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Concert on the bricks Tell North Platte what you think
Photo by George Lauby
O'Tuama and Martin
Photo by George Lauby
Aodh Og O'Tuama

Four Shillings Short, an independent folk band, performed from 7-9 p.m. Saturday at the Espresso Shop downtown.

The husband/wife duo of Aodh Og O’Tuama from Cork, Ireland and Christy Martin from California, performed traditional and original music from the Celtic lands, medieval and renaissance Europe, India and the Americas, with an impressive array of instruments and impeccable vocals.

This was the fourth appearance in North Platte for the popular entertainers.

The duo played an array of instruments, including hammered and mountain dulcimer, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, tinwhistles, recorders, medieval and renaissance woodwinds, North Indian Sitar, charango, bowed psaltery, banjo, bodhran, guitar, percussion, vocals and even a Krumhorn.

The duo takes their name from a short story by James Joyce, in which a musical performer is paid four shillings less than called for. O'Tauma said that is an apt description of the financial state of musicians.

The duo travels all year in their van, staying with friends when invited. They did not ask a fee for the performance, only that the audience give what they felt was deserved. Contributions were generous.

The audience was treated to light, open heartened music from India to Ireland to the Appalachian mountains, as well as a love ballad from the Renaissance, and a Blackfoot song about the medicine wheel.

The folk artists have toured in the U.S. and Ireland since 1997, performing about 150 concerts a year. They come to the Espresso Shop every two years in March, when they can see Sandhill cranes migrating along the route.  

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 3/26/2017
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