Story by Sharon Armstrong.
New Orleans will be welcoming the world famous Brock McGuire Band on Wednesday the 28th of October, at the Deutsches Haus 200 Galvez, as they embark on their 2009 American Tour.
The Brock McGuire Band, founded in 2001 by celebrated accordionist and melodeonist Paul Brock and multi-award winning ‘Sligo’ fiddler Manus McGuire, includes Enda Scahill, All Ireland Champion on Tenor Banjo and Mandolin, and Tipperary pianist and composer Denis Carey, and they have been delighting audiences worldwide ever since with their consummate renditions of traditional Celtic music.
Sadly, or rather happily, Enda Scahill will be unable to join in the fun this time round in the Crescent City – he and his wife are awaiting the imminent birth of their first child. Replacing him at the Deutsches Haus will be the dazzling Niamh Ni Charra, Riverdance fiddler and concertina player, who is taking time out from touring with the Carlos Nunez band to help the lads bring the very best of Irish music to New Orleans.
Paul Brock and Manus McGuire have both been at the forefront of Irish music for many years. During their inspirational musical careers they have collaborated with such Irish luminaries as Altan, the Chieftains, and co-founded the acclaimed band Moving Cloud, not to mention McGuire's seminal involvement in Buttons and Bows. Recently, McGuire was invited to officially open the 2009 Shetland Festival, the first non-Shetlander to do so. All the band members are ranked amongst Ireland’s very finest musicians, both at home and abroad, so make no mistake - as the Irish say, the Brock McGuire Band are simply not messing – they are quite the line-up.
“We have been coming to the States for a long, long time,” Paul Brock told WWOZ, calling from his home in Ireland.
“We’ve performed all over the place, at festivals, concerts, universities, folk clubs and private concerts - all kinds of things - and we absolutely love coming here. There are so many ties between Ireland and America - so many people in America are from Irish extraction - so no matter where you play you are bound to come across some kind of Irish connection. The interest level and the level of appreciation in Irish music is fantastic. People here are very musically educated, that’s what I feel about the scene, and they come out to absolutely absorb the music. They are also very interested in the context and the background, so it is fantastic when we go out there to interact with the people that come to our shows.”
This visit will also be the first time the Brock McGuire Band have been back in the city post-Katrina, but Paul has fond memories of the last time they played New Orleans in 2004 at the now-defunct O’Flaherty’s Irish Channel Pub.
“We are very happy to be coming back to New Orleans,” he said. “I am not sure what it is like in the aftermath - hopefully it will be on the up and up - but we are looking forward to being back because we have good friends here. There is a great atmosphere about the place, and we are really looking forward to getting back and seeing how things are doing.”
The Deutsches Haus, 200 South Galvez. October 28th
Doors open at 7pm. Show begins at 7:30 pm.
For ticket information: (985) 259-0882.