The Elders

The Elders

Kansas City, Missouri, USA
BandAmericanaCeltic

"The key to the band’s success is in its flawless blending of the Celtic storytelling tradition with contemporary instrumentation and, perhaps more importantly, their ability to write original songs that sound as timeless and authentic as the ancient jigs and reels that have inspired them." Brian Baker-PASTE MAGAZINE

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Biography

Since forming in 1998, The Elders have set the music scene on its ear, thanks to a skillful blend of American roots rock and amped-up Celtic folk; a cross-pollination of elements that is high-octane and progressive, yet rooted in tradition.

It didnt take long to establish themselves as one of the top American Celtic-rock bands, headlining the biggest Celtic festivals in North America & Europe, and quickly gaining critical attention in prestigious publications such as PASTE Magazine, Music Row Magazine, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, Goldmine Magazine, TRAD Magazine (France), Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star and many more.

Employing a variety of instruments including guitars, drums, banjo, accordion, mandolin, piano & fiddle, these six gentlemen collectively create music that transcends the stereotypical notion of Celtic music. Powerful four part harmonies, blazing instrumentals and song writing that is unaffected by fads, trends and the giant maw of mind-numbing commercialism.

Their songs are mystical, comical, political and cultural, while covering a wide variety of topics such as poverty, civil war, family bonds, spirituality, love and friendship They tell us stories of people, places and events - some recent, some distant, some real and some imagined.

Radio embraced several tracks from their previous album, Gael Day, released in 2009, and their latest album Wandering Life & Times, released in 2011, resulting in top 25 positions on the national Americana Radio chart.

The band is also familiar to many television viewers, thanks to the more than 130 PBS stations across the nation that aired their "Live at the Gem Theater" Concert Special.

To date, The Elders have produced 6 full-length studio CDs and 3 live CD/DVDs
The most recent project is "The Elders Hoolie" DVD recorded live at the historic Uptown Theater in Kansas City, MO on St. Patricks Day 2012.


ELDERS PRESS:

"Thrilling, propulsive, fantastic Celtic-pop. The Elders are a real find ... a band to shout from the rooftops about. Robert Oermann - MUSIC ROW Magazine

"The key to the bands success is in its flawless blending of the Celtic storytelling tradition with contemporary instrumentation and, perhaps more importantly, their ability to write original songs that sound as timeless and authentic as the ancient jigs and reels that have inspired them." Brian Baker - PASTE MAGAZINE

The Elders have developed a reputation for bristling live shows and, even better, for exceeding their lofty reputation. Tim Finn - Kansas City Star

This Kansas City powerhouse is still growing musically, as evidenced by Wanderin Life & Times, strong story-telling and poetic lyrics backed by carefully thought-out musical accompaniment, at the same time capturing much of the energy and eclecticism of a live Elders show. Mark Sisti? - Mohawk Valley Irish Cultural Events?
Wanderin Life & Times is without a doubt my favorite cd from 2011. Go out and buy this album. Afterwards, find out where theyre playing and go see them. I can only imagine how good of a show they put on. An enthusiastic 4! (out of 4)
Jason Hohl - 67 Music

"Rocking music, thoughtful stories, and wonderful poetry."
Stephen McSweeney? - Celtic Music Magazine?

"This band started off great and has only gotten better over the years. The rich arrangements create strong moods from anthem sounding songs to more folky things. Their timeless sound deserves to be heard."
Jamie O'Brien - Philadelphia Irish Edition

"What I hear is absolutely amazing ...The Elders are without a doubt one of the greatest finds this century." Charles Dewhurst - Lochbroom FM, Scotland

Songs of magic and mayhem and of better days ahead contemporary Irish Folk Rock at its very best. Shay Clarke - IRISH AMERICAN NEWS

Great melodies, harmonies, musicianship, and song writing. The Elders are on a short list of great Celtic-Rock acts from around the world that I would speak proudly of. John Bowles - Paddy Rock Radio

"There is no other group in Ameri-Celt that brings the past, present, and future in a more telling way!" Sean Smith - Celtic Beat

"The Elders are marrow deep in their unique art, and it's not only pleasing as hell, but infectious...These boys don't just pick and grin, they damn near set their instruments on fire" Mark Tucker - Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

The lyrical and musical excellence of these songs will stick in your mind long after the final track has played. Ray Sidman - GOLDMINE Magazine

Simply put, one of the finest per

Lyrics

Better Days Ahead

Written By: Brent Hoad, Steve Phillips, Ian Byrne, Norm Dahlor

BETTER DAYS AHEAD
I was scuffling' hard and drinkin' down around Lough Ree
Diggin' graves or buskin' made no difference to me
Month to month, and week to week from hand to mouth I ran
A million miles a minute, and a stubborn foolish man

Well I took a walk long Green Street to kill the morning chill
She was sellin' scones and brandy, a finger in the till
A double shot to hold me, a straightner in the wind
If I ever thought I knew for sure I'll never know again
She was cool and she was kind
'Til she made me lose my mind

We've got better days ahead
Many more where they came from
Don't chase 'em all away my friend
'Til your heart goes numb
It's a long hard road they say
With a fiddler on the way I will swear by better days

Well the world is flat where I come from we got no place to hide
No bridge across the ocean to reach the sons that died

Now they say she's livin' on the coast a baby on the way
The winter wolf outside the door south of Galway Bay
I never bought that fishin' boat my second best laid plan
She must have known my penance was a scam
She was cool, she was kind
‘Til she made me lose my mind

Ballymun Road

Written By: Brent Hoad

I didn't start with any plan now I'm free
Didn't choose any way to go it chose me
She's a woman with a few regrets, but sometimes she forgets
The best that she can do is let it be

I signed up with my sergeant on the square
He said I'd see the world over there
I've got to keep believin' in the day our flag will rise again
And hope those widowed mothers even care

So down I go, Ballymun Road
I'm no good to you anyhow
I've got my wits I've got my tongue
It's too late to turn back now
Down I go, Ballymun Road

Now you've got yours and darlin' I've got mine
Let's have that one last round for old times
I know you've got someplace to go
And I'm shippin' out this one man show
And leavin' Dublin city far behind

So down I go, Ballymun Road
I'm no good to you anyhow
I've got my wits I've got my tongue
It's too late to turn back now
Down I go, Ballymun Road

Someday I'll build my house right where I stand
And I'll live within the law if I can
I'll work my field ‘til the sun goes down
And have a drink with the boys in town
It's all that I was born to understand

So down I go, Ballymun Road
I'm no good to you anyhow
I've got my wits I've got my tongue
It's too late to turn back now
Down I go, Ballymun Road

Racing the Tide

Written By: Brent Hoad, Steve Phillips, Norm Dahlor, Ian Byrne

The sirens wailed at midnight in that old Viking town
We all ran out to Princess Street to see what’s goin’ down
The train pulled in from Gorey at twenty after one
And seven hours later the dirty work was done

The sailors stumbled down to the river
They were all three sheets to the wind
There’s a name for them out in Milwaukee
But in Queenstown we just call ‘em Jim

Casting off from the docks at a half past three
They made off for the open sea
Out into the black if they’re never comin’ back
With the ghost from the past they were hoping to see

The ladies stumbled down to the river
They were all three sheets to the wind
So they dreamed up a demon and gave it a name
Just to have someone to blame

With no battle to fight they sailed into the night
With only one mission in mind
As many have tried and many have died
They were only racing the tide

Their heroes had left them behind
Strung out on the decks with nowhere to hide
Heads filled with stories of fish that could fly
And rumors of dragons that would not die

Men of Erin

Written By: Ian Byrne

Fare thee well my boy as you wonder this night
Be not feared in the darkness my heart is your light
As you go brave Men of Erin
Faith and love by your side
I will dream of your peace in the night

Please don’t cry my Mother as you sit by the hearth
I will dance your memories with joy in my heart
I will go now and pray as I travel this land
And live by the lessons you gave

Please don’t cry my Father as you sit by the hearth
I will dance your memories with joy in my heart
I will go now and pray as I travel this land
And live by the lessons you gave

Please don’t cry my Children
As you stand by my Grave
I have danced your memories all of my days
I will go now and pray as I travel this land
And live be the lessons you gave

Send a Prayer

Written By: Brent Hoad, Steve Phillips, Ian Byrne, Norm Dahlor

Send a prayer out there into the universe
And wait for an answer my friend
Maybe you will hear from me an echo in the wind
And a song that has no end

With a head full of books he’d forgotten
Bad memories from days in the war
Crowded out by the tales of tall cotton
Why can’t all things be just like before
The world though the eyes of my father
Repeating mistakes that he made
Refusing to lose the illusion
That one day he would lead the parade

Now he sits in the library day after day
With a wire a compass and pen
Uncovering a secret so long lost away
That will never be spoken again
Inventor of stories so deep in the heart
That will only come out in a dream
We can carve out a place or reverse into space
In the next world we’ll know what they mean

We were climbing the steps to the graveyard
With regrets and our baggage in tow
From the cliffs of the Ardarine mountains
You can see the sweet memories below
There was nothing here left but a portrait
On a mission here only to serve
An empty room with a glass and a bottle
It’s all that us free men deserve

Dear God

Written By: Brent Hoad

Ragged hymn of beauty melody high and wide
I only wish I’d written it myself
She sang it to my brain gorgeous and strange
Impossible for anybody else

From the mountains of Killarney to the desert of Khartoum
With beauty truth and rhythm she will call
From a boom box out in Spain to an ear bud in my room
Her anthem made believers of us all

Dear God turn your radio on
I surrender from this moment on
A gift to all humanity forget your pride and vanity
Three minutes of heaven and then she’ll be gone
Dear God turn your radio on

With her secret no fear what we needed to hear
When it hit me like she turned on the sun
What universe was I in where the hell had I been
Every bard and poet knew she was the one

Inside every foreign nation it was spoken in tongues
Every president and king did understand
Even if she was denied when they laid down and died
Conversion on the deathbed to a man

When at last she is passed to every corner of the world
The music writing history unseen
They will move among the living to the broken and the curled
From every pub and valley in between

1849

Written By: Mike Bliss, Norm Dahlor, Brent Hoad

They traveled across the angry sea in 1849
With all that they could carry
They traveled sick they traveled blind
Their home the starving island just a photo in their mind
They buried the dead at sea, winter 1849

The captain was a sailing man respected in his time
He’d made the journey twice before and almost lost his life
The hardest part was choosing who would sail and who would die
Left stranded with the hunger of 1849

They left behind the clans who’d been together a thousand years
With music and the memories ringing in their ears
They brought with them tradition and the will to work and die
In the land known for freedom, soil and sky

The memories of the loved ones, who were swallowed by the sea
Handed down from father to son along with a rosary
One black bead for every soul forever lost in time
Who never heard the New Year’s bell of 1849

They left behind the clans who’d been together a thousand years
With music and the memories ringing in their ears
They brought with them tradition and the will to work and die
In the land known for freedom, soil and sky

His name was Patrick Mulligan his eyes were steely blue
He lost his wife to famine and a younger son too
I know we’ll be united in the Lord’s good time
And hear the tales of family in 1849

They left behind the clans who’d been together a thousand years
With music and the memories ringing in their ears
They brought with them tradition and the will to work and die
In the land known for freedom, soil and sky

Aunt Louise

Written By: Steve Phillips

The garbage pale is loaded there’s dog food on the floor
Dead flowers in the window sill say that love doesn’t live here any more
No one ever calls ‘cuz she won’t pick up the phone
The world came crashing down now she’s in misery alone
Out there somewhere he’s riding away
With his brand new Harley and toupee

She never saw it comin’
And then she refused to believe
She use to know how to live … Louise

She sits in a room with the shades pulled down
It’s never very easy when the bottom falls out
Each day being counted she’s closer to the edge
And every day is harder to drag her self from bed
Her eyes say as she drags her cigarette
There’s no use in trying she could never forget

She never saw it comin’
And then she refused to believe
She use to know how to live … Louise

Another morning she dresses in black
No one seemed to notice she falls through the cracks
She gave her self away a word or two at a time
Knowing she was too old to die young on the vine
Now I wonder lying here awake
What difference does it make anyway

‘Cuz she never saw it comin’
And then she refused to believe
She use to know how to live … Louise
She never saw it comin’
Is it anybody’s crime
She never called to say goodbye … Aunt Louise

Moore Street Girls

Written By: Ian Byrne, Norm Dahlor, Brent Hoad

I walk along the cobbled streets of Dublin in the rain
The Man selling papers I ask him if he’s heard her name
Notorious are the stories you have to meet the girls
If you ask a sailor they’re known around the world
You can meet them on the corner

They are the Moore Street girls
This is the street their world
Their seducing smiles are nothing you’ll ever know
They will allure you they’ll put you in a trance
Before you know it you’ll be tapping the street
Doin’ an Irish dance

It’s said they have the power to sell a map to a salmon
The tourist from the desert goes home with a bucket of Sandymount sand
Fresh fruit and veggies smelly fish they have them all
Their sad and hardened faces still they smile and have a ball
They’ll make you buy your dog a dozen roses

Where have all the girls all gone?
We used to love them used to listen to their dirty Dublin songs
Where have all the girls all gone?
They can be grumpy still we love them
Oh what a shame

I stopped and talked to Rosie, I asked her would she sing me a song
She turned to me with angry eyes I ask her Rosie what is wrong?
The foreigners in the market, the vermin of the world
With all their ugly faces from lands you’ve never heard
Oh what a shame you’ll never know them
Oh what a shame you’ll never know them

LuckotheIrish

Written By: Ian Byrne, Norm Dahlor, Brent Hoad, Steve Phillips

Two thousand years have come and gone
Many stories hymns and song
St Patrick to our shores he came
He was slaved in chains
On bended knee God takes his hand
Spread his word throughout this land
With the holy trinity we will be saved
We pray to our father
Off to the wars our soldiers called
Armed with shamrock good luck to all
To keep them from harm they will wear their green

The Luck of the Irish
Where on earth did that phrase come from
The Luck of the Irish
Never knowing what tomorrow will become

We’ve been beaten burned and enslaved
Starved from our lands where our fathers dug their graves
Never loosing faith we have fought for every mile
Still no matter where you go you’ll always find
An Irish smile

The Luck of the Irish
Many lands their admiration we have won
The Luck of the Irish
Many languages of love we have become

The Luck of the Irish
Around the world so many millions we are one
The Luck of the Irish
I pray our ancestors are proud of what we’ve done

Discography

1. CD–“The Elders” 2000
2. CD–“Pass it on Down” 2002
3. CD-"The Best Crowd We Ever Had" 2004 (Live)
4. CD–“American Wake” 2004
5. DVD/CD-“Live at the Gem Theater" 2005 (Live)
6. CD – “Racing the Tide” 2006
7. DVD/CD – “Alive & Live in Ireland” 2007 (Live)
8. CD – “Gael Day” 2009
9. CD- "The Best of The Elders Vol.1"
10. CD - "Wandering Life & Times" 2011
11. DVD - "The Elders Hoolie" 2012

Set List

All original except where noted:

Better Days Ahead
Racing the Tide
Building a Boat
Wanderin’ Life & Times
Forever Friend
Station Number 9
Please Come Home
Appalachian Paddy
Seven Years
Common Man
What a House We Could Build
Whiskey on the Fire
Saint Brendan Had a Boat
Turnpike (traditional)
Men of Erin
Ghost of Ontario
Haverty Boys
Only Good News
Raging Sea
Send a Prayer
Michael’s Ride (Shawn Davey)
LuckotheIrish
Green & Gold
Gonna Take a Miracle
Galway Girl (Steve Earle)
Between Far & Away
Moore Steet Girls
Brentski’s Medley (traditional)
Saint Kevin
Packy go home
1849
Devil’s Tongue
Ten Pound Earhole
Keepin' the Faith
Red Headed Man
It’ll Be Alright
Decoration Day
Love of the Century
Old Land
Banshee Cry
Ballymun Road
Kathleen
Right with the World
American Wake
Hard Line
Story of a Fish
Fisherman’s Blues (Water Boys)
Kathleen
Cousin Charlie
Buzzz's Jig
Fire in Hole
Message in the Bottle (Police)