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Irish Summer 

An Dochas outside

Nothing says kick back, forget the perils of daily life and have a great time like good, authentic Irish tunes. Once you hear that trademark tin whistle and mandolin, it's impossible not to grab a Guinness (a clich & eacute;, I know) and attempt to sing along. An Dochas, a group of Celtic musicians and Colville natives, will take their tunes and good times, along with the omnipresent Haran Irish Dancers, to the Post Falls Summer concert series on Tuesday at Q'Emilin Riverside Park.

An Dochas has been building a name for themselves since the group solidified in 2002, and they have since taken their one-of-a-kind live experience on the road nationwide. The growth of the group has been steady, and, as guitarist Mellad Abeid points out, it's demonstrated in all the positive reactions to their live performances.

"Our shows have very good audience response," Abeid said. "They are a part of the show, and they are entertained at the same time."

Along with their distinctive sound, An Dochas gets a big lift from the Haran Irish Dancers, who accompany the group for many of their performances. Their presence works for the band in that they add a strong amount of energy and audience involvement.

The group first came together to provide support for the dancers, Abeid says; now the dancers mostly support the band. However, there is still equivalency in the performances.

"They add a visual element to the shows," Abeid said. "Traditional music is written for dancing. That's what the music is created for. It's an excellent thing."

In the past three years, An Dochas has enjoyed continual growth. Their future plans include working the college circuit and working on a DVD of their performances and experiences for a fairly quick release.

For now, though, live performances are all that's on the mind of An Dochas. Whether it be the large stage experience, or small Irish sing-alongs in pubs, performing is central to the An Dochas experience, for both the group and the listener. It is a way to see what the group is all about, and to be able to truly take in all of the band's energy.

"There is nothing dark in our tunes," Abeid said. "People say that we are uplifting, energetic and dynamic. People feel elevated and happy, and that's important."

An Dochas and the Haran Dancers perform at Q'Emilin Riverside Park in Post Falls, Idaho, on Tuesday, July 26, at 7 pm. Free. Call (208) 704-3692.

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