LAST YEAR'S LINEUP:
THE PRODIGALS \\ DROWSY LADS \\ KILRUSH \\
CRIKWATER \\ MCCARTHYIZM \\ JOHN DADY & FRIENDS \\
WHISKEY THIEF \\ THE SPAIN BROTHERS \\ THE BLARNEY BUNCH \\
THE BLARNEY BUNCH \\ OWEN Ó SÚILLEABHÁIN \\
GREATER BUFFALO FIREFIGHTERS PIPES AND DRUMS \\
RINCE NA TIARNA IRISH DANCERS \\
CHECK OUT THE BANDS BELOW
Calling their genre of music "jig punk", the Prodigals fall within a tradition epitomized by the Pogues and Black 47, merging traditional Celtic melodic roots with rock rhythms. As of 2017, the band's lineup features the three original members: Gregory Grene (button accordion and lead vocals), Andrew Harkin (bass), Brian Tracey (drums), plus Galway's Dave Fahy (guitar and lead vocals) who has been a member since 2009. They are frequently joined by Alex Grene, nephew of Gregory, and a graduate in music composition from the University of Chicago. The Prodigals call Paddy Reilly's (the world's only all-draft Guinness bar) their home when in New York City. The band has its own distinctive sound, particularly distinguished by lead melodic roles being filled by button-key accordion and bass along with the vocals, and has received substantial critical notice through the years.
\\ DROWSY LADS
The Drowsy Lads thundered onto the Irish music scene in the US over 15 years ago and their fire and camaraderie has won over both casual music-lovers and those steeped in hardcore traditional. 2018 brought the release of their fourth 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... Boasting 5 multi-instrumentalists, 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 and songs that have packed festivals, theaters, pubs, and halls everywhere they’ve played.
Based out of the Southern Tier region of New York, Kilrush is the premier band specializing in a wide range of musical styles from traditional Irish to contemporary Celtic and Celtic rock. Based out of Elmira, New York, Kilrush was formed in 2001 as a traditional session group that played in coffee shops and pubs throughout the region. The band is named for the town of Kilrush, a coastal town in Ireland’s County Clare. It is also the ancestral home of one of the founding members. In the twenty years since, Kilrush has played countless venues and festivals such as The Great American Irish Festival, Irish 2000, The Hooley on the Hudson and many more.
Rooted in the rustbelt Irish American neighborhood of South Buffalo, NY, Crikwater have become one of the leading Irish American Traditional Folk Bands in Western New York. Boasting four multi-instrumentalists and an energetic live show, The pub-scene veterans offer up a mix of fiery fiddle tunes, rowdy pub sing-a-longs, elegant ballads & original songs, and their music conjures scenes of gritty smoke filled Irish pubs, whiskey, pints of stout, and good craic.
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.
Originally from Rochester, NY, John and his brother, Joe Dady, have shared their unique variety of Celtic and American folk music in diverse venues around the country and abroad for more than forty years.
Self-styled singers, multi-instrumentalist musicians and composers, John and Joe possessed a solid command of many folk instruments including, but not limited to guitar, pennywhistle, fiddle, banjo, octave mandolin, harmonica, uilleann pipes, bodhran and ukulele. Their wide repertoire ranges from Irish Traditional and Irish and American Folk to original and contemporary Folk, Bluegrass, and Acoustic Blues. Always at ease with their audiences, they had a knack for finding humor in the moment and sharing it spontaneously.
In May of 2019, Joe lost his battle with leukemia. John continues to carry on the music, performing solo or with a number of close friends. In 2020, the Dady brothers were inducted into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame.
\\ WHISKEY THIEF
High energy music with southern country and Celtic soul! Whiskey Thief is pioneering their brand of music across Western New York. Coming from broadly varied backgrounds, these musicians have a fresh approach to their music bringing Celtic roots to the surface of their undeniably country grass sound. Celtic band? Yes! Country band? Absolutely!
Second generation singer/songwriters, Liam and Mickey Spain grew up in the mill town of Manchester, NH in a household steeped in folk music and musicians, and the brothers began performing as a duo in the early 1990’s. Mickey’s rich baritone voice and Liam’s mastery of stringed instruments made them a very sought after act and story goes. On one fateful night, the sons of legendary Irish folk singer, Tommy Makem, happened to catch their act. The two sets of brothers quickly formed a bond over their shared love of the music and in 2002, Liam and Mickey joined forces with Shane, Conor and Rory. Touring as The Makem and Spain Brothers, the band headlined venues and Irish festivals across the United States, up into Nova Scotia, on Caribbean cruises and across the sea to Ireland. They recorded four CDs along the way, and shared the stage with some of the greatest in the business. After 15 years together, the band decided to part ways. Liam and Mickey have now returned to performing as a duo, concentrating on original compositions as well as traditional and contemporary folk songs.
\\ TOM KEEFER & CELTIC CROSS
Hailing from the Bonnie Shores of Loch Ontario and firmly dedicated to preserving Scottish and Irish heritage through song Tom Keefer delivers music from his ancestors James Reid of Glasgow, Scotland and Clifford Foley from Irish South Buffalo, NY. Tom has opened for international acts the Red Hot Chili Pipers, Enter The Haggis and the National Dance Company of Ireland as well as headlining and been a main stage performer at many Celtic festivals. Having played all over New York, in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Canada! Don't miss out on the fun!
For nearly four decades, The Blarney Bunch has been entertaining throughout Western New York. Specializing in Traditional Irish music and throwing in some rock and country just to mix it up. With their love and ability to play all types of music they are sure to show everyone of all ages a great time.
Owen Ó Súilleabháin is a singer, composer, and teacher, and believes in the power of art to awaken our most dynamic and creative forms into being. He has worked with some of the greatest artists in the world such as director Steven Spielberg, actor Russell Crowe, violinist Nigel Kennedy, The Chieftains and poet David Whyte.
He draws on his experience in performance and on his academic background in philosophy, Greek and Roman civilizations, and Peace Studies as well as the wisdom of Celtic culture to liberate creativity in individuals and organizations. He holds a first-class honors Master’s degree in Peace and Development Studies from the University of Limerick, specializing in national and local hospitality to asylum-seekers in Ireland.
\\ GREATER BUFFALO FIREFIGHTERS PIPES AND DRUMS
The Greater Buffalo Firefighters Pipes and Drums are a group of career and volunteer firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMS providers and civilian friends of first responders representing WNY's great firefighting family. They are here to honor their fallen brothers and sisters. They also appear at many of the parades, dedications, memorials, funerals, weddings, fund raisers across WNY.