By Roisin Peddle
WE BANJO 3 will be returning to their native Galway next month as part of their round-Ireland tour. The trio - Enda Scahill, Martin and David Howley - combine Irish traditional music with old-time American music, ragtime, and bluegrass. Using not only three tenor banjos, but mandolins, tenor guitars, guitars, banjolin, and vocals, the band put on an electric live show.
Until recently, the banjo has remained an underappreciated instrument, however We Banjo 3 sweep away any doubts with verve and virtuosity. Winners of the Music Network Young Musicwide Award, the band have returned from a successful performance at the Milwaukee Irish Fest, North America’s largest celebration of Irish culture. The band drew crowds of up to 1,400 and were labelled ‘the hit of the festival’ by organisers.
Individually, the trio have been recognised as some of the best players in Ireland. Martin holds seven All-Ireland titles, Enda has four, and David holds All-Irelands in banjo and accompaniment. Enda, a former member of the Brock McGuire band, has played with the Chieftains, Ricky Skaggs, Frankie Gavin, and Stockton’s Wing. We Banjo 3 are planning a collaboration with Nashville-based musicians Chessboxer. Earlier this year the trio, with Fergal Scahill, collaborated with Chessboxer and members of the Black Eyed Peas on an upcoming electro/country project.
We Banjo 3 will play the Station House Theatre in Clifden on Sunday September 23. Doors are at 10pm, and tickets are €12, or €10 concession. To book call 095 21699. The concert is presented by Music Network in association with RTE Lyric FM, the Arts Council, and the Clifden Arts Society. Before that, however, they will be playing an intimate gig at the Roisin Dubh on September 7 to launch their debut album, Roots of the Banjo Tree. Dublin old-time band I Draw Slow play support. Doors at 9pm and there is no cover charge.