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Patric Petrie's release party for Pocket Venus happens May 31 at the Mingei Museum in Balboa Park. “Pocket Venus refers to a woman who is petite in height, yet voluptuous and curvy at the same time,” says the Skelpin fiddler. “I’m maybe 5’ 2’ on a good day, and supposedly did not make the cut for Celtic Women because I was too short.”

Clairemont-based Petrie is best known for her work with the group Skelpin, which won Best World Music album at the 2010 San Diego Music Awards for their album A Trip to Skye.

A a regular on the North County pub circuit, she also performs with David Lally, Colin Clyne, and others. Even with all the support, however, she says sometimes gigs can be both scary and amazing.

"When the Chieftains, Ireland's musical ambassadors to the world, played at Humphrey's for a summer concert, I got a call from Paddy Maloney to come to the show and hang out with the band after. Oh, and to bring the fiddle too. I headed down only to find the concert had already started, and the manager was having a fit because the band had been waiting for me to show up. The next thing I knew, I got shoved up onstage with my fiddle while Paddy announced to the audience that I was going to play a solo! Holy Mother of Kittens!"

"I gasped and ran to center stage, skidding so hard I almost fell into the audience, and cracked into a set of tunes. Fortunately, the band jumped in right after, and we all ended up on the same note. Not many musicians can say they've been backed up by the Cheiftains!"

As for her worst gig, "It was a St. Patrick's Day performance where a fan tripped as she was coming up to the stage and tossed her entire glass of Guiness down my dress. Or the time Matt Hensley of Flogging Molly talked me into playing the fiddle on his bar in Carlsbad, and I hit my head on one of the lighting fixtures. Whoops. Or the time I was playing a gig for the MapQuest people and I tripped on a cable and accidentally drop kicked my fiddle off its stand and watched it sail into the audience, which parted like the Red Sea, before someone picked it up and ran it back to the stage. It wasn't until after the gig that I realized I had kicked a hole in the fiddle's side. It has a Band-Aid over the owwie now."

She recorded her debut full-length Pocket Venus (originally to be called Transit of Venus) last year. Produced by Alan Sanderson (Rolling Stones, etc.), it includes an appearance from Flogging Molly’s Matt Hensley.

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