Sparks flew during this group’s interactive performance, which included a unique array of traditional Irish songs and Celtic tales in addition to rockabilly and bluegrass originals.
The leader of McLean Avenue band is singer/songwriter, Padraig Allen, who was born in County Westmeath, Ireland, his first visit to America in early 2000.
Allen’s vocals, guitar playing, storytelling, and emcee skills provided the thread, which unified this unique tapestry of an evening. Woven into the fabric were such Irish favorites as “The Rattlin’ Bog” and “Cockles and Mussels.” But there will be lots of surprises, too, including high-energy cover versions of Old Crow Medicine Show’s hooky “Wagon Wheel” and British songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson’s captivating “Galway to Graceland.”
Backing up Allen were McLean Avenue band members Kevin McHugh, a native of Dublin, Ireland, on drums, pipes, and vocals; Geoff Hartwell on Guitar, banjo and vocals; Joe Biancorosso on guitar and vocals; and the impressive All-Ireland Under-18 Fiddle Champion Jake James on fiddle and bodhran, a traditional Celtic frame drum.
Guitarist Joe Biancorosso, originally from Italy, blows away every audience with a glowing version of the Andrea Bocelli favorite “Con Te Partiro” on vocals and Fender electric guitar.
Just when you think that’s it, they hit you again for yet one last surprise, fiddler extraordinaire Jake James delighted the Strand audience with his fiery version of a traditional Irish broom dance!
During the course of this interactive evening — which featured lots of audience participation in the form of singing, clapping, and prancing in the aisles — Padraig, and McLean Avenue group is sure to surprise the crowd by inviting audience members of all ages to participate in some lively Irish dancing!
This talented group of musicians will be sure to surprise every audience with several cuts from their critically-acclaimed CD, Easy & Free?—?some of which one might likely expect to find on a Dave Matthews Band album rather than on a so-called “Irish Music” CD.
All in all, if you like raucous fiddle, traditional Irish/Celtic songs, and Celtic tales — all wrapped up with a bow of red-hot rockabilly tunes — then surprise a friend, a family member, or yourself (!) with tickets to a McLean Avenue Band performance. You’ll be sure to find yourself feelin’ Easy & Free all the way “From Galway to Graceland!”