Barleycorn provides good diet of Irish, Celtic melodies
Published March 9, 2005
of you with low-carb diet resolutions for 2005 might safely partake
of Barleycorn. The New Barleycorn, specifically, in the run-up to
St. Patrick's Day. It's not a genetically-modified grain, but rather
a musical duo made of Alec DeGabriele, of Fairview Park, and John
Delaney, of Rocky River, serial (as opposed to cereal) performers
on the local music scene, specializing in but not limited to Irish
and Celtic melodies.
"We play both
well known Irish-Celtic songs and also many original songs," said
Delaney. "Alec has written some very fine songs recently, and we
often sing American folk songs if they suit the particular show
This is a particularly
heavy season, naturally, with the pair playing at Stamper's in Fairview
Park at 9 p.m. Thursday and at the Five Seasons in Westlake on Saturday,
and O'Malley's Rockcliffe Bar and Restaurant in Rocky River next
Wednesday. Their primo St. Patrick's engagement on March 17 is on
the east side - Nighttown in Cleveland Hts.
"We don't change
the content or our style of music for different venues but try to
play whatever we feel is entertaining at the time," said Delaney,
who diplomatically refuses to pick a favorite concert setting. "We
enjoy all the great venues we play in for different reasons, and
each night we play is quite different, mainly because we like to
involve the audience - and so that affects what we do at any given
The New Barleycorn
is named in partial tribute to Barleycorn, a durable international
Irish-music ensemble co-founded by Delaney in 1971. When Barleycorn
went their separate ways in 1995, Delaney came to the United States.
Here he hooked up with Alec DeGrabriele, a fellow Irishman with
an estimable music resume (his family comprised a traveling show
band, the Shannon Players). As a duo they became The New Barleycorn,
John playing five-string and tenor banjos (he's guested on numerous
other Irish music recordings as an intrumentalist), mandolin, guitar,
whistle and bodhran, Alec performing guitar and bass.
The New Barleycorn
has since released five Cds to date, available at their Web site
- and at their shows. Full-time musicians, the New Barleycorn are
regulars at such honored Hibernian hangouts as Sullivan's Irish
Pub in Lakewood and Brendan O'Neill's in Westlake.
For the ultimate
in audience-participation, they even like to take the audience along
with them on sea voyages (that should teach you what happens if
you sit up front!). For six years now the New Barleycorn have been
on board, literally, as oceangoing entertainment with cruise-ship
ventures by Phil Coulter ("Phil Coulter is one of Ireland's foremost,
songwriters/pianist/composers, and a friend for many years"), and
for tours of the Emerald Isle. For more information check out the
band's website thenewbarleycorn.com.
AUTHOR: Two notable author visits take place this week at different
branches of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.
night the Brooklyn branch, at 4480 Ridge Rd., gets the blues. Not
the music, but the uniforms, as Fairview Park-based author John
Tidyman discusses his new book "Cleveland Cops: The Real Stories
They Tell Each Other," published by Gray & Company. The 2004
volume collects local histories from generations of officers, ranging
from the humorous to the harrowing - it is not recommended reading
for those of you afraid of dead bodies and rats, in assorted combinations.
Tidyman, a former police-beat reporter (whose father and uncle also
covered crime and courts for Cleveland newspapers) will talk about
the most `arresting' tales he gathered in the course of putting
the book together.
that his next book is planned as a sort of companion piece. It will
compile on-the-job anecdotes from present and retired Cleveland
firefighters and EMS personnel, and anyone with accounts to contribute
to that project will be particularly welcome. Tidyman's presentation
takes place at the Brooklyn library branch from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.,
and it's free and open to the public. For more information, phone
the library at 216-398-4600.
Then on Monday
evening, children's picture-book author Doug Aylesworth appears
at the Fairview Park Regional Library, at 21255 Lorain Rd. Now based
in Chicago, Aylesworth is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford,
Ohio, who went to work as a teacher in the 1970s. Through his experiences
with elementary-school kids, Aylesworth learned how to tell stories
with generous doses of loud sounds, rhythms and rhymes, in books
for early readers like "Hanna's Hog" and "Old Black Fly," and his
revisit to classic nursery rhymes in "The Completed Hickory Dickory
Dock" (hopefully his mice are a lot friendlier than Tidyman's rats).
His first published book, "Hush Up!, came out in 1980, and he was
able to turn his attentions to writing full-time in 1996.
has a Web site at www.ayles.com.
He will be appearing at 7 p.m. at the Fairview branch. For more
information phone 333-4700.
In other library news,the Joe Hunter Trio will be bringing the sounds
of jazz to the Rocky River Public Library on Thursday night at 7
is one of Cleveland's most popular jazz pianists. The Cleveland
Hts. High School graduate is featured on the 88s with with Ernie
Krivda's Fat Tuesday Big Band and teachers part-time at Cuyahoga
Community College (where he also takes part in Bill Rudman's Broadway-oriented
concert series). Inspired by Brazilian and Latin rhythms as well
as the jazz greats, Hunter has produced two compact discs with his
trio "East of the Sun" and "From This Moment On," done with bassist
Dallas Coffey and drummers Val Kent and Paul Samuels.
session is free and open to the public. The Rocky River Public Libary
is located at 1600 Hampton Rd; phone 333-7610.