Legendary Irish accordion champion John Whelan teams up with the American Roots band Low Lily and Scottish-style fiddler Katie McNally for a spectacular St. Pat’s Celebration. Exploring the Roots music of Ireland, Scotland, and America, this diverse and energetic show will showcase fiery uptempo jigs and reels alongside lushly arranged songs, featuring three fiddles, accordion, guitars, mandolin, and harmonious vocals.
Although JOHN WHELAN grew up near London in Dunstable, England, he was raised on the fiddle and pipe music of Ireland. Dunstable has a large Irish community, and his father, Denis, was from Ireland’s County Wexford. “Ours was a very traditional household,” John says. “My father didn’t have any major vices – his only addiction was to Irish music.” Denis Whelan carried a reel-to-reel tape recorder to many shows, collecting hours of live music.
Songs of home elicited sentimental tears, even when the words were not in English. “It was not the words but the emotion of the music that moved me”. At the age of 14, already a seasoned winner of numerous accordion championships, John recorded his first album, Pride of Wexford. Named in honor of his father, Pride of Wexford was no passing fancy - the album is still is print and selling steadily. Since his debut album, John has recorded six more albums, and has been featured on numerous compilations. He recorded several albums with Narada Records, has collaborated with such luminaries as Eileen Ivers, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Cunningham, Tim O'Brien, and Kathy Mattea, and his music has been featured in numerous television shows and commercials. He appeared in the major motion pictures Ride with the Devil, The Drowning Plains, and Gods and Generals, and has performed live on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Fox After Breakfast.
Voted the Falcon Ridge Festival’s "Most Wanted" band of 2016, the Brattleboro-based trio LOW LILY explores the roots and branches of American folk music, creating a unique brand of acoustic music that is rooted yet contemporary. Low Lily is Liz Simmons (vocals, guitar) Flynn Cohen (vocals, guitar, mandolin) and Lissa Schneckenburger (vocals, fiddle). They are all masterful players, composers and arrangers with deep relationships to traditional music styles ranging from bluegrass to Irish, Scottish, New England and Old Time Appalachian sounds. Born in San Francisco to musician parents, Liz has a unique vocal and guitar style that draws from her musical history in the folk and ballad traditions of Ireland, Scotland, England and America as well as contemporary folk music.
She has performed with Livingston Taylor, Tom Chapin, and Lucy Wainwright Roche, to name a few. Flynn has toured worldwide with numerous notable acts in traditional and contemporary acoustic music, including John Whelan and Ruth Moody of the Wailin’ Jennys. Lissa grew up in Maine as an active member of the folk community, graduated from The New England Conservatory of Music and has performed as a solo artist and with Solas and Childsplay, among others. Together as Low Lily, these young but well-seasoned musicians bring their considerable strengths, experience and history together to create an undeniably rich and versatile musical palette.
"(Low Lily) takes roots music into areas that have not been explored fully and it sounds exceptional and refreshing..." –No Depression
"The new face of Scottish fiddling in the USA" (the Living Tradition), KATIE McNALLY has made waves in both the American folk music scene and abroad since the release of her debut album, Flourish, in 2013.
A 2009 New England Scottish Fiddle Champion and recent cover girl for Fiddler Magazine, Katie has performed and taught fiddle courses in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Scotland, England, and France. Katie attended both the University of Glasgow and the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, Scotland where she studied ancient and modern Scottish literature and Scottish traditional music. Katie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University in 2012, where she earned the Etta and Harry Winokur Award for Outstanding Contribution to Performance. She has performed and toured with famed Galician piper Carlos Núñez (on his first North American tour), the fiddle super-group Childsplay for the past seven years, with Eric McDonald, and with her own trio. She released her sophomore album entitled "The Boston States", produced by Wendy McIsaac, in the fall of 2016.