Wednesday, September 4, 2019

2019 Milwaukee Irish Fest, Day Two

2019 Milwaukee Irish Fest, Day Two

Irish Fest is dependent on the 4,000+ volunteers who make the festival what it is.

For day two, my day starts at 8:00 a.m. on the grounds crew. We cover tables until 4:00 p.m. when the festival opens to the public for the first official day of music--another short night of lively Irish music.

My first band on Friday is a return visit with Moxie.

Weather can really spoil the experience of attending an outdoor festival like Irish Fest. Luckily the shower was brief and soon pass out over Lake Michigan. While it was raining I had the good fortune of being assigned to the Irish Theater Tent so I stayed nice and dry.

My next band was Elephant Sessions but due to a physical injury to one of the members, the band was unable to tour. In their place, the band Connla from the cities of Armagh and Derry in Northern Ireland, played an addition set. Connla is Ciara McCafferty (vocals), Ciaran Carlin (Flute/Whistles) and Paul Starrett (Guitar) Emer Mallon (Harp) and Conor Mallon (Uilleann Pipes/Whistles). 

As a part of their roles as Galway ambassadors, We Banjo 3 had a few photo ops with the other dignitaries. 

Then, using their "suggested" set list, the boys rocked Irish Fest again.

I have all-access freedom as a photographer and sometimes I see things I shouldn't. Here is Dan White of the Huntertones backstage before the We Banjo 3 concert. I do not know what he did to be made to stand in the corner but it could not have been good. 


The Huntertones are a jazz ensemble that formed in Columbus, Ohio, but are now based in Brooklyn, NY. The brass section met We Banjo 3 at a fest and they now sit in at certain events to great advantage.

I can say from experience, the band members always know where the cameras are

Next up was Skerryvore from Scotland. They consist of two brothers, Daniel (Accordion) and Martin Gillespie (pipes, whistles and accordion), Fraser West (drums), Alec Dalglish (guitar and vocals), Craig Espie (fiddle) and Jodie Bremaneson (bass), and Alan Scobie (keyboards).


Beside the four big stages that Irish Fest uses, there are four more smaller venues that prove to have great music as well. 

The "caller" in the Dance Tent

Here are The Whileaways again.

Musically for me, one of the most intriguing bands at this year's fest was Hermitage Green, a band I did not see at last year's fest. I loved these guys. 

I closed Friday night with a concert by two musicians I was not familiar with but who were referred to as "The Beatles" of Ireland, Leo Moran and Padraig Stevens of The Saw Doctors. Considering there was just two of them, they packed a wallop in their presentation.

And so ended Day Two of Milwaukee Irish Fest 2019. 

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