2016 Entertainer Biographies


Carbon Leaf

2013 was Carbon Leaf’s most ambitious year yet as a fully independent band, releasing two full-length albums, Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle and Constellation Prize six months apart from each other. For 2014, the band is taking a quick breath to look back at their 2004 album, Indian Summer, by celebrating it’s 10-year anniversary with a complete re-recording and a 50 city tour this fall.

Lead vocalist Barry Privett: “The timing was perfect since we had just come off of 5 album releases back-to-back since leaving the label in 2010. We were ruminating on what the next batch of songs would look like when we realized Indian Summer was going to be 10 years old this fall! We gained a lot of new exposure with “Life Less Ordinary”, making it to #5 at AAA and #28 at Hot AC radio, so we wanted to acknowledge the album’s anniversary, as it was a fan-favorite and a very seminal album for us. There was only one problem – our former label owned the master recording, so we were pretty limited as to what we could do. However, we owned the songs, and after doing a little digging through the contract, we found a work-around that opened up an opportunity for us to simply re-record the album anew, so that’s what we did. Now, we have a great way of celebrating an album that helped us widen our audience, while putting Indian Summer back under the band’s wing again.

“We left our label in 2010, partly so that we could adopt a more rigorous release schedule and not wait to release an album every 2 years. We wanted to see how far we could push ourselves musically so we set about a rigorous agenda for writing, recording, releasing and touring. With 5 projects released since 2010, plus the Curious George II soundtrack for Universal and U.S. tours behind them all, it’s been an intense time to say the least, so looking back at some of the music that shaped our career earlier on, while trying to crawl into that creative space you were in back then but with fresh eyes and ears, is very gratifying. We think fans are going to really enjoy Indian Summer Revisited.”


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.


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


Hair of the Dog

Originally formed as an acoustic trio in 1993, Hair Of The Dog has become one of the world’s foremost Celtic rock bands. They’ve released ten wildly popular CDs including “at The Parting Glass”, “Let It Flow”, “Donegal” and “Liam Left The Lights On Again”. In May, 2012, The Irish Echo stated, “Liam Left the Lights On Again…in it’s entirety is simply a delight to listen to” and in January, 2008, the Kingston, New York Freeman Times declared, “Hair Of The Dog plays with a cohesive oneness that most bands never get. They are a regional music treasure.” The Dog was also mentioned in Billboard Magazine as one of Irish Music’s biggest sellers. Their song “One Sunday Morning” was featured on the 2003 Colleen Records compilation CD “Songs of Irish Freedom Vol. 3”. In 2005 they appeared on “One Child At Time”, a charity compilation. Other artists included U2, James Taylor, The Chieftains and Carly Simon. Hair Of The Dog has repeatedly been named “Best Band” since the late 1990’s, by Upstate New York’s top regional newspapers and magazines.

 

The band members boast impressive resumes. Larry Packer was a member of Sha Na Na, had a top ten hit with a Jimi Hendrix produced band called Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys and appeared with The Band in Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz”. He also guested on NBC’s Saturday Night Live’s third episode which originally aired October 25th, 1975. Packer’s name appears on albums and playbills from many major acts including Hall and Oates, Lou Reed, The Band, Phoebe Snow and the New York Rock Ensemble.

 

Rick Bedrosian lived in Nashville in the 1980’s where he performed and recorded with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Marshall Crenshaw, Gene Clark of The Byrds and John Stewart of The Kingston Trio. Bedrosian’s an accomplished film critic and fine art photographer too. His photo of Paul McCartney landed on the cover of the Spring, 2010 issue of Classic Drummer magazine. From 2009 through 2012, Rick Bedrosian was the head writer and host of “Rick’s Picks”, a humorous, multi-award winning movie review and interview podcast on iTunes. Rick’s guests included Susie Essman from HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Rick is also a founding member of the legendary Celtic bluegrass group The McKrells, was a member of Donnybrook Fair and currently portrays lead guitarist George Harrison in Hey Jude, a popular Beatles tribute band.

 

Eric Finn is a graduate of Boston’s famed Berklee School of Music and he’s a renowned musical arranger as well as an extremely gifted multi-instrumentalist. Finn arranges many of the band’s songs as well as all of their vocal harmonies. Eric’s voice, electric guitar, mandolin and violin are an integral part of the “Hair Of The Dog sound”. Acoustic guitarist/singer Brian Gibney fronted several Irish groups before becoming a member of The McKrells and eventually Hair Of The Dog. Brian’s also an accomplished electric guitarist (he has dozens of students) and a clever songwriter. On drums is Joe Morizio. Joe majored in classical guitar at college but percussion has always been his passion. Joe is tremendously versatile and he brings a wealth of world-beat knowledge and experience to HOTD.

 

Hair Of The Dog has performed in clubs and concert venues in many American cities including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Port St. Lucie, Danbury, Hartford, New York and Buffalo. They regularly headline or co-headline at Celtic Festivals such as The Irish 2000 Music and Arts Festival, The Great American Irish Festival, The East Durham Irish Festival, The Fairfield County Irish Festival, The Chicago Gaelic Park Irish Festival, The Coney Island Irish Festival, The Cleveland Summer Fest, The Milford CT Irish Festival and The Capital District Scottish Games. They also tour Ireland frequently.


 

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.


Poor Angus

Poor Angus doesn't want to be pigeon-holed. The Hamilton-based band's music has been described as a Celtic-influenced folk, with a combination of Scots, Irish and East Coast music styles. Their contemporary indie sound - featuring bagpipes, fiddle, acoustic guitar, Irish whistles, bodhran, mandolin, bass and four-part harmony - earned the band a top spot in the 2013 CBC Searchlight competition. But vocalist Brian LeBlanc, who also plays guitar, mandolin and bodhran - a drum known as the heartbeat of Irish music - said the ensemble tries to avoid having their sound defined.

"The key to this music is storytelling," he said. "It ties us to our ancestry and keeps it alive. It's the things that link us together through time.

"We're all writing our own music. We're not tied to any particular genre."

LeBlanc, fiddler Andrew Bryan and piper Ross Griffiths came together about a decade ago through their love of music. Bass player DJ Moons then came aboard. They were later joined by singer-songwriter Joel Guenther. Influenced by the music of Stan Rogers, The Pogues, Spirit of the West and Great Big Sea, the band earned its musical chops doing the pub circuit in Hamilton and "the music just took off," said LeBlanc. Later came performances at festivals all across Canada and the United States. Their first album, released in 2007, won the Hamilton Music Award for Folk/Traditional Album of the Year. The self-titled work has received airplay internationally. Two years later, the band's second album, Prime Cuts, received the same honour. Something I Can't See, a single from the third Poor Angus album, Gathering, released in 2014, resulted in the band finishing in the final four of 3,000 competing acts in the CBC Searchlight national competition for best band.

LeBlanc said Gathering is a reflection of the band's musical evolution, featuring nods to the traditional and more mainstream folk-indie style. All the band members are songwriters with their own unique approach. Despite their success, all but Guenther have full-time work unrelated to music with no immediate plans to give up their day jobs. LeBlanc said they set aside one weekend a month that's "all band" and play about 50 gigs a year on the folk and festival circuit. "Becoming successful is a challenge," said LeBlanc. "We don't set out to try and write a hit. We're out to make the best music we can - and be open to whatever happens." With music that appeals equally to traditional purists and modern audiences, Poor Angus has shared the stage with the likes of Blue Rodeo, Kathleen Edwards, Matt Mayes, The Proclaimers, Bruce Guthro, Jeremy Fisher, and Nathan Rogers. LeBlanc said American audiences are particularly keen on the band's sound.

"We do very well in the States. There is a very, very long history of Celtic and folk music in Canada, but there you blow in like a wind. We're singing a lot of songs people haven't heard." mruby@postmedia.com


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.


Steel City Rovers

 

The Steel City Rovers are Celtibilly; the cross-pollination of the Celtic and North American traditions. Sophisticated, hypnotizing musical arrangements. Expressive, clever lyrical compositions. In their three years together, the Rovers have performed internationally on larger and larger stages, been nominated for several music awards and have had their original works top the traditional radio charts. Commanding and dynamic performers, this act is a blend of both seasoned and young talent who are simply electric to witness in person.