The Irish Experience
Gig Seeker Pro

The Irish Experience

Band World Celtic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Victory Music"

When I first put this CD in my player, I thought “What the . . .?” This isn’t the type of music we normally review at Victory. Then I looked at the liner notes and saw that Irish Experience consisted of Joe Bowbeer (electric fiddle), Tom Hotchkin (upright bass), and Tom May (electric guitar). Ah, I got it now. The Irish Experience was formed in 1996 to entertain Seattle pub crowds on Saint Patrick's Day. St Paddy’s has caused the formation of many pub bands that only play once a year. The lads of TIE soon discovered that their music found a much broader appeal. Green Energy is their second CD and aptly named. There is enough energy springing off this CD to power a small town. “The Wicked Jig” rocks the first track and sets the tempo for the rest. This is not the type of CD that you’ll put on the player to while away the afternoon. This is more of a “Remember that rockin’ time at the pub?” effort. There are plenty of opportunities to play air guitar. The harmonica on “Within a Mile of Dublin” and “John Brown’s Dream” (Darren Loucas) is an inspired touch. In fact the inclusion of harmonica in Celtic music is a new thing for me. I like it! Give me more! “Bunch of Keys” should go down in history as one of the most unusual covers ever done. The classic synthesizer sound on the melody is twisted, delightful and it works. There are so many surprises on this CD. I like the “doghouse” bass playing by Tom Hotchkin. He gets a couple of chances to show what he can really do. Tom May gets to rock out and Joe Bowbeer blazes the trail with smoking fiddle riffs. Joining the lads on the CD are: Julian Adamaitis (dumbek & synthesizer), Tor Dietrichson (cajón, congas, bongos, tabla & tambourine), Karim Koumbassa (djembe & dunun), Darren Loucas (harmonica), Lynn Post (clogging), Dave Smith (bodhran & zarb). What’s a zarb? The group can be found on From there you can find out how to buy tunes or the whole CD. I highly recommend getting the CD and making a date to go see them. - Matthew Moeller

"Muzik Reviews"

The Irish Experience fits the bill on their recent release Green Energy. The band is a trio consisting of Joe Bowbeer (electric fiddle), Tom Hotchkin (upright bass), and Tom May (electric guitar).

As one can imagine they get a wee bit ‘o’ help along the way and on Green Energy, which is absolutely a fitting title for their CD. There are quite a few guests that are featured including Julian Adamaitis (synthesizer), Tor Dietrichson (cajón, congas, bongos, tabla, and tambourine), Karim Koumbassa (djembe, dunun), Darren Loucas (harmonica) and Lynn Post (clogging).

I have always had a kinship to the decidedly Celtic flavored music, bands with that influence like Jethro Tull for instance, have the ability to set me into a dream like state of mind and take me away into another life or story. The Irish Experience made me happy, and put more of permanent spell on me, one that lasted the entire listen then continued to linger, beckoning me to return.

Their music is full of Celtic, rock, blues, and country, a mighty flavorful combination, all instrumental mind you, that would please the most incorrigible listener. If you have a look at all the instruments being used it paints the picture very well of what a special treat your ears are in for.

What it all simmers down to is a tasty Irish stew that can be classified as World-Celtic-Rock.
The use of the fiddle makes this music sound like a hoedown in the streets on St. Patrick’s Day and surely if there wasn’t one going on this CD has the ability to incite one. I found this to be an irresistibly toe tapping and joyous listen from start to finish.

Green Energy is 14 tracks of high energy instrumental fusion that has its own genre to stake a claim to, which in and of itself is quite an accomplishment with all the different things we mere mortals have to choose from these days. There is not a dinger in the lot here or should I say this ain’t no bag ‘o’ swhag, well lets forget the Irish slang for now and just throw this CD on and a have a party! - Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

"Highlands Magazine"

THE IRISH EXPERIENCE is at its core a band of friends originating in Seattle, a trio having profound Irish roots. The trio played its first show in March 1996 at the Kincora Pub on Capitol Hill. The pubs of Seattle are, in fact, their favorite haunts for playing their lively dances -- the trio possesses a devastating energy which even explodes into the hardest punk in the jigs. Here is an album for fans of EAST OF EDEN, not those of the experimental side of that group, but those of the celebrated title which has become cult: "Jig a Jig," which is similarly festive.

THE IRISH EXPERIENCE is composed of the most pure and accomplished musicians that the Irish soil has ever brought -- a sacred breath of that culture that is not close to expiring. The core trio is composed of JOE BOWBEER on electric violin, TOM HOTCHKIN on upright bass and TOM MAY on electric guitar. You must understand: there's not a question here of buttons and levers, they play with instruments kept in cases.

The trio cut their teeth on their first venture in 2003 -- an album eponymously titled, to return here with a musical experience of the highest level. It is certainly by dint of scouring the pubs that the group has achieved this. I see not a single fault in this album, which is a success in every aspect and an overall crowd-pleaser.

Irish music, like the music of Brittany, is traditional, but that is not to say you have to dive ten centuries into the past to appreciate it. Our musicians are helped along by a few extras for the completion of GREEN ENERGY, with percussion, tablas, and congas. This works well as the 14 cuts are instrumental, and, despite this, one is scarcely bored, in the words of this reviewer.

In any case, THE IRISH EXPERIENCE turns resolutely towards the future, thanks to the contribution of electricity. The album is absolutely not the fruit of a passing whim, nor of some megalomaniac pretension, but that of a reasoned goal and careful reflection. The upright bass presents itself powerfully and vigorously and the guitar would not be disowned by DAN ARS BRAS, himself a reformer of Celtic music. Here is an album one can easily listen to from start to finish. The joys it brings are intense, and frequently give rise to dance.

The first title, “The Wicked Jig” in the genre is a splendor – a Celtic boogie to move mountains. The gaiety is equally present on “Dinny Delaney’s Slide.” The pieces follow each other harmoniously and march through the Irish countryside. This eternal music of the soil is a perpetual call to the party. Three or four hits of their Celtic rock and you find yourself already in Ireland, along with the harmonica, which takes you to the land of the cowboys as well (“John Brown’s Dream”). GREEN ENERGY should be consumed without moderation, unlike Guinness; watch out, though, because it’s sure that one doesn’t go without the other.

-- Translated from French - Jean-Pierre Schrike


The Irish Experience (2003)
Green Energy (2009)



The Irish Experience play Celtic and Appalachian music on traditional and electric instruments. The band was formed in 1996 to play a Saint Patrick’s Day show in Seattle and their music quickly found a broader appeal. Attracting fans of all ages, their upbeat music has been praised for guiding folks through the gnarly turns and tempering their road rage.

A self-titled CD was released in 2003 and is still a popular favorite in the iTunes World Music genre.

The track Morrison’s Jig was licensed by Hallmark in 2008 for use in their Say It With Music line of greeting cards.

Green Energy featuring The Wicked Jig was released in 2009.