Our shows range from St. Patricks Day dinners and singalongs, to all Irish language performances done 'old style', and traditional folk tunes in English! Song commentary, Irish family history displays, and trivia contests included on request ! We can stream live video to your computer screen for a concert from our living room to yours, for any occasion!
It is very rare for a band to perform both Irish language (gaeilge), and traditional English language shows. We gave the first Irish language song show of its kind in the midwest. Mikes 'Irish Song: Traditional and Sean Nós' ranks among the top 10 Irish Traditional Albums of Song for 2013, and rests in the Irish Traditional Music Archives in Dublin. At a house concert, or on stage, we always share history and tradition!
The Irish Roots Cafe was ranked as the #1 celtic group in the U.S. on Reverbnation (from May 2012 to January 2013). Of course we play traditional folk tunes in English, and smokin' hot session tunes with fiddle, mandolin, guitar and bodhran too! A strolling fiddler, dancer, or a cappella singer can be included on request as well as full sets of stringed instrumental tunes.
The Band Members:
Mike O'Laughlin is a singer of old style 'Sean Nós' song; learned by ear, sung solo in Irish, with historical context. He sang with the Irish Roots Cafe in the first all Irish (gaeilge) show in the midwest, and was honored to sing at the annual gaelic Mass in Kansas City. His album 'Irish Song: Traditional and Sean Nós' was placed in the Irish Traditional Music Archives on Sept. 1, 2013. It is one of the top 10 albums of Irish traditional song for 2013 (via Tradconnect). Mikes songs range over four centuries: from Irish, Scots, and Cajun, to American Vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley. A leading author of Irish works, he descends from the O'Laughlins and Kilmartins of Clare and the Donahues and Kellihers of Kerry.
Stevie Wilson Davis has played the violin since the age of 6, under the tutorage of her grandfather. Of Irish descent (O'Connor) on her father's side, Stevie was always interested in playing Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breten fiddle styles (the smokin' fast, toe-stomping tunes being her favorite!) She has taken master classes with fiddlers Martin Hayes, Liz Carroll, Liz Kane, and Randal Bays. She also played viola and violin for 10 years with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. Stevie also has songs in Irish (gaeilge), and was a featured vocalist on the 'Irish Song...' album. She can't resist a good bike ride or mountain climb!
Megan Illidge began playing the guitar at age 12. One year later, watching Chris Thile of Nickel Creek play the mandolin, she was hooked! From the age of 14 she has played the mandolin full time, and has never looked back. Her venues include Irish pub sessions; avant-garde art exhibitions; playing in a free form jazz ensemble; on a main stage at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, KS; and last but not least - being the featured mandolin soloist with the Wichita State Symphony Orchestra in symphony hall. Megan teaches private music lessons and is a substitute music teacher in the public school system. At present, she is featured on mandolin and vocals, with the Irish Roots Cafe house band.
Robert Koke - Our newest member, brings us the guitar and a family history of musical venues in the midwest.
Mike (vocals, bodhran),
Stevie (fiddle, vocals),
Megan (mandolin, vocals),
Rob (guitar, )