Ellis Island
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Ellis Island

Band World Celtic


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Ellis Island can Sham Rock"

Ellis Island can sham-rock

By Mick Forgey
Scene Editor

When a two-time world champion kick boxer and a child/family therapist get together on weekends, it is not for a counseling session. They make up the duo known as Ellis Island, often found livening the atmosphere at Irish pubs around Omaha.

Mick Doyle and Dave Marsh have been performing their brand of traditional Irish pub music for the last seven years, all the while attending to their other careers and busy family lives.

Ellis Island is not the typical Irish act meant to fill the pub with some background atmosphere, however. Some find it hard to believe two men play the more than dozen instruments incorporated into the group’s sets.

“ I think the thing that makes us unique is the variety of sounds we are able to produce in the course of a show,” Marsh said. “From the bouzouki [a long necked mandolin] to the bodhran [an Irish drum], to the tin whistle and accordion, it gives us a wide range with our live performances.”

Ellis Island’s live performances have attracted a following throughout Omaha, with many of the same fans showing up week after week to catch a show.

“ There are nights that are just magic,” Doyle said. “The crowd is singing along, requesting songs; our audience dictates where the evening’s show is going to go.”

The bond the band forms with the audience is what keeps fans coming back for more. It is not uncommon to have elementary school children dancing alongside couples in their 60s as Ellis Island launches into a traditional Irish melody.

As a two-time world champion kick boxer, front man Doyle, who came to Omaha 18 years ago from Dublin, says the martial arts he practices, as well as the music, serve as a link to his heritage. He has continued both with hope that his children will appreciate where their family is from.
“ I’m a martial artist before a fighter, but it needs to be balanced with something else — music is my balance,” Doyle said. “It is my yin and yang; the two have always seemed like a perfect marriage. They give me peace in their own separate ways.”
- Creightonian newspaper


Ellis Island has released three (3) cd’s
Crossing the Pond - 2000
Live from McGuire - 2002
The Whole Shebang - 2005
All cds are copyright Ellis Island Records


Feeling a bit camera shy


Ellis Island performs 2 – 3 times a month at bars and pubs in the Omaha and Kansas City area. Between the two of them they play over a dozen instruments on stage and have a vast selection of material from traditional tunes and Gaelic singing, to popular ballads and songs from Irish history. They have developed a strong following of loyal and enthusiastic fans whom are encoraged to join in and be a part of the act.
Mick and Dave have played at several festivals including the Omaha Irish Festival, Weston Irish Festival, Sioux Falls Irish Festival and the prestigious Kansas City Irish Festival.