Why We Love the McKrells

Have you ever had a favorite song? You know the kind we are talking about. The kind of song where it doesn’t matter what kind of day you are having. You hear it and everything is better for those few minutes you hear it? What about a favorite band? Is there anyone you would see every single time they came to your town? The McKrellsand their songs are that for us.

We both like Celtic music for a few reasons. First, it’s just good music! It’s lively and fun, emotional and soulful. When it is done right, there isn’t anything better out there. Period. Second, it is the music of our homeland.We both grew up in Irish-Catholic households and are proud of our roots. That includes parts of our Irish culture that survived the trip across the Atlantic.Fur us, Celtic music was constant background music at home. Our grandparents played it, our parents listened to it. It was hard to get away from even if we had wanted to. It was the soundtrack playing as we grew up. Some families have traditional recipes that provide comfort. Others have activities that are family traditions. For us, it is Saint Patrick’s Day and bagpipes, the fife and drum. If there was a family get-together, there was Celtic music. That was life. We like it just fine that way, too.

We were at an Irish Music festival the first time we heard The McKrells. We had been enjoying ourselves—if you aren’t enjoying yourself at an Irish Music Festival in the month of March, you’re doing something very, very wrong—and then The McKrells took the stage. It was amazing. Our mouths may have hung open for the entire set. It was that good. The sound was there but it was also something else. Something brand new. When we got home from the festival, we immediately started looking for information on The McKrells and when we would be able to see them again. We were able to catch a few more shows before they broke up and we have all of their CDs.

One of the reasons we both like The McKrells so much was because their music wasboth familiar and yet new and interesting. They took Celtic music in a whole other direction, blending it more with our own American roots. It felt more like our music than what our grandpas listened to as they sat around with a pint complaining about the weather together. Not something they would have sitting in their dusty old vinyl collection, in other words. The songs had more of a contemporary feel and a unique sound. We didn’t realize that this was something we were looking for until we heard it for the first time. Don’t get us wrong, we love Danny Boy but it’s nice to hear something different!

It was one of the first bands that we “discovered” together and so they will always have a special place in our hearts.