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The Elders to ‘kick arse’ at Notre Dame

Stephanie DePrez | Friday, September 21, 2007

What do you get when you mix Irish roots, passion for America and expert musicians? The Elders, that’s what. Their sound is infectious. With lilting melodies and a jamming bass, The Elders manage to fuse Irish musical style with American folk-rock. Put simply, these rockers kick arse.The Elders are most often found playing Irish festivals and pubs around the heartland of America, but tonight they will bring their innovative sound to Notre Dame, playing in the Leighton Concert Hall at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at 8:30 p.m.With the release of their new CD, “Racing the Tide,” the Elders are blasting into the main stream. Each musician is notable in his own right. The band includes former members of many well known folk-oriented groups like Asleep at the Wheel, Tommy Shaw Band and The Rainmakers. Formed in Kansas City, Kan., the band has toured all over the U.S., including Denver, Chicago, and New York. They even took their act to Ireland in 2003 and got in touch with their roots. Theband includes five Kansas musicians, guitarist Steve Phillips, bassist Norm Dahlor, violinist Brent Hoad, drummer Tommy Sutherland, and keyboardist Joe Miquelon, but are fronted by Irishman Ian Byrne. Their music has become more and more popular. Their PBS special “Live at the Gem” has aired on over 100 stations. “Send a Prayer” is currently working its way up the radio station circuit.Their sound is familiar, yet exciting. Refreshing in a world that has become obsessed with quick punk-pop hits and one-punch indie tunes, the Elders manage to sing about hope and irony in life, while playing distinctly Irish tunes. They easily dance between Irish folk, modern pop and Americana. The result is addicting. It is impossible to listen to their music and not feel just a little more joyful. They are free spirited and rooted in authenticity.”Racing the Tide,” their sixth CD-release, is a breath of fresh air for anyone who lives within the confines of generic college-campus music. It opens with “Send a Prayer,” the clear hit of the album. Folk influences are immediately noticeable, and as the song picks up, the lyrics take hold. The chorus arrives and takes the song to a new pop height that will be stuck in your head for days. Songs such as “Bad Irish Boy” are in the vein of true Irish rock. Genuine Irish jigs are also to be found, like “Story of a Fish.” “Right with the World” is a sentimental song of hope, and “Dear God” sounds like the Irish pop band The Corrs. Funky tunes like “Australia” pop up without warning. The Elders weave back and forth between joy and pain with effortless strength.Tickets for the show are available at the DPAC box office. Tickets cost $28 for regular admission, $24 for faculty, staff, and seniors and $15 for students.