August 4 - August 6, 2017

Iowa Irish Fest

Iowa Irish Fest Website

 

Coming to the 2017 Iowa Irish Fest!

Gaelic Storm

After nearly two decades and more than 3,000 live shows, Gaelic Storm – the chart-topping, multi-national Celtic band – is looking sharper than ever with their latest release, Matching Sweaters. The new album mixes traditional Irish music with modern influences, creating a sound that’s as wide-ranging as the band’s own audience.
From bluegrass fans and country cowboys to Deadheads, rock & rollers and Celtic fanatics, Gaelic Storm has built one of the most diverse fan bases in modern music. Matching Sweaters helps explain the broad appeal. Rooted in the songwriting of founding members Patrick Murphy and Steve Twigger, the album moves from drinking songs (“Another Stupid Drinking Song”) to energetic instrumentals (“The Narwhaling Cheesehead”) to rootsy pop/rockers (“Whiskeyed Up and Womaned Out”), gluing everything together with the spark and spirit of a band that’s spent close to 20 years on the road.
“We’re a touring band,” says percussionist Ryan Lacey, who joined the lineup in 2003. “That’s how this band works.Matching Sweaters is one of the most complete albums we’ve done so far, because it taps into every facet of our live show.”
Those live shows date all the way back to the mid-1990s, when Gaelic Storm kicked off its career as a pub band in Santa Monica, California. By the end of the decade, the musicians had appeared in the blockbuster film “Titanic” (where they performed “Irish Party in Third Class”) and laid the groundwork for a career that would eventually find them topping the Billboard World Chart five times, making appearances at mainstream music festivals such as Summerfest, Telluride and The Rock Boat Cruise, and regularly headlining the largest Irish Festivals across the country, all the while gaining a reputation as a genre-bending Irish band whose songs mix Celtic traditions with something new and unexpected. Now, with the band’s 20th anniversary on the horizon, they’re putting even more emphasis on those newer directions.
“We’ll push the envelope, then reel it back in, then push it again,” says Murphy. “There’s a lot of variety here, and that’s why we can play country festivals, bluegrass festivals and rock festivals, and still fit in perfectly with each one. We wanted Matching Sweaters to reflect that range, so people could buy the CD and hear everything we’re able to do in concert.”
When it came time to write Matching Sweaters’ 12 songs, Murphy and Twigger teamed up with longtime friend and co-writer Steve Wehmeyer. Together, the three found inspiration in everything from old Irish newspapers (“The Rustling Goat Gang,” whose details were gleaned from an article about a vanishing goat herd from Waterford) to bits of conversation overheard in local pubs (“Paddy’s Rubber Arm”).
In addition to writing new songs, the musicians have continued to play new markets every year, taking the chance to stretch their boundaries – and widen their audience – whenever possible. It helps keep them on their toes.
“Playing for a new crowd is great,” says Twigger. “It takes you back to those early days, where you’ve got something to prove. We could just do Irish festivals, but why not play a crossover show where 90% of the audience doesn’t know you, and you have to make them know you? That’s what makes your band good.”
Matching Sweaters follows in that hard-working tradition, dishing up all the ingredients fans have come to expect from Gaelic Storm – the drinking songs, sea shanties, furiously-strummed instrumentals and sing-along melodies – while spiking the mix with newer flavors. Eat it up, but make sure to save some room! There’s plenty more where this came from.

The Dublin City Ramblers

Born in James’s Street in the heart of Dublin, he spent most of his life in Inchicore. An all round sportsman, he has many medals and trophies for GAA, Soccer and Athletics from his early days, Which might account for him being an ardent “DUBs” fan, he is also a great supporter of the Irish soccer team, having played music for them on numerous occasions throughout the years. Hobby’s include music, art, reading and golf in that order. Sean started his music career in 1963 by forming a band called “The Jolly Tinkers”they changed the name some years later to “The Quare Fellas” being influenced by that great author and character the late great Brendan Behan. Went on to form the “Ramblers” in 1970, turned professional in 1972, having packed in the day job in the P&T (now Eircom).

FullSet

FullSet are one of Ireland’s most accomplished and sought-after bands in Irish Traditional Music today. This young and exciting group creates a sound that is full of energy & innovation, whilst all the time remaining true to their traditional roots.

“FullSet was THE breakout band at the Irish Fair of Minnesota.Their energy was infectious and the crowd response was incredible. They were able to connect to all ages, from Mohawked teenagers, to their grandparents. I had heard good things about them, but the musicianship, and stage presence playing live exceeded every expectation I had.” – Mike Wiley, Vice Chair/Entertainment Director of Irish Fair of Minnesota 2013

The Gothard Sisters

The Gothard Sisters are a dynamic group of three sisters, whose impressive array of talents have set them apart as one of the most refreshing and compelling acts in Celtic music today.   The sisters’ unpredictable and theatrical flair brings a youthful splash to the time-honored tradition of Celtic folk music, bridging the gap between modern Pop and Folk-Rock with a sunny, optimistic style that has been described as “beautifully-arranged, melodic-minded Celtic Folk-Pop.”

Hitting the streets of their hometown – Edmonds, Washington – in 2006, The Gothard Sisters first began playing together as a violin trio busking for tips at the local farmer’s market, working their way onto stages at local fairs and festivals.  Audiences responded with enthusiasm, and over 1,000 performances later the band recently performed at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., completed several national concert tours of the United States, regularly perform as guest entertainers on Disney Cruise Line in Europe and South America and are well-known musicians on the national Celtic festival circuit.  In December 2016 The Gothard Sisters charted on Billboard’s World Music Chart with their latest Christmas album, Falling Snow, alongside notable Irish music phenomena Celtic Woman and Celtic Thunder.

 

The Angry Brians

The Angry Brians define Celtic Rock at its best!! Their original songs and reinvented classics will burrow deep into your subconscious, leaving lasting impressions of their music and lyrics.

With their own style of Celtic Fusion, these talented musicians command a level of energy unparalleled to those within the genre.

With two albums already enjoyed by their fans, on January 1, 2015, the band released their latest CD, W e C a m e t o F i g h t . Recorded at the Track Shack in Sacramento, CA produced by Jeff Tamelier (of Tower of Power fame), the band was privileged to have him play on several of the tracks.
The CD is garnering lots of attention and airplay on Celtic Radio stations across the Country and abroad. The title track, “We Came To Fight,” is picking up steam along with “21st Century Irishman” and “Highland Call”. The CD includes ten tracks of mostly self-penned, bagpipe led, celtic-punk’n’roll.   67 Music review stated, “The songs, production values and recording rival anything I’ve heard from them to date. There are no snoozer tracks here, it’s a sonic ride from start to finish. ‘We Came To Fight’ is a fun, rockin’ album and will likely remain in my player for quite some time – pipe wrench optional.” Celtic Radio gives The Angry Brians 5 Stars and comments, “With tracks such as ‘21st Century Irish Man’, the group almost reminds me of iconic rock legends such as The Who, albeit with a less stadium-y flare and the unmistakable Irish lead melodies. I particularly enjoy how the band can balance beautiful harmonies and great energy, finding a really equilibrate compromise between the two. Songs such as ‘Highland Call’ remind me of melodic HC heroes such as Alkaline Trio or Rise Against, with an extra dimension courtesy of the backbone of instruments from the folk tradition.”
The AnGry Brians®, with their signature pipe wrench in hand, are featured entertainers along the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, for high-profile events such as St. Patrick’s Day, the UFC Fight Week and the National Finals Rodeo week. The bands list of notable performances keep them front and center in the minds of show promoters/festival organizers and fans!
Hailing from Bakersfield, CA ,  the county of Kern(e), The Angry Brians seek only a moment of your time to reconsider how you interpret the world of music. So if you’re willing to be a bit open minded, hold on tight because before the day is through, you will all be Angry Brians too. 

 


The Fitzgeralds

Meet the Fitzgeralds~ a family group consisting of fiddling and step dancing sensations – Tom, Kerry & Julie Fitzgerald. These siblings, from Canada’s renowned Ottawa Valley, have come a long way from their small town roots. Featuring 3-time Canadian Grandmaster Fiddle Champions and Ontario Open Step Dance Champions, this unique act features high-energy fiddling and mind-blowing step dancing. Joining the siblings on guitar, lead vocals, and onstage antics is Nate Douglas (guitarist for Cape Breton’s Natalie MacMaster in 2013). It is the rare combination of exceptional musicianship, incomparable step dancing, audience interaction, evident love of performing, and genuine sibling connection that resonates with audiences of all ages and sets this group apart.

Tom Dahill & Ginny Johnson

Tom Dahill and Ginny Johnson: Tom Dahill (vocals, guitar, accordion, and fiddle, Uilleann Pipes) ). Tom is a superb entertainer with a great collection of old lrish favorites you might not hear from anyone else. He has command many instruments. Ginny Johnson plays concertina, tin whistle, bodhran and guitar. Ginny came to Irish music through her interest in Irish dancing. She is a former member of The Mooncoin Ceili Dancers, Greenfire and Scoil na dTri. Tom’s collection of tunes is impressive, growing from a lifetime of playing at sessions as well as performing on stage. He puts on a great show for all ages and always gets his audience involved. Ginny is a fine step dancer and can hop up and add steps to a jig, reel or hornpipe to an evenings entertainment. Ginny has been playing and dancing with Tom Dahill for over ten years Tom and Ginny have been working as a duo since a few of the Chancers retuned to college. You can catch them on Facebook or on the web at www.tomdahillmusic.com but don’t ever miss the chance to catch them live.

 

George Casey – Irish comedian

Casey was born in a remote seaside village on the west coast of Ireland legendary for its storytelling. Growing up in a large family, George saw humor everywhere and honed his skills as a comic at the expense of his brothers and sisters.

For over 30 years now, George has been entertaining audiences all over the US with his self-deprecating sense of humor and clean jokes and stories.  Some of the acts George has opened for and toured with include Rosemary Clooney, The Osmond Brothers, Ray Price, Three Dog Night, Brooklyn Bridge, Donald Oâ Connor and Bobby Vinton. George performed with Bobby Vinton as his Special Guest Comedy Star in Vinton’s Blue Velvet Theatre in Branson, Missouri until it’s close in 2002. He has performed at Caesar’s Palace, The Sahara, and is a regular act at The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

McDonald’s, Hasbro, AT&T, Lucent Technology, and Panasonic are just some of the major corporations who have contracted George for their private events.  George spends most of the year cruising around the world contracted as headliner for all the major cruise lines including Seabourn, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Crystal, the Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth.

 

 

 

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