Bands for Hire ~ Celtic Folk

The Paul McKenna Band

Celtic Folk

The Paul McKenna Band “The best folk band to have come out of Scotland in the last twenty years” New York Times “The best band of their generation” (The Living Tradition) Since being awarded the title of “Best Up and Coming Artist of 2009″ at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, The Paul McKenna Band have gone from strength to strength touring extensively throughout USA, Canada and Europe. Combining their love for Folk and Traditional music, as well as original songs and tunes; The Paul McKenna Band from Scotland has been captivating audiences with live performances of their new album, titled ‘Elements’, out now on Greentrax Records (UK) and Compass Records (USA) With a contemporary approach to songs, though never straying far from their roots, their arrangements are both fresh and innovative. The exciting sound of The Paul McKenna Band is created through outstanding Vocals, driving Guitar and Bouzouki, intense fiddle playing, a warm pairing of flute and whistles with dynamic bodhrán and percussion. Concert highlights over the last few years include performances at Celtic Connections Glasgow, The Cambridge Folk Festival England, Tonder Festival Denmark, Milwaukee Irish Festival USA and Edmonton Folk Festival Canada. 2016 will see the band celebrate their 10th Anniversary with tours confirmed in Australia, North America and Europe. As well as extensive touring next year will also see the release of a special EP to coincide with the celebrations. Accolades Awards • Best Up and Coming Artist 2009 - MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards • Scots Singer of the Year (Paul McKenna) 2012 - MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards Nominations • Folk Band of the Year (2011,2012,2013) - MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards Paul McKenna Widely tipped for future stardom, the young Glasgow singer, songwriter and guitarist Paul McKenna cites Paul Brady, Dick Gaughan and Led Zeppelin as equal influences on his potent original compositions. The band continues to increase their reputation as one of the finest young song-based outfits on today’s Scottish folk scene and have released 3 albums on Greentrax Records. Paul was named Scots Singer of the Year in 2012 at the Scots Trad Music Awards and The Paul McKenna Band have been nominated for Folk Band of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Sean Gray Seán Gray is a flute and guitar player as well as a composer from Ayrshire in the South West of Scotland. He is a highly sought after session musician playing with acts such as The Treacherous Orchestra, Mike Vass and James Duncan McKenzie . In more recent times Seán has also come to wooden flute making, learning from the master flute and whistle maker George Ormiston of Lanarkshire, Scotland. Ewan Baird Ayrshire born percussionist Ewan Baird comes from a family long involved in the folk scene. A renowned percussionist known for his innovative and explosive approach to the Bodhran and Cajon. Ewan has made an appearance on the US TV series Outlander, performed with the successful Edinburgh fringe show `this is ceilidh` and played on the Outside Track’s ‘Flash Company’. When not touring the world with The Paul McKenna Band, Ewan is a long time member of one of Scotland’s most in demand ceilidh bands, The Jim Jam Ceilidh Band. Conor Markey Conor Markey is a singer,banjo, guitar, bouzouki and mandolin player from the town of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire. His strong Irish roots fostered a connection to not only the people and culture but to traditional music from a young age. He began learning and playing at the St Patrick’s Comhaltas branch in his hometown and spent many years as a young player travelling to fleadhs and festivals where he competed and played alongside musicians from all over Ireland and beyond, honing his skills and deepening his love for the music. More recently Conor has been touring in Scotland and further afield with Glasgow Irish Folk/Rock band ‘The Wakes’ as well as performing in a duo with Gerard McNeill of the Belfast folk and ballad group ‘The Raparees. He has played alongside acclaimed artists such as Damien Dempsey, Declan Sinnott and James. Jack Smedley Jack is one of the Scottish folk scene’s finest young fiddle players. He was brought up in Cullen, on the Banffshire coast of North-East Scotland. For as long as he can remember Jack has maintained a love of folk music from the world over. Attending local festivals and playing with local fiddle groups and at sessions let to attending The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2008 Known for his energetic and versatile playing Jack he was recognized as a finalist at the 2009 Young Traditional Musician of The Year awards. Outside of the band Jack is in huge demand as a fiddle tutor and runs an annual fiddle week in Fochabers in April.

Little Black Train

Celtic Folk

From Depression-era gospel to Appalachian and and Celtic dance tunes, Little Black Train explores the roots of bluegrass that date back to the nineteenth century and earlier. They employ the time-honored "folk process" to combine new words and melodies with traditional songs from sources such as the Carter Family, Doc Boggs, and Bob Dylan. Their repertoire also includes fiddle tunes from archival sources in West Virginia, Ireland, and Scotland.

Mandolinist Kenny Blackwell, who studied with the legendary Jethro Burns, has been a fixture in the West Coast bluegrass scene since the late ’80s. He is known for his extensive studio work on various projects, as well as his collaborations with progressive fiddler Richard Greene and his membership in the Laurel Canyon Ramblers, a legendary California bluegrass outfit.

An accomplished fiddler across genres, John Weed has lived in Ireland and immersed himself in the traditional styles of Clare and Donegal. The result is an old-time Irish fiddling style that compliments his forays into bluegrass, swing, and other American music. A classically trained violinist, John leverages his understanding of the instrument to coax emotion from every tune.

Guitarist Stuart Mason is known for his authentic vocals, melodic mandola, and inability to hold his whiskey. A native of West Virginia, Stuart has won awards for traditional singing (Goleta Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention), mandola (Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest), and songwriting (West Coast Songwriter’s Association). In 2009 a song from his solo release "Appalachian Bride" was selected from among 286 entries to appear on the first New Times Music Awards Compilation CD.


Celtic Folk

This five piece ensemble of strings is so delightful, you won’t want to leave! Performed beautiful by these wonderful musicians. This delightful music is described as ’Celtic & Beyond’ performed by the very talented musicianship of Marj Ingram Viales, Rick Chelew, Mike Osgood, Paulette Lynch and Laura Burian. Experience the pleasure of Live Music - with a great dinner special to boot!

Molly`s Revenge

Celtic Folk

Molly’s Revenge is a dynamic, acoustic Celtic band known for its unique and infectious on-stage enthusiasm. The classic combination of bagpipes, whistle, fiddle, and song -- set against a backdrop of guitar, bouzouki, and mandola accompaniment -- guarantees an enjoyable experience for all fans of Scottish and Irish music. Their arrangements of traditional jigs and reels bring these dance tunes up to date with a driving, hard-edged accent that always leaves audiences shouting for more.

From epic sets on highland pipes and fiddle, to angelic folk songs over bouzouki and mandola, to ripping sets of Irish jigs and reels, the lads of Molly’s Revenge have expanded their range on their seventh release, "The Western Shore." The new record was produced by John Doyle, a founding member of Irish supergroup Solas. Guest performers include percussionist Fraser Stone (Old Blind Dogs), John Doyle, and vocalist Moira Smiley (VOCO).

John Doyle was named by Irish America Magazine as one of its "Top 100 Irish Americans" for 2008. He is widely regarded as the master of Irish guitar and has been in high demand for performance and production work since his days as a founding member of Irish supergroup Solas.

To help finance the new record, the band launched an online fan fundraising campaign that raised them almost $8000 and made them part of a new wave of indie bands that are making an end run around the traditional record labels. The band is offering by download three exclusive extra tracks that didn’t fit on "The Western Shore," tracks that are available only through or at live shows. They have also made the first track on the album available for free download at their web site.

David Brewer has been playing whistle and four types of bagpipes for about 15 years. He studied in Scotland at the Ceolas Music School in South Uist under the tutelage of some of the best pipers in the world. His authentic and unique style of playing has earned him the reputation of being one of the most accomplished pipers on the West Coast. David has composed close to 200 traditional style tunes, many of which have appeared on recordings, independent films, and television.

John Weed is a classically-trained violinist who switched to playing Irish fiddle about 10 years ago. John lived in Ireland in 2000 and taught fiddle workshops at the Flowing Tide International Music School in Doonbeg, County Clare. He hones his skills annually by attending the Frankie Kennedy Winter School in Dunlewey, County Donegal where he has studied with Ciaran O’Maonaigh and Dermot Mcloughlin.

Pete Haworth grew up in the Blackburn area of Lancashire County, England, where he collected and sang the local folk songs. He brings an authentic vocal style, a very big bouzouki, and an unflagging sense of humour to the band. He and his family moved to California in 1982.

Stuart Mason has been collecting and performing traditional music for over 30 years. He has appeared on stage from Ireland to China performing Celtic, old time bluegrass, and his original compositions, which have won awards from the West Coast Songwriters Association. He leads workshops and classes in traditional music techniques at music festivals and camps.

Moira Smiley qualified for the All-Ireland Competition in Performance of Irish Traditional Song by taking First Place in the midwest and western U.S. division. She has done extensive studio vocals for folk, new, early and pop music projects for film, television, and recordings.

Angels` Share

Celtic Folk

The Angels` share are Monterey Peninsula artists who play the lively and evocative "pure drop" tunes of Ireland and Scotland. Close your eyes and the music will take you to a delightful place, where the weather is cool, the "craic" is warm, and where there may be a wee dram waiting for you at a place by the fire. Pete Braccio--Bouzouki, Mandolin: Pete has a BA in Physics and Astronomy and an MS in Physics so, of course, he’s been a ditch digger, a waiter, a bouncer, a bartender, a Naval Officer, an Oceanographer, and a Computer Network Administrator. He has one wife, two daughters, three cats, and many mandolins, guitars, whistles, and other musical instruments. He plays bouzouki (Greek for “big mandolin”) with The Angel’s Share to justify further musical purchases to the one wife, two daughters, and, occasionally, three cats. The other musical instruments don’t appear to mind more instruments coming into the house. Yet. Pete has also played with The Reel Deal, and has been a presenter at mandolin camps and symposia. Jackie Pierce--Fiddle: Jackie started classical violin at 9, after inheriting her grandfather`s violin, a beautiful fiddle made in the 1850s, which she still plays. Fate took her on a trip to Scotland, where she joined in a pub session on the Isle of Skye. She fell in love with the music, which led to more travel on the Emerald Isle, and, well, the rest is history. She is a lawyer and mediator, and has studied fiddle in County Clare, Ireland and is the host of St. Mary’s Celtic Concert Series and co-leader of The Celtoid Kids. Most of all she is indebted to her husband, Mike, who insisted that they stop for a pint in that Scottish pub…

The Reel Deal

Celtic Folk

This is a treat to have a night of music such as this. Celtic in the Courtyard - these musicians are locals that really know how to take you through sound, to another place and another time. Mexican food with Celtic music - expand your senses and feel the enjoyment.

Please RSVP for best seating and I know you will enjoy this music with dinner.

The Reel Deal are:

Pete Braccio - Octave Mandolin

Anne Downs - Banjo & Mandolin

Elizabeth Miranda - Flute, Whistle, & Bodhran

Jackie Pierce - Fiddle

Shirley Tofte - Fiddle

Corey Welch - Guitar

Robin Welch - Fiddle

<100,000 Welcomes

Reel Deal is based on the Monterey Peninsula and performs traditional Celtic music for contra dances, private parties, and public events.


Celtic Folk

BLAM! features lively, incredibly happy music based in Celtic and American fiddle tunes. Marta Lynch is dazzlingly fast and nimble on fiddle, Bob Silberstein artfully anchors rhythm on piano, and Elizabeth Todd is the multi-instrumentalist, bringing surprise nuances to the tunes with her flute, harmonica, bodhran and foot percussion. A favorite band in the Central Coast contradance scene, BLAM! will keep your toes tapping and your heart joyful.

Dave Holodiloff & Peter Mellinger

Celtic Folk

photo by
Peter Mellinger (fiddle) and Dave Holodiloff (mandolin/vocals) are looking forward to performing on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday March 17th 2013 (acoustic) from 5-7pm at Chamisal. We will be performing a mix of traditional jigs, lively reels, slip-jigs, folk songs, and more!

Remember - this is Daylight’s Savings Weekend!