller who is with Beth Patterson, and ?


The local crowd


Bob and Billie Kirby