An Evening in Doolin

Also see:
The Jig Is Up by Andrew McCarthy
The Atlantic, May 2010

Whitewashed houses with thatched roofs oversee sheep grazing across deep-green fields enclosed by crumbling stone walls that have stood for centuries. You can practically hear them singing "How are things in Glocca Morra?"--except that in Doolin, you're more likely to catch the sounds of searing fiddles, rising flutes, and thumping bodhrán drums. The village has long been the epicenter of the traditional Irish music scene, and thanks largely to the success of Riverdance more than a decade ago, "trad" music is in the midst of a renaissance. On most every night, in any of Doolin's three pubs, young musicians sit in, side by side with old, tearing into reels, jigs, and laments. The music may not have exempted Doolin from the recession, but it's kept the place buzzing.

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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