Thursday, April 30, 2009

Respect your ELDERS! Or, my favorite things, Part 2

Another slow day on the home front so it's time for more of my favorite things. Tonight's topic? The Elders. I've said it before and I'll say it again...these guys are great. I first heard of them in 2007. I just happened to catch their song "Racing the Tide" on one of the digital music channels on TV and thought, hey, these guys are pretty cool. I jotted down the name of the band and CD so I could look for it later. But get this...just a few days later the newspaper came with an insert for a local Irish festival. An Irish festival that takes place practically in my own back literally takes all of 15 minutes to walk from my house to the fairgrounds where the festival is held. I'd been meaning to check out the festival, but never did for various reasons...couldn't get out of work, it was raining, I had tickets to a concert out of town, etc. Well, as I flipped through the insert I made up my mind that I was going this year, no ifs, ands or buts...because The Elders were one of the main acts!!! How cool is that? The festival runs Friday through Sunday. I made plans to go on Friday. The Elders were SO GREAT that I decided to go for their set on Saturday night as well. Couldn't get out of work Sunday afternoon, or else I would have been there that day as well!

So, what kind of music do these fellas play anyways? you may be asking. Well, their sound has been described as "Arse kickin Celtic music from the heartland." Pretty well sums it up. They play traditional Irish music kicked up a notch. Many of their songs refer to the history of Ireland, such as the songs "1849," "Hard Line," and "American Wake," and there's a bit of mythology thrown in as well, with songs like "Banshee Cry." Not too much in the way of sappy love songs, but for the romantics out there, give the beautifully tragic "Love of the Century" a try. Mix in a few foot-stompin' instrumentals like "Michael's Ride" and "Turnpike," and there you have it. The Elders.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Elders, please. Do yourself a favor. Check them out. Their website. MySpace. YouTube. See for yourself how awesome they are. Then, do yourself another favor. Find out when they'll be in your area, and go. They put on an amazing, high-energy show with lots of audience participation. Sing, dance, clap, jump...basically do whatever Ian (lead singer) tells you to do, that wily, charismatic Irishman!

If you're wondering which of their albums to buy, because of course you're now feeling compelled to buy one of their albums, I'd say go with Live at the Gem. It really captures the fun and energy of their shows and has a lot of their best songs, though they've released two phenomenal albums since then. Racing the Tide and Gael Day, their two most recent albums, will blow you away, they're so good. Really, you can't go wrong with any of their albums.

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