No Blarney to celebrate the Irish with series of local concerts

Mar 5, 2020

Irish music duo No Blarney is heading out this week on its annual concert tour celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Seven concerts are planned across the region, including two on St. Patrick’s Day.

It’s a sign, suggests Rich Conroy, that winter is almost over.

Conroy, a singer-songwriter who says he’s “mostly Irish,” is joined by Don Bouchard, who taught guitar to Conroy. The duo has had a musical relationship for more than 30 years, and have played music together since 1984.

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 with Conroy, a mortgage underwriter.

No Blarney presents a show 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.

The musicians have 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.”

The tour opens Friday at the Holland Land Office Museum, 131 West Main St., Batavia, with a show scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $5. For information, call (585) 343-4727.

The tour is also planning a multi-set three-hour show beginning 6 p.m. March 14 at The Yard of Ale, 3226 Genesee St., Piffard. This will be the 11th consecutive year that the duo has played at the Route 63 tavern/restaurant. The evening’s menu typically features an Irish-theme and reservations are recommended. For information, call (585) 243-3380.

During the longer shows, Conroy and Bouchard typically include a set featuring selections from the group’s rock ‘n’ roll Strummerz repertoire, which includes the songs of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and His Comets, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and more.

Other dates include:

  • March 10, 7 p.m.: Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia
  • March 12, 7 p.m.: The Manor House, 427 East Main St., Batavia
  • March 15, 2:30 p.m.: Hamilton Manor, 1172 Long Pond Rd., Rochester
  • March 17, 12:45 p.m.: Batavia Rotary Club.
  • March 17, 6 p.m.: 12 Gates Brewing Company, 80 Earhart Drive, Williamsville, a three-hour show is planned.

Conroy and Bouchard, performing as Strummerz, also plan a 9 p.m. April 18 show at 39 Problems, 41 North Main St., Albion.

Look for the duo at GO Art!’s annual Picnic in the Park on July 4 in Centennial Park. The musicians will perform as both Strummerz and No Blarney.

By Ben Beagle, Batavia Daily News