Kevin Crawford, Martin Hayes, John Doyle


How it’s New York: In New York you can stay put and the musicians come to you. This is one of the best examples. Catch this trio at Highline Ballroom teetotallerson Monday, April 29 (or check their dates below).
How it’s Irish: All three musicians, Kevin Crawford, Martin Hayes, and John Doyle are Irish. Together The Teetotallers are an incredible Irish supergroup.

They are an Irish dream team: the best Irish fiddler in the world, in my opinion, Martin Hayes, with the virtuoso flute of Kevin Crawford, and the rhythmic, muscular guitar playing of John Doyle. John also sings, and Kevin sings with him. The Teetotallers have it all.

They’ve yet to release their first album, but you can hear some of what will be on it at Highline Ballroom on Monday, April 29. The electricity of these musicians playing together is like an amazing seisun; virtuosic playing as they top each other and support one another.


Kevin Crawford, Martin Hayes, John Doyle

Kevin Crawford, Martin Hayes, John Doyle

John Doyle: guitarist who was originally in Solas, grammy-nominated with Liz Carroll, toured with Joan Baez.
Kevin Crawford: flutist with legendary group Lúnasa
Martin Hayes: six-time All Ireland fiddle champion.
Considered even better than De Dannan’s Frankie Gavin. Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny is a big fan.

They are all stars in their own right, come together to play– only their second year together, and are in the process of recording

Last year, I interviewed them before their gigs, and also reviewed them…and reviewed them. I also had Kevin and Martin on the New York Irish Arts podcast (John was driving).
You can hear the podcast here.
I reviewed the concert as well, and wrote: “It was musical enchantment at an almost supernatural level.”

As a duet between fiddler Martin Hayes and guitarist John Doyle on Sunday night at Joe’s Pub became frantic and yet controlled, a tidal wave of music burst over our heads as the audience cheered and waited for more, and it kept coming.
They picked us up and we went on top of the wave with them, going higher and riding it with the wind in our ears, we went on another wave, and finally we rolled into shore, elated and exhilarated.”

These guys are the next wave of trad music: innovative while deeply rooted in the tradition, with the strongest musical chops imaginable. The buzzDSCN1304 about these guys is already tremendous. I predict that when the album comes out it will be compared to The Bothy Band and Planxty, the leaders of the Irish folk revival in the 70s– they are that good.

Martin just did the NPR Tiny Desk Concerts: listen here!

Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 42nd Street, NYC
Tix:  $20 adv/ $25 door
(212) 414-5994

Teetotalling lads Martin Hayes and Kevin Crawford drink tea after the concert last June,  at 11th Street Bar

Teetotalling lads Martin Hayes and Kevin Crawford drink tea after the concert last June, at 11th Street Bar


4/29/2013 Highline Ballroom, New York, NY –
5/1/2013 Burren, Somerville, MA –
5/2/2013 Square One Theatre , Stratford, CT –
5/3/2013 Blackstone River Theatre, Cumberland, RI –
5/4/2013 Barre Opera House, Barre, VT –
5/5/2013 Worcester Irish Cultural Centre, Worcester, MA



Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.