According to the 2010 census, the predominant ethnicity in Clarks Summit Borough is Irish, and for this month’s Downtown Go Around, sponsored by the Arts Committee of the Abington Business and Professional Association, the borough is hosting its own Celtic celebration.
On Friday evening, March 14, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Celtic musician Gary Dillon will perform a selection of traditional and modern Irish music at the Clarks Summit Borough Building, 304 S. State St. When asked why he wished to specialize in the music of his heritage, both of his parents are second-generation Irish-Americans, Dillon explained that it was all about the deep spirit and culture of Ireland.
“It fascinates me how music can reflect so well the land and the people who live there,” he said. “When I hear traditional Irish music, it makes me feel as though I’m in Ireland. That, to me, is true magic — not slight of hand. Music to me is truly magical. Mexican and many other types of ethnic music evoke images and feelings in the same powerful way.”
Dillon incorporates a variety of musical instruments into his performances, including the guitar, violin, bass banjo, pedals steel, lap steel, drums, tin cans, fine china and
“I play anything that can create sound,” he said. “People often comment that I have my own distinct sound when performing a Beatles song or songs by other artists, and that it has a bit of Irish in it.”
Dillon will perform a song he wrote entitled “Ireland” as well as traditional Irish fiddle tunes and music by Drunken Sailor, Wild Rover, Whiskey in the Jar, Black Velvet Band, Van Morrison, U2 and the Beatles. A self-taught musician, Dillon explained that his true passion is celebrating his musical heritage, even though he appreciates all musical cultures.
“As far back as my memory can recall, music has had a great impact and lasting impression on me — so much so that I taught myself music with no help or mentoring; radio, records and my ears were my mentors,” he said. “I embrace all good music and have ventured several cultures, Irish being one of them. It is definitely in my blood.”
Besides Dillon’s music, the Downtown Go Around will also offer samplings of beer crafted by Three Guys and a Beer’d Brewing Company of Carbondale and food by the What the Fork Food Truck at Sole to Soul, 535 S. State St., throughout the evening.