Burning Down the House

By Shannon Kirk
The Minstrel

The lead singer Genevieve Gillespie step-dances among the audience during a song. Photo by Amy Herzog.
Who says traditional Irish music can’t be fun? Local Irish band Burning Bridget Cleary rocked the McShea Commons when they took the stage on March 17 for a lively and entertaining St. Patrick’s Day performance.

Formed on St. Patrick’s Day 2006, high school senior Genevieve Gillespie and first-year college student Rose Baldino got the green-clad crowd on their feet and kept them there playing a series of jigs and reels, showing off their skills on the fiddle. Baldino’s father, Lou Baldino, accompanied the girls on the guitar, while percussionist Peter Trezzi kept the beat on a bongo-style drum.

While most of the jigs and reels were traditionally played for centuries and danced to by the Irish, the girls did throw in a couple of pieces that they composed themselves. One jig in particular, “Jimmy Leg,” led to a little play argument between the girls over the definition of a jimmy leg, with Gillespie claiming that it meant to bounce one’s leg.

“We’re constantly firing each other,” Baldino told the crowd with a laugh. “We fight over [drinking from each other’s] water bottles and bouncing legs.”

In addition to instrumental pieces, Gillespie and Baldino also treated the crowd to a few ballads, which told little stories. One that really got the crowd laughing was “The Old Woman of Wexford,” which put a comical spin on the subject of death.

Those who attended the show found Burning Bridget Cleary to be quite an enjoyable band for St. Patrick’s Day. “The music was lively and entertaining,” senior Katie Gribb said. “I really enjoyed myself.”

Senior AnneMarie Fullerton echoed Gribb’s sentiments. “The Burning Bridget Cleary concert was a lot of fun,” she said. “The music and their stage presence [were] great.”
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