Friday, January 7, 2011

ReporterHerald- Elders bring the magic back

On the morning after Winter Solstice, the dawn breaks bright indigo with ice crystals in the air as Ian Byrne, lead singer for The Elders, calls from Kansas City.
“Colorado has become very emotional for us. We have made some good friends there,” said Byrne, his gentle lilting voice and distinctive Irish brogue a welcome sound.

The Elders will return to the Rialto Theater on Friday, Jan. 7. As a Loveland favorite, they have offered up free concerts at Foote Lagoon each summer from 2007 to 2009. This past summer their outdoor concert was moved to Hammond Amphitheater in North Lake Park because of the threat of rain, where thousands of local residents packed the park to listen to their Celtic music from the heartland.

“Colorado audiences are different. They have a respect for Mother Earth, a love of nature, the mountains, the snow. I love Loveland. Loveland has been very good to us,” added Byrne.

The Elders deliver an energetic blend of original Celtic and Americana folk tunes.

Their songs can be mystical or swarthy, comical as well as cultural. The lyrics speak of family bonds, spirituality, poverty, civil war, love and friendship and address the heritage of history, characters, places and events — some real, others imagined.

“I only write about what I know — what I see and learn around me,” said Byrne.

“The ideas for the songs come from all over, such things as immigrants and American roots.”

With a new studio album due to be released this spring, this concert will consist of old favorites as well as fresh material.

“This is going to be the best one yet,” said Byrne of their seventh album in the works. “We are really excited about it. We are going to be doing a lot in 2011. This is going to be a huge year for us.”

Byrne is referring to not only the new CD, but their seventh annual Ireland tour in late May. In addition, they’ve added a European tour this summer, which will include stops in Spain, Denmark, Germany and France.

During the Ireland tours the band not only plays in a variety of venues, but they also visit with many of Byrne’s family and friends from his home of County Wicklow.

These trips are somewhat ironic because “it’s a bunch of guys from Kansas going to Ireland to play Irish music. Kinda’ nuts. At first, they thought we were more bluegrass or Cajun,” said Byrne.

The group consists of six talented gents, including frontman Byrne, who plays the bodhran, a traditional Irish percussion instrument, several whistles and a battle drum.

There are five other veteran musicians from Kansas City. Steve Phillips, formerly of The Rainmakers, is the guitarist. Bassist Norm Dahlor played for the Tommy Shaw band, while keyboardist Joe Miquelon was formerly with Asleep at the Wheel. The roundup is completed by Brent Hoad on violin and drummer Tommy Sutherland.

“We appreciate that everyone is having a tough time, everyone’s hurting everywhere, not just in the U.S. We hope people will come, have a good time, try to forget their worries and strife. We want to bring a smile and a bit of joy to your lives,” said Byrne, assuring people that they will get their money’s worth at the show.

“I feed off the energy of the people,” added Byrne. “I give them everything I’ve got, then they in turn give back. I can’t just go through the motions. I get into the hearts of the audience. It’s a magic moment.”
© Copyright 2010 Loveland Publishing Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

ReporterHerald- Elders bring the magic back

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