Mixing traditional and original music from the Emerald Isle and beyond, Irish American band Goitse performs at the Manitou Music Festival August 10. MyNorth Media’s entertainment writer Ross Boissoneau gives us the background on the five-piece band, pronounced “Go-with-cha,” before their Glen Arbor event.


Goitse (Go-with-cha) is an informal Gaelic Irish greeting meaning “Come here.”

How They Got Their Start

The five members of the band met at Limerick University’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.

Portlaoise-born Colm Phelan has been playing bodhrán and CeiliBand drums since childhood and has been a prominent contender in the All Ireland competition since his earliest years of playing.

Banjo player James Harvey hails from Mountrath in Co. Laois. He won gold medals at four All-Ireland Fleadh competitions in a row, the first after only playing the banjo four years. He added a further three All-Ireland gold medals at the Fleadh competitions on the mandolin.

From the age of sixteen, Áine McGeeney has been teaching music. She fronts the band with her energetic, high octane fiddle playing and sings in both English and Irish.

A recent All-Ireland piano title win is among the various awards Tadhg Ó Meachair has received for piano, piano accordion and accompaniment. As well as extensive tours of the U.S. and Europe with Goitse, he has performed on a variety of stages around the world and has taught extensively at festivals across Europe.

Guitarist Conal O’Kane grew up in South Philadelphia, where he was an active member of the Irish music community. When he was on a trip to his father’s hometown of Buncrana, Co. Donegal, he was taught his first tune on fiddle. His guitar style draws from traditional Irish influences, jazz and classic rock.

Inspirations and Influences

Irish and Celtic traditions

Additional Background

Since graduating from Limerick University, they’ve graduated to large stages as well, playing concert halls and festivals in Europe and the U.S. as one of the most sought-after Irish acts. The band’s second album, Transformed, was produced by fan and famed Irish musician Dónal Lunny (Planxty, the Bothy Band), and won plaudits from numerous reviewers.

Goitse’s mixes and matches traditional tunes from Ireland and abroad with original compositions, many by McGeeney. The group’s distinctive sound emanates from that fusion of traditional and contemporary styles.


“Their new CD, Tall Tales & Misadventures, is a blockbuster and by far their best work yet, full of new songs and classic pieces. If you love intricate Irish music played by people that know and enjoy what they’re doing and a singer with the voice of an angel, this CD is for you.” – Jack Baker, Irish American News

“They play with the wisdom of musicians with many more road miles beneath their belt.”  – Siobhan Long, Irish Times


Leelanau School Green

Date & Time

Wednesday, August 10 at 8 p.m.

Ticket Information

Tickets are $13 for members of the Glen Lake Art Association, $15 non-members, 18 and under free.

For More


More Northern Michigan Music

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Photo(s) by goitse.ie