Authentic Irish music for authentic Irish holiday

Published on March 15, 2017

Dúlamán met while playing at the Irish session hosted by Ted Leighton at the Dockside. Here they are playing at the session with other musicians.

©David Call

DIGBY, NS - Ever wanted to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like the true Irish? Or, better yet, listening to true Irish music?

Ted Leighton.
David Call

Here’s your chance. New Digby band Dúlamán will be playing Mar. 17 at Grace United Church in Digby. The event will start at 6 p.m., and will feature dinner, followed by song and dance.

The band is made up of Ted Leighton on vocals and Irish – or uilleann – pipes, Carolyn Buck on fiddle, Mike Donnelly on banjo and guitar, and Kevin Thompson, Irish drum, bones and vocals. He says those attending should expect to have a fun filled evening.

“There’s always a bit of banter and jokes thrown in there. We’ll be having fun, and hopefully the audience will too,” he says.

“Having fun is kind of the point of this stuff.”

Leighton is a retired professor, and is working as an adjunct professor at Sainte-Anne. He lives in Digby, and says the band met in 2014 after playing together at the Irish Session he organizes at Dockside Bar, located within the Fundy Restaurant.

Leighton says no one person formed the band, but that a passion for traditional Celtic music brought it together. He says each musician has felt the rewarding transition from session jams to a more structured sound.

Kevin Thompson and Carolyn Buck.

©David Call

Mike Donnelly.
David Call



“In a session you don’t really care so much if it sounds good all the time. When you’re in a band, it’s a bit different and stimulates you to work and practice a bit harder,” he says.

After 23 years of playing Irish music, Leighton says it’s the history behind the songs that really keeps him interested.

“The Irish have been through many troubling times and even a diaspora – their music has a certain pathos to it,” he says.

“But regardless of hardships, there are the fun songs as well. They’ve always known how to have fun.”