We've Always been

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Sidebar

27
Sat, Feb

Tools
Typography

Happy Christmas to you all and may everyone be hanging in there going into our second winter with Covid—may it be our last! I did purchase Christmas themed masks for the family, have to give the teen grandkids something to roll their eyes about...

Speaking of family, I do not believe there is any country with more well known and respected musical families than Ireland, and one of the newest has joined us here in America making quite a name for itself. The Byrne family, Dad Tommy and sons Luca, Finn, and Dempsey are all All Ireland and Ulster winners of instrumental and dancing awards, as well as becoming oft seen on TV and video. Mam Julie, is the Jack of all Trades and the glue who holds all together. After being offered a gig and playing at Ragland Road in Disney World, the family bravely sold their home in Donegal and moved to the United States intent on travelling, performing and letting all here know who The Byrnes Brothers are. To say they have been successful is an understatement.

I became aware of them just a bit prior to their arrival through a good friend, Sherri Stone Weigman, who had met them in Ireland and was wild for them. To say she pestered me to look into them and their music would have been putting it mildly. When they came through Chicago and performed at the Heritage Center, seeing was believing. Their live performances are completely captivating. There is the “cute factor” that can’t be overlooked; the lads are more than handsome. Once they begin to play and perform, though, you become completely involved in their music. Your toes will be tapping and hands clapping. You’ll be chair dancing, and if like me, you’ll be helpless to not give into air playing. You’ll be on your feet cheering as they get up to dance and send those kicks high into the air setting sparks on the stage with their stepping!
They have travelled across the States in a trailer loaded with 5 people, instruments—guitars, banjo, accordion, bodhrans, pipes, whistles…and their belongings which include surf boards, cameras, and computers. Yes, Julie is a sainted woman…. They were able to play in fests, including Milwaukee where they had a major stage, as well as getting up to play with bands like We Banjo 3. Dempsey challenged Fergal Scahill to a bodhran play off that had the crowds roaring! They were able to get to Hawaii and learn to major surf and have experiences that led to Finn’s compositions “Waikiki Reel” and “The Snapped Leash Jig,” a tune about scaring 10 years off Tom’s and Julie’s lives when two boards came back after a big wave, but only one son. “Texas Tornado Reels” will have you experiencing the tornado they just missed being flown to Kansas in, and of course, Florida adventures with “Stevie the 3 Legged Alligator.”

As they have travelled and spent time with many other musicians, the lads have taken every opportunity to expand their repertoire and hone their skills. In three short years, I have been truly blown away by the growth and maturity Luca, Finn, and Dempsey have shown in their playing, both individually and as a band. Julie and Tommy marvel at how self motivated the boys are in increasing their skills and expanding their styles and arrangements. They have taken on additional instruments and are continually playing around with tunes and composing. They look to other musicians to learn from such as Fergal Scahill and Colin Farrell.

Music is not their entire life, however. In addition to home schooling, they are into water sports, golf, photography, and videography just to mention a few. Back living in the Orlando area, they like the rest of us, have been trying to exist with Covid. They still play on Saturdays and Sundays at Ragland Road where you can catch them from 12-4PM. They have also just released their brand new album which celebrates their life here in the United States titled LIVING THE DREAM. Comprised of eight tunes, several mentioned above, and two songs, this album is well thought out and brilliantly done. The combination of their own compositions and Trad pieces with smooth and interesting transitions displays ability well beyond their years. Whether you are brought into the tune with Luca’s deadly accordian or Finn’s blazing banjo, you can’t sit still. You’ll be involved from beginning to the last set. Dempsey has become an accomplished bodhran master, and kills on the song “Home to My Donegal,” which has been a favorite of their live audiences. Add in Tommy’s guitar, fiddle, and pipes, and you have a versatile and exceptional band that happens to be a family. Keeping with the family theme, their only slow piece is one of my favorites on the album. “Yvonne’s Waltz” was composed to honor of their granny and is beautiful!

The album is loaded with photos of their travels and experiences, and the cover is a band shot with their camper taken by Finn. This an album well worth having, and a band we will be hearing about and enjoying for many years to come. Head to their website and Facebook pages to purchase and to follow! Also, there is a promise of a Christmas video you will be able to enjoy!
NOLLAG SONA LE GRÁ

Join the Irish Book Club!

Become a Book Club Member

Chicago irish Film Festival 2021

N-17 Song Done Differently!

SUBSCRIBE: Buy 1 get 2 - Buy 2 get 3! - Buy 3 get 6 years!

SUB SPECIAL

Advertise

Paying For
Instructions

February Linked Edition

January Digitally Linked 2021

 

December 2020 with ad links

Irish Ann

Irish Book Club

Advertising Rates 2020

Shop Irish!

ARTIST
Bryan Boylan
ASSISTED LIVING
Aishling Companion Homecare
Homecare Angels

ATTORNEY

Murphy & Smith Ltd
Dwyer and Coogan
Healy Law

Miller & McGing Law Firm 773-467-8000
BAGPIPERS & DRUM CLASSES

Chicalba Bagpiping

BAKERY
Doughs Guys Bakery
BANKS
First National Bank of Brookfield

Marquette National Bank
BANQUETS
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
BEAUTY SALONS
Appearances Pk Ridge
 847-825-7615
Hair by O'Hara & Friends-Hometown
BOOKS - IRISH
TheIrishBookClub.com
BRICK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CARPET CLEANER
Sheila's Carpet Shampooligans
CATERERS
Harrington's Catering & Deli
Unforgettable Edibles
CHARITABLE ORG

Mercy Home
IrishCommunityServices
CAULKING & SEALING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CHIMNEY REPAIR

Shamrock Tuckpointing

CHOIR
Irish Heritage Singers
COTTAGE RENTAL
Cottage Mary Rose
Dingle Cottage: 312-399-8793
Gurtenard Hse - Listowel Co Kerry
CRUISES

Andy Cooney
Phil Coulter Tranquility Cruise
CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago Gaelic Park

iBAM!
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Irish Am Society Co Will
Irish Heritage Singers
DANCE SCHOOLS

McNulty School of Dance
Trinity Irish Dance
ENTERTAINERS

Chicalba Bagpiping

Paddy Homan
The Larkin Brothers
Catherine O'Connell
Joe McShane
Whiskey Mick Irish Rock
FESTIVALS

Arlington Heights
Dublin

IAHC
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Milwaukee
Naperville Aug 7-8 2020
FINANCIAL PLANNER

Corrigan Financial
FLORIST

Garland Flowers
FUNERAL HOMES

Blake-Lamb

Gibbon's Funeral Homes
Roberty J Sheehy & Sons

GAELIC YOUTH FOOTBALL
773-719-2847 Jerry
GARBAGE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
GOLF COURSES
Palos Golf
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Coyle 773-343-7268
GROCERIES/MEAT

O'Connor's Market

Winston's

HOTELS

The Irish Cottage 1 866 CU-IRISH
HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT
James Fitzgerald
IMMIGRATION SERVICES

IrishCommunityServices
IMPORT SHOPS
Ann's Irish Gifts

Celtica Gifts 773-784-7712
Donegal Imports
Gaelic Imports
Irish Shop
INSURANCE

American Family-Joan McKee
Riordan Insurance
JEWELERS

H. Watson
MUSIC SCHOOLS
Chgo Academy of Piping/Drumming
Irish Music School of Chgo
MYSTERY SHOPPER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654

PARTY PLANNERS
That Special Event

PENNY WHISTLES
Michael Burke
PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURING
Memoirs for Me
PHYSICAL THERAPY
SPORTS-ORTHOPEDIC
Athletex
PLASTERING

William McNulty & Son
708-386-2951
PUB/RESTAURANT RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar
PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Ashford House
The Celtic Knot
Clancy's Pizza Pub
Corcorans
Emerald Loop
Fifth Province
Fiddler's Hearth
The Galway Arms
James Joyce Irish Pub
Lizzie McNeill's
Mickey Finn's Brewery
Peggy Kinnanes
R
ed Apple Buffet
Six Penny Bit
Vaughan's Pub

REALTORS
Dreamtown - Patrick Carney
Koenig & Strey
Mary Ellen Considine  773-769-2500
RESTAURANT/HOSPITALITY RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654
SPORTS CLUBS

Chgo Celtic Soccer Club
stbrigids.chicago.gaa.ie
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Parade
SWEATERS

Anne's Irish Knits
TABLE RUNNERS
All 32 Counties
TELEVISION-CABLE

Irish Journal 708-366-4665
THEATRE
Late Nite Catechism
TOURIST ATTRACTION
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
TRAVEL /TOURS
Authentic Irish Tours
BestIrishTours.com
Gadabout Travel
Shay Clarke - Inter Trav Corp
TUCKPOINTING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
VACATION RENTALS
Dingle Cottage
Cork - Cottage from $450 weekly
Don at 608-274-1180
WASTE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
WEDDING PLANNER
That Special Event

WEDDING VENUES
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Palos Country Club
WOOD FLOOR SPECIALIST
The Sexton Group