No Blarney: Batavia music duo to perform March 10, 13

Mar 11, 2015

Night of Irish music If call yourself No Blarney, you'd better have a strong repertoire of Irish songs. And you'd expect to be particularly busy in March when St. Patrick's Day brings out the Irish in just about everybody. The Batavia music duo No Blarney fits that bill with singer-songwriter Rich Conroy -- who says he's "mostly Irish" -- and Don Bouchard. A performance by No Blarney is similar to that of a traditional pub singer found in Ireland -- folk songs, ballads and drinking songs that tell stories that make people smile and laugh, Conroy said. They will perform several shows this week in Genesee and Livingston counties. The schedule includes a free concert at 7:30 p.m. March 10 at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia, and a ticketed show from 7 to 9 p.m. March 13 at Genesee County Building No. 2, 3837 West Main Street Rd., Batavia. Tickets for the museum concert, which cost $8, are available by calling the Museum at (585) 343-4727. In Livingston County, No Blarney performs beginning around 4 p.m. March 14 at Duffy's Tavern, 100 West Main St., Avon; and on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, at 6 p.m. The Yard of Ale, 3226 Genesee St., Piffard. There are no coverage charges for either performance, but reservations are recommended for The Yard of Ale event. For reservations, call (585) 243-3380. The group has a wide repertoire of Irish folk songs, including favorites such as "Danny Boy," "Black Velvet Band" and "Molly Malone," along with some beer and whiskey story-telling songs such as "The Wild Rover" and "Beer, Beer, Beer." Conroy and Bouchard -- who taught guitar to Conroy -- have had a musical relationship for more than 30 years. Bouchard, a financial services professional in Batavia, is an established classical guitarist who was best known for many years for his performance of Christmas music before committing to the music of No Blarney and Strummerz, a rock and roll duo he formed with Conroy, a mortgage underwriter. "As professionals in our fields we don't get to perform out nearly as much as we would like," Conroy said. "It's really just a hobby, but we are always working at improving and adding new material and nuances." Bouchard, a SUNY Geneseo alumnus, "has always enjoyed performing rock 'n' roll and Irish music, but was not willing to commit to it as he initially felt that it would take away from his recognition as a classical guitarist," Conroy said. "In actuality, it has enhanced his reputation as he is also recognized throughout Genesee and Livingston counties as 'the guy from Strummerz and No Blarney.' " The one compromise that Bouchard has refused to make is switching from the nylons strings of his classical guitar to a steel string guitar. "It is fascinating to watch him play rock 'n' roll and blues riffs on his classical guitar - not an easy task," Conroy said. "It also lends to our unique sound as the sound of our guitars blend nicely." Conroy started performing Irish music as a solo artist around 2007, with Bouchard joining and the duo officially becoming No Blarney a few years later. They have also been performing since 2001 as Strummerz, a duo specializes in music from the 1950s to 1970s. "We enjoy performing many styles of music," Conroy said. "It keeps things interesting for us and for our audiences." In December, they separate to perform Christmas music. Bouchard plays traditional instrumental hymns with his classical guitar, while Conroy plays and sings old crooner classics such as "Winter Wonderland," "Let it Snow" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Article from The Daily News and taken from http://www.thedailynewsonline.com/entertainment/article_007a26e7-9a7a-5a4b-9cc3-fd8192ec518f.html