is Paddy . . . and what are Pale Boys?"
"Who is Paddy?"
you may ask. "And what exactly are Pale Boys?" Well,
they are a band from northern New Jersey and they are all
about passion. A passion about an ancient heritage and a musical
tradition of a people who knew that each new day brought hardship
and that each night was for revelry. The musical tradition
was most recently brought to the public's attention by Shane
MacGowan and the Pogues. Before them were the fiery Luke Kelly
and the Dubliners, the Chieftains and the Clancy Brothers.
And before them, well, the list goes on and on. Each breathing
new life into old traditions and bringing new audiences to
the revelry that is Irish music.
Paddy and the Pale
Boys play the traditional songs and music of Ireland and Scotland.
Hard-charging with the urgency of a drowning man's last gasp
for air. The band features Martin
O'Connor, formerly of the legendary Barleycorns, New Jersey's
original celt-rockers. Mike
Miller and Bobby
McGee also bring their talents to the Pale Boys line-up.
"This band's not about the politics
of Ireland." says the band's founder, Martin O'Connor. "We
all have our own views and leave it at that. We're here to
put on a show, get people up, having a good time, clapping
their hands, stomping their feet, raising glasses and doing
bad Irish jigs."
The Pale Boys do not limit their
stylings and influences to those of Ireland and Europe. They
can easily segue from a jig or polka into a "Hot" Ring of
Fire (as it reads in a proudly displayed autographed photo
Cash to frontman Martin O'Connor, describing the band's
version of his greatest hit). The band has shown how it can
effortlessly move from the Irish folk to American country
and back again as easily as they could top off a corned beef
and cabbage dinner with a slice of good old apple pie and
then wash it all down with a pint of Guinness.
When asked about the crowds that
flock to the band's live performances, O'Connor admits that
it is surprising. "Our flyers usually arrive the day after
the show and e-mails the day of. " How do the audiences know?
With a wry smile and a nod of his head, O'Connor says, "If
you play it, they will come."
The Pale Boys are:
O'Connor - vocals, bass, bodhran
- vocals, accoustic/electric guitar
- vocals, accordion, fiddle, mandolin, five-string banjo,
harmonica, lap steel, tin whistle
- drums, percussion