The Kansas City Star has a review of The Elder’s Annual Irish Hooley/Hoolie at the Uptown Theater. (scroll down)
And very glowing it is too, putting what is now a very established KC tradition up there with the older defining Kansas City traditions of the Plaza lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving, and the Royals on opening day.
…they’re named the Elders for good reason. Decades of combined experience have taught the band smart stagecraft, superb showmanship and taut professionalism. Their one hour and 50-minute show was well-paced and consistently entertaining.
Many superstar acts would envy the level of audience participation the Elders achieve on favorites like “Moore Street Girls.” Melodic anthems including “Gonna Take a Miracle” and “1849” also roused the audience. Four bagpipers joined the band on a moving rendition of “Men of Erin.” That nice touch provided the evening’s emotional anchor.
And while I choked reading the comparison of The Elders‘ music to “a marriage of the heartland rock of John Mellencamp to the most engaging bits of the Chieftains and the Clancy Brothers“, I suspect the references to the Clancy Brothers, but most especially to the Chieftains, were really only intended simply as code for Irish folk and Irish traditional music, in general.
Once upon a time when I was very young I used a basic tape recorder to mash together the Chieftains from Bonaparte’s Retreat with Roy Orbison’s In Dreams, and I specifically chose the most engaging bits.
I’m going to go look for that tape now. And see if it sounds like The Elders.
The review was first published in the Star’s music blog, Back to Rockville