Editors' pick

Scythian, Danny Burns and the Defectors


Editorial Review

Ten years ago, a group of friends began playing Celtic music every Thursday night at Fado Irish Pub in Chinatown. Scythian quickly established that it wasn't like any other Irish group in Washington: Brothers Danylo and Alexander Fedoryka were classically trained musicians (piano and violin), as was fiddler Josef Crosby, infusing covers of "Come Out Ye Black and Tans," the Pogues' "Tuesday Morning" and Charlie Daniels's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" with extra zip and technical wizardry. More than musicianship, however, what really set the group apart were their infectious, interactive live shows. Tambourines were passed out to members of the crowd who wanted to play along. There were mid-set drinking games, dance contests and audience-participation versions of hokey chestnuts such as "The Wild Rover." The pub regularly hit capacity and stayed full to the end, with pint glasses being hoisted as everyone sang along. The charismatic Scythian naturally went on to bigger things, including headlining the 9:30 Club, performing at Floydfest and touring Irish festivals across the country. But to mark the 10th anniversary of its Fado residency, Scythian is performing at the pub every Thursday in March.

-- Fritz Hahn (March 4, 2014)