HACC Professor Plays in Local Celtic Rock Band

Anthony Amuso, Staff Writer

Professor John Flavin teaches Sociology at HACC, but every Saint Patrick’s day performs as a lead vocalist for the band The Ogham Stones at local venues around the Lancaster, Pa area.

I had the chance to sit down with Flavin and talk to him about his passion for performing Celtic Rock music.

The Ogham Stones started 11 years ago when Flavin’s friend, who is the owner of the vinyl store, Angry Young & Poor in Lancaster, gave him a CD to listen to.

“One time at a gathering he slipped me a CD and said, ‘I think you’ll really like this.’” It was a copy of some music from the Kilmaine Saints from Harrisburg, Pa. He continues,

“And popped it in and listened to it and was like, ‘this is fantastic, where are these guys from?’” He continues by saying, “It completely blew me away that such a great band was from right in Harrisburg, and it literally that kind of, you know, propelled me forward.”

This led Flavin to form a group of local musicians in the Lancaster area. 

“We performed in public for the very first time on Saint Patrick’s day in 2010.” 

They were supposed to have their 10-year anniversary show last year, but because of the pandemic, they had to cancel it.

“We’re coming back this year with live outdoor performances.” The Ogham Stones play Saint Patrick’s Day, 6:00 pm at Phantom Power in Millersville, Pa. If you would like to purchase tickets to the show, follow the link to the Eventbrite page here.

The Ogham Stones released their first EP in 2015, which was compiled of a list of songs they routinely performed with and can be found on the band’s Spotify here

They pull inspiration for their music from The Popes, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Great Big Sea, The Call, and traditional Celtic music. 

When talking about the inspiration from Celtic nations and the group’s specific music genre, Flavin mentioned the influence from all areas of the Celtic heritage.

“A lot of people, kind of, merge Irish and Celtic as being the same thing. They’re not.” 

Flavin continues to talk about the compilation of the Celtic nations. The Celtic Nations are Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Wales, Brittany, and Cornwall. Some other countries across Europe have a Celtic influence, as mentioned in this article about Celtic nations from WorldAtlas.

“We kind of draw music from all of those areas. You know, we’re very heavily influenced by the bagpipes.” 

The Ogham Stones play year-round. They play summer festivals, Celtic Christmases, and any other events that call for Celtic Rock.

 “We play summer festivals all throughout the summer, and then we get to play Halfway to Saint Patty’s Day, and then by then we’re arranging A Celtic Christmas, and then, you know, and then just whenever there’s a special event.” 

The Ogham Stones are happy being a regional band, however,

“If Flogging Molly’s out there reading this and says, ‘We want those guys to open for us on our next European tour’, I think we’ll talk about it,” Flavin jokingly adds after talking about their performance schedule.

When asked if the group was releasing new music soon, Flavin responded with, 

“I think in the future you’re gonna see more recorded material available from The Ogham Stones, knock on wood, sooner than later.”

For more information on The Ogham Stones, you can follow this link to their website: The Ogham Stones.