Pay the Devil got together in the winter of 2011 and has been playing around the Milwaukee area ever since. They play mostly original tunes in a variety of styles alongside an assortment of bluegrass and old-time standards, sea shanties, folk, Irish, and country music. This five-piece, made up of guitar, mandolin, banjo, upright bass, and washboard (spoons and assorted other hillbilly percussive instruments) puts on a fun live show filled with foot-stomping, thigh-slapping music, and enough hollering to go around. Pay The Devil’s genre has been described as “Shantygrass”, “Riotgrass”, and “Horse [Manure] and Gun Music”.
Banjo Ivan moved to Milwaukee in 2010 and met Guitar Ivan playing in the Milwaukee Hurling Club. They began racing together on a sailboat and talking about music. So it began that a few times a month they would get together and play some music. One day Guitar Ivan brought his cousin Mandolin Matt along. He has been part of the group ever since.
All the while Washboard Jeremy was working in Banjo Ivan’s home town of Erie, PA, where he met Banjo Ivan’s father. When washboard Jeremy got accepted to a fellowship program at Marquette University he was told to look up Banjo Ivan when he got there, and he did. Washboard Jeremey introduced the band to Bass Jackie, and the band was complete.
Pay The Devil played for the first time just before Thanksgiving in 2011, and has been playing together ever since. With a love for playing unamplified music outdoors they have played Brady Street, Reservoir Park, The Summerfest Grounds, and on lots of back porches. Sometime between then and now Pay The Devil started playing what most would consider to be “real” shows also. They have delighted crowds large and small on notable area stages including Chill on the Hill, Milwaukee Irish Fest, Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, The Up and Under, Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co., Frank’s Power Plant, The Jazz Estate, Yield Bar, and many others. Keep checking back for schedule updates, or become a fan on facebook to get notices of impromptu shows and sessions.
Ian Gould Returns to the PPP!
Ian, an immigrant from Belfast, Northern Ireland, began his musical career as a kid playing in bands throughout Ireland, the UK & Europe. Ian is now a solo artist and a singer/songwriter. He has been performing internationally for more than 20 years. Through his music and travels Ian has had the privilege of living and studying in Perth, Scotland and living in some other fine European cities such as London, Brussels, and Amsterdam.
Although he is still a continuous traveler, Ian now resides in the United States. He received his U.S. citizenship in November 2015! A veteran bassist who has toured with bands throughout Europe and the U.S.A, Ian currently lives with his wife and two children near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a solo artist popular throughout the Midwest, from Minnesota to Illinois, to Michigan. “I’m fortunate to live where I live, because the Irish scene is vibrant. I meet so many wonderful people as I travel around.”
Ian Gould was recently nominated for the “Top Solo Performer in a Pub Venue throughout the USA, Ireland, European Union, and the United Kingdom. In 2012, Ian was invited by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to perform for him and for Irish and British diplomats on the 12th of July, at the President's official residence, Áras an Uachtaráin, in Dublin. It was a great experience for all! In 2016, Ian was nominated for "Best Acoustic Musician" for Best of Milwaukee.
This group of Milwaukee area musicians has been performing traditional Irish music since the spring of 1989. Ceol Cairde has its roots in the 1988 Irish Fest Summer School, a week of classes held the week before Irish Fest. Classes are taught in Irish music, dance, language, and theater, as well as other Irish cultural activities for all ages.
Deciding one week a year of Irish music was not enough, they began playing in each other’s living rooms, learning more and more tunes. With the windows open during one summer day, a passer-by heard the delightful sounds of jigs and reels and asked the group to perform at their wedding.
Milwaukee Irish Fest, Holiday Folk Fair, the Canadian Carrousel of Nations, and many other special events followed that special wedding performance. Ceol Cairde members share the energy and spirit of the traditional Irish music they enjoy so much. The irresistible blending of their instruments provides the unique sound that is the “Music of Friends.”
Blackthorn Folly is a five piece traditionally inspired band from the Milwaukee area. We play traditional Celtic tunes, pub songs, American standards, and even some pop music with high energy and a ground stomping tempo. Our highest priority is entertaining crowds through great music and audience participation.
Blackthorn Folly was formed in 2012 to perform on St. Patrick’s Day at a couple of the local pubs in Milwaukee. After the overwhelmingly positive response from the audience, they decided to continue to perform and create a serious band. Since they started, Blackthorn folly has continued to perform regularly in pubs around the Milwaukee area. Additionally, they have performed at Irish cultural festivals including the Milwaukee, New Dublin, and Oshkosh Irish fests.
The band was originally founded by Christopher Chan (bouzouki/banjo/vocals) after getting a chance offer to perform at a local pub. He was immediately joined by Christian Tomsey (vocals/fiddle), Joe McElroy (flute), Jacob Davida (fiddle/vocals), and David Wojnowski (bodhrán). In late 2014, the band was joined by Josh Gratz (tenor banjo/mandolin).
In December of 2017, Joe McElroy received an opportunity too good to pass up. This required him to leave the state, so he was unable to continue his role in the band. After much searching, the band hired Chris Wieber to fill the job of flute in February of 2018.
Towards the end of 2018, Chris Wieber had some incredible opportunities to further his life and career, but like Joe, it required him to move out of state. After much searching, Molly Noyes (Flute/Whistle/Pipes) and Heather Lewin (Fiddle) joined the group to fill the missing parts and elevated the music to new levels.
The band continues to perform and plans to always keep going
Paddygrass plays kickass Celtic Bluegrass and Gospel. Over the last 10 years we have assembled a collective of Wisconsin's best Irish Musicians. We love to get together in various combinations of trios or quartets. Some shows feature dancers from Milwaukee Irish Dance Company Paddygrass shows are spontaneous, special guests arrive and become part of the magic. No matter how many times you see us there is always something new to discover! Whatever happens, our music will move you to sing, dance, drink and forget all else.
Derek Byrne - Lead Vocals, Banjo, Hand Percussion, Harmonica
Randy Foat - Drums
Randy Gosa - Guitar, Mandola
Rory Modlinski - Banjo, Guitar, Bass and Mandolin
Peter Carlson - Guitar and Vocals
Dan Johnston - Guitar
Molly Noyes - Flute and Pipes
Sara Fritchen - Flute and Saxophone
Leah Redding - Fiddle
Olivia Langby - Fiddle
Steve Kendziora - Bass
Jon Baade - Bass, Ukulele
Members at large:
James Reilly - Flute
Karen Reilly - Fiddle, Vocals
Ethan King - Accordion and Bass
TJ Hull - Fiddle, Viola, Cello, Tin Whistle, Vocals
Amanda Carretta Hull - Bodhran, Tin Whistle, Vocals
Heather Lewin - Fiddle and Vocals
Chris Chan - Bouzouki
Chara Fedke - Cajon, Djembe
Marina Ari Matson
I left Ireland at the age of 21 and toured the world with Riverdance as a singer and musician for 6 years. I met my wife Carrie backstage in Milwaukee. After a 3 year long distance love, we settled here and I've been a feature of the Irish Scene since 2001. I write songs inspired by the love of my wife and children and my love for Ireland.