Four Shillings Short coming to the White Mountains

Bringing the flavor of traditional music from Celtic Lands, Europe, Asia and the Americas to the White Mountains on Nov.6, Four Shillings Short will entertain their audience with 30 different instruments.

PINETOP-LAKESIDE — Four Shillings Short, authentic troubadours, vocalists and multi-instrumentalists will perform their Celtic, Folk and World Music Concert at Unity of the White Mountains on Nov. 6.

Aodh Og (pronounced ayog) O’Tuama and Christy Martin, a husband and wife duo, have been playing together since 1995 and tour the US and Ireland performing around 150 concerts and workshops per year.

O’Tuama is from Cork, Ireland and Martin is from California. They were both in bands before forming Four Shillings Short. He played in a group called Drivelling Druids and she played in a band called Your Mother Should Know.

O’Tuama received a degree in Music from University College in Cork and studied Medieval and Renaissance music on a fellowship at Stanford University in 1984. He does vocals, plays tin whistles, the doumbek, spoons, gemshorn, bowed psaltery, recorders, crumhorn (also spelled Krummhorn), Native American flutes and more.

Martin is from a musical family and began playing the sitar at age 16. She played the sitar for 10 years and then, gravitating to folk music in the 80’s, she was drawn to the dulcimer in 1993. She plays the hammered and mountain dulcimers, the mandolin, mandola and bouzouki, banjo, charango, bowed psaltery, ukulele and bodhran. She sings in English, Irish and Sanskrit.

When they began touring as Four Shillings Short, they went about from town to town performing at music festivals, theatres, performing arts centers, libraries, museums, schools and folk and historic societies.

They say their music is “rooted in Celtic and American folk inspired by Indian ‘Raga and Ethnic idioms.”

White Mountain resident Linda Hoy, a retired former actress who traded Hollywood for theater, met the duo in Berkeley, California twenty years ago at a church function. She encountered them again later while she was performing in Romeo & Juliet at Theatreworks in Mountain View, California. They were doing music in the orchestra pit.

Hoy, a friend and subscriber to their newsletter, keeps up with their travels and music and has eight CDs of theirs. When Martin told Hoy they would be in the area in November 2021, Hoy immediately contacted Unity of the White Mountains’ Minister Sheryl Padgett to see if they could book a performance at Unity. The date was set for Nov. 6.

“Christy says they are professional house guests,” said Hoy. “She says they own nothing.”

They are truly modern day troubadours.

But, they do own beautiful costumes and 30 instruments. They enjoy weaving humor and instrument education into their performances. They are also crafted storytellers.

Many people recognize the sound of some of their lesser known instruments but often do not know the name of the instrument itself.

The concert performance will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Unity of the White Mountains, 257 N. Woodland Rd., Lakeside. There is a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for low income individuals and kids are free. Masks are required for the event.

Reach the reporter at bbruce@wmicentral.com

Barbara Bruce is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering arts and entertainment on the Mountain and the Pinetop-Lakeside town government.

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