The High Kings

Performing Friday through Sunday.

The High Kings

There comes a time when the dues have been paid and when the tools of the apprenticeship are neatly stowed away. The craft, and the honing of the craft, continues, but the dust – so to speak – has settled on the ground. Time to move on.

Almost ten years ago, four Irish singers, performers and songwriters decided to take a calculated risk. The constituent parts of The High Kings – Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden – each had a wealth of history in the music business behind them, but knew that in order to maintain any level of creative interest they would have to boldly go where no other Irish ballad group had gone before.

In truth, back in the mid-late Noughties, Ireland needed a group like The High Kings. The heyday of ballad groups such as The Clancy Brothers and The Dubliners was a distant memory for generations of music fans, and to have another bunch of Irish lads taking up the baton and continuing the tradition was great news to thousands of fans worldwide.

“We could sing well, play our instruments well and harmonise well,” says Darren Holden, humbly underselling somewhat the numerous skill sets of the individual members. “People were looking for guys with character, presence – not just cardboard cut-outs – so the respective experience we all had wasn’t just helpful but essential.

The four members immediately knew that something special was taking place (“we knew within the space of a few songs that there was magic”), and within months had clicked as a creative unit as well as friends. The self-titled debut album, released in 2008, reached a highly impressive number two on Billboard Magazine’s World Music chart. It was during The High Kings second tour of the US in 2011, however – having graduated from playing small venues to larger halls as they promoted their follow-up album, Memory Lane, which also crashed into Billboard’s World Music chart – that everyone involved realised the fanbase was growing into something that no one had predicted.

Subsequently, the group’s tour of Ireland sold out within hours. “We didn’t expect that,” admits Darren, “and then about three gigs into that tour we realised we had touched not only a nerve but also a memory. People loved what we were doing, and they would tell us after the shows that what we did and how we were doing it meant so much to them – they had waited years for a group like us.”

As if that wasn’t good enough, The High Kings received the stamp of approval from the likes of Christy Moore and, perhaps more pertinently, Ronnie Drew, the lead singer of The Dubliners, and the man behind one of Ireland’s most recognisable and enduring ballad voices. The High Kings had achieved what many had thought improbable, if not impossible: they were moving the Irish ballad tradition into the here and now, carrying along with them the steadfast older fans while simultaneously bringing it to a new audience. “The gigs were getting bigger and bigger, and we felt we were breaking down barriers.”

More was to come in 2013 with the group’s third studio album, Friends For Life, which featured original songs among the traditional fare. Such an undertaking had always been discussed, reveals Darren.

“On Memory Lane, we stuck to the tried and tested formula, and that was a really good plan, because the album sold very well. But with Friends For Life, which was originally planned as another covers record, we worked with Sharon Shannon, who co-produced, and that changed things significantly for us. She initially heard one of our songs – Oh Maggie, which I wrote – and she really thought it should be included. And then several more songs written by group members followed.”

According to Darren, The High Kings stepped out of the shadows by taking the original song writing route. “We were delighted! We felt the songs were really good, and we sensed it was the next step. We finally sensed we were about to embark on a new chapter for The High Kings, rather than repeat the approach we took on the first two albums.”

Stepping out of the shadows inevitably threw light onto their own songwriting talents. Credibility, too? “Absolutely. With versions of well known or previously written songs, you can get four people talented enough who are very handy singing them, but with original songs you mark your own territory, you stand out. And we were lucky, thankfully – we had a couple of original songs that were hits in various parts of the world.

The development of original songwriting – ballad-style but with contemporary touches – from each member of The High Kings continues apace, but balance must be maintained. To a degree, expectations have to be met while still moving specific creative elements forward, which is why the group’s fourth studio album, Grace & Glory, takes them back to the essentials that kick-started their career in the first place.

“We felt it was the right time to park the original songs for a while,” says Martin. “We did a two-year tour for the Friends for Life album, and then we put out a live show album/DVD – Four Friends Live. That was received so well that we felt a back-to-basics approach – traditional ballad songs with new arrangements – would be good.”

To say that The High Kings are charting a new course for Irish ballad music – equal parts rousing and reflective, energetic and insightful – is an understatement. They are, essentially, marking out a new and bright era for Irish folk music, and aiming to bring a broad demographic along for the journey.

“With Grace & Glory we’re going to achieve that,” affirms Martin. “There is something for everybody on the album, and any doubters out there might just discover there’s a whole lot more to us than perceptions would have them believe. Previous High Kings albums have been stepping-stones, but this one sees us on top of things.”

Time to move on, then? “Full steam ahead!”

https://www.thehighkings.com/

Jig Jam

Performing Friday through Sunday.

Jig Jam

JigJam are the hottest new act on the Celtgrass music scene. They have developed a new, exciting, energy-fuelled live sound blending the best of bluegrass and Irish folk music. The band comprises Jamie McKeogh (Guitar, tenor banjo and lead vocals), Daithi Melia (5 String Banjo and vocals) Cathal Guinan (Double Bass, fiddle and vocals) and Gavin Strappe (Mandolin, tenor banjo & vocals). JigJam’s latest album “Hello World” is a tour de force of Irish and Americana music and is a brilliant representation of their live show. Having won many accolades at National competitions it is to no surprise that JigJam have been branded as ‘The Best Irish Group so far in Bluegrass’ by Irish American News. Miss this band at your peril.

http://www.jigjam.ie/

Aoife Scott

Performing Friday and Saturday.

Aoife Scott

Her sublime voice is a thing of beauty that stops people in their tracks. Fragile and ethereal one minute and strong and vibrant the next, Dublin Folk singer-songwriter Aoife Scott has become a force to be reckoned with on the Irish folk and traditional scene.

With an impeccable pedigree as a member of the legendary Black Family, which includes her mother, Frances, and her aunt, Mary, Aoife is steadily rising to the top of the traditional and folk music scene, while garnering acclaim and recognition both here and abroad as she hones her craft.
Fans of IFTA award-winning TV series, 1916 Seachtar na Cásca, will have been seduced by Aoife’s evocative singing, which packed a powerful emotional punch throughout all seven episodes of the landmark TV series. Other acclaimed TV appearances include BBC’s Imeall Geal, TG4’s An Nollaig Linn and Ceol na nOileáin, and Fleadh TV Live, and Aoife also featured as a presenter on “The Windmill Lane Sessions” , the contemporary Irish music programme for TG4.

Aoife gained invaluable international experience when she spent a year touring worldwide as lead singer with The Outside Track, whose marriage of Canadian, Scottish and Irish music and song has been rapturously received around the world. She has also performed with some of the finest acts on the folk and traditional scene both here and abroad, including We Banjo 3, Full Set, Sharon Shannon, Séamus Begley, Altan, Cherish the Ladies, Declan O Rourke, John Prine, and of course, the Black Family.

Even ahead of the launch of her debut album, Aoife has become an accomplished performer and headline artist. She embarked on her first sell-out US tour alongside Frances Black last year, where she was highly praised for her engaging performances. She was invited as an official showcase performer at the National Folk Alliance in Kansas City, and she also performed with the RTE Concert Orchestra as part of Culture Night. Other international appearances include performances at the National Celtic Festival in Australia, Mood Indigo Festival in Mumbai, and Germany’s acclaimed ‘Irish Folk Festival’ Tour. Aoife has also toured with her band to worldwide destinations, including the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia, India and the US.

She represented Ireland in Udine, Italy, in the Minority Language competition, Liet International, a multilingual alternative to the Eurovision Song Contest. She was featured in an NPR documentary on the event, which was broadcast to an audience of 26 million people in the USA. Her solo career was assuredly launched when she won the coveted Fastrack to Feis competition, which over 1,000 artists entered, and played support at the London Feis to Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, amongst other acts.

Aoife, who speaks both English and Irish fluently, has been immersed in the music scene from an early age, from listening to her grandparents, mother, aunt and uncles making music around the fire, to observing the backstage workings of festivals both here and abroad. She moved to the west coast of Ireland several years ago, and her passion for the native Irish language spoken there is reflected in her choice of songs, including the first single “All Along the Wild Atlantic Way” from her forthcoming debut album, ‘Carry The Day’.

This eagerly-anticipated debut is a folk album that is heavily influenced by Aoife’s passion for traditional music, and it contains a selection of stories the socially-aware singer wanted to tell, some personal, and others historical and socially-themed. Covering modern day female warriors to real-life heroines from the 1800s, two stand-out tracks include “Fásaim” which outlines Aoife’s thoughts on her brother’s marriage, to “We know where we stand,” a timely song for the 100th anniversary of 1916, which questions whether the men of that time even knew what their sacrifice would mean for Ireland?

Aoife’s plans for 2016 include the launch of her debut album at the Temple Bar Tradfest in Dublin in January, followed by a nationwide national tour. The singer and her band will also embark on a six-week German tour, and will travel to the US for some summer festivals.

https://www.aoifescott.com/


Cassie and Maggie

Performing Friday through Sunday.

Cassie and Maggie

“2016 Live Ireland Radio’s “VOCALISTS OF THE YEAR” “NEW GROUP OF THE YEAR”, Chicago Irish-American Newspaper’s EMERGING ARTIST RECORDING OF THE YEAR winners, Galaxie Radio Rising Stars, Independent Music Award “World Song of the Year” nominees, multiple Canadian Folk Music Award, East Coast Music Award and Music Nova Scotia Award nominees, Nova Scotian sisters Cassie & Maggie “are among the top musical acts in demand on the Irish/American/Canadian scene”- Irish Music Magazine

Exciting and innovative, they have found a perfect balance between musical integrity, and sheer entertainment. While staying true to their Nova Scotia Celtic roots, they have explored and tested the boundaries of traditional music.

“Be it their foot percussion and step dancing accompanying driving Nova Scotian sets, their perfect blend of sibling harmonies, added to a stunning interplay on various instruments, a musical evening spent with Cassie and Maggie is a great night, altogether” -Irish Music Magazine. Their new album, The Willow Collection “showcases not only their musical ability, but the depth and variety of their musicianship.” IMM Cassie and Maggie are an unbelievably gifted duo… the train is just gathering steam and leaving the station on these new stars. It is going to be a glorious journey, and it is already well-begun.” –Live Ireland Radio- Dublin, IR

https://cassieandmaggie.com/

Chance the Arm

Performing Friday and Saturday.

From http://www.chancethearm.com/:

Chance the Arm

Chance the Arm is a seven piece Celtic Rock band from Kansas City, MO. After forming in 2010, they began playing shows in 2011 around the Kansas City area. Since then, they have built a strong foundation in the Kansas City Irish Community and local music scene. The group is now well on the way to working at a national level and playing more frequently outside of their native Missouri. Chance the Arm is versatile, and combines traditional Celtic melodies, hard rock and bluegrass, all while paying homage to the Celtic genre favorites. Playing live is their forte, with a focus on fun and energy appropriate for all ages, onstage and off.

The Drowsy Lads

Performing Friday through Sunday.

From http://www.thedrowsylads.com

The Drowsy Lads

The Drowsy Lads thundered onto the Irish music scene in the Midwest a dozen years ago and have become favorites at pubs, clubs, festivals, universities and concert halls.

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. They’ve won the affections of audiences ranging from casual music-lovers to those steeped in hardcore Trad.

The Drowsy Lads were featured at Lakeside Ohio’s Chautauqua series for three years, were guest artists with the Otterbein University Orchestra, and packed Wilmington’s Murphy Theatre for an unforgettable evening.

The Lads are lighting up Irish festivals these days, including Milwaukee, Dublin, Dayton, Cincinnati, and Louisville, and have been pleased to share live sets with the likes of Slide, John Whelan, Full Set, Socks in the Frying Pan, and lead dancer of Riverdance Joe Moriarty.

The band is adept at rallying pub-goers into rollicking nights, and have countless times at Columbus’s infamous Byrnes’ Pub, as well as at Natalie’s, Claddagh, Ramblin’ House, Wolfe’s Ridge Brewing, and even Brady’s Pub in Dunboyne Ireland.

It gets even more varied with performances for Irish Dance School’s yearly big ceili dances, the occasional house show, and at Hollywood Casino. The Lads flex and deliver to their audiences.

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, and even mixing in some bits of Bluegrass or Classical. But these never get in the way of their obsession with the pure old musicality of traditional Irish tunes and songs.

Dulahan

Performing Friday through Sunday.

Dulahan

Dulahan (Doo-la-hon) is an anomaly in Celtic music, displaying an unwavering commitment to the strength and message of their original Celtic music. They pay homage to the traditional music that their signature sound has evolved from and are proud to bring a fresh new sound to the to the Celtic music scene for the past 15 years.

Well crafted original compositions dominate the band’s repertoire and are delivered with a passion and energy that fuses the multiple influences each of the members brings to the table. Dulahan features multi part vocal harmonies backed by layers of acoustic instrumentation including guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, flutes, whistles and a bit of the Highland Bagpipes. The results are an exciting hybrid that is unmistakably rooted in the traditional Irish and Scottish sound but clearly shows their American Roots influences as well. This unique cross-pollination allows Dulahan to connect with fans of the traditional and the contemporary and draws new fans to their music wherever their music is heard.

Dulahan has 8 CDs of all original music to date including the recently released “Sultana”.

http://www.dulahan.com/

The Kells

Performing Friday through Sunday.

The Kells

“The Kells have the recipe to perfection!”, says Mike O’Regan of Irish Music Magazine.

Performing from Rio to Rome, across the USA, and at Indy Irish Fest as a favorite for many years, their spectacular performances never fail to stun the audience. Influenced by their extensive backgrounds from Folk and Traditional Irish, to Hard Rock, they create a sound which has a uniquely creative twist to an otherwise familiar tune, as well as original tunes that hit the soul like a long lost friend.

“I travel the world performing with groups like The Chieftains and Cherish the Ladies and I can assure you, you’ll find no better Irish Musicians anywhere, than The Kells.” – John Timm of Indy’s own, Richen’s Timm Irish Dance Academy.

Regionally, the Indy Irish Fest along with Milwaukee Irish Fest, Peoria Irish Fest, Cincinnati Irish Fest, and Dublin Irish Fest all regularly feature The Kells as a premiere exponent of Irish music. Their performances at World Youth Day in Rio last year touched nearly a million young hearts at a time, but their time spent with the poor and impoverished of that country continues to inspire them to share both music and song with passion, grace, and humility.

The Kells play Traditional Irish Music, which is in essence the “soul music” of the Irish race. With a genuine passion and a sincere sense of purpose the Kells pour their hearts into playing lively jigs, rippin’ reels and haunting airs with songs that reach deep into the moral and emotional part of man’s nature. It is music for all ages – and for the ages.

The Kells are Brian McCoy (flutes, whistles, pipes) – Kim Rattan-McCoy (vocals, guitar, mandolin, bouzouki) – Doug Rudy (mandolin, banjo, fiddle, vocals) – Eddie Cotter, Jnr. (Irish bodhrán drum)

Their latest CD, “Smooth Sailing After All”, will be available at the fest along with their popular “Don’t Burn the Water” CD.

The Kells website

The Narrowbacks

Performing Thursday and Friday.

From http://www.narrowbacks.com/

The Narrowbacks Lads

If Joe Strummer, Shane MacGowan and Bruce Springsteen survived a drinking session through the 5 boroughs of New York City,the hangover would be called The Narrowbacks.

The Narrowbacks are the sons of Irish-immigrants who found each-other over whiskeys and late-night
sing songs at their local pub in the Bronx. As a six-piece band, they deliver a raucous show with driving
punk rock in its heart and the soul of an old Irish folk band.

Over the past 5 years The Narrowbacks have built a strong reputation throughout the East Coast through
a feverous tour schedule, live show and countless late nights with fans and friends they’ve made .
Sharing the stage with such bands as The Dropkick Murphy’s, Frank Turner, Anders Osbourne, Gogol
Bordello, and Flogging Molly; The Narrowbacks are geared up to release their sophmore album
‘Arrogance & Ignorance’ on October 15, 2016.

‘Arrogance & Ignorance’ was recorded at AutoPilot Studios by producer and guitarist of Hidden in Plain
View, Rob Freeman . The full length album is a geniune look through the eyes of a working band that is
filled with upbeat anthems, catchy sing alongs and fired up punk throwbacks.

Whiskey of the Damned

Performing Thursday only.

From http://therebelstage.com/p/whiskey:

Whiskey of the Damned

Whiskey of the Damned is a five piece, Celtic influenced rock group put together by Ireland native Eoin McCarthy. Located in Milwaukee WI, Whiskey of the Damned are a group of talented musicians dedicated to playing high energy, raucous concerts filled with an unmistakeable mixture of American and Irish rock. Described as a mix of The Pogues, Dropkick Murphy’s, and Flogging Molly, you do not want to miss this act perform live.


Alair

Performing Saturday only.

From http://www.alairmusic.com/about.html:

Alair

Alair was formed in the summer of 2005 and is a 3-piece celtic group consisting of fiddle, flute, harp, percussion, and vocals.They play a blend of Irish and Scottish tunes, incorporated with a touch of jazz, rock, and world music. They put a fresh, modern, and highly energetic feel to their arrangements of traditional tunes, as well as creatively adapting music from groups such as Solas, Natalie MacMaster, and Loreena McKennitt.Alair has performed in such venues as the Indianapolis Arts Garden, the Music Mill, Indy’s Irish Fest, the Broad Ripple Art Fair, and Fionn MacCool’s Irish pub. In addition, they have performed at many weddings, house concerts, and private corporate events. This past St. Patrick’s Day 2007 they had the honor of performing as guest soloists with the Anderson Symphony Orchestra.

Ennis Clare

Performing Friday and Saturday.

From http://www.ennisclareband.com:

Ennis Clare

Ennis Clare, based in Indianapolis, is a high-energy traditional Irish band featuring audience rousing traditional songs and high driving, foot stomping Irish tunes.

Song selections range from rowdy pub sing-alongs to traditional selections while incorporating the best in contemporary compositions.

Tune selections come from traditional Irish repertoire backed by high octane guitar rhythms, powerful banjo chords and exultant accordion riffs!

The band plays nationally for every type of function from music festivals and corporate events to dance gatherings. If you are looking for an all-out energetic, entertaining, acoustic show, Ennis Clare is the band for you!

Hogeye Navvy

Performing Saturday and Sunday.

From http://hogeyenavvy.com:

Hogeye Navvy

Hogeye Navvy plays a wide variety of acoustic traditional music, including sea shanties and music of Ireland, Scotland, England, and North America. They have played together in various formations, and for more years than its members care to admit, throughout Central Indiana at festivals and events, and have toured Ireland and Scotland with their loyal fans.

Indianapolis Ceili Band

Performing Saturday only.

From http://www.indyceiliband.com/fr_home.cfm:

Indianapolis Ceili Band

The Indianapolis Ceili Band is an ensemble dedicated to the preservation of the traditional Irish ceili band style. A Ceili (pronounced Kay-lee) is a social gathering with traditional music, dancing, singing and storytelling.

This talented ensemble seeks to involve audiences in the Irish culture by inviting them to learn simple ceili dances and strives to develop camaraderie, a sense of family and create an enjoyable atmosphere at every performance. The band was formed in 2009 and features some of the finest traditional Irish musicians from the Indianapolis area. The band is a member of the international organization Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and competes in the Midwest Fleadh Ceili Band Competition every year.

The Irish Airs

Performing Saturday and Sunday.

The Irish Airs

The Irish Airs have been a staple in the Irish music scene in Indianapolis for more than 25 years. Lead by Irishman Brian Cunningham on guitar and vocals, The Irish Airs are the only band to have performed at every Indianapolis Irish Festival since the tradition began in 1995. The band’s lineup is rounded out by Wyatt Watkins on fiddle, T.H. Gillespie on keyboards, and Brian’s son Chris Cunningham on bodhran, mandolin, and percussion. Along with performing at the Indianapolis Irish Festival every year, the Irish Airs have performed at some very notable venues around Indianapolis including the Indiana Roof Ballroom, the Rathskeller’s Biergarden, and the Hilbert Circle Theater. They’ve even made their way across the Atlantic for a tour across Ireland with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir that included a stop at Dublin’s National Concert Hall. This is one of Indianapolis’ can’t miss Irish music acts!

Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance

Performing Friday through Sunday.

From http://www.richenstimm.com/:

Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance

The Richens/Timm Academy is one of the most recognizable and respected names in the world of Irish dance. It is the most established and accomplished school in both central Ohio, central Indiana and now Wyoming. The Academy’s rich history began over 35 years ago when Ann Richens ADCRG, a native of Dublin, Ireland, began traveling to Columbus from Dayton, Ohio to share her passion for Irish dance. After her prized pupil, John Timm, captured the 1993 Senior Men’s World Championship title, they partnered and the school became the Richens/Timm Academy. Following Ann’s passing in 2011, Richens/Timm is now directed by John and his wife, Heather Timm. The Richens/Timm Academy currently serves locations in Dublin, Columbus and Dayton, OH, Indianapolis and Tipton, IN, and a sister school in Casper, Wyoming.

Irish Blessings Dancers

Irish Blessings Dancers

Irish Blessings Dancers is a performance group that offers workshops, ceili classes and basic Irish dance classes as well as Irish dance presentations.  They perform at assisted living facilities, schools, festivals, weddings  and other festive events. The group bases all programs on traditional Irish step and ceili dancing while choreographing some dances for variety.  The group sponsors the Indiana Ceili Club that meets once a month to learn figure and set dances in their original forms.  Irish Blessings Dancers dance to rejoice.  New dancers are welcome to attend classes in Carmel, IN.  Visit the group on Facebook.

St. Pat’s Day Rogues Pipes and Drums

Performing Friday and Saturday.

St. Pat's Day Rogues Pipes and Drums

Dressed in their saffron kilts, emerald green hose and Irish caubeen caps that pay homage to the uniforms of Irish military bagpipe bands, the St. Patrick’s Day Rogues Pipes & Drums pride themselves in presenting an extensive repertoire of traditional Irish tunes and Irish – American favorites.

The Rogues were founded in 2009 by a group of musicians who shared a passion for the Great Highland Bagpipes and wanted to promote music grounded in the Irish heritage of many of the members.

Musical experience among the members ranges from decades of performing in both marching and competitive bagpipe bands, college bands, military bands and drum & bugle corps as well as members who may be newer to their instruments but share in the passion for Irish music.

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