2019 Entertainer Bios
YOUNG DUBLINERS -- AllMusic.com states, "Their live shows (have) a jam-like appeal, similar to the vibes of Phish and the Dave Matthews Band."
The YOUNG DUBLINERS is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1988. Their style of music has come to be called Celtic Rock for the fusion of Irish traditional instruments and music with modern rock. They have released nine albums, starting with Rocky Road in 1993 and most recently 9 in 2013. They have toured the United States and Europe since 1994, supporting Jethro Tull, John Hiatt, Chris Isaak, Jonny Lang, Great Big Sea and Collective Soul. AllMusic.com states, "Their live shows (have) a jam-like appeal, similar to the vibes of Phish and the Dave Matthews Band."  Members include lead vocalist and guitarist Keith Roberts, bassist Brendan Holmes, violinist Chas Waltz, guitarist Bob Boulding and drummer David Ingraham. Their repertoire consists mostly of original rock compositions and Irish folk songs with a rock twist. Their influences include Thin Lizzy, The Pogues, The Waterboys and U2.
EILEEN IVERS -- "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin" -- THE NEW YORK TIMES
Grammy awarded, Emmy nominated, London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, guest starred with over 50 orchestras, original Musical Star of Riverdance, Nine Time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, Sting, Hall and Oates, The Chieftains, 'Fiddlers 3' with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Regina Carter, Patti Smith, Al Di Meola, Steve Gadd, founding member of Cherish the Ladies, movie soundtracks including Gangs of New York, performed for Presidents and Royalty worldwide this is a short list of accomplishments, headliners, tours, and affiliations. Fiddler Eileen Ivers has established herself as the pre-eminent exponent of the Irish fiddle in the world today.
It is a rare and select grade of spectacular artists whose work is so boldly imaginative and clearly virtuosic that it alters the medium. It has been said that the task of respectfully exploring the traditions and progression of the Celtic fiddle is quite literally on Eileen Ivers' shoulders. The Washington Post states, "She suggests the future of the Celtic fiddle."
She's been called a "sensation" by Billboard magazine and "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin," by The New York Times. "She electrifies the crowd with a dazzling show of virtuoso playing" says The Irish Times.
Ivers' recording credits include over 80 contemporary and traditional albums and numerous movie scores. Eileen is hailed as one of the great innovators and pioneers in the Celtic and World music genres.
The daughter of Irish immigrants, Eileen Ivers grew up in the culturally diverse neighborhood of the Bronx, New York. Rooted in Irish traditional music since the age of eight, Eileen proceeded to win nine All-Ireland fiddle championships, a tenth on tenor banjo and over 30 championship medals, making her one of the most awarded persons ever to compete in these prestigious competitions.
Being an Irish-American, the intrigue of learning more about the multicultural sounds of her childhood took hold. After graduating magna cum laude in Mathematics from Iona College and while continuing her post-graduate work in Mathematics, Eileen fully immersed herself in the different genres of music which she experienced growing up in New York. With unIVERSal roots, her energetic, joyous, passionate band, Eileen continues to connect music, cultures, stories, and emotions that tie us together. In 2019, Iona College conferred upon Eileen Ivers the degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa for her lifelong commitment to innovation, excellence and deep dedication to bringing people together through music.
Eileen and her ensemble headline prestigious performing arts centers, guest star with numerous symphonies, perform at major festivals worldwide, and have appeared on national and international television. The L.A. Times proclaims, "Ivers' presentation was music with the kind of life and spirit that come together when talented artists from different backgrounds find the linkages that connect all forms of music...no wonder the audience loved every minute."
Seamus Kennedy is an Irish singer, songwriter, musician, comedian, all-around entertainer, and author. He has a huge repertoire that includes traditional Irish music, classic Country & Western, American standards, Scottish ballads, and kids' shows: entertainment for "the wee ones." Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been entertaining audiences all over the United States for almost four decades. An accomplished guitarist with a ready wit and a vast store of songs, he travels the country performing for thousands of people each year. Kennedys ability to combine a total command of the music with humor makes him unique in the industry. His strong interactive entertainment skills and his participation with his audiences have helped him create an exceptionally loyal fan base everywhere he goes. He's incredibly talented and fun!
THE DROWSY LADS -- "THE BEST IRISH AMERICAN BAND IN 2018" -- JACK BAKER - IRISH AMERICAN NEWS
The Drowsy Lads thundered onto the Irish music scene in the US over 15 years ago and have become fan favorites at every turn. Sticking to traditional roots the Lads bring a fire and excitement that is quickly winning over audiences. 2018 brought the release of their 4th album, Everyone In, and the distinction of Best Irish American Band of 2018. With an undeniable genuineness that flows from their live performances, the future continues to look bright for these Lads.
Ohio brothers John and Daniel McKewen, father and son Phil and Josh Franck, and lifelong friend Bryan Brookes bring to the stage a concoction of we dare you to hold still Irish dance tunes as well as a full emotional gamut of songs and good humor. Their authentic approach and deep enjoyment of people is a refreshing surprise to both casual music-lovers and those steeped in hardcore Trad.
Besides packing out theaters, concert halls, clubs and pubs, the Lads are lighting up Irish festivals including Milwaukee, Dublin, Dayton, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Louisville. They were also featured at Lakeside Ohios Chautauqua series for four years, the beautiful Murphy theater for three, and were guest artists with the Otterbein University Orchestra. Each Lad is a multi-instrumentalist, and the combined lineup includes fiddle, button accordion, tenor banjo, flute, whistle, guitar, bouzouki, Uilleann pipes, 5-string banjo, concertina, and bodhran.
The Lads are fond of creating their own spirited arrangements and offering occasional original compositions, even mixing in some bits of Bluegrass or Classical. But these never get in the way of their obsession with the pure old Irish tunes, songs, wit, and friendship that has defined Irish music for centuries.
BOHOLA -- Chicago Tribune: "bohola plays 300-year-old jigs and reels as if they were trying to tear the house down"
Irish music's accordion virtuoso Jimmy Keane and the remarkable bouzar player and vocalist Pat Broaders, comprise bohola, Irish music's newest "supergroup" as penned by The Irish Herald. bohola play a driving, muscular, and yet very emotive style of Irish music with deep roots in the 'pure drop' tradition, infused with the raw and gritty urbanized musical vernacular of the Irish and Irish-American experience. bohola's debut album is championed by the Irish Voice as "one of the most impressive debut recordings ever by an Irish traditional music group." The Courier News added, "Though most of the tunes bohola plays are well over 150 years old, the music comes across more vibrant than the moribund sounds of much of today's alternative rock. Their sound comes from the Irish version of jam sessions, but bohola puts the noodling of many current jam bands (Dave Matthews, among others) to shame."
The Irish Echo captured the essence of bohola when it reviewed their self-titled release. "The sum here is greater than the parts, and egos are subordinate to both execution and effect. bohola have crafted an album of intricate, nearly invisible latticework, relying not on gimmickry but on imagination and vision. What a welcome concept: muse-imbuing music." Born in London of Irish-speaking parents, Jimmy Keane's accomplishments are far reaching. The son of a sean nos (old style) singer, he is All Ireland accordion champion for five consecutive years. He is a composer and arranger of Irish music and has produced and recorded numerous albums. Many regard Keane as the premier exponent of Irish music on the piano accordion. Noted University of Limerick Professor, composer, and musician Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin praised Keane as the "savior of the piano accordion." Emusic described him as "one of the true giants of Irish traditional music of the past fifty years."
Keane has performed and recorded with some of the best musicians in Irish music over the years including Liz Carroll, Michael Flatley, Mick Moloney, Eileen Ivers, and Seamus Egan. However, it was not until he started playing with Pat Broaders that the style of Irish music that Keane plays "really started to jell and this big huge raw and powerful sound came out of nowhere," reflected Keane. "We were like a glove - instinctively darting in and out of the music as if we were "as-one" playing the same big instrument." Pat Broaders arrived in Chicago from Ireland in the 1990's. "Pat is a real veteran of the Irish music scene both here and abroad, playing, recording, and performing with many artists and bands over the years," said Keane. "Pat has this acute sense of music and rhythm that enables him to "lock in" his bouzar (bass bouzouki & guitar hybrid) playing to whatever I might do musically and rhythmically. The synergy that results spurs on bohola and draws in the audience. And his singing is brilliant - if I could sing, I'd love to sing like Pat."
bohola's key to their sound is the interplay between the musicians and the approach they take to their music. "It is the music that counts," states Keane. "We really listen to and respond to each other when we play - bending, twisting, and caressing the music as it flows along." Keane considers bohola fortunate to be able to perform and carry forward the traditional Irish music art form while placing their special touch to the music. "We are here to serve this great music and bring out what we feel is the best nature in the tunes and songs we play." The Chicago Tribune wrote, "bohola plays 300-year-old jigs and reels as if they were trying to tear the house down. Keane's rippling accordion playing rapid, swirling melodies, while Pat Broaders accents the rhythm with his staccato bouzouki strumming. Broaders also takes the spotlight to sing plaintive ballads."
"We try to always play from the heart," said Keane, "and bring to the audience the core and the spirit of what the music we play and sing is about." In concert, bohola perform music selections that weave in and out between tunes and songs that can continue for twenty minutes or so, ever evolving and flowing. They play tunes that range from hundred-year-old harp pieces, reels, jigs, slides, polkas and barndances to newly composed pieces in the traditional idiom. And the songs run the gamut from the ancient melodies of Ireland, to songs brought to North America by immigrants, to newly composed songs from here and abroad. All played with a freshness and subtlety of approach that is unique in Irish music today.
Born in the rustbelt Irish American neighborhood of South Buffalo, NY in 2010, Crikwater have become the premier Irish American Traditional Folk Band in Western New York. The pub-scene veterans offer up a mix of fiery fiddle tunes, rowdy pub sing-a-longs, elegant ballads & original songs, and have appeared numerous times at both the Buffalo Irish Festival & South Buffalo Irish Feis & Expo. Their long awaited 2017 self-titled follow up to their debut album (2012's "Don't Stop 'til the Ship Goes Down") is the first to spotlight the smoking hot fiddle playing of Charlie Coughlin, and was recorded live in studio at Advanced Audio Productions in Orchard Park, NY. The CD/Album cover features original artwork from friend and local talent, Michael Schroeder.
Boasting four multi-instrumentalists and an energetic live show, Crikwater stays true to folk conventions while adding to the venerable Irish and American folk music traditions with arrangements that include multi-part vocal harmonies and intricate musicianship. Their music conjures scenes of gritty smokey Irish pubs, whiskey, pints of stout, and good craic. Over the past six years, Crikwater has played to audiences of all sizes throughout the Buffalo region and has made it their mission to have fun and to preserve the ages-old folk tradition that they so thoroughly enjoy...so that people remember where this music comes from in the hope to make audiences young and old love the tunes as they do.
Bridgid's Cross is family band lead by Jill and Kevin Foley from Hood River, Oregon (originally from Buffalo, NY). The band began with the idea of playing some simple fiddle tunes at the corner of a local Farmer's market. People seemed to like the upbeat percussive tunes and the market asked them to come back the next week. Now, three years later, they can be found playing a variety of venues throughout Oregon and Washington. Bridgid's Cross is not a group of professional musicians, they are a family that likes to have fun together and that doesn't take themselves too seriously. They fact that their music allows them to meet new people and engage their community keeps them playing and practicing. They have recorded two CDs, both of which incorporate Americana and rock elements into the traditional Celtic genre. Bridgid's Cross is about family and fun. The band is named after St. Bridgid, the patroness of Ireland and lover of the poor. A significant portion of band proceeds and tips are donated to Compassion International, a mission that serves children in the developing world.
Born in the days before alternative was a marketing term, McCarthyizm soon became known for blending 60s garage and 80s underground rock with strong melodies and intelligent lyrics. Add some raucous rhythm and a tasty measure of Celtic flavoring and youve got a cocktail with a punch that delivers one helluva good time, every time. Over the years, McCarthyizm has released several critically acclaimed records, shared the stage with the likes of Spirit of the West, Black 47 and Great Big Sea and was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
Emerald Isle began performing in 2000. The band members (Mark, Chirs & Rich) have over 40 years of experience in Irish/Celtic music as well as country, bluegrass, gospel, folk, rock, etc. The blend of 3 male vocals and the mix of 12 instruments (4 stringed banjo, 5 stringed banjo, mandolin, octave mandolin, fiddle, bodhran, accordion, harmonica, whistle, stomp board, spoons, guitar and bass) coupled with humor and sea shanties invigorate an audience.
With a rare blending of voice, cello, guitars, and percussion, KINDRED draw their music from the Irish poets, pubs, and county fairs; from the Scottish Highlands, Atlantic Canada, and the Appalachian crannies of the American southeast.
"Rosewood Bridge, with lead singer Brian Quigley on guitar and Jim Dunnigan on bass, plays your favorite Irish and Americana songs, a little country, a little rock, and a few originals too. Brian Quigley has been performing in the Western New York area for over fifteen years previously with Irish band The Dustmen. Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee Jim Dunnigan will be remembered by many long time Buffalo music listeners for being the bass player in one of Buffalos most successful 1960s rock bands, The Tweeds. Jim, after meeting Brian in an Irish pub, eventually joined him in Rosewood Bridge to add bass lines, harmonies, and the occasional kazoo. These days you can find Brian and Jim bringing the fun of Rosewood Bridge to pubs and parties all over Western NY. Rosewood Bridge is folk, acoustic, and a little bit more. Youll likely know most of the lyrics, but if you dont you will by the time the song is over!"
Tom's unique voice is rich, powerful, and expressive and his music is captivating. Tom's audiences are often inclined to join in on a rousing chorus of a pub favorite, or touched by the powerful emotion from within his songs.
Although he specializes in Irish ballads, rebel tunes, and pub songs, each performance has a few surprises--some rock-and-roll, American roots music or just about anything unexpected.
As a performer, Tom has shared the bill with touring artists such as Brendan Nolan, Bill Craig, Beth Patterson, Kevin Sullivan, Guinness, Frank Emerson, Harry O'Donoghue, and others. He is a regular performer at Buffalo's premiere Irish music venue, The Shannon Pub, and also appears regularly in Rochester, Batavia, and other towns in Western New York. Recently, Tom has performed at the Dayton Celtic Festival and the Amherst Scottish Festival. He also appears at the Fort Erie Celtic Festival, The Olcott Celtic Festival, and the Rochester Irish Festival.
Tom is also an accomplished songwriter. Among his own published work on his first solo CD, Tom wrote and composed The Streets of New Orleans The Eleventh Hour, So Much Rock, Words Are Cheap, Dig Paddy Dig, From Love I Walked Away, Along The Cliffs of Moher, and Let The Music Take Us Home.
For almost fifty years the Blarney Bunch has been entertaining audiences around Western New York and beyond at pubs and parties,fairs and festivals, and anywhere good Irish music is heard. The Blarney Bunch has made it their mission to provide a great musical experience for all. Come raise a glass with us!
Reardon & Garvey Band
The Reardon and Garvey Band performs traditional and contemporary Irish Music, American Folk tunes, and some new contemporary songs. With the combination of 3 and 4 part harmonies, and instrumentation, the band keep keeps audiences highly entertained.
Ben Garvey on 6 string guitar and vocals, Erik Wollschlager on bass and backup vocals, Michael Reardon on tenor guitar, vocals and percussion, with Tim Hughes on accordion, and vocals.