How to describe a Men of Worth concert?
Well, you begin with the Men themselves. Donnie MacDonald grew up speaking Gaelic on the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Outer Hebrides, while James Keigher comes from a small town in Ireland’s County Mayo. They both emigrated to the U.S., and they met in California more than twenty years ago. You move on to their voices: each of them is an outstanding solo singer, and they combine to produce wonderful harmonies.
Then, there are the instruments: James’s mandocello and guitar; Donnie’s octave mandolin, tenor banjo, and concertina; and of course the “genuine Irish” bodhrans they bought from the Cuban guy in a Texas hotel room that probably still smells of goatskin. There’s the music: original compositions by both of them, Donnie’s mother’s poetry that he’s set to music, songs by other modern musicians from Stan Rogers to John McCutcheon and more, as well as the familiar traditional Celtic repertoire.
However, all of that doesn’t do justice to an evening with Men of Worth. They grab their audience’s attention and don’t let go until the last encore is through. Whether it’s a discussion of the songs, a story about one of their trips home, or a visit to that surreal place that James calls “Donnie-Land”, you never know what you’re going to hear, and neither do they.
You don’t want to miss your chance to spend an evening with these two unique musicians.
San Diego Folk Heritage