How it’s New York: They’re a bunch of yanks…
How it’s Irish: They happen to play some awesome trad. This post is the first post from Jayne Pomplas, a talented young fiddler who has played with the Chieftains. Not too shabby! I first met Jayne in Liz Carroll’s class in the Catskills Irish Arts Week 2009. Yesterday to me, a lifetime to her! She was a cute child then and now she’s a dangerously pretty girl and much too talented.
The Yanks are a New York based Irish band, who are known internationally as some of the best young trad musicians around. Isaac Alderson (pipes, flute, whistle, saxophone), Dylan Foley (fiddle, whistle), Dan Gurney (accordion), and Sean Earnest (guitar, bouzouki) have known each other for years, and decided to make an album at the Catskills Irish Arts Week 2012 (have you registered yet? It’s going to be great! See the ad in the sidebar). They recorded the album in a shack behind the Blackthorne resort in East Durham in july 2012, and it was released the following spring. The album was a huge success, and they decided to record another one this year. They ran a successful kickstarter campaign in november 2013, raising over $10,000 for their new album. Quoting Kevin Crawford on the band’s website ,
“The Yanks are the next Irish American dream team when it comes to Irish Traditional Music. Four of the most talented, accomplished and virtuosic musicians of their generation playing a brand of Irish Music that’s both new and yet familiar at the same time. As individuals these four lads are special, as a group The Yanks are special too.”
The Yanks are the next Irish American dream team when it comes to Irish Traditional Music.– Kevin Crawford
The new double album called “Haymaker” was released to the public on June 24. I’ve always been impressed with The Yanks’ respect for the tradition, and their curiosity about the music they play. Their new album showcases this in a really artistic way. The album captures their tight playing, and shows the different ways they are able to blend their styles of playing together.They were joined on the album by Josh Dukes on drums, and The Murphy Beds: Eamon O’Leary and Jefferson Hamer. The addition of O’Leary and Hamer adds another layer to the album. Each of them sang lead on a song, showing off some lovely instrumental harmonies from rest of the band. O’Leary wasn’t at the concert release, sadly.
The combined sounds of The Yanks and the Murphy Beds is a real treat to listen to, it’s the sound of master musicians making words and music come to life.
Original compositions by all the members of the band (except Mr Dylan Foley, who’s album of original compositions is rumored be coming out in 2015!!!) and a waltz written by Josh Dukes are featured on the album. They also brought the great Sean Keegan over from Ireland to help them produce the album, and the recording, mixing and mastering was done at Morningstar Studios in Pennsylvania.
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the album, I highly recommend it… because it’s awesome.
Last Thursday, The Yanks delivered their long awaited sophomore album with a concert at Subculture on Bleeker Street in Manhattan. They started the concert with
“Hey Everyone, thanks for coming. We’re going to play our new album.”
They proceeded to play the album, and brought the roof down! Not literally of course, we all had enough of that at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh last month. They were joined by Josh Dukes who came all the way from DC for the show, and Jefferson Hamer. The “best” part of the show however was probably when Isaac played his freshly hammered saxophone. The crowd went wild… and rightly so. Everyone there loved the show, and The Yanks are sounding better than ever. Subculture is a new venue “bringing eclectic yet accessible music and creative arts performances to the vibrant NoHo neighborhood”. It is an oasis away for those who love art in all its many facets. SubCulture was designed to put the focus on performers, creating a unique connection between the artist and the audience. The actual space was designed to have the best sound for intimate performance. The Yanks chose an excellent venue for their concert, and they were a great fit for the theatre. Spotted at the event: Paul Keating, Dan Neely, Lisa Gutkin and many more! In talking with the band, they seem really grateful to have been able to use the venue, and they really enjoyed the experience of performing there. I look forward to hearing more of these guys in the future, and I think their new album will be a huge success. I am so glad I was able to be at the CD release concert. “Haymaker” is a great album by some very talented young musicians! http://youtu.be/mV0rQGPcM2U