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Celtic singer Cathie Ryan will perform in DL Thursday.

Popular Celtic singer at Holmes

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Popular Celtic singer at Holmes
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The Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes will present one of the most popular voices in Celtic music, Cathie Ryan, this coming Thursday, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m.


Since her acclaimed seven-year tenure as lead singer of "Cherish the Ladies," the Detroit-born Ryan has established herself as one of Celtic music's most enduring singer-songwriters.

"I've been performing 20 years on the road as a professional musician," said Ryan in a telephone interview Wednesday, from an airport in California.

But before that, Ryan grew up in a family where music was a way of life.

"I got into it (music) because I was born into an Irish family ... it's a way of life in Ireland," she said. "Whenever you go to any kind of social gathering, it always ends with a song -- it's almost like you can't leave (without singing). It sort of blesses the whole occasion."

And it's not just those who perform professionally that are invited to participate, Ryan added. "Everybody sings ... you're just an ordinary person, sharing the music."

Ryan spent many childhood summers at her grandparents' homes in Ireland.

"There was no TV in either one of them," she said. "In the evening, we entertained each other."

Storytelling and singing were the favored activities.

"My grandfather would tell stories ... my grandmother on my father's side was a wonderful singer. She loved to end the day with music."

Ryan's affinity for the home of her ancestors actually caused her to move from the United States to Ireland, where she currently resides in County Louth, "about an hour and a half north of Dublin."

"I live in a little cottage on the sea," she said. "It rains a lot, but it's beautiful."

During the times when she's not touring, Ryan likes to compose songs at her kitchen table, which sits next to a window overlooking the Irish Sea and the mountains.

"I don't write (songs) when I'm touring," she said, adding that she hopes to get in a lot of quality songwriting time when she takes a brief break from touring this coming December and January.

Ryan's concerts are a combination of her original music, traditional Celtic tunes and "songs by other writers that I'm just really moved by."

"It's a mix of styles, but they all go together beautifully," she added.

She is looking forward to the opportunity to explore Minnesota during what she calls an "extended run" of concerts that will span the nearly the width and breadth of the state, from Detroit Lakes to Grand Rapids to Rochester to Fairmont, among other locations.

"I love the Midwest," she said. "We're (Ryan and her band of musicians) looking forward to seeing fall in Minnesota. It's such a great state...and my guitar player, who was born in Ireland, now lives in Minnesota. He's completely excited (about the tour) -- he's only really seen the (Twin Cities) metropolitan area."

Ryan herself is anticipating the opportunity to see some of the smaller, rural communities around the state.

"You really get to know a place when you go from small town to small often we just hit the big cities (on tour)," she said. "But to actually drive the roads and be inside the state, I love that. You really get a true sense of it that way...spend enough time in a place and you really feel like you know it. It's exciting when we get to do this type of tour."

And while being on the road for so much of the year can be exhausting, Ryan admits, it's also "a privilege to be able to stand on stage and perform music."

This Thursday in Detroit Lakes, she'll have a chance to do just that, as Ryan and her band take the stage at the Historic Holmes Theatre for the first time.

Tickets are now on sale at the Holmes Theatre Box Office: cost is $22 for adults and $11 for students. Area band and vocal students are also being encouraged to attend for a special price of just $5.

Thursday's show is underwritten by Jack Chivers Realty. The next show of the Holmes 2008-09 Theatre Season is set for Sunday, Oct. 26, when the Fargo-Moorhead Ballet presents "Spooky Ballet."

For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 218-844-SHOW or stop by the box office at 826 Summit Ave., inside the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center complex. Tickets can also be purchased online at the community center's Web site,

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 15 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as obituaries. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454