Words by Shannon Stroud
What’s an Irish lad or lass to do this St. Paddy’s day? ‘Luckily’ for Irish music and culture lovers, there will be a veritable pot of gold of things to choose from. Here’s a little bit of the local and national green headed your way:
Local traditional Irish group Atlantic Wave has recently released their newest album, The Angel’s Share. Founded in 2004, Ed Paloucek, Kaitlin Hahn, John Karr and Barry Houlehen combined their musical influences from the Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and Quebecois. They joined together to create a band that played not only traditional Irish tunes but medleys and songs from a variety of Celtic nations, all which touch the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the month of March, Atlantic Wave will be performing at the Brendan Heart Fund at Derry Hegarty’s Pub on March 7th, at The Harp on March 13th, and on Saint Patrick’s Day they will be at Paddy’s Pub from 9 – 12 p.m. To learn more about this group check them out on the web at www.atlanticwave.us
Another local traditional Irish group in Milwaukee is Athas (pronounced AH-hiss). Athas formed in 2005 after the members performed together in many local Irish sessions and were inspired by the laughter and enjoyment; this encouraged the trio to create music together. The name Athas was chosen because it is the Irish word for ‘joy and happiness’. They will be performing on Saint Patrick’s Day at Brochach Irish Pub at 4 p.m. and the Whisky Bar starting at 8 p.m.
Leahy’s Luck has been performing around Milwaukee and Midwest for the past 19 years. Having performed at many festivals and performing arts centers they have developed a strong following. They originated at a family band with brothers Tom and Brian Leahy leading their children together in performing traditional Irish music. Throughout the years, the children grew up and branched out. Currently there is one child still in the group, Evan Leahy. Tom, Brian, and Evan have been joined by Randal Harrison on violin and Stas Venglevski on accordion. Their traditional and original music and shows are lively and their music is widely accessible. Leahy’s Luck will be performing at the Milwaukee Ale House at 4 p.m. on Saint Patrick’s Day followed by another performance at Revere’s Wells Street Tavern at 8:30 p.m.
Derek Byrne toured the world with Riverdance for six years and a singer and percussionist but returned to Milwaukee to marry his wife. Before going out on his own, Derek was in another local Irish group called Eider. He’s Celtic Bluegrass influenced music comes from his love for his family and the love he has for Ireland. As a solo artist Derek loops different beats to create what he calls a new tribal texture. This very talented performer will perform on Saint Patrick’s Day at Paddy’s Pub, Trinity Irish Pubs and Leff’s Lucky Town.
Reilly is not your traditional Irish band, they know how to rock. After forming ten years ago and having multiple member changes, Reilly now shows everyone at rockin’ good time. With many original and rocked out traditional songs to play, Reilly “Rocks Irish.” Reilly will be performing at Nomad World Pub, Mulligan’s Irish Pub and Mickey’s on Saint Patrick’s Day. They will also be at Paddy’s Pub on March 19th.
Gaelic Storm is a burst of musical energy on and off stage. Having been together for over ten years they are one of the most popular contemporary Irish bands around. With seven albums out and one in production, Gaelic Storm’s infectious lyrics and hilarious banter on stage, there is no wonder that they have had a #1 album on the Billboard World Music Charts. Gaelic Storm’s current line up hails from all over, Patrick Murphy lived in Cork, Ireland, Steve Twigger moved from Coventry, England to the U.S., Pete Purvis comes from Ottawa, Ontario, Ryan Lacey joined the group while in California and the newest member Jessie Burns is originally from England.
Last August, Gaelic Storm celebrated their 10th anniversary of performing at Milwaukee Irish Fest and encouraged the crowd to create a giant “birthday cake” with green glow sticks. During the show they were all dressed to the nine’s and were filmed the weekend performances. Always encouraging their crowd in participation, Gaelic Storm has partnered up with Milwaukee Irish Fest in contests for fans to win a chance to perform with the band onstage. After their shows, the band has also been known to spend hours signing autographs and hanging out with their fans (someone should count how many times they autograph something after a show). Gaelic Storm will be performing at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on March 17th.
March 5th – Ulster Project Family Fun Night at Mount Mary (5-10 p.m.)
March 6th – The Chieftains at Pabst Theater (7 p.m.)
March 7th – Brendan Heart Fund at Derry Hegarty’s Pub (12-6 p.m.)
- Atlantic Wave and Reilly to perform
- Dancing from Glencastle Irish Dancers
- Pipes and Drum Performances by Greater Milwaukee Fire and Police Pipes and Drums and Shamrock Club Pipes and Drums
- MONSTER RAFFLE – over 100 Raffles
March 12th – Flogging Molly at the RAVE
March 13th – Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Post Parade Party
- Parade begins at 3rd and Wisconsin in front of the Grand Avenue Mall
- Post Parade Party at ICHC (Irish Cultural and Heritage Center) Different Drums of Ireland headlining
March 14th – Irish Family Day at the Domes (12 -5 p.m.)
- Gaelic Storm at Pabst Theater (7 p.m.)
- Atlantic Wave at Paddy’s Pub (9 p.m.)
- Blarney at O’Donoghues Irish Pub (7 p.m.)
- Derek Byrne at Paddy’s Pub (3 p.m.)
- Derek Byrne at Trinity Irish Pubs (11 a.m.)
- Derek Byrne at Leff’s Lucky Town (9 p.m.)
- John McGivern and Friends at Irish Cultural and Heritage Center (ICHC) (7:30 p.m.)
- Reilly at Nomad World Pub (11 a.m.)
- Reilly at Mulligan’s Irish Pub (4:30 p.m.)
- Reilly at Mickey’s (9 p.m.)
- Leahy’s Luck at Milwaukee Ale House (4 p.m.)
- Leahy’s Luck at Revere’s Wells Street Tavern (8:30 p.m.)
- Athas at Brochach Irish Pub (4 p.m.)
- Athas at Whisky Bar (8 p.m.)
- Frogwater at County Clare (10 p.m.)
- Ian Gould at Stone Bank Pub (11:30 p.m.)
- Ian Gould at County Clare (4 p.m.)
- Ian Gould at Mulligan’s Irish Pub (8 p.m.)
- Ceol Cairde at Eagan’s on Water (6 p.m.)
March 18th – The Tossers at Turner Hall (7 p.m.)
- The Elders at South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (7:30 p.m.)
- Reilly at Paddy’s Pub (9 p.m.)