JigJam are a multi-award winning quartet from the heart of the midlands in Ireland. Blending the best of traditional Irish music with Bluegrass and Americana in a new genre which has been branded as 'I-Grass' (Irish influenced Bluegrass), their onstage energy along with their virtuosic musical ability has captivated audiences throughout the world.
"Here's an Irish band that's going to impact the world as hard as Clancy Brothers or U2 if they get only half a chance." MIDWEST RECORDS
Jamie McKeogh, Cathal Guinan and Daithi Melia all hail from Tullamore, Co.Offaly with Co. Tipperary born Gavin Strappe completing the quartet. All four members grew up immersed in Irish traditional music and culture which is reflected by the band collectively achieving over twenty All-Ireland titles at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann competitions. They have now developed their own unique style of music influenced by American Folk music whilst staying true to their Irish roots. Described as 'The best Irish group so far in bluegrass' this sharply dressed outfit deliver an energy-fuelled, foot-stomping live performance. All multi-instrumentalists, JigJam interchange between banjos, guitars, fiddles, mandolins and double bass onstage which creates an experience which is pleasing to both the eye and the ear.
JigJam have recorded two studio albums (OH BOY! 2014 & HELLO WORLD 2016) to critical acclaim as well as a live album (LIVE IN TULLAMORE 2017). They have made a huge impact on the Irish American circuit performing as a headline act at all the major festivals including the world-renowned Milwaukee Irish Fest as well as touring various parts of the UK and Europe.
Andy Irvine is one of the great Irish singers, his voice one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as "a tradition in himself." Musician, singer and songwriter, Andy has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his over 50-year career. From Sweeney's Men in the mid 60s, to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, his duo with Paul Brady in the later 70s and then from Patrick Street to Mozaik, LAPD and Usher’s Island, Andy has been a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians.
As a soloist, Andy fills the role of the archetypal troubadour with a show and a travelling lifestyle that reflect his lifelong influence, Woody Guthrie. To quote The Irish Times, "Often copied, never equalled", his repertoire consists of Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dances and a compelling canon of his own self-penned songs.
Andy Irvine first made his mark with the seminal band - "Sweeney's Men" in 1966 but after two years he left and travelled 'way out yonder' by 'the sunburnt thumb' to Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia, earning his living as a street musician and absorbing the musical traditions of the Balkans.
Returning to Ireland in 1970, Andy united with Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny and Liam O'Flynn to form Planxty, fanning the flames of Irish traditional music well into the next and future generations. Planxty broke up - for the first time - in late 1975 and Andy performed and recorded with Paul Brady, making the classic album "Andy Irvine & Paul Brady" in 1976. He also worked and recorded brieefly with De Dannan before re-uniting with Planxty in 1979 until it's second break up in 1983.
Andy's first solo album "Rainy Sundays...Windy Dreams" followed, as well as "Parallel Lines" a duo album with the great Scottish troubadour - Dick Gaughan.
In 1985 Andy formed "Mosaic", a pan-European band that included Dónal Lunny and Hungarian singer Marta Sebestyen. The band lasted for one blissful summer and Andy returned to solo work.
Joe Campbell McArdle, Kevin McCullagh, Fiona Ni Mhearain
Kevin McCullagh is a fiddle player, sound artist and DJ from Belfast, where he has been an active member of the traditional music scene for over 20 years. His fiddle playing draws inspiration from the music of Donegal where he holidayed as child. He is in demand as a session musician and teaches fiddle classes for the community arts organisation BelfastTrad. He has an ongoing creative partnership with fellow Belfast fiddle player Conor Caldwell, appearing on his album ‘To Belfast…’ released in 2018 to much critical acclaim.
Fióna Ní Mhearáin is a flute player, singer and fluent Irish speaker from Belfast who began learning music as a child at tin-whistle classes by the outstanding Belfast flute player Davy Maguire. This planted the seed for a love of Irish flute playing and particularly the strong and rhythmic Northern flute style. An experienced teacher, she has a passion for education & community arts and delivers tin whistle classes for children at BelfastTrad. She is also a member of the traditional three piece female harmony group Sí, with Maria Rafferty and Clair McGreevy.
Making waves on the Irish music scene and beyond with an infectious blend of traditional tunes and modern-day protest songs, the music of the lonesome foursome has been described by some as “conscience filled, trippy, happy folk”, and by others as “wonderful, buttery folk fusion” so let's spread the word.
Lonesome George emerged from the north's vibrant folk scene with a sound that is both familiar and left-field, with an exciting fusion of traditional tunes and contemporary songwriting that lends an immediacy to their sound which can sometimes be all too rare to find.
At the heart of the band is the songwriting duo of Joe Campbell-McArdle and Myles McCormack, two lifelong friends who dipped their toes in the pool of traditional music while in their teens and have blossomed and grown together musically ever since.