PORTLAND – The Dave Rowe Trio will get a head start on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day when it brings its three-part harmonies, instrumental virtuosity and showmanship to the Maine Irish Heritage Center Friday, March 13.

While respecting traditional music, the trio presents a fresh take on the Celtic and folk scene and builds on tradition to move the music into a new groove. The resulting sound has brought them acclaim up and down the East Coast and out to the Midwest. In 2006 and 2007, the trio was invited to perform at the Milwaukee Irish Fest, and was part of the festival’s tribute to the late Tommy Makem in 2007.

Guitarist and lead vocalist Dave Rowe has a strong heritage to draw on. His father, Tom Rowe, was Schooner Fare’s bass player. By age 15, the younger Rowe was bass player with Tommy Makem’s sons, the Makem Brothers. Rowe picked up a guitar for the first time when he was 19 and a year later joined his dad first as Rowe by Rowe and later as Turkey Hollow when guitarist Denny Breau was added. Turkey Hollow toured for several years until Tom Rowe died of cancer in early 2004.

Looking for a different direction following his dad’s death, Rowe first found Kevin O’Reilly, an electric bass player with a background in rock music. The trio was originally rounded out by fiddle player Ed Howe, who left the trio in the fall of 2008 but not before introducing Rowe and O’Reilly to Eric McDonald, a mandolin player and current Berklee College of Music student.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the heritage center, the former St. Dominic’s Church at 34 Gray St. Tickets, $18, are available at Bull Moose music stores, or for more or more information, call 780-0118.

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