Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer (The Elders at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon on July 9, 2009)
Celtic music is in my blood, literally. My Scottish and Irish genes co-mingled to make me an undeniable descendant of the Celts, complete with red hair and freckles and a propensity to sunburn. From childhood the tunes of the fiddle, drum and bagpipe have inspired me to move. Throughout my life I have loaded up on Celtic music CDs from Celtic Women to the Proclaimers, if the music was related in some way to Ireland or Scotland, I had to have it.
Over four years ago, at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon, I was introduced to a band called The Elders, and I am now a disciple. Since that fateful summer evening, my husband and I have seen the Elders perform over a ten times. We have bought all their CD’s and regularly give their CD’s as gifts (we are working to convert others to The Elders discipleship).
Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, The Elders formed in 1998, and have gone on to become a successful and well loved band. Every summer they pull in over 3,000 people to Loveland’s Foote Lagoon, making them the most popular group by far to ever play the venue. This year, the band broke it’s own record by drawing over 4,000 people to the Northern Colorado venue.
The Elders live show is a must-have life experience. Their on-stage energy is truly infectious. Though the group calls their style “Arse-kickin’ music from the heartland,” front man Ian Byrne, from County Wicklow, Ireland gives the band an authentic Irish flare. The talent of the band members is mind blowing. Guitarist Steve Phillips, violinist Brent Hoad, bassists Norm Dahlor, drummer Tommy Sutherland, and keyboardists Joe Miquelon, always appear to be having as much fun as the audience. I especially love watching Brent Hoad; he flies through the notes on his fiddle at such a furious pace I expect to see smoke rising from the strings.
The audience at an Elders show is diverse and depending on the venue, there are often entire families in attendance. When the band visits the Loveland, a number of pint-size dancers collect at the edge of the lagoon and predictable end up in the murky waters.
The Elders are also gifted songwriters. From fish tales and pub tales to more somber themes such as the historical struggles of the Irish, each song tells a story and paints a picture. I particularly enjoy the fact that the words of each song are intelligible and singing along becomes inevitable.
There will be many chances this summer to see The Elders perform live. Last night the band played at the Foote Lagoon in Loveland and here’s where they will be over the next several days.
July 10, Cheyenne, Wyoming – on the Plaza – free, 5:30 p.m.
July 11-12, Littleton, Colorado – Colorado Irish Fest – both evenings
July 14, Aspen, Colorado – Belly Up – free show, starts at 10:00 p.m.
July 15 Crested Butte, Colorado – Wednesday night summer concert series- Red Lady Stage at 5:30pm
To see The Elders entire schedule, go to www.eldersmusic.com.