"Who 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 Hoffman, Steve 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 from Johnny 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:

Martin O'Connor - vocals, bass, bodhran
Mike Hoffman - vocals, accoustic/electric guitar
Steve Miller - vocals, accordion, fiddle, mandolin, five-string banjo, harmonica, lap steel, tin whistle
Bobby McGee - drums, percussion

 

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