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Constant Billy

Sunday, March 17

Though often lumped for convenience in the Celtic category, Houston's Constant Billy is more accurately described as pan-British folk. Irish, Scottish and Welsh tunes constitute just a fraction of their repertoire; they work in old English ballads and sea shanties as well (including one in which the limey seaman applauds the exploits of Santa Anna). How many other Celtic bands have mastered tunes of the Channel Islands, those forgotten British bailiwicks off the coast of France known today only to the super-rich as tax havens? The quartet also plays a staggering array of string and woodwind instruments, and Bill Galbraith's hilarious between-songs banter can bring you out of the dumps of even the bloodiest Scots border ballad. Not for nothing does Patrick Devlin of On the Dole call them a "delight" and "Houston's most talented Celtic quartet."

 
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