Lorkin O'Reilly, Melanie MacLaren play Gaelic roots-inspired folk at Epison Spires
Lorkin O’Reilly and Melanie MacLaren will perform at Epsilon Spires on March 26.

Lorkin O'Reilly, Melanie MacLaren play Gaelic roots-inspired folk at Epison Spires

BRATTLEBORO — March is traditionally a time for shamrock decorations and pints of green beer, but this year Epsilon Spires is offering an opportunity to celebrate the season of Saint Patrick's Day a little differently with a live performance of Lorkin O'Reilly's Irish-inspired original folk music on the evening of Saturday, March 26.

Joining him on the bill will be Melanie MacLaren, a singer-songwriter raised in New York who moved to Nashville in 2020.

“O'Reilly's breathy vocal delivery and hypnotically rhythmic guitar playing are reminiscent of folk heroes like Nick Drake and Bert Jansch,” says a news release, “but with a subtle Celtic inflection due to his Irish ancestry and Scottish upbringing. His minimalist, self-reflective songs are so candid in nature that the music critic Amy Britton called his 2021 release Marriage Material 'an intimate album that feels like a whisper on the skin.'”

Both O'Reilly and MacLaren play “an intricate finger-picking style of stripped-down folk music that engages listeners on a deeply personal level,” organizers say. “I see folk music as a tradition of expressing scenes from everyday life and communicating them in a way that reaches people emotionally,” said MacLaren, who added she draws inspiration from the classic folk records her parents played while she was growing up.

While MacLaren's musical style draws on the rich history of folk, she says she wants to keep her songwriting unique to her contemporary experiences.

“To me, it doesn't make much sense to see folk music as stagnant or stuck in the past, because at its core it's constant,” she says, adding that “giving a relatable interpretation of material with an interesting delivery is what I look for and value in folk music, no matter if it's a song you wrote two days ago or material from hundreds of years ago.”

Tickets for the event are $15 each and can be purchased at epsilonspires.org.

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