The Irish Descendants


The Irish Descendants

The Irish Descendants are a folk group from the Atlantic province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. All the members, born of Irish emitters, were workers in the Newfoundland fishing industry before forming the band in 1990 out of the remnants of two former Newfoundland bands - The Descendants and Irish Coffee. In the summer of 1986 they went on to form the band The Descendants with fellow BayBullsman Con O’Brien and Brigus South native Thomas Battcock.

After Battcock’s departure due to other commitments, Ronnie and Con teamed up with multi-instrumentalist and vocalist D’Arcy Broderick of Bay De Verde and Bassist Larry Martin of Grates Cove to form the new band The Irish Descendants.

In 1991, the Descendants recorded their first Celtic-spirited album, 'Misty Morning Shore', on independent label Duckworth Records. It caught the attention of Warner Music and they signed the band following up with their major label debut 'Look To The Sea' in 1993.

Their 1996 album, 'Living On The Edge', featured a contemporary country sound causing a rift in the band and a parting of ways. The change of direction culminated in musical disagreements, and D'Arcy Broderick, one of the original Descendants, left the group. His departure happened just before a tour with Anne Murray and the band scrambled to find a replacement. A friend pointed them in the direction of an Irish fiddler living in New York -- Eamonn O'Rourke.

The Irish Descendants have garnered a loyal fan base in their native Canada, and captured the attention of an ever-growing international audience. The band's award winning recordings range from lilting ballads to toe-tapping reels.

Having toured extensively throughout North America, including headlining Celtic Festivals in Chicago, Boston and Cleveland, The Irish Descendants have performed at such prestigious venues as The Smithsonian in Washington D.C., and have played with many of the nation's best symphony orchestras. They appeared on stage at The Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto in the theatrical production of "Needfire", as well as headlining The International Festival of the Sea in England.

When Newfoundland celebrated its 500th Birthday, the band was selected to play at the festivities, entertaining European royalty and heads of state.

The 1991 release of their first album, Misty Morning Shore, quickly catapulted the band from pub circuit regulars to radio stars. This led to a contract with Warner Music, and the release of Look to the Sea in 1993.

In 1996, following the release of Gypsies and Lovers the previous year, The Irish Descendants were named Entertainers of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards, and received a Juno Award, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy. By year's end, the band's first two albums were both certified Gold.

Over the next decade the band continued to evolve, touring every year and releasing albums including a Greatest Hits Package, So Far So Good, and The Gift, a Christmas album.

In 2004 the band released Across The Water for the New York based Kells Label. The album immediately cruised to the top of the North American Irish Charts, and drew rave reviews from the Irish media. In 2007 the band has now released a new CD, Southern Shore, produced by Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea, and toured extensively throughout the year.

Current Members

*Con O'Brien on lead vocals and guitar.
*Glenn Hiscock on fiddle, banjo, mandolin and vocals.
*Graham Wells on accordion, tin whistle, bodhran and vocals
*Mike Hanrahan on banjo, bouzouki, mandolin, guitar and lead vocals
*Paul Hiscock on bass guitar and vocals

Former members

*D'Arcy Broderick
*Larry Martain
*Ronnie Power
*Kelly Russell
*Byron Pardy
*Paul "Boomer" Stamp
*Bob Pike
*Gerard Broderick
*Kelly Phippard
*Eamon O'Rourke
*Billy Sutton

Discography

*1991 - Misty Morning Shore
*1993 - Look to the Sea
*1995 - Gypsies and Lovers
*1996 - Livin' on the Edge
*1998 - Rollin' Home
*1999 - So Far So Good
*2000 - Blooming Bright Star
*2001 - Night at the Pub
*2002 - The Gift
*2004 - We Are The Irish Descendants
*2004 - Across The Water
*2007 - Southern Shore

Awards

The Irish Descendants won a Juno Award in 1996 for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group), for their album "Gypsies & Lovers".

External links

* [http://www.irishdescendants.com The Irish Descendants website]

References

* [http://www.heritage.nf.ca/arts/music_arts.html Information from Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage site]
* [http://www.maplemusic.com/artists/iri/ The Irish Descendants page at their record label]
* [http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/I/Irish_Descendants/2003/04/29/746184.html Surviving Descendants] at CANOE.ca


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