If you have even a passing interest in Irish music and culture, chances are you've been touched at one point or another by Mick Moloney's work: The Limerick-born musician and folklorist has had a hand in nearly every Irish folk album and Irish-American history documentary of note in the past 20-plus years. The elder statesman of Irish folklore appears Sat., March 6, at the Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland, with his music-and-performance project, Mick Moloney's Green Fields of America.
Though Irish-born, Moloney (a graduate of the folklore program at Penn State and currently a professor at NYU) concentrates his studies on the Irish in America, and is an expert on the period during which the Irish were first attempting to assimilate into American culture. Last year, he developed a program combining stories and songs called "If It Wasn't For the Irish and the Jews," highlighting musical mixing between the two ethnic groups in America in the early 20th century. He later parlayed it into a collaborative concert in Manhattan and an album. In addition to his own career, he's also played, produced or written liner notes for albums by The Chieftains and Cherish the Ladies, among others.
With The Green Fields of America, Moloney looks to bring traditional Irish and Irish-American culture to American audiences using American talent. (Michael Flatley's first major gig was with the group in its first incarnation,s in the late 1970s.) By incorporating music, dance and folklore into his presentation, Moloney is able to combine his musical gifts with his passion for education.
Mick Moloney's Green Fields of America 7:30 p.m. Sat., March 6. Carnegie Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $35-40. 412-361-1915 or www.calliopehouse.org