Harleysville’s Burning Bridget Cleary set to win new fans at Philly Irish music festival

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Momentum continues to build for the Harleysville-based Celtic music group Burning Bridget Cleary.
Named for the last woman in Ireland burned for being charged with witchcraft, Burning Bridget Cleary is one of the 14 acts performing Saturday, May 3 during the second annual Philadelphia Fleadh Irish music festival, being held in Pennypack Park’s Ed Kelly Amphitheater at Welsh and Cresco streets, Philadelphia. The band has a prime time slot of 5 to 6 p.m.
When asked about who she was looking forward to seeing at Philly Fleadh, vocalist and fiddler Rose Baldino mentioned Seamus Kennedy and Jamison. “One of the guys is an old friend of my dad’s,” Baldino said of the latter.
Her father, Lou Baldino, plays guitar in Burning Bridget Cleary, along with vocalist and fiddler Deirdre Lockman and percussionist Peter Trezzi. More about the band.

Eight years ago the traditional folk quartet started out playing pubs and bars, “getting as much exposure as possible,” as Baldino put it. Along the way they’ve recorded four albums, played last year’s Philadelphia Folk Festival, and are looking to hit the road soon for live dates in the Midwest. Their 2008 CD “Everything is Alright” won a Celtic Radio Music Award for Album of the Year, and their Facebook page has more than 4,800 likes.

Burning Bridget Cleary's "Pressed for Time" album cover. Submitted photo

Burning Bridget Cleary’s “Pressed for Time” album cover. Submitted photo

A measuring stick moment for BBC comes next year, when the group embarks on a tour of Ireland. “They’re just so thrilled that we’ve taken such an interest in their culture,” Baldino said of the Irish people.
But first comes Philly Fleadh. Baldino suggested that their set would include songs from BBC’s next album that they’ve started recording, which is shaping up to feature more original material than their previous releases.
Stay up to date at www.burningbridgetcleary.com and www.facebook.com/Burning.Bridget.Cleary.
The lineup for the festival also includes The Mahones, Birmingham Six, The Broken Shillelaghs, The Hooligans, Ray and Mickey Coleman, The Paul Moore Band, The Jameson Sisters, The John Byrne Band, Killen-Clark, The Ladeens, and The Shantys.
Entertainment for the day also features a Feis Irish dance competition, Ceili workshops, a kids playzone, food, vendors and more.
Advance tickets are available at www.phillyirishfestival.com for $20. They’re $30 at the gate. Children 12 and under get in free.
Street parking will be available along Cresco Street between Welsh Road and Rhawn Street. Those going to Feis at the Fleadh should park along Lexington Avenue between Solly and Ryan Avenue and enter the park at the Rhawn Street entrance (across from Winchester Avenue).

WHAT: Irish music festival Philadelphia Fleadh.
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 3.
WHERE: Pennypack Park, Welsh and Cresco streets, Philadelphia.
TICKETS: $30 at the gate, free to children 12 and under, $20 in advance.
INFO.: Call (267) 252-6256 or visit: Philly Fleadh

Follow Brian Bingaman on Twitter @brianbingaman.

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