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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Celtic musicians gather for Solstice concert at Old Dog Tavern

Belfast Gin, with Laurie Laing at center
Kristy Brown
Belfast Gin, with Laurie Laing at center

Laurie Laing is a singer and the founder of one of Michigan's longest-running Celtic bands, Belfast Gin. She also has a passion for walking Michigan's woodlands as a forager and master naturalist and sharing the bounty in private and public dining experiences. It's a practice that connects her closely to changes in Michigan's season, including the darkest night of the year.

On the winter solstice, Dec 21, Laing has organized an evening of music called "Drive The Cold Winter Away" at Old Dog Tavern, featuring Belfast Gin, the Ben Traverse Trio, the duo Mr. (John Robey and Joel Myers of The Lash), and a quartet featuring hammered dulcimer, tenor recorder and percussion -- all friends and musicians she admires. She tells Cara Lieurance that she hopes people will take time out of their busy lives to relax, hear a variety of music based in Irish and Scottish traditions, and remember the solstice as an "internal" time between the harvest and signs of spring.

Tickets are $15 at the door. More information is available at this event page.

Cara Lieurance is the local host of NPR's All Things Considered on 1021 WMUK and covers local arts & culture on Let's Hear It on 89.9 Classical WMUK weekday mornings at 10 - 11 am.