Ramsey House revs up Celtic, Appalachian sounds

Betsy PickleOur Town Arts

Ring in the new month with something ancient – the Ancient Sounds Celtic & Appalachian Outdoor Music Festival.

Starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, the fourth annual Ancient Sounds Celtic & Appalachian Outdoor Music Festival will take over the grounds of the Historic Ramsey House, 2614 Thorngrove Pike, Knoxville. A host of local and regional talent will play into the evening, rain or shine.

The headliners are Four Leaf Peat, a popular act born out of Irish traditional music in pub sessions. With musicians coming from various backgrounds, they also explore the kinship of Appalachian musical heritage and the Irish traditional music from whence it grew.

Members Chad Beauchaine on fiddle; Gil Draper on guitar, bouzouki and mandolin; Rick Hall on hammer dulcimer, vocals and bodhrán; and Jason Herrera on vocals, bodhrán, flute and whistle entertain audiences with lively jigs and reels and slow airs, all in the spirit that gave birth to Irish traditional music.

The Missing Goats will open the festival. (Photo from the group’s Facebook page)

Kicking off the festival will be The Missing Goats, a four-piece pub band whose members’ backgrounds include Irish, folk and Americana. Education is the not-so-missing link for three-fourths of the members. Steve Reddick (guitar, harmonica, vocals) is a retired eighth-grade history teacher in Oak Ridge. Mary Tuskan (mandolin, vocals) is a Clinton High School counselor. Chip Bailey (fiddle, bodhrán) from Norris teaches popular music-themed classes for the Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning. The odd Goat, Tom Beehan (banjo, vocals), is a former Oak Ridge mayor.

In between will be a variety of talented acts. The lineup is:

  • 2 p.m. The Missing Goats
  • 3 p.m. Thistle Dew
  • 4 p.m. Wild Blue Yonder
  • 5 p.m. Elza Gate
  • 6 p.m. Good Thymes Ceilidh Band
  • 7 p.m. Four Leaf Peat

In addition, Liza Jane Alexander and Fiddlin’ Curly Cottrell will perform as they rove the grounds.

Gates open at 1:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. There will be a large tent for spectators to seek shelter from the elements.

No outside food or drink will be allowed, but food and drink vendors, including Cubish, which will feature an entirely Irish menu, will be on site. There will also be BBQ because, East Tennessee.

Sugarlands Distilling Company will serve signature moonshine cocktails. Beer and non-alcoholic beverages will be sold as well.

Tickets are $15 and are available online or at 865-546-0745. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate; cash and major credit cards are accepted. All proceeds from ticket sales, merchandise sales and drinks go directly to the ongoing preservation of the Historic Ramsey House.

The Historic Ramsey House will be open for guided tours that begin in the gift shop every half-hour starting at 1 p.m. (last tour leaves at 6 p.m.; cost is $5).

Betsy Pickle is a veteran entertainment, features and news reporter best known as the longtime film critic for the Knoxville News Sentinel. She is now a freelance writer and editor who particularly enjoys spotlighting South Knoxville.

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