Scythian – Gettin’ Jiggy With It


Source: Washington Post

By Fritz Hahn
Washington Post Staff Writer

IT’S A LONG way from busking for gas money in Old Town Alexandria to appearing in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller, “The Village,” but that’s the story of the local Celtic band Scythian (Sith-ee-yin). Throw in a taping of the upcoming “Real World” series in Philadelphia and a new weekly gig at the popular Chinatown pub Fado (808 Seventh St. NW; 202-789-0066), and it begins to sound more like a fairy tale.

On paper, Scythian is a traditional Irish group: the lineup includes two classically trained fiddlers, and the twenty-something musicians play accordion, guitar, electric bass and mandolin. In concert, though, Scythian proves to be one of Washington’s most energetic and eclectic bands.

One night at Fado mixes spirited takes on traditional rebel tunes like “Come Out Ye Black and Tans” and covers of Irish punks-with-pennywhistles the Pogues with klezmer-influenced versions of Squirrel Nut Zippers’ “Hell” and They Might Be Giants’ “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”; a Celtic-tinged interpretation of Charlie Daniels’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”; a careening, double-time “Danny Boy”; and a take on “Wild Thing” that features a fiddle singing over the familiar, thumping bass line.


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