st. patrick's day

Dave Trumpie / Capitol Gains

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Local, county and state law enforcement officials say they're stepping up patrols to catch drunken drivers during a period that includes St. Patrick's Day, the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments and spring break.

The Michigan State Police said this week that officers from 144 agencies in 26 counties are part of the crackdown that runs through April 7. The effort is coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and receives federal traffic safety funds.

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St Patrick's Day is coming up this Sunday.

For many people, whether Irish or not, the holiday brings a chance to hear musicians playing  toe-tapping jigs, reels, hornpipes and other Old Celtic tunes at clubs and pubs all over Michigan.

One of those musicians is 22-year-old Asher Perkins of Oakland County.

At age 22, Asher has been playing button accordion and concertina largely as part of his family's acclaimed Celtic music band, Finvarra's Wren.

Making music like this  has been a part of Asher's life for the past 17 years.

Here's an example of an Irish reel by Finvarra Wren:

Even as he has carved out a national reputation in traditional Irish music, Asher Perkins has been making a name for himself in a totally different area.

With his  EP "Hammers on Trees" and a project called "Evasion", Asher Perkins is branching out from his Irish musical background into the realm of techno music.

Here's a sample of some of Perkins' techno work:



Asher Perkins joined us today at Stateside to tell us about his music with Finvarra's Wren and his move into the electronic music scene.

Asher Perkins, his family's band Finvarra's Wren plays a regular schedule of dates, you can visit their website up at www.finvarraswren.com  as well as a link to his techno music at www.asherperkins.com.

Filmaker John Kerfoot plays off the Pure Michigan brand with his "Not So Pure Michigan" video parodies.

His latest video parody...  St. Patrick's Day in Detroit:

The Detroit News reports that crowds are gathering at the pubs in Detroit:

For a day at least, it appears everybody at a Metro Detroit pub is Irish.

More than 150 people were at the Old Shillelagh bar in Detroit this morning, eating breakfast and drinking beer to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

"I'm not Irish, but I celebrate every year if I can," said Katie Rohroff, 22, of Southgate. "We'll be here most of the day, and then I'll have to take a nap."