By Ryanne Johnson
The McLean Avenue Band, lead by Irish musician Padraig Allen, is based out of New York and features five artists of different musical talents who specialize in festivals and other special events. Their repertoire ranges from classic Celtic folk to rock, covers, and country, and their performances provide audiences with a lively, unforgettable set.
Allen, who originally traveled to the U.S. as a member of The Whole Shebang, hails from County Westmeath in the center of Ireland. He spent eight years with that group, after which he toured and played with many others, including The Prodigals, The Dublin City Ramblers, and his uncle’s band Foster and Allen. Now a guitarist, vocalist, and emcee with the McLean Avenue Band for the last five years, he and his band mates are keeping busy with a full tour schedule and recording a new album.
Most recently, they performed at the Milwaukee Irish Fest in August, an event Allen has been involved with since his days with The Whole Shebang, and they were slotted to perform at the Nevada Irish Fest in California at the end of September. The band does a lot of traveling around the country, and occasionally in Ireland, but their home base remains in New York, and the majority of their shows are in the Tri-State area.
With an eclectic sound that meshes guitar, fiddle, accordion, and vocals, and encompasses such a range of genres, Allen explains that their new album will be “mainly Irish traditional with a mix of originals. Some fun songs, some serious, and the bluegrass style runs through the veins of the band.” Their previous CD, “Easy & Free” (“which was neither easy, nor free to record,” Allen joked) is 14 tracks of ‘a vast range of styles and influences from playing with different artists over the past twenty years’ (McLean Avenue Band’s website), and is available for download and order
For more information on The McLean Avenue Band, including shows and tour dates, visit www.mcleanavenueband.com