What does Celtic and Bluegrass music (aka CeltGrass) have in common with Thomas Cole, Salvadore Dali, and Picasso? They all were a part of last night’s Concerts In the Court series with We Banjo 3 at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute (MWPAI).
Every month MWPAI holds their Concerts In the Court Series featuring a variety of musical genres. Last night, they celebrated Celtic music with one of the Mohawk Valley’s favorite new bands, We Banjo 3. Amongst some of the great artists’ work hanging on the wall, the quartet of musicians played a sold out show.
Making their first ever appearance in the Mohawk Valley last year at the 2018 Great American Irish Festival, We Banjo 3 immediately won over the crowd with their energetic, thought-provoking lyrics and unique blend of bluegrass and traditional Celtic music. Further solidifying themselves into the hearts of Central New Yorkers over the course of that show, they chose GAIF to be the location and date of the release of their current album Haven last year. Festival goers were the first to be able to hear and purchase what would become quickly become the band’s first number one album on the Bluegrass charts. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they once again chose GAIF to be the date and location for the release of their upcoming album as they teased audience members last night with hints of such an occurrence. They even went as far as giving out a free download to their song “Shine On” from the upcoming album to anyone that texted to a special number. Booked to play one night only at the festival, Friday, July 26th, it will most likely be standing room only at the Contemporary Stage, just as it was last night, for those who have quickly fallen for these two sets of brothers.
As for the performance at MWPAI, it was everything and then some. With Enda Scahill on banjo and vocals, Martin Howley on banjo, mandolin, and vocals, David Howley on guitar and lead vocals, and Fergal Scahill on fiddle, viola, dobro, percussion, guitar, mandolin, and vocals, their ability to harmonize vocally and instrumentally is of the highest quality. Add that to a space with reverberating acoustics, and you have one amazing night of music rising to the rafters.
One of their greatest qualities is also their energy and ability to engage an audience. With a very reserved group of attendees sitting comfortably in their seats, it didn’t take long for the band to have them to their feet dancing, and going so far as to even having a dance contest on stage for the the best and worst dancers. Their ability to include the audience from the very first song cemented their likability to those newcomers as well as those who have already seen and drank from the We Banjo 3 Koolaid.
Attendees were not disappointed in the least with two full sets of music from the bands catalog. With a quick intermission breaking it up for the band to catch their breath, it even allowed attendees time to take a guided tour of the artwork that surrounded them. As for Picasso, Dali, and Cole, I’m certain they enjoyed the show just as much if not more than those lucky enough to be at the sold out show.