WE BANJO 3
Sat 12th Nov 2022
Whelan’s Main Venue
“We Banjo 3 has something impossibly beautiful at its heart, what they do they do better than anyone else” — Wall Street Journal
Galway-based We Banjo 3 has one foot in Irish music and one foot in Americana music, seamlessly combining the virtuosity and precision in each genre’s traditional disciplines with the artful song-craft and infectious live performance of today’s musical landscape.
This year marks 10 years of We Banjo 3 playing to thousands of dedicated fans – music-lovers who perhaps first discovered the band at an Irish or Bluegrass festival, and are now flocking to headlining shows and mainstream music fests to dance to the dashing rhythms and simmering harmonies of this band of brothers. We Banjo 3’s two sets of brothers—Enda & Fergal Scahill and David & Martin Howley—share a musical intimacy that emanates in the rolling banjos, soaring fiddle and mandolin runs, and bright and vibrant guitar strums that swirl around propulsive vocals and perfect harmonies.
We Banjo 3 grew out of jam sessions among Enda, David, and Martin. After Enda returned to Galway from a tour playing bluegrass and old-time festivals, he called up David and Martin and asked them to come over to his house to play some music, wanting to share with them the music he’d learned on his tour. “We started to play, and I thought, ‘this is really fun’,” says Enda. “We didn’t think of forming a band; it was just a passion project.” In 2009, though, the three started playing small gigs around Ireland, and since they all played banjo they called themselves We Banjo 3. David added vocals and guitar, bringing another dimension to their sound. A few years later Fergal joined the group on fiddle, and though the band’s instrumentation and sound were quickly evolving, their moniker stuck with them.
After a performance at International Arts Festival, the biggest art festival in Europe, We Banjo 3 was awarded a grant from the Arts Council of Ireland, which they used to record their first album and continued to tour Ireland. Three years later, the band had built an impressive and still-growing following, and fans crowded into the band’s sold-out shows. In 2012, We Banjo 3 was invited to perform the renowned Milwaukee Irish Festival, where We Banjo 3’s dazzling musicianship and energetic live show wowed the audience, and this first U.S. play instantly positioned We Banjo 3 as darlings of the Irish American Festival circuit. Today, even as the band has grown to headline their own shows in these cities, We Banjo 3 tops the bill at these festivals year-after-year.
We Banjo 3 combines the jet-fueled tempos and rhythms of jamgrass with the swirling melody lines of traditional Irish music to get their fans up and dancing and to lift their hearts. As David says, “We love doing this; we’re grateful our fan community loves it, too. We get to pass the energy back and forth throughout our shows.”
On their upcoming album, it’s the band’s prolific tune-writing skills, and their inciting lyrics that are somehow ubiquitous and intimate all at once, that pull the listener in. Buoyed by musical virtuosity and well-crafted song structure, the complex instrumentation feels nimble and willowy, shaping a contended and canny listening experience.
Like their 2019 Roots to Rise Live, which debuted in August at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Albums Chart, and their 2018 album Haven, which spent 3 weeks at #1, Open The Road elevates the band’s music to new heights–-giving their fans the infectious melodies and musical brilliance they’ve come to expect from We Banjo 3, and introducing the band to an even wider swath of music fans at festivals across the U.S. and the world.
€20 available online from Whelan’s.
– 50c per ticket service charge applies on all bookings. Final ticket price may be higher from other outlets.
Strictly over 18′s, I.D. may be required.
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the bands playing The Midnight Hour in the upstairs venue – Free Entry via front door until 10:30pm | Drinks Promos