The Irish Rovers Farewell in Wellington
“Sold out in Tallahassee - All the years of touring and playing haven’t eroded the band’s ferocious chops. Those musicians are so tight. They’re virtuosos!” Tallahassee Democrat
"Sold out in Orange County - When the band was jamming through traditional Irish sets you could close your eyes and imagine yourself at a ceili in a pub on the shamrock shore with a pint and a rockingtight house band of the lads." Orange County Register
"Sold out in San Luis - Impossible to sit still as they play song after merry song off the pages of Ireland’s historic songbook. What an unforgettable experience! The Irish Rovers excite even the most discerning audience member into having a rip-roaring good time." Foundation for the Performing Arts
International Recording Artists
The Irish Rovers, 50 Years o’ Music
The Irish Rovers Band as they appear o the cover of Canada's "PUB Magazine": l to r Morris Crum (keyboards), Ian Millar (guitar/bass), Fred Graham (bodhran), Gerry O’Connor (fiddle), George Millar (guitar), Sean O’Driscoll (banjo/mandolin/box), Geoffrey Kelly (whistle and flute), Wilcil McDowell (accordion)
Tuesday October 7th at The Wellington Opera House
50th Anniversary Tour and A Farewell To Rovin’
w/ CD Release, The Irish Rovers, 50 Years
“The Irish Rovers, an iconic Celtic super-band based in Canada, have roved freely around the world for half-a-century and sold millions of recordings with their more than 40 albums, gaining countless converts to Irish music through the power of their foot-stomping, intoxicating songs, spirited humor and jubilant showmanship”. – Music writer, Owen McNally
As ecstatic evangelists of Celtic music, the Rovers, despite the inevitability of retirements and mortality, have zealously spread the word about Irish folk music, and will return again to Ireland in May to film their final DVD/television special. “We’re taking over Lismore Castle for a few days and inviting some friends from the area,” says George Millar. “Half of us live there anyway so it's not that difficult. It will just be a big party with lots of music – a kind of pub session that lasts four days. Maybe we should put in an order for the Guinness now,” he says with a laugh. “In the old days we went over often, to film for the television show. Tommy (Makem) and Liam (Clancy) would come out and we’d have a grand time. Of course, things have changed now. We’ve lost many of our old friends, but thank heavens in most cases the young ones are carrying on the tradition.”
This St. Patrick's Day, the band will be filming their concert LIVE and possibly LIVEstreaming it from the venue near Millar's home in Western Canada.
The upbeat Irish-Canadian troubadours have celebrated everything in song from whiskey, women and doomed heroes to drunken sailors and doomed ships, especially famously sunken ones like the ill-fated sailing ship the Rover, the inspiration for the band's name, and the Titanic, which was largely built by Irish workers in Belfast. And, of course, there's the band's virtually mandatory nightly reprise of its mega-hit signature song, "The Unicorn."
At a Rovers concert you’ll hear both Scots and Irish music. Original Rover and All-Ireland champ, Wilcil McDowell belonged to an association called the Antrim and Derry Fiddlers. “It was well known for playing a wide variety of both Irish and Scottish tunes. Before joining the Irish Rovers I played my accordion at concerts throughout Scotland and I also had a Ceili Band (Donegore Ceili Band) which played a combination of Irish and Scottish music, as well as the honour of sharing the bill with someone I greatly admired, the legendary Jimmy Shand and his Band.”
“Some of the Scottish tunes and songs we learned when we were younger still feature in the Irish Rovers performances today.” Wilcil adds, “At this moment I am sitting in my home on a hillside outside Larne with a clear view across the North Channel to the Mull of Kintyre, while enjoying a fine blend of Scotch whisky.”
The merry minstrels, who are totally devoted to entertainment and never touch the powder keg of the sectarian troubles in Ireland, have reveled everywhere from boozy pubs to such venerable venues as New York's Carnegie Hall and Australia's Sydney Opera House. “I’m from Northern Ireland, my family has been there for generations and we left Ireland to get away from all that,” said George Millar. “We’re not a political band and religion was always a non-issue for us. We’re a mixed band. We sing songs like The Orange and the Green (about a boy with a Catholic mother and a Protestant father) and try to have fun ourselves for two hours on stage. If people walk away with a smile on their face, whistling Drunken Sailor, we’ve done our job properly.”
The band's latest concert hit is a song that Millar wrote as a prequel to Drunken Sailor, called Whores and Hounds. The title has caused them grief from iTunes who refused to write it out as written.
Over the years, The Irish Rovers have become cherished music icons, have touched three generations of music lovers, and brought Ireland into living rooms on three continents with their three television series which spanned over twenty years. Concert-goers will enjoy the Irish wit and charm that has captivated audiences since 1964 as The Rovers perform a rollicking mix of their hits, new favourites, signature Jigs and Reels and hilarious stories from their years on the road. Plus they will be releasing “The Irish Rovers, 50 Years” – the ultimate Rovers collection triple disc comprised of both new and original recordings from throughout the years.
THE CRAIC WILL BE MIGHTY! If you’ve not seen the Irish Rovers LIVE, wait no longer.
These last few years, the Rovers have returned to television, sold out concert tours, returned to the radio airwaves, garnered rave reviews for their recent Gracehill Fair, Drunken Sailor, and Home In Ireland albums, attracted the attention of a new younger audience, and were touted in the press as “internet sensations!” The excitement around the Rovers these days confirms that their music continues to hit a chord with fans of all ages, and their musicianship onstage is attracting a younger generation of musicians to their shows.
Review: "The band has sold millions of albums, but to really experience them, you need to see them live, because as well as being able to deliver a heart-warming ballad or moving instrumental, these Rovers can Rock."
After more than twenty-five years the band returned to the small screen with two television specials, both now available on DVD: Home In Ireland and Irish Rovers Christmas.
It has been a long and magical journey for these Irish lads, and the magic keeps on coming. Due to YouTube, their Drunken Sailor song has reached a new young audience, with over 10,000,000 hits. Last year, Rovers songwriter/producer George Millar responded by heading back to the studio and recording a new CD full of songs of the sea, including a tribute to The Titanic for its 100th anniversary. The release made headlines in both America and Ireland, and was the soundtrack for a Canadian documentary about the Harland and Wolff shipyards of Belfast where the mighty ship was built. http://youtu.be/0Bs1dou3SDw The Irish Rovers received accolades for their last few CDs in Canada, Europe and the US.
Learn more at their website: www.theirishroversmusic.com
The Morning Call “Irish Rovers celebrate a bonny resurgence... the lads have returned to their glory days, and are still charging...”
Gaelic Hour, CHIN 97.9 “Like the famous Bushmills Irish Whiskey, The Irish Rovers continue to improve with age!”
Leader Post “Internet Sensations… it was the Internet that introduced a whole new audience to the music of Canadian Irish folk legends.”
Taron Cochrane, Global TV "The crowd was in the palm of their hand…it became apparent that The Irish Rovers have had a significant impact on more than just their own generation of fans"
BBC Ulster “The Irish Rovers are one of the most successful and enduring of all Irish folk bands.”
NOTE: In order to encourage young Celtic musicians to “keep writing, keep the music coming”, the Irish Rovers underwrite The Maui Celtic Radio Show – w/ a large and growing listenership worldwide on the Internet it is a great platform for new Celtic artists. The host, Hamish Burgess will be accompanying the Rovers on tour, so if you are, or know a musician, bring the CD to the concert or send it to Hamish Burgess at The Maui Celtic Radio show - now syndicated worldwide from Canada and Scotland.
Irish Rovers YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheIrishRoversMusic