A Gaelic Storm Is Coming

by Christina Butcher for OLY ARTS

Few bands can boast having over 3,000 live performances under their belt. Gaelic Storm, on the other hand, can do exactly that, and the multinational Celtic-rock band is adding to those numbers every day as it tours the U.S. this fall. The self-described “blue-collar band” will bring its unique blend of high-tempo instrumentals, traditional-Irish music and folk-rock influences to The Washington Center stage. “We all come from different places,” says Gaelic Storm drummer Ryan Lacey. “Musically, none of us are completely on the same page, but we certainly share a lot of the same loves and passions. … We each come with a unique perspective on life, and that certainly manifests itself in our music.”

Gaelic Storm is made up of Irish fiddler and violinist Katie Grennan, American drummer Ryan Lacey, Irish front man and lead vocalist Patrick Murphy, Canadian bagpiper and bassist Pete Purvis and English guitarist Steve Twigger. The band typically spends over 200 days a year touring at national and international concert halls, music festivals and Irish festivals. According to Lacey, the band uses its time on tour to hone its craft. “The fact that these people (fans) are willing to spend their hard-earned dollars on coming out to catch one of our gigs is all the motivation we really need,” says Lacey. “It’s an honor to be able to perform for them.”

Gaelic’s Storm’s newest album, Go Climb a Tree, was released last July by Lost Again Records. “Go Climb a Tree is a special one,” says Lacey. “We somehow stretched ourselves musically while keeping the general vibe of Gaelic Storm alive in the songs. … From my perspective, we created something unique with this one. It’s been well-received by the fans … and when you share something so close to your heart with people and they take to it, it’s a great feeling.”

Since Gaelic Storm started playing music 20 years ago as a small pub band in Santa Monica, California, it has released 13 albums and topped the Billboard world-music chart six times. The band even appeared in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic, performing “An Irish Party in Third Class.” The band’s performance in Titanic is what many believe jump-started its touring career across Canada, France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

What: Gaelic Storm

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5

Where: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts,
512 Washington St. SE, Olympia

How much: $29-$55

Learn more: 360-753-8586 | The Washington Center

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