Kick off the month of May with music by The Elders at The InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City. MyNorth Media entertainment writer Ross Boissoneau meets the musicians behind the Celtic group hailing from Kansas City.
How The Band Got Its Start
Singer and percussionist Ian Byrne, a native of County Wicklow, Ireland, formed the group in 1998 with a quartet of American musicians. All of them were middle-aged veterans of numerous previous groups, hence the band’s name.
Most of its music is original, with a few traditional Irish tunes thrown in. Electric guitar is prominent in the mix, giving the group a sound that has been described as amped-up, Celtic roots rock. But the fiddle, pennywhistles, mandolins, and accordions are never drowned out.
The group’s appeal lies in its ability to bring together the art of storytelling with Celtic-style music, including elements rooted in tradition and those more musically progressive.
Influences and Inspirations
Black 47, the Chieftains, traditional Celtic music
The band has recorded seven studio albums and also released four live recordings. Its music has won them a broad international fan base, as well as critical acclaim in numerous publications The Elders have headlined major Celtic festivals in North America and Europe.
For the past 14 years the band has also sponsored a tour of Ireland, in which fans are invited to join a 13-day excursion. They visit historical and geographical sights during the day, and gather at a local pub or ballroom at night for pints and performances by the band.
The current lineup includes founding members Byrne, Brent Hoad (vocals, keyboards, fiddle, guitar), Steve Phillips (vocals, guitar, mandolin) and Norm Dahlor (vocals, guitar, bass, banjo), along with Kian Byrne (drums, bass, mandolin) and Diana Ladio (fiddle).
“Thrilling, propulsive, fantastic Celtic-pop. The Elders are a band to shout from the rooftops about.” – Robert Oermann, Music Row Magazine
“The key to the band’s success is in its flawless blending of the Celtic storytelling tradition with contemporary instrumentation and, perhaps more importantly, their ability to write original songs that sound as timeless and authentic as the ancient jigs and reels that have inspired them.” – Brian Baker, Paste Magazine
Date & Time
Sunday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the Traverse City concert cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door. They are available at InsideOut Gallery, Oryana Food Cooperative, Brilliant Books and The Silver Swan, or by calling 231-929-3254.
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