by Timothy Rutt
Altadena's own Those Manning Bhoys (Mike and Sean) put in their eighth appearance at the Summer Concert Series (or ninth, depending on who's counting) with traditional Irish and Irish-influenced music Saturday night.
The main event was an original song cycle, "From Clare to Here," interpreting the letters of Maggie O'Neal, a girl who survived the 1845-49 Irish potato famine and English oppression to eventually emigrate from County Clare to Canada with her father.
But before then, the audience was electrified by the Mannings' friends, Zac Léger and Liam Lewis. Fiddler/mandolinist Lewis has appeared with the Mannings before, and is currently a student at the Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. Léger is a multi-threat flautist, uilleann piper, whistle player, guitarist and Irish bouzouki player as well as singer. The two created a flawless, driving soundscape with Celtic roots that made the crowd cheer. The pair, who obviously enjoy playing together, said they had even been busking in Old Town Pasadena during this rare chance to get together.
Another highlight was the annual rendition of "Danny Boy" by the Bhoy's mother, Sis, who can still sing it at age 90. For the encore, the Mannings sang their song about growing up in Altadena with many local references (Webster's, anyone?)
The Sheriff Support Group Summer Concert Series at Farnsworth Park goes dark for Labor Day weekend, but will return on Sept. 7 with Hot August Night, a tribute to Neil Diamond starring Dean Colley. This will fill the amphitheater, so get there early! More pictures after the jump.