Sport Hill Farm presented Fairfield’s own The Highland Rovers Trio at an outdoor concert last Saturday, the latest in a local music series at the farm.  The first concert, in July, featured local band Kid Sistr, and September featured Eastonite Dan Carlucci with Hitch & The Giddy Up. 

“The original concept began to help the local music industry struggling to do what they love,” said Patti Popp, Sport Hill Farm’s co-owner.  “So many large weddings, events and parties had to be canceled due to Covid. Having enough open space to socially distance comfortably seemed like a perfect fit.”

Patti Popp, Farmgal of Sport Hill Farm — Karen Brewer Photo

It was a perfect fall evening, and “so needed for my soul,” Patti said. “It’s really great to see people out” and having fun. The gates opened at 5:30 p.m., with the band playing straight through until 8 p.m. Guests were encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and the makings of a picnic, with a huge lawn area for socially distanced music.

Band members Tom Portera, vocals and guitar; Jim Cyr, vocals & mandolin, and Colleen Filush, vocals and fiddle, played to an enthusiastic audience.

“Drawing from the diverse New York Metro music scene, the Highland Rovers Band fuses popular rock percussive rhythms, guitars, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and vocal harmonies to create an intricate and fresh sound,” according to the band’s website. Its “multi-layered, upbeat, and danceable music showcases its universal appeal to both mainstream modern rock lovers and culturally diverse audiences searching for a distinct Celtic flavor. “

“Over the past 25-plus years, the band has paid its dues playing Irish pubs, clubs and festivals throughout the New York Metropolitan area and along the eastern seaboard,” Tom said.

The Highland Rovers Trio at Sport Hill Farm — Karen Brewer Photo

The band’s résumé includes performances across the United States at venues ranging from well-known Irish pubs to larger arenas such as Shea Stadium, according to the website. It has performed with top Irish artists including the Saw Doctors, the Young Dubliners, The Wolfetones, Tommy Makem and The Spain Brothers, Derrick Warfield, Bad Haggis and The Prodigals. The band has also performed numerous shows with its longtime friends and mentors, the Marshall Tucker Band.

“We were just overwhelmed with the wonderful crowd response, and also by the beautiful setting and concert planning supplied by Sport Hill Farm,” Tom said. “Patti could not have been more kind and gracious, and the combination of a great crowd in an awesome outdoor setting made it the perfect musical evening!”

Patti said, “We are working on doing more, even if we have to bundle up a bit. It’s great to enjoy the outdoors before we are locked in for winter.” 

Here’s looking forward to more events at Sport Hill Farm to come!

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