Entertainment Announcement!

The Reno Celtic Celebration is proud to be able to say we have partnered with the     BlackEyed Dempseys as our Head Line act this year! We believe this will be their FIRST performance in Northern Nevada and we are excited for them to be here! They have played the Dixon Highland Games, Tartan Day in Fremont, CA, San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Sonora Celtic Faire, Celtic Faerie Festival, Fair Oaks, CA, and many more. Read below to learn a bit about this dynamic group:


Name your band after one of the greatest fighters in Irish history and you’d better be prepared to crank out some musical fisticuffs and all bets are off showdowns.

That’s exactly what BlackEyed Dempseys do and why they are fast becoming a favorite in the Northern California music scene. Now they are bringing their punk-Irish-vision to ever increasing audiences.

BlackEyed Dempseys blend traditional Celtic playing skills with rock ‘n’ roll hooks. Their sound has the familiarity to be instantly recognizable. When you hear them you know it is the Dempseys. They are engaging, and appealing to fans of all ages. Their live shows bring a raucous energy that cannot be denied. The Dempseys are proud to say that they have fans in America, Ireland, Australia and World Wide!

Stage presence, brilliant arrangements, traditional tunes and original compositions is what BlackEyed Dempseys deliver each time they take the stage. Their distinctive sound and command of their instruments combined with the band’s enthusiasm and desire to connect with every member of the audience sets them apart.

The melodies of Mark Repking (banjo) and Keith Jukes (accordion); harmonies of Moe Crummet (guitar); the driving bass of Quinn Brentson and the rhythm of Josh Wagner’s drums meld with Jamie Hill’s bar hardened vocals and searing guitar to prompt a new look at Irish tradition.

Originally formed in 2008, BlackEyed Dempseys are one of the hottest, up and comers in California Celtic rock. Working class musicians from Northern California have come together to create and perform a brand new version of hard-edged, politically tinged songs of freedom and love to the alternative Celtic-rock music scene.

BlackEyed Dempsey’s connection with their audience is a palpable thing. They bridge the gap from traditional arrangements to Dempsey original songs with a take on Irish and Celtic music that is current and insightful. They bring their varied and powerful styles to the forefront of the current Irish-inspired music boon.

Jamie Hill started BlackEyed Dempseys and was looking for an accordion player. He met Keith Jukes at a Flogging Molly show. Keith’s dedication and desire to “be a Dempsey” took over and soon Keith and his accordion were an integral part of the band. Keith brings the traditional and new to a melting point with brilliant and insightful style.

At that same show Jamie met Moe Crummet. Moe would later join the band after a Dempsey show at the Powerhouse Pub. Moe left the cutting edge band “Shadowbox Theory” to play with the Dempseys. His driving rhythm guitar and stellar harmonies are hallmarks of the Dempsey sound.

The Irish banjo and mandolin is governed by Mark Repking. Listening to Mark play the banjo is a devil of a thing. His speed and skill is matched by his natural understanding of Irish melodies. Mark became a Dempsey after Keith introduced him to Jamie. One jam session and it was a done deal.

Josh Wagner is the drums. Another day job connection brought Josh to the band.  He drives the Dempseys from start to finish at every show. Josh brings a keen ear for arrangement and orchestration. His sound can be heard throughout the Dempseys songs.

Quinn Brentson is the most recent Dempsey. A classified ad found Quinn in Southern California and a little over a year later he was headed for Northern California and the Dempseys. Quinn boasts an impressive musical pedigree. He has worked in the studio with Michael Boddicker, keyboard artist with Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Mariah Carey. He has also done studio work with Jim Fuller lead guitarist of the legendary So-Cal surf band, the Surfaris. Quinn is the deep and quiet man that produces the sonic landscape of bass guitar so much a foundation of BlackEyed Dempseys.

Jamie Hill’s work on guitar wows crowds. His ability to connect with an audience with hard driving songs and a sense of humor is a key. Jamie’s years playing the bar circuit gives him the straight ahead power and experience to sing the Dempseys songs and carry the message home. His skill on guitar is a mix between thunder and sweet rain.

Laura Winn, writes for the SF Examiner, “With a kilt-wearing accordion player center stage, this band was either going to be truly awesome or truly horrible. Within 30 seconds of their set, BlackEyed Dempseys had filled the dance floor with their “rebel Irish music” in the vein of Flogging Molly. This band is wicked cool… Lead by Jamie Hill on guitar and vocals, the band stole the show with a mix of covers by the likes of The Pogues and Flogging Molly and originals including their own pub anthem, which stood up to their great rendition of “What’s Left of the Flag.””

Eileen Wilson, for the Folsom Telegraph, “When feet are stomping, hands are clapping, and everyone is sporting a grin, you know a great band is on the stage. It’s no wonder audiences love the roaring yet rhythmic sounds that emanate from the six-member group… the band knows how to get a crowd going…Those who are familiar with bands like the BlackEyed Dempseys or Flogging Molly will know that traditional Irish music, with punk and rock vibes, can get an audience out of their seat and ready to rock. This isn’t a band that is meant to be watched, while quietly sipping a cocktail. This is a band that makes fans want to participate; to have a connection with the music; an exchange between audience and band members that will leave fans with an experience rather than a mere performance.”

Kelsey Perry, for the Sacramento Downtown Partnership/Concert in the Park series, BlackEyed Dempseys mix traditional and current Irish music with ramped-up Les Pauls, accordion and banjos screaming, and bass and drums driving like a train! Blending traditional Celtic music with rock ‘n’ roll hooks, BlackEyed Dempseys are engaging and have raucous energy that cannot be denied. BlackEyed Dempseys create a lively atmosphere for guests and perform with a contagious enthusiasm that surges through the crowd.

The All Hallows Fantasy Faire writes: BlackEyed Dempseys ~ a hair-raising performance!

Thank You, Northern Nevada!


Photo by Danielle Gann-Lind

Saturday morning dawned early and a tad chilly for the Reno Celtic Celebration. I took this snap of “Mac”, one of my favorite parts of the Celebration. Mac is such a trooper, people ogled him all weekend, tried to touch his horns, which he does NOT appreciate, and he just stood in front of the fan all weekend, allowing people to silently adore him =)

The Reno Celtic Celebration for 2014 was a great success! We want to thank everyone that came out for enjoying our celebration! We couldn’t have done it without people to be there. There were also A LOT of volunteer hours that went in to making this celebration happen!

Here’s a look at Clan Row as it appeared during the Festival:


Photo by Lowell Patton

Here’s vendor row:

Photo by Richard Bromley

Photo by Richard Bromley

Here were the British Cars that were featured:


Photo by Richard Bromley

Of course, the beautiful Blanchette Irish Dancers:

Photo by Blanchette Irish Dancers

Photo by Blanchette Irish Dancers


Here’s a photo of yours truly with one of our amazing documentarians, photographer Dana Nollsch, who’s photo’s will be posted as soon as we get them:

Photo by Danielle Gann-Lind

Photo by Danielle Gann-Lind

We believe that a good time was had by all. I want to take a moment to shout out to members of Clan Logan, who were our honors clan this year, after the passing this last year of Loran Logan, considered by many to be the “quintessential Scot”.

I also want to put a shout out to all the amazing and wonderful volunteers that helped make the Celebration happen. The board of directors, Chris Moreland as new board member and volunteer coordinator, Miriam Blanchette, also a new board member and in charge of the Dance Stage, Lowell Patton as Clan Coordinator, Mary Mingo, Animal Coordinator, Jim McLane treasurer and money guru, Jim Laughton for Pipe Bands and solo competition, Verla Jackson as the mistress of suds and hard-working board member, Katherine Coates as Heritage Coordinator, along with her assistan Merrilee Abea, and Mike Steedman, without whom many of the logistics of the event would not happen.

Now for the folks who do not hold a title, but were certainly present and gave their all for the Celtic Celebration to occur: The Navy Sea Cadets and Galena Junior ROTC helped out the Celtic Celebration this year. The Sea Cadets headed by Peggy and John Hannah with the help of LtJG Catheryne Sainz and Tony Sainz, and Galena JROTC headed by LTC Phil Telander, provided more than 40 volunteers over the course of the weekend that were some of the most polite, well-mannered young people I have ever met!

Scott Fallis, our chief of security, who along with his guards kept everyone safe, responded to any medical calls, and rolled with several curve balls that were thrown his way. Mike MacMillan, who worked lights at the dance stage and was a great addition and backup for Mike Steedman on logistics and did whatever was asked of him. He worked very hard over the weekend.

Our shift volunteers, many of whom have worked multiple years at the Celtic Celebration: Sparrow Malvino, Monty Hudson, Bruce and Laura Warren, Simon Warren, Erin McLelland, Erika Martinelli, Heather Edwards, Sharon Netherton, Mallorey English, Roger Solie, Alex Root, Joyce, Dylan, and Aero Strom, Bari Caine, and Joan Spellitich.

Our beer tent volunteers were: Jeff Mehoves, Chris Maier, Denise Goode, Theresa Moser, Crystel Montecinos, Kelly Heim, and Amanda Williams.

Please stay tuned….next year, in 2015, the Reno Celtic Celebration will commemorate it’s SILVER ANNIVERSARY, number 25! We hope and are making plans already for this to be the biggest and best Celebration yet! If you are interested in being a part of it, let us know! We could ALWAYS use more (energetic) help!

~Danielle on behalf of the CCI Board

Celtic Celebration a Proud Nevada 150 Event!


The Reno Celtic Celebration is proud, this year, to be recognized as one of Nevada’s celebration of 150 years of history! The above graphic appears in our program and showcases some of the amazing Nevadan’s of Celtic origin in our history. Special thanks to Ronald M. James for compilation of this information.