Bandcamp Friday

You can get your holiday shopping done today! I can help.

Nobody on your list wants more stuff. We’ve been surrounded by our stuff for the last nine months of quarantine and our primary comforts haven’t been fulfilled by any of it. In those darkest of moments, our most reliable companion is music.

Enter Bandcamp Fridays! Bandcamp started this initiative back in March to support artists impacted by the pandemic. Once a month, Bandcamp waives all revenue shares putting the maximum amount of money directly into the pocket of the musician.

How does this impact your holiday shopping? You can send a digital gift. If you do it TODAY December 4, you will be doubly generous because the musician you love will be supported by you financially to the fullest extent possible.

I don’t want to get carried away but this might actually be that Holy Grail everyone talks about but rarely finds: The Perfect Gift. Can you think of another gift that is personally curated, fully supports artists, waste free, has no carbon footprint, and has the potential to be a companion in your stead to someone you love?

Let’s play a game. I’ll tell you about the last three Bandcamp purchases that have blessed my life and then you tell me what you buy on this Bandcamp Friday.

1. Bloom by Dan Padley, released 12/4/20. This one I sent as a gift. I had the extraordinary honor of playing on this album and so I already know it intimately. I posted about it yesterday calling it “a gift of life in the longest winter of our lives” and I stand by that description. I can think of more than one person who needs and deserves that gift. Can you?

2. Blake Shaw Xmas EP by Blake Shaw, released 12/4/20. When Blake’s full length album it happened. was released last May, I bought more copies of it than I’ve ever bought of any album in my life thus far. I love it so much and had to share it with people I love. Given that endorsement, Blake Shaw + Christmas is an equation with an obvious solution.

3. I Confess by John William Watkins. John also provided my fourth most recent Bandcamp purchase because I bought The Oracle at the same time. Kent Williams at Little Village describes John’s music more beautifully than anything I could construct: “Watkins has mastered the art of expressing human emotions in a way that keeps them relevant to anyone with heart, while remaining true to his specific experience. This is not the moon, or June romanticism enshrined in 20th-century pop songs. It’s something else: lovely and valuable.” Lovely and valuable is what I want for the people in my life.

Happy Bandcamp Friday! O merry day of finishing your shopping and relaxing for the rest of December!

Thank you for loving your people and your artists in the most expansive way possible.

A Christmas Carol

Streaming from November 27 to December 27, a holiday theater experience from Riverside Theatre to share with your family and friends no matter where this season may find you.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Paul Morello. A story about the redemptive power of discovering that we belong to each other.

Featuring John William Watkins with music by Tara McGovern. Directed by Ron Clark.

Click for details and tickets.

January Joy

Hello friends,

Happy New Year, one and all!
The Soft and Low, my folk-rock duo with Jeffrey C. Capps, has developed a largely unintentional but nevertheless delightful habit of landing performances on the full moon and January is no exception.

The Soft and Low, Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery
Fri, Jan 10 – 6-9 pm
1441 Marak Road NW, SwisherCome for the tunes and the wonderful food and libations and let the full moon follow you home. More details here.


Hawkeye Area Grand Gaelic Isles Society (H.A.G.G.I.S.) Burns Dinner 2020
Sat – Jan 18 – 4-10 pm
St. Wenceslas Church Hall: 1224 5th St. SE, Cedar Rapids
Coppers & Brass, my Irish trad band, is delighted to provide music for this traditional annual Burns Dinner featuring Scottish food, ceremonial readings and toasts, bagpiping, Scottish social dancing, a raffle, and a dessert contest. The absolute deadline for reservations is January 11th. Go here to reserve your spot.


Burns Night hosted by David MacLeod Burt
Sat – Jan 25 – 7 pm
Sanctuary Pub in the Red Room: 405 S Gilbert St in Iowa City
This is a double fun opportunity because Burns Night begins at 7 pm in the Red Room and then the wonderful Saul Lubaroff is playing from 8 to 10 pm in the main area of the Sanctuary.

In February, Coppers & BrassTréa Champagne, and a collaboration of Champagne Academy of Irish Dancers and McGovern Music Studio musicians head into the studio to record a single to be released digitally as a fundraiser celebrating the 50th anniversary of United Action for Youth.

And then comes March. Oh, March! Never not a doozy. Stay tuned for the whirlwind.
I’m sending you love and wishing you well.

Tuned to truth,
Tara

The Soft and Low Carol Countdown

The Soft and Low and our favorite elf are pleased to present the 2019 Top Ten Carol Countdown! We will be singing these TONIGHT (Saturday, December 7 at 7 pm) with YOU as an opening act for the Coppers & Brass Christmas show at Sanctuary Pub.

We used a delicate algorithm balancing community input with artistic license to come up with this year’s offerings.

Please let us know what you’d like to see on the list for 2020!

Click through for lyrics and sing along!

10. God Rest You Merry Gentlemen

9. In the Bleak Midwinter

8. Go Tell it on the Mountain

7. Jingle Bell Rock

6. I’ll Be Home for Christmas

5. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

3. Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. Silent Night

1. We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Come for the carols, stay for the superior food, drink, service and for our very best in Irish trad music with a Christmas twist.

December delights from Tara McGovern and friends

Hello friends!
I hope that all of you had a warm and nourishing Thanksgiving. December is full of seasonal fun! Here’s where you’ll find me celebrating all the treasures of this month:

Ron Clark’s Small Miracles – Fri, Dec 6th – 7-9 pm
Uptown Bill’s730 S. Dubuque St, Iowa City
A beautiful and rare offering by my friend and mentor Ron Clark:
“Get out of the cold and enjoy an evening of heart-warming holiday storytelling with Small Miracles, a moving, one-man show by Ron Clark. Small Miracles takes the audience on a nostalgic, heartfelt journey as Clark shares his recollections of growing up in a small Iowa town where the mayor/street cleaner doubled as Santa, a courageous dog, a terrifying audition for the fifth grade Christmas pageant, and his stint at a department store Santa. Clark’s vivid storytelling will captivate you and bring to mind your own fond memories. This show is perfect for the whole family.”  

The Soft and Low Carol Countdown! – Sat, Dec 7th – 7-7:30 p.m
Sanctuary Pub405 S. Gilbert St, Iowa City
Doesn’t this just sound like something you need to experience?! Be sure to drop me a note with your carol request and then show up to see if yours makes the list!
 
and definitely stick around following the carol countdown for…

Coppers & Brass Christmas – Sat, Dec 7th – 7:30-9 p.m. 
Sanctuary Pub405 S. Gilbert St, Iowa City

Celebrate the season with a traditional Irish twist. Coppers & Brass is proud to present our very last performance of 2019 with gratitude for the amazing year we’ve had as a band. We look forward to seeing you many more times in 2020 and beyond.

The Soft and Low – Fri, Dec 13th – 7-9 p.m.
Wild Culture Kombucha210 N. Linn St, Iowa City
Jeff played at this great new venue a couple of months ago, but this will be the first time for our duo! While we’ll play much of our standard fare, you can bet that a couple of those holiday songs will sneak into this set, as well. Come for the tunes, and stay for the delicious kombucha, beer & wine!

Champagne Academy of Irish Dance Irish Christmas Céilí – Sat, Dec 21 – 2-5:30 pm
South Slope Community Center980 Front St, North Liberty
A fabulous afternoon of Irish dance and music! Irish dance (beginners to champions from Champagne Academy of Irish Dance) & music performance with a social dance (Céilí, no experience needed!) and potluck to follow featuring Caller Tadhg Mac Aindriú and the Champagne Céilí Band of which I am a proud fiddler. Doors open at 1:30pm. $16 at the door, 4 and under free. Contact Trèa Champagne TCRG for more details.

Wherever you are and however you choose to spend this season that can be so cold and dark, please know that I am wishing you all that is calm and bright.

Tuned to truth,
Tara

One more haunted evening with Coppers & Brass

One more chance for haunted Irish music with Coppers & Brass! We’re delighted to have our special guests Champagne Academy of Irish Dance with us this evening at the wonderful Kalona Brewing Co.

We will be playing from 6 to 8 pm. Delicious scratch kitchen open all evening and let’s not forget the marvelous brews.

A new moon tonight means a dark and mysterious evening awaits.

Haunted Irish Music with Coppers & Brass

Join Coppers & Brass (Frank Claudy, Joe Dutcher, Tara McGovern and Keith Reins) for our second annual Halloween Haunted Irish Music shows.

We’ll feature grisly songs and happy tunes for an early show (5 pm at the Sanctuary on Saturday and 6 pm at Kalona Brewing Co. on Sunday that will let you get home before the vampires wake up.

The Sunday version of the show at Kalona Brewing Co. is their annual Drink or Treat Halloween-themed night. We’ll provide haunted music from across the pond and the Champagne Academy Irish Dancers will be joining us for a bit of extra fun!

On tap for this event will be KBC’s Trick or Treat Pale Ale, made with actual Jolly Ranchers – available in-house only.

No cover for this special event; heavenly beers on tap and scratch kitchen open till close (8pm). Join us…if you dare!