2017 Entertainer Biographies


Dervish

From the Great Wall of China to packed auditoriums in the Holy Land and more recently being the first Irish band to perform at the greatest music festival in the world, "Rock in Rio" on front of an estimate audience of two hundred and forty thousand people, Dervish have come a long way in seventeen years. Formed in 1989 by a group of five musicians, Liam Kelly, Shane Mitchell, Martin Mc Ginley, Brian Mc Donagh and Michael Holmes who came together to record an album of local music which was released as The Boys of Sligo.Inspired by the project they decided to develop this informal gathering (which gathered weekly to play sessions in local pubs) into a working band under the name Dervish which was chosen as it related to any group of spiritual people who become enraptured by music.


Glengarry Bhoys

Described as bold, unorthodox, vibrant, and evocative, the "GLENGARRY BHOYS" hybrid of Canadian Highland Scots and French Canadian musical idioms has evolved into a sound that is weighty, authoritative, and extremely entertaining. Their energy and good humor, as much a part of the show as their musicianship, crosses all cultures and ages. Many things have been written and reported about this world renown Canadian alt-celt group over that last decade, all depicting their musical and entertaining prowess with varied audiences the world over, but their ability to marshal large enthusiastic audiences show after show is legion and recognized. Their objective is simple yet evocative, as stated by their lead singer Graham Wright in a CBC "Fresh Air" interview: "if our audience can only get 10% of the satisfaction we get entertaining them - then we surpass objective". Accordingly and repeatedly, they do!! From a small Scots-French-Canadian enclave in Eastern Ontario, these Celtic-Stompers, always pushing the musical envelope but never straying too far from the traditional whence they came, have earned a reputation as entertainers that challenge you to sit still during their engaging performances. Go ahead and try!


The High Kings

Ireland’s Folk Band of the year, The High Kings, are Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden. Coming from accomplished Musical pedigrees, The High Kings grew up in households soaked in the Irish Musical tradition and each member of the band witnessed first hand the power of well crafted Irish music on an audience.

 

Since The High Kings started in 2008, they have sold out hundreds of shows, in Ireland and the US, made numerous TV appearances, recorded 3 studio albums and 1 live album and achieved platinum status with their 1st two albums. 2013 is the start of an exciting time for The High Kings having signed to Sony International and releasing their 4th album “Friends for Life” which is out in Europe in September 2013. This impressive album features tracks written by the lads and some old favourites.

 

The High Kings showcase their incredible versatility and skills as multi-instrumentalists, playing 13 instruments between them bringing a rousing acoustic flavour to brand new songs as well as some old favourites. The High Kings are continuing to live up to their reputation as a phenomenal live band, serving up laughter, good times and even the odd sing along.


Enter the Haggis

Since 1995, Enter The Haggis have led the charge among Celtic Folk Rock bands, delighting fans with their memorable performances, inspired songwriting, musical proficiency and high quality recordings. The Toronto-based band has released eight acclaimed studio albums, the most recent debuting at #9 on the U.S. national Billboard Heatseekers charts. Their original songs such as “One Last Drink”, “Down With The Ship” and “Gasoline” have become folk rock anthems, appearing in films such as “Goon”, “10mph” and “Addicted to Plastic”, and reaching as high as #25 on U.S. radio.

The band’s new single, “Mrs. Elliott”, is a triumphant return to form, showcasing Enter The Haggis’ signature sound and instrumentation; bagpipes blaze over a powerhouse hard-rock rhythm section as Lewington and Buchanan trade off on lead vocals. “Mrs. Elliott” is the opening track on the band’s 20th Anniversary retrospective double album “Cheers and Echoes”, which features the band’s best loved songs and is available November 2015. The Cheers and Echoes Tour kicks off early in 2016. Praise for Enter The Haggis has appeared in major national publications, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and Canada’s Globe and Mail. The band has also performed on national television shows like “Live With Regis and Kelly” and “Breakfast With The Arts” on A&E.

After multiple Canadian tours in the late 1990’s, ETH made waves in the US in 2004 with a feature length performance documentary called “Live at Lanigan’s Ball”. Following extensive airing of the special on PBS in more than 80 markets around the US, the band was invited to perform at Celtic and folk festivals across the US, Canada and Europe. Touring tirelessly, they amassed a legion of diehard fans who are known to cross continents and oceans for shows. Shunning the traditional industry model of a band maintaining distance from its fans, Enter The Haggis has worked hard to develop personal relationships with their supporters, (affectionately known as “Haggis Heads”), taking the necessary time to shake hands and chat after performances, broadcasting shows online for free and even inviting fans to join them in the studio to sing and play on record. It’s thanks to this close connection that the band’s last three albums were entirely financed through crowdfunding platforms that raised over $150,000 US


Mary's Lane

Celtic rock – hard to define, hard to resist, much like Marys Lane. “Marys Lane” is a place, way back in the old country, not owned by Mary, at least not any more. The band Marys Lane is rock, and reel, but most of all, the good times roll. Their Cleveland Rock roots are evident, but they are knee deep in the ghosts of Ireland – not maudlin mind you, but in the typical Kitchen Party made so famous by the Irish – everyone comes, everyone joins in, one way or another, and everyone leaves wishing the night would never end.

 

Their newest release is "The Furey Session" - a crash course two-song collaboration featuring a member of one of Irish music's most legendary and beloved families, Martin Furey. After a friendship blossomed while performing at a summer Irish Festival, the popular High Kings performer hit the studio with Marys Lane for an impromptu Monday morning recording session over tea and coffee. The end result birthed two brand new Marys Lane songs - the enchanting "Wait Awake" and wildly rambunctious "Sleep When I'm Dead'.

 

Given the prolific playing schedule of Marys Lane, it won’t be long, till next time, is tonight. The guys were all musicians, and got together one day at Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival; “Hey, we should start a band?”. One year later, they met again, and realized waiting was no longer an option. They have been full steam ahead ever since, playing festivals and gigs in an ever-widening circle testament to their skill, their fun, and the passionate following their performances and personalities provoke.


Makem & Spain


Crikwater

Hailing from South Buffalo, the heart of the Western New York Irish Community, Crikwater formed in late summer 2010 to celebrate their Irish roots and collective love for Irish and Celtic Traditional music. Crikwater performs a variety of pub songs, ballads, sea shanties, rebel songs, and other traditional songs. In addition, the band includes a number of traditional tunes (jigs, reels, etc.). With their ever-expanding repertoire, also including songs from other traditions and genres such as Rock, Classical, American and Canadian folk, and Eastern European traditional, Crikwater have been entertaining audiences of all ages across WNY! They have an energetic roots folk sound with an edge that's sure to get your feet stomping!


The Leftovers

The LeftOvers established a following throughout Western New York in 2001. With music ranging from popular drinking songs to the historical and poignant rebel songs of Irish past, the LeftOvers offer a large variey of rebel tunes and ballads. They drink a lot, they tell bad jokes, and they won't play songs that make you think too much. The band was founded by Jerry Shea and Pat Gerken, under the philosophy that good music will always bring people together. Joined by bassist Steve Schumer, percussionists Dave Pruski and Greg Kent, and singer Elizabeth Shea, the LeftOvers offer something for every Celtic heart.


Seamus Kennedy

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. Kennedy’s 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!


 

Dady Brothers

The Dady Brothers are Western NY's favorite Folk group. Logging over 41 years of playing and singing from Alaska to Connemara , Nova Scotia to Louisiana . John and Joe are both multi-instrumentalists with several acclaimed recordings spanning the LP-Cassette-CD era. The Dady bros. have performed at the Buffalo Irish Festival for over 32 years! The Dady Brothers are skilled and versatile singers and fine multi-instrumentalists. Performing professionally for over 30 years, they have taken their talents to venues all over the Unites States, Central America, Canada, and Ireland. Their talent combines country, bluegrass, folk, and Celtic styles. John and Joe have performed more than 5,000 concerts at churches, concert halls, nightclubs, music festivals, schools and libraries. They have shared the stage with a wide array of international artists including, Tommy Makem, Rick Danko (The Band), Ani DiFranco, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Kate Wolf, Arlo Guthire, and Bill Staines. "The Dady Brothers have it all - taste, talent, and dedication." - Tommy Makem


 

Penny Whiskey

'Penny Whiskey' is a brand new band with the old world sound. The brain child of Kirk McWhorter and Tim Leonard from the critically acclaimed Celtic band 'Kilbrannan' 'Penny Whiskey' promises to offer the best in acoustic music from both Ireland and Scotland along with home grown bluegrass and folk influences. The foundation of 'Penny Whiskey' is the melodic vocals of Kirk, who also plays guitar, banjo, bodhran and whistles, backed up by the solid playing of Tim on acoustic guitar and mandolin. The quartet is rounded out by Jon Carlson on bass and Paul Kneis also on guitar and mandolin - and of course, everybody sings... including the audience! With audience participation songs, rousing pub sings, comedy tunes and tearful ballads, 'Penny Whiskey' offers something for everyone.


 

Dave North Trio

Dave North, and the Trio is a great favourite with local crowds. Dave, who hails from Slough in England (near London) has an amazing repertoire of traditional, modern, comic, and just plain obscure songs that make any evening spent listening to the "Trio" an enjoyable one. Marc plays the base and the banjo, while Dianne is a whiz on the fiddle. Fred, of often joins the Trio has a blues guitar style that won't quit, and when he brings out his slide guitar, the audiences are enthralled. Dave himself plays the guitar. The entertainment (whether Dave alone, the Duo, the Trio, or the Quartet) means an evening well spent.


Blarney Bunch

For nearly thirty years, The Blarney Bunch has been entertaining thought western New York. Specializing in Traditional Irish music and throwing in some rock and country just to mix it up. With our love and ability to play all types of music we are sure to show everyone of all ages a great time.


McCarthyizm

 Born in the days before alternative was a marketing term, McCarthyizm soon became a band known for blending 60’s garage and 80’s underground rock with strong melodies and intelligent lyrics. Add some raucous rhythm and a tasty measure of Celtic flavoring and you’ve got a cocktail with a punch that delivers one helluva good time, all the time.

Buffalo based McCarthyizm has traveled throughout the northeast, playing to converts in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles and Toronto. They’ve shared the stage with bands like the Goo Goo Dolls, Eddie Money, 10,000 Maniacs, The Smithereens, John Waite, Lou Graham, Black 47 along with Canadian favorites like Great Big Sea, Crash Test Dummies, Jason Plumb, Spirit of the West, Hawksley Workman, The Glenngarry Bhoys and The Lowest of the Low.

In addition to being inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2009, the band has also earned several Buffalo music awards over the years, including Top Original Rock Band and Top Recording. But that’s all stuff for the resume. What matters is the song. The band’s song craft has been there from the beginning. So the McCarthyizm gang saved their pennies and returned their empties and have been able to release several critically acclaimed recordings including Pretty Naked (1993), Vesuvio (1995), Eterniday (1998), Pair O’Docs (2001) Victors EP (2007) and Victors & Vices (2011)

So check it out for yourself. Put that McCarthyizm disc on and turn it up. If you dig intelligent, infectious pop and Celtic rock, here’s the mountain for your shovel. Better yet, catch ‘em live. Depending on how close it is to St. Paddy’s Day (and/or how much whiskey is left in the bottle), you’ll also here some rocking Celtic tunes, both traditional and original. It’s all good. And it’s all in the song.


St. Mary's Road

For 17 years four women, originally from Canada - Mayna and her three daughters known as "The Colleen's" played step-dancing, three part harmony 'from their kitchen to your hearts' in WNY as well as up the east coast of Canada.

As of 2013 the next generation (two of Julie and Jan's children) joined the ladies - Chris Young and Kari Czubinski both well-known talented musicians. Together with the Colleens they formed St Mary's Road - three generations of music!

Mayna and her family are looking forward to spending time with you!


Tom Callahan

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.

 


Jack Mahone Band

Take three Irish brothers brought up in a world of basement band music and South Buffalo mischief. Adopt in a younger South Buffalo accordion player and a fiddle player hailing from the shores of Lake Ontario in Oswego and you have the Jack Mahone Band – one of the edgiest Celtic rock bands to play the Irish streets of South Buffalo, or anywhere else in Western New York.

The Jordan brothers – Tommy, Mike and Kelly – joined together with Johnny Hart and Peter Caroccio to form the Jack Mahone Band shortly after the parting of Tom and Mike’s prior band – Jackdaw. Taking some of their previous songs and adding in their own influence, the Jack Mahone Band has since taken its rightful place amongst the leading local rock bands – Celtic or otherwise.

They’ve played everything from D’arcy McGees to Larkinville, the South Buffalo Irish Feis to the Police Emerald Annual Fundraiser. Pretty much anywhere you would expect to find high end Celtic rock music, they are there – and they come to play.

“We started playing in our basement as teenagers,” stated Tommy, oldest of the three musical Jordan boys, “I was looking to start a band and purchase a drum set when I was in high school and someone I knew had a bass for sale. We did need a bass player,” Tom admits. So the drums were forgotten, the first bass purchased, and the rest just fell into natural order.

Self-taught basement jam sessions between Tommy and friends were soon joined by brother Kelly who seemed to take naturally to the drums.

“I was kind of an aggressive kid,” laughed middle brother Kelly, “The drums kind of helped me get my aggression out.”

Mike was just a kid when the older two brothers took to the basement rehearsals. All of the instruments were sitting around so he would sometimes grab one and just play in a different part of the basement. When the music went on too long or too loud, they would know. Dad Jordan was just upstairs and would stomp his foot on the ceiling above them – letting them know that it was time to wrap things up.

While their musical worlds led them on different journeys after high school, it was after Jackdaw stopped playing that the three brothers banded together in musical unison. Adding Johnny Hart, who was also self-taught and gifted on numerous instruments, and was finishing his time with a band named Pug Mahone, they merged the names of their previous groups to form the Jack Mahone Band.

It’s not Jackdaw. Gone are the unique rhythmic stylings of George Tutuska, the banjo banging Tim Bryne, and the kilt-wearing Dave Moore. While they are missed the Jack Mahone Band has grown into its own identity and fills a local Celtic Rock void that only a group of South Buffalo born and bred brothers and a couple of multi-talented friends could satisfy.