Meet The McLean Avenue Band
- Padraig Allen
- Buddy Connolly
- Tony Ryan
- Joe Biancorosso
- Greg Gruber
- Louise Barry
- Kieran McElhinney
- Geoff Hartwell
- Jake James
- The Crew
From an early age it was clear that Padraig Allen was destined to become one of the finest singer/songwriters out of Ireland. Catch one of his shows and you will witness the incredible energy that Padraig and Mclean Avenue Band turn out. Padraig has truly become one with the music industry, playing shows in both America and Europe for close to twenty years, although he will tell you he still feels as though he has just begun playing music. At 35 years old and after spending eight incredible years as the singer and bass guitarist for the band The Whole Shabang, toured with great groups like The Prodigals, The Dublin City Ramblers, Foster and Allen, McCabes, The Mickey Finns, Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones he has moved along to setting up this new Group ‘McLean Avenue’. As a result Padraig Allen and The McLean Avenue band have what has been often called a “super band sound.” This “sound” has its very own distinctive mix between old Irish Celtic folklore and the rock pop Celtic music of today.
BUDDY CONNOLLY IS A THREE TIME ALL IRELAND ACCORDION CHAMPION FROM NEWARK, NEW JERSEY WITH PARENTS FROM CLARE AND GALWAY IN IRELAND. HE CREDITS THE TEACHING OF BUTTON BOX MASTER JOHN WHELAN FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS AND THE LATE MARTIN MULVIHILL FOR NUMEROUS TITLES IN OTHER GROUP CATEGORIES. SOME INFLUENTIAL PLAYERS DURING THOSE FORMATIVE YEARS WERE NEW YORK CITY’S BEST-JOHN NOLAN, JOANIE MADDEN, MIKE RAFFERTY AND EILEEN IVERS AS A FREELANCE MUSICIAN, BUDDY WAS SOON TOURING ALL OVER THE USA WITH MANY BANDS. IN 1995,HE MOVED TO NASHVILLE AND WAS INTRODUCED TO THE GENRES OF BLUEGRASS, CAJUN AND COUNTRY MUSIC. THERE WERE WORLDWIDE GIGS/RECORDINGS WITH THE LIKES OF TIM O’BRIEN, KATHY MATTEA, RODNEY CROWELL, CHRISTIAN ROCKERS CEILI RAIN, ORLEANS, MATT MOLLOY(CHIEFTAINS), EMERALD FIRE DANCE AND MANY OTHERS. SINCE 2001, BUDDY HAS RESIDED IN MORRIS COUNTY,NEW JERSEY WITH WIFE JOANNA AND THEIR THREE CHILDREN.
Tony Ryan, from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland began playing drums at the young age of eleven. His two older brothers played drums, so it was pretty much in the blood so to speak. He has had a long career; playing with a number of local groups in his hometown and launching his professional career in the Irish showband scene. He moved to England in the early eighties and worked the London Irish circuit. He then made the move to the States in 1987 and has played with numerous Irish bands such as Johnny Murphy, Gus Hayes, Jesse Owens, and Paddy Noonan to name just a few. As well as being a drummer, Tony sings some lead and backing vocals. He brings his vast experience and versatility to the McLean Avenue Band and enjoys the band’s contemporary approach to Irish music
Joseph Biancorosso has been performing original and cover music professionally for many years. He is an accomplished vocalist, guitarist, and bass player. His roots are based in rock, folk, and country, but his versatility has allowed him to expand his musical styles even further to swing, jazz, blues, and traditional. His list of accomplishments include TV appearances, recordings, and tours, both is the US and abroad.Years ago he discovered and fell in love with the enchanted melodies of traditional and contemporary Irish music. There was no going back! Having played with a plethora of top Irish musicians, he is well known for being the leader and founder of “Midnight Special”, and a full time vocalist/musician for other well known bands such as “Eileen Fogarty And The Very Best”, “Good Clean Fun”, “Homeward Bound”, “The New York Showband”, and “Padraig Allen And The McLean Avenue Band”.Born in Italy and the son of an opera singer, he is appreciated for entertaining crowds with classic international songs such as Con Te Partiro’ (Time To Say Goodbye) by Andrea Bocelli and many other timeless pieces.
Very little is known about Greg Gruber. Greg turns up at our shows and plays his heart out. We love what he does and he’s a nice guy too!
Dublin native Louise Barry started her Performing Arts training at the age of two, studying many dance genres, however her main love has always been Irish dance.Her experience in stage performance and musical theatre began at a very early age taking her from The Gaiety Theatre to The Cork Opera House as a featured soloist. She also won the coveted “Peoples’ Choice” Dance Master’s Award in 2007.
Louise has consulted with New York based Irish contemporary based dance company Darrah Carr Dance which blends traditional Irish step dancing with contemporary dance, a ‘ModErin’ approach, according to the company’s Artistic Director. Louise was recently invited to join Darrah Carr and the ‘Niall O’Leary Dance Troupe’ for workshops and a tour of special performances around Ireland. She is currently devising a new Irish contemporary dance show with ‘Emerald Fire’ for performances in Europe and Asia.
Louise’s longest running role has been as a vocalist. Having performed as a featured soloist for four seasons of RTE’s ‘Music in the Classroom’ alongside traditional Irish artist Liam O’Floinn with the National Concert Orchestra, Ireland, Louise went on to make many national television network and radio appearances as well as lending her voice to two seasons of ‘Wilde Nights’ Irish Cabaret, showcasing the work of many Irish singer/songwriters.
With over ten years’ experience in her field, Louise has toured throughout Ireland and Europe, performing Celtic music and Irish dance with some of Ireland’s most sought after wedding, special event and cover bands. We hope you will enjoy Louise’s wonderful talent at one or our shows soon.
Kieran McElhinney, from County Donegal, was a founder member of The Whole Shabang and performed with Padraig and Buddy in Ireland and the United States for ten years until the The Whole Shabang wound up in 2004.
He is an unforgettable fiddle player. When he was younger, he has won many prizes in Ireland’s feises and fleadhs (Gaelic for ‘festivals’) and also won a prize on the Irish television talent show, Opportunity Knocks. Kieran plays not only the fiddle but the mandolin and banjo as well. In addition to The Whole Shabang, he played regularly with another Celtic ‘trad’ group, Keltic Kaos. He is a very well-known performer on the Irish ‘trad’ music circuit, both in Ireland and here in the United States as a result of his work with The Whole Shabang. We call him “Mac”.
Geoff Hartwell is NY based guitarist, banjo player, songwriter, producer,
and teacher. Growing up he studied music fiercely and was playing famed
NYC venues like CBGB’s, Kennys Castaways and the Lion’s Den by the time he
was in his teens. He then earned his BA in Music at Hartwick College as a
Samuel J. Nelson Scholarship recipient.He has toured all over the world and shared the stage with legendary
artists as diverse as Blues Rock Icons Gregg Allman, Robert Randolph,
Sonny Landreth, Tab Benoit and John Hammond, Pop music stars Toad the Wet
Sprocket, Singer/Songwriter extraordinaire Richard Shindell, groove
monster Alan Evans of Soulive (while recording with the Funk/Electronica
band ‘The Fuzzy Flow’), as well as Irish music sensations Jameson’s
Revenge and Shilelagh Law in addition to the McLean Ave Band.Geoff’s guitar stylings bring an American Roots Rock edge to the McLean
Avenue Band and his hybrid banjo style adds a country and bluegrass
dimension to the band’s multi-faceted sound.Geoff Hartwell proudly endorses D’Addario strings, Planet Waves cables and
accessories Hamer Guitars and Gold Tone Banjos. Please visit
facebook.com/geoffhartwellmusic and GeoffHartwell.com
Jake is a multi-instrumentalist and dancer from Queens, New York.
Jake started playing the fiddle when he was seven years of age and has been a student with Niall Mulligan, Co. Antrim. Jake has a similar Antrim style in his own playing because of Niall Mulligan. Jake also studies bodhran with Eamon Murray, of Beoga, and brings a Murray-like energy to his own playing. Under Eamon’s guidance, Jake has taken home the trophy at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh since 2010. Jake also studied bodhran and percussion with Niall O’Leary, and Brian Fleming, Latin percussion with Juan Usera, and drum kit with Frank Marinho. Jake has been studying Irish dance with Dublin-born Niall O’Leary from about the age of three. Over the years he has performed with Niall at different venues throughout New York City including Symphony Space, The Winter Garden Theater, Irish Arts Center, Gracie Mansion, and others. Jake has also guest-played around NYC with many different groups including the Prodigals, the Raging Hornpipes, the Niall O’Leary Dance Troupe, the New York Brogues, Black 47, Padraig Allen and the McLean Avenue Band. Jake was also the original fiddler in the off-Broadway play Hard Times: An American Musical, written by Larry Kirwan, of Black 47.
Pat Conroy is a highly experienced multi-media professional and music producer. He is the owner of Conroy MultiMedia and specializes in the provision of a broad range of multi-media support services to his clients which consist of musicians, bands, production companies and private clients, including sound and visual engineering, videography, web-site hosting and graphic design.At college he studied multi-media and sound engineering and went on to build a solid career in music recording and production. Over the course of his 30 year career he has worked with prominent Irish folk artists such as Foster & Allen and Bagatelle, as well as contemporary cover bands, The LOLS and now The McLean Avenue Band.