2018 Headliners


The Elders

The Elders

Performing at the Colorado Irish Festival | All three days, Friday – Sunday, July 13th – 15th

The Elders were founded in 1998 by six individuals with a passion for music rooted in Americana and Celtic folk rock. From the beginning The Elders seemed to be channeling something ancient and enduring – something unaffected by fads, trends and the giant maw of mind-numbing commercialism. Their ability to bring together the art of storytelling with elements both musically progressive and rooted in tradition, has won them a broad international fan base, as well as critical acclaim.

After 20 years, The Elders are making their final tour in 2018 and perhaps, their last performances in Colorado at the Colorado Irish Festival.


Cassie & Maggie

Cassie & Maggie

Performing at the Colorado Irish Festival | All three days, Friday – Sunday, July 13th – 15th

Fun, exciting, charming and talented Cassie and Maggie MacDonald are a dynamic duo who have emerged onto the Celtic music scene as the ones to watch. Born in Halifax, with strong roots in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, the girls have been wowing audiences across the world with their unique blend of original and traditional Celtic music.
Together these delightful sisters bring more than your average fiddle and piano duo; Cassie is an award winning highland and step dancer and also sings harmony for Maggie. In addition to her piano playing, Maggie sings lead, plays guitar, banjo, accordion and is also an accomplished step dancer. Their music fits together seamlessly encompassing various styles from Cape Breton reels to Antigonish polkas learned from their grandfather, Quebecois fiddling and footwork to down east standards. Their vocal harmonies are sweet yet powerful and their step dancing exact and exciting, showing off their youthful charm and energy.


Screaming Orphans

Screaming Orphans

Performing at the Colorado Irish Festival | Saturday and Sunday, July 14th and 15th

The Screaming Orphans are four sisters with the good fortune to have been raised in the magic of Bundoran, in County Donegal, Ireland.  Their early home life reflected the great tradition of music to be found in Irish homes, especially in the Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking areas. From a young age, they were singing and playing traditional Irish music. Entering their teenage years, though, they knew it was time to form their own band, one with a more contemporary sound.  While never forgetting their roots in traditional Irish music, the Screaming Orphans draw on a diverse set of influences ranging from Simon and Garfunkel to The Bangles and The McNulty Family, with a strong focus on melody-driven songs with pop and rock strains.


Jigjam

Jigjam

Performing at the Colorado Irish Festival | All three days, Friday – Sunday, July 13th – 15th

New to the festival!  Jigjam Band members hail from County Offaly and County Tipperary in Ireland. Jigjam is on the crest of a wave that is sweeping through the Irish music world.  The ever-evolving genre of Irish folk music has generated yet one more definition – it’s Celtgrass – a combination of Celtic and Americana music. This great combination of sounds is infectious, mixing tradition with originality.  Their songs are varied, ranging from Old Crow Medicine’s Show’s contemporary “Levi” to more traditional Americana such as “Rye Whiskey” and “Jack of the Woods.” They also tackle classics such as Richard Thompson’s “Beeswing” and the modern favorite “Riptide” by the Australian songwriter Vance Joy.  Their sound is full of great vocal harmonies, guitar, banjo, mandolin and double bass. It’s nearly impossible to not want to dance to Jigjam’s music. Their talent is unquestioned. As one reviewer wrote, “Here’s an Irish band that’s going to impact the world as hard as Clancy Brothers or U2 if they get only half a chance.”


The Go Set

The Go Set

Performing at the Colorado Irish Festival | Saturday and Sunday, July 14th and 15th

New to the festival!  With founding members having been brought up on everything from traditional Celtic and folk music, to early seventies punk rock, The Go Set embarked on a unique musical journey.  Combining the folk elements of the bagpipes, accordion, and mandolin, with distorted punk guitars and a rock n roll ethos, The Go Set has created a sound and direction all its own. According to one music reviewer, “trying to describe the sound of The Go Set is like trying to imagine Peter Garrett, The Pogues, and The Clash having a late night jam in a local pub with an endless supply of booze.”  The Go Set introduced its signature sound with 2004’s Sing a Song of Revolution and has followed up with 6 additional studio albums and a DVD. All this time they continued to tour extensively in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Europe, developing a strong following based on the band’s intense and energetic live shows. Only recently have they been “discovered” and found their way onto the American Irish festival scene.


Also Performing…..

Avourneen

Avourneen

Performing Friday & Saturday, July 13th and 14th

Avourneen (pronounced a-VORE-neen), a Denver-based trio that specializes in Irish folk, doesn’t have direct geographic ties to Ireland. The band is composed of guitarist/vocalist Adam Goldstein, a Denver native; violinist CL Morden, an import from California; and Kenny Martinez, a longtime Colorado resident and talented bassist. Together, they play a brand of Celtic music that’s both timeless and innovative, a take on the genre the Celtic Connection calls “unique in Colorado – and perhaps in the country.”

In the past four years, the band has played high-profile festivals across the West, including the Colorado Irish Festival, the Cheyenne Celtic Festival, the Elizabeth Celtic Festival and the Celtic Harvest Festival. The band has also appeared on Celtic radio programs across the state, including appearances on KRFC, KRCC and Radio 1340. What’s more, they’ve become one of Colorado’s go-to live bands for contra dances, a traditional dance form that draws participants of all ages.

Chancer's Hooley

Chancer's Hooley

Performing Saturday & Sunday, July 14th and 15th

Chancer’s Hooley is a high-energy Celtic band that considers its their sworn duty to have a great time with its music and listeners. More than just people who play and sing, Chancer’s Hooley engages audiences, lifts spirits, and initiates “Spontaneous Dancers” everywhere they go by playing a blend of upbeat modern and traditional Celtic Funhouse music. Denver-based Chancer’s Hooley has performed on stages across the Colorado Front Range.

The Commoners

The Commoners

Performing Sunday, July 15th

They are a group of everyday folks out of Northern Colorado getting together to crank out their versions of Irish Rock.  Putting their twist on the traditional Irish standards and a few contemporary Irish songs alike as well as a growing supply of their own originals splashed into the mix, they put on a show like no other. They are currently working on an album of all original content that is planned to be released early in the summer of 2018.

Grateful Dogs

Grateful Dogs

Performing Saturday, July 14th

The Grateful Dogs are the collaboration of Marty Smith (vocals and bouzouki) and Steve Hart (vocals, guitar and bouzouki), two long time Celtic musicians, performing Scottish and Irish songs and tunes.  They have been well received by audiences since their start in 2015.  They are regulars at Bierwerks Brewery in Woodland Park, and have performed at the Colorado Irish Festival in previous years, Celtic Harvest Festival, Jack Quinn’s Pub, Alchemy Pub in Colorado Springs  They were the featured act at the Black Rose Acoustic Society concert November 25, 2016.

Indigent Row

Indigent Row

Performing Friday & Saturday, July 14th and 15th

Indigent Row is a progressive Celtic rock band that hails from the greater Denver/Boulder area. Indigent Row injects energy and passion into music both centuries old and newly conceived, remaining true to the traditional Irish tunes while breathing fresh life into all that they play. Meter shifts, alternative harmonies and driving rhythms are the cornerstone of their approach as they nimbly dance the line between traditional and progressive music, blending rock, funk, jazz, folk and Celtic styles to make the songs their own. Combining original compositions with their own arrangements of traditional music, the band’s performances weave Celtic session tunes with songs of heroes and thieves, saints and scallywags, damsels and flea bitten tramps.

Juice O'The Barley

Juice O'The Barley

Performing Saturday & Sunday, July 14th and 15th

For over 10 years, Juice O’The Barley has established itself as one of the most popular purveyors of Irish music in Colorado. Taking its name from a well-known—and much consumed—Irish beverage, THE JUICE performs contemporary versions of pub classics as well as music from the Irish folk, pop, and punk scene. Just imagine the Clancy Brothers jamming with the Pogues and Flogging Molly. They can be found regularly performing at local pubs and at major Irish and Celtic festivals throughout Colorado. THE JUICE is not your mother’s typical Irish folk group. They play music in a style that can only be described as “Irish music with an attitude.”

The McDeviants

The McDeviants

Performing Saturday, July 14th

The McDeviants are a Celtic rock and folk group from Colorado Springs, formed in January 2013. This is their first appearance at this festival, but they have been featured at every Pikes Peak Celtic Festival to date and are a mainstay of the Springs music scene. They can be heard on Celtic radio all over the U.S.

Wild Mountain

Wild Mountain

Performing Saturday & Sunday, July 14th and 15th

Wild Mountain, hailing from Denver, Colorado, delivers an acoustic sound that touches all genres, from folk and Celtic to Bluegrass to rock, all with interesting rhythmic and melodic twists and turns. The band had its beginnings in January 2016 when, after 18 years, Celtic rock band “The Indulgers” came to an end.  Based on a conversation with the producer of Fleetwood Mac, Richard Dashut, producer and bass player from “Spirit”, Mike Nile,  decided to take Wild Mountain in a different direction: back to America’s roots.  Shortly thereafter, Mike met the banjo player David Potter, lead vocalist Sarah Jones, bass player Joe Maul, and along with the fiddle player from the Indulgers, Renee Fine, and with drummer, John Ware they created a brand new sound the band likes to call “Greengrass”, which is the title of their first album.  “Greengrass” was released in 2017, being produced by Mike Nile and Grapevine Studios and co-produced by Neale Heywood, guitarist for Fleetwood Mac. For the second album being released in 2018, new drummer, Andy Maroney, joins forces with Wild Mountain, continuing on with Wild Mountain’s mission of fun, listenable music.