534 Main St Bethlehem PA 18018
Live Music at the Red Stag Pub with Piper’s Request
Come and enjoy the Perfect Celtic brunch date right here in the Lehigh Valley at our humble little pub! Piper’s Request is a band grounded in the roots of traditional Irish music, with tune sets forged in hundreds of pub sessions and the straight ahead songs of life, love, sorrow, laughter and, of course, whiskey, made famous by the Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem, the Dubliners, and so many others. Join us for Live Music at the Red Stag Pub with Piper’s Request.
Meet the band
TERRY HARTZELL (uilleann pipes, Irish flute, whistles)
How does someone raised in Nazareth, PA, where the underlying culture is Pennsylvania German find their way to the uilleann pipes?
Terry’s path to Irish music began in 1995. During a visit home for summer break he tuned into a new public radio station, WDIY, which went on-air earlier that year. That evening a weekly program called “Celtic Faire” was airing and he was hooked. The sounds and rhythms were new to him. At the time he was playing 6-string guitar and exploring the roots of contemporary American music. With more listening, he tried to reproduce the sounds and rhythms of Irish music with the guitar, but was never satisfied. It took years of listening to realize that what he loved most – woven through the music – was the uilleann pipes, an instrument he had never seen and certainly never imagined playing.
The path to becoming an Irish musician began at a Chicago Irish music festival in 2005. On a dare he purchased a tin whistle and beginner’s book for $10 and fell in love. The music the céilí band played for the dancers was exciting stuff! He followed them around all weekend. From that day on he dedicated himself to learning the dance music of Ireland, with the dream of someday playing for dancers.
Back home in Pennsylvania, he was fortunate to find encouragement from two great traditional Irish musicians: Terry Kane with her monthly Irish session at McCarthy’s Tea Room in Bethlehem and Ed Saultz who moved to the area a year later. Their guidance set him on the path. The nearest teachers for the pipes are in New York city and Philadelphia and the distance makes it impossible to take regular lessons, so like most pipers in the States he is largely self-taught.
Several times a year he heads north for more formal learning with music workshops during the annual Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY, and at piping Tíonóls (gatherings for Irish pipers). Instructors there are his primary influences. He follows musicians who play for the céilí, the ones who give the music that lively rhythm and pulse that makes you want to dance.
Sharing the music is one of the great joys of his life. He hosts an Irish tune learning and slow session for people new to the tradition, and started giving private instruction for beginning whistle and uilleann pipe players. You can find him at almost every local session as one of the “regulars,” or as a co-host with Ed Saultz and Fred Gilmartin.
RICK WEAVER (guitar, vocals, octave mandolin, tenor banjo)
Rick grew up in a musical family. His great grandfather on his mother’s side led a brass band at the turn of the century in Milford, NY where he played trumpet and met John Phillip Sousa. He also owned a silent movie house and Rick’s grandmother, Edith, played the piano to accompany the films. Growing up, Rick’s earliest memories are of gathering around his grandmother’s piano singing hymns and show tunes on a Sunday afternoon. This tradition continued into his teens around his own family’s piano, with the neighborhood kids sitting on the porch listening while Rick’s family sang songs from Brigadoon, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, South Pacific and My Fair Lady, to name a few.
Rick started piano lessons in 2nd grade and took them for 5 years until his teacher was injured in a car accident. He shifted to clarinet in the school band, then when forced to choose between band and baseball, taught himself guitar from a Mel Bay guitar manual when he was 12, using his mother’s $15 Sears Silvertone guitar with bridge cable strings that he originally had to press down with his thumb. During this time he sang in church and school choirs and appeared in a couple of grade school and Middle School musical productions.
Rick played keyboards in 7th or 8th grade in his FIRST first rock band, which was led by the cousin of the hit band the Critters. They even had a few gigs and played stuff by Paul Revere and the Raiders and other popular songs of the day. In high school he was lead singer and guitarist with the 2nd best band in school, called Time’s End, where he rocked out to Jimi Hendricks, Cream, the Rascals, Van Morrison and the Luv.
Soon after he discovered he could woo girls with songs by Dylan, Simon and Garfunkle and James Taylor, and started his career as a humdinger folk singer, all the while continuing to sing in school and church choirs.
College came and Rick continued as an acoustic player and singer with some help from his off-the-wall but talented-and-polished freshman year roommate Roger, who turned Rick onto Dave van Ronk and taught him to drop his D and play some blues. Junior year was life changing as he had a chance to trade a 2-line role in their production of Lenny for a weekly radio show on the college station WXAC at Albright College. There he had the good sense to bring in friends with more extensive and varied musical knowledge and let them loose in the extensive library. Among the many performers he learned about were John Prine, Steve Goodman, Doc Watson and David Bromberg.
Shortly after that the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band came out with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and Rick was on the trail of traditional music. It was then he hooked up with the Reading Area Folk Alliance, started writing his own songs and began to perform at coffee houses, bars, colleges and small local folk festivals, either as a solo act or with a friend with a beautiful voice, Jessie Wessner.
This continued at grad school at Penn with regular appearances at the Graduate Towers on Thursday nights, and an occasional open mic at Cavanaugh’s where he was exposed to people who actually were earning a PhD in Folk Music. It was there, with their songs and recitations that Rick was first exposed to Celtic music, which struck an immediate chord with him, long before he knew anything about his Irish and Scottish roots. Next thing he knew he was going to see Mick Maloney and Eugene O’Donnell and DeDannon and the die was cast.
A few years later Rick moved to the Lehigh Valley and within a year was up to his elbows with the community staff at WMUH at Muhlenberg College where he served at various times as Secretary, Vice President, President, news director and folk program coordinator. During this time they established a block format that gave equal time to all musical genre’s and also promoted diversity within each format. So within “folk” they had Bluegrass, singer- songwriter, avant-folk and Celtic music. Brian Landers was an early host of that show, and continued with it when the group started WDIY, going on the air in January 1995.
During the past six years Rick has been the host of the weekly radio show “Celtic Faire” and has been exposed to a world full of great tunes and songs from the Celtic tradition. In part because of that, he was inspired to start playing again, learning the fiddle and making the transition to Irish fiddle tunes on the guitar, open chording, and learning new songs.
Rick says, “I had the great good fortune to meet Terry Hartzell, Megan Everett and Ed Saultz, and was soon playing with “Murphy’s Tenants,” playing at the bi-weekly sessions at Porter’s Pub in Easton where I met co-session leader Fred Gilmartin and joined the current line-up in “Piper’s Request,” where I play guitar, sing and fill in on tenor banjo, bouzouki and fiddle.
And I still sing sometimes with the church choir. Life is good.”
FRED GILMARTIN (mandolin, vocals, guitar, tenor banjo, fiddle, bodhran)
With Scottish and Irish music influences going back to grade school, Fred has been involved in the music most of his life. “My father used to wake us up on Saturday morning with the Scottish Highland bagpipes. He played them either live or on the stereo.”
Fred first played piano in grade school. His next door neighbor was a choir director so his first professional gig was singing in the boy’s choir at Trinity Episcopal. Soon after he was old enough to start learning to play the bagpipes and was playing in the Liberty High school pipe band along with the MacLaren pipes and drums, a local bagpipe band. During high school he learned to play the guitar and spent the next 15 years playing for himself and jamming with friends at parties. In 1996 he went to his first bluegrass festival and became interested in the mandolin.
Shortly after that he bought his first mandolin and began learning Irish, Scottish, Canadian, old-time and American fiddle tunes. And along the way he picked up the Irish tenor banjo and fiddle. Playing them all gives Fred a chance to add variety to the dynamics and the “sound” of the music Piper’s Request performs.
Fred also performs regularly with the acoustic rock ensembles “the JK Trio” and “Skulldiggers,” and plays in a bluegrass band known as “Last Small Town.” There are so many crossovers between Irish and Bluegrass music, yet so many differences! Fred enjoys both styles and you’ll see him on area stages for a long time to come.
Join us every week for a pint, some great food, and live music at the pub on Friday and Saturday evenings, plus Sunday mornings during our Celtic Brunch. Located in our Main Pub or Outside for large events in Downtown Historic Bethlehem. Enjoy traditional Celtic music and a blend of contemporary acoustic music from very talented musicians — including Regina Sayles, Piper’s Request, Shaun Lally, Coloursound…and many more.