2015 Festival Entertainment
Stone Clover spins high energy antics into the traditional world of Irish music. Not to be labeled as merely an Irish band the group draws influence from many different styles of music including, punk, metal, jazz, and folk. They are best known for their original songs, but are just as comfortable playing traditional songs with their own arrangements. The band is loved by kids of all ages, 1-100. Pull up a pint and be ready for some fun!
Nessa is a Detroit area ensemble led by flutist/vocalist Kelly McDermott. Ms. McDermott’s musical journey started with three degrees in flute performance, two of them advanced degrees from Temple University in Philadelphia. She later worked for more than a decade around the east coast as an orchestral and chamber musician. This brand new group combines classical, jazz, and Celtic influences with accents of world music and soul. The music reflects Ms. McDermott’s deep passion for rediscovering, and rearranging old Celtic and European folk songs, along with clever, soulful arrangements of Classical themes. Nessa is a fun, funky ensemble with depth and color that includes some of Southeastern Michigan’s finest players.
The Toss Pints
The Tosspints’ style of music has been influenced by 3 lifetimes of living through the school of hard knocks, brought to bear from war, loss, degradation, and hard drinking. A band created entirely by a family who has had to make it through life the hard way and use their experience to create songs about the more distressed side of being human. Their fast paced no nonsense stage show drives songs straight into the audience one after the other, pushing their own style of up tempo minor chord melodies out with the highest possible energy level.
Their powerful stage presence and unending barrage of music from the beginning of their set to the end of the dark, yet high energy show has earned them spots on stage with iconic underground rock heroes such as The Dropkick Murphys, The Tossers, Murder by death, The Young Dubliners, The Goddamn Gallows, Skinny Lister and Flatfoot 56, as well as earned festival showcases from The Michigan Irish Music Festival, 2013 CBGB’s Festival in New York City, and the George Killians Irish Red Ruckus in Boston, MA. Their songwriting skills have been recognized in the 2011 John Lennon Songwriting Contest where they earned a finalist position and their powerful fan support has earned them a spot on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour Ernie Ball Stage and Alternative Press Magazine Detroit’s Band of the Month for December 2012.
Dragon Wagon is Michigan Roots music at its finest! Each performance is built on originality, fun, and expert musicianship, quickly making the band one of Michigan’s premier bluegrass outfits. Dragon Wagon’s honest sound and genuine crowd connection never disappoint, and appeal to all audiences. The combination of mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and drums guarantees an infectious energy that gets every crowd dancing! The band formed in 2008, and is now based in Ann Arbor, MI.
Hailing from County Saginaw in the State of Michigan, Equinox draws its inspiration from the music of Ireland and Scotland. Playing the traditional instruments: fiddle, whistles, concertina, bodhran, flute, bagpipes, guitar, bass, drums and voice, yet, with their own unique arrangements, Equinox transforms those familiar jigs, reels, strathspeys and hornpipes into reverent music that is dynamic and contemporary.
The Band currently features Vern Pococke on low whistle, drums and vocals, Jean Marie Learman on flute, whistle, concertina and vocals, Leslie Gregory on fiddle, and Kathy Morris on guitar, bodhran, whistle and vocals. Joining Equinox on Scottish Bagpipes is Dennis Lowe. They also have many diverse visual artists join their performances to create a musical experience for the eyes as well as the ears.
Beginning nearly twenty years ago as an amateur trio sharing Irish Pub songs at social gatherings, Equinox soon added more experienced musicians and developed an ear for the Celtic Revival Bands of the 60’s and 70’s. Their repertoire grew from Danny Boy and Whiskey in the Jar to include works by O’ Carolan, the Chieftains, and Brian McNeill. They drew more upon the musical stylings of the bands that they listened to in their youth like the Byrds, Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention and Led Zeppelin. As a result, patrons are not only invigorated by the foot-stomping music of the Celtic Genre but are also pleasantly surprised with their rich and sophisticated arrangements which take this music far beyond its traditional roots.
In 2009, The Waxies were named “Best Celtic Rock Band in Michigan” at the Ionia Free Fair Celtic Battle of the Bands (judged by audience enthusiasm and hosted by Waxies godfather Liam the XL Leprechaun). They released their first studio album, In Pursuit of Dicey Riley, later that year and were nominated for a Jammy Award from WYCE in 2010. And in 2011, voters from all over Michigan awarded The Waxies a Shammy Award for “Favorite Irish Rock Act in Michigan”.
A 21-piece string ensemble featured at over 80 performances annually, Fiddlers ReStrung proudly displays a diverse arrangement of styles. American Bluegrass, Celtic fiddle, popular folk, Appalachian Step-dancing, Progressive Acoustic, and more are all brought forward with a crisp, enterprising flair. They engage the audience with energy and witty charm, advocating a message of spontaneous enthusiasm born of a genuine live performance.
ReStrung consists of students at Saline High School, all of whom share in producing a unique ensemble truly their own. Working alongside leadership, students craft their own arrangements and help make organizational decisions. This collaborative ownership grants ReStrung an authentic creative edge that is clearly visible from the striking energy they portray on stage. Students are chosen based not only on musical talent, but personal maturity as well. They balance a demanding performance schedule while maintaining high standards in other school activities, sports, and academics.
Cork Town Popes
Founded in early 2010, The Corktown Popes set out to create something familiar, yet unique. We began by seeking out talented musicians with a penchant for energetic live performances and a strong Caledonian soul. We have found them. We’re not a celtic band, we’re not a rock band, but we’ve been accused of both. In addition, we’ve just won the Detroit Music Award’s Outstanding World Music Artist award for 2014!
Hailing from Detroit—and damn proud of it—Brother Crowe has hammered through over 100 shows in a year, sometimes playing three gigs in a day. But now is their time to shine.
The band consists of two brothers, Derek (vocals/harmonica/mandolin) and Paul (guitars/vocals/piano). Brother Crowe’s purpose, is honing in on an New Country/Indie Folk sound that still possesses a somewhat traditional Americana style.
Paul, who along with his brother was influenced by his father’s love of Folk music, is dubbed Brother Crowes’ main songwriter. The duo works on music together, jamming out the skeletons of tunes until they’re finished.
“Derek will then fine tune some of the melodies and the lyrics a little bit, “Paul says. “He’s the one singing them. There are a few things that he’ll truncate or maybe he’ll change a phrase up, add a half verse or a full verse from what I originally wrote. The songs definitely go through an element where we pound them into shape.”
The focus for Brother Crowe has been on original music, while trying to branch a tad outside of the box. This is the time for Brother Crowe, with the influx of indie folk acts on the radio.