Four Shillings Short To Present Free Samhain/Halloween Concert Nov. 3 At Fuller Lodge

Aodh Og O’Tuama and Christy Martin of Four Shillings Short will perform Nov. 3 at Fuller Lodge. Courtesy photo


The Los Alamos Public Library presents A Samhain/Halloween Concert – music, stories & folklore to celebrate the Celtic Bonfire Festival of Samhain with Four Shillings Short 6:30-8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.), Thursday Nov. 3 at Fuller Lodge Art Center, 2132 Central Ave.

This free family concert is sponsored by Los Alamos Public Library. For more information call 505.662.1635 or 505.662.8250 or visit


Four Shillings Short, the husband/wife duo of Aodh Og O’Tuama from Cork, Ireland and Christy Martin from California, bring together music, stories and folklore from the Celtic lands to celebrate the Ancient Celtic Bonfire festival of Samhain, known as Féile na Marbh (the Feast of the Dead). Samhain (pronounced ‘sow-in’ meaning ‘the Summer’s end’) marks the end of harvest, beginning of Winter and the Celtic New Year.  Traditionally celebrated at the end of October/beginning of November it is the origin of Halloween/All Hallows Eve, All Souls Day and Dia de los Muertos. 

It is believed that on Samhain or ‘Ancestor night’, the border between the world of the living and the dead is thinnest. Candles are lit at the graves of loved ones, offerings of food and drink left out for the Ancestors and bonfires lit throughout the countryside. Many of our modern-day customs are based on Samhain including ghost stories, Halloween costumes, bobbing for apples, and the jack-o-lantern.

Touring in the US & Ireland since 1997, Four Shillings Short are international folk-artists who perform 100 concerts a year, have released 13 recordings and live as full time Troubadours traveling from town to town performing at music festivals, theatres & performing arts centers, folk societies, libraries, house concerts and schools.  Their music is a mix of Traditional and Original songs and instrumentals from the Celtic lands, Medieval & Renaissance Europe, India and the Americas on a fantastic array of instruments (over 30) including Hammered & Mountain Dulcimer, Mandolin, Mandola, Bouzouki, Tinwhistles, Recorders, Medieval and Renaissance Woodwinds, North Indian Sitar, Charango, Bowed Psaltery, Banjo, Bodhran, Guitar, Percussion, vocals and even a Krumhorn.  

Aodh Og O’Tuama grew up in a family of poets, musicians and writers.  He received his degree in Music from University College Cork, Ireland and received a Fellowship from Stanford University in California in Medieval and Renaissance performance.  He plays Tinwhistles, Medieval & Renaissance woodwinds, Recorders, Doumbek (from Morocco), bowed Psaltery, Spoons and sings both in English, Gaelic & French.

Christy Martin grew up in a family of musicians and dancers.  From the age of 15, she studied North Indian Sitar for 10 years, 5 of them with a student of master Sitarist Ravi Shankar.  She began playing the Hammered Dulcimer in her 20’s and has studied with Maggie Sansone, Dan Duggan, Cliff Moses, Robin Petrie, Tony Elman and Glen Morgan.  In addition, she plays Mandolin, Mandola, Bouzouki, Banjo, Guitar, Bodhran (Irish frame drum), Charango, bowed Psaltery and sings in English, Irish, Spanish and Sanskrit. 


”The delightfully surprising collection of songs and sounds this husband/wife act create, while stretching the limits of Celtic and Folk music by stirring in generous amounts of Indian Ragas and Medieval flavorings via some of the tastiest sitar playing this side of Ravi Shankar” (Valpariso Times, IN) “bring musical diversity, captivating storytelling and humorous side notes to create an amazing show.” – (Labyrinth Café/Fort Lauderdale, FL)    

Yours was truly one of the best shows I’ve been to on “any” level & it’s pretty broad: Michael Jackson, Celtic Women, James Taylor, John Denver & Four Shillings Short!!! I enjoyed not only the musical talent, but the education regarding instruments, origin etc. storytelling & mix of genuine passion, love & humor.  In that regard you beat out all the others. – (Louisville, KY 2012)

“Sunday nights’ concert featured a husband-and-wife duo called Four Shillings Short.  They are astounding.  They both have wonderful singing voices.  They play an incredible variety of music from Indian Ragas to Celtic, Traditional folk and about anything else you can think of.  They are very charismatic with great stage presence.” – Columbus Folk Music Society, OH) 

“Their musical virtuosity makes old songs sound new and new songs sound like time-worn Celtic spells.” – (CITY PAGES, Wausau WI)

“They are not the Clancy Brothers or Jean Richie or Ravi Shankar   but a combination of all three, laced with Irish humor. Their collection of instruments is museum-like, and I’ve never seen the place so packed.” – (San Gregorio General Store, CA 2005) 

“Four Shillings Short are the ultimate in coffeehouse entertainment. The variety of musical instrumentation really keeps me interested. Equal amounts of male and female energy keep the emotional content well-balanced. Song lyrics don’t get hidden underneath too much accompaniment. Harmonies are sweet; instrumental solos spirited. And best of all, their demeanor belies a commitment to the ideal of rising up singing.” – (Chicory House Concerts Forty Fort, PA 2008)

“Stunning performance last night. Folk music at its best. Well sung, well played & I lost count of how many instruments. One of the most inspiring performances I have ever witnessed.” – (Berea KY 2011) 

“Four Shillings Short, celto-indo fusion duo, is a world class act.” – (KMFB – Late night Liz, Fort Bragg, CA 2012) 

“These are two of the best musicians that I’ve seen come through. They are authentic, traditional and spontaneous.” – (Suburban Exchange, Houghton MI) 

“Four Shillings Short takes you on a musical journey through time and across the seas as they perform everything from traditional Irish tunes and airs to Indian Ragas.” – (The Foothills Sun-Gazette/ Exeter, CA 2010) 

“A husband-and-wife duo of mystical musical abilities. Their sound is haunting, crystalline beauty.” – (Monterey County Weekly, Monterey, CA 2010) 

“The Celtic/Folk/World music duo performs on a bevy of unusual instruments and in myriad styles.  This is a great show for kids of all ages, who’ll be amazed by the duo’s thematic range.” – (Glen Starkey – New Times, San Luis Obispo, CA 2010)