St. Paddy's may be past, but a couple of fine new Celtic albums will be making their debut at this concert. Ireland native and longtime Twin Cities resident Dáithí Sproule is perhaps best known as the guitarist with premier Celtic band Altan. But on The Crow in the Sun (New Folk), Sproule is on his own, showcasing his rich, lyrical touch on acoustic guitar as he gives deeply reflective readings of a dozen melodically intriguing instrumentals. He wrote 10 of the songs, which together offer an autobiographical peek at Sproule's life, from sprightly tunes written for friends' weddings and birthdays to pieces that reflect the influence of early inspiration Bert Jansch and his local exploits ("The Humours of Lauderdale," "Taylors Falls"). The HiBs, meanwhile, are the local husband-and-wife duo of fiddler Jode and flutist Kate Dowling, each of whom has played in numerous bands (Clumsy Lovers, Doon Céilí Band) and run the Center for Irish Music in St. Paul. A sampling of the HiBs' debut album, 40 Acre Notch, reveals a lively array of traditional jigs, hornpipes, and reels, played with stylish exuberance.
Fri., April 4, 8 p.m., 2008