MARCH 4, 2023 - CAMDEN, SC
Meet the Musicians
Returning to Irish Fest Camden for the 7th year is SYR (pronounced "sire"). The crowd favorite, Celtic folk rock band from Columbia takes inspiration from Celtic history, stories, and myth. SYR blends their own unique background to create powerful songs with themes like battle, love, heritage, and victory, celebrating the rich heritage of the Celtic Nations in a contemporary style with broad audience appeal. SYR's reputation for a high-energy performance has made them a welcome addition to many Celtic festivals and events, building a following across the U.S. and internationally. Their much anticipated third CD dropped in January 2022. The band consists of siblings Kyle (lead vocals, guitar) and Laurel MacCallum (vocals, percussion), Kelly Vance (bass), Greg Vance (drums), Ben Campbell (guitar), and Worth Lewallen (violin). For more information visit www.syrmusic.com.
Enter The Haggis -
For the better part of two decades, Toronto’s Enter The Haggis has combined bagpipes and fiddles with a rock rhythm section to create a distinctively eclectic sound, praised by The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and Canada’s Globe and Mail.
Their songs offer singalong melodies and deep, meaningful lyrics which tell the stories of everyday hard working people, often faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. Signature songs like “One Last Drink”, “Gasoline”, “Down With The Ship” and “Lancaster Gate” have had hundreds of thousands of plays on social media, appeared in Hollywood movies, and have been performed and recorded by artists around the world.
The Byrne Brothers are a multi award winning family band and Irish dancers from Dublin and one of the biggest names in traditional Irish music today. They are Luca 18 on Accordion, Finn 16 on Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar, Dempsey 12 on Bodhran & Whistle and Dad, Tommy on Uilleann Pipes, Bagpipes, Fiddle and Guitar. All County Champions on their instruments and Ulster Champion Irish Dancers.
Having moved to Orlando Florida in 2018 they became the youngest ever Cast Members of Walt Disney World.
With over 30 million views, half a million shares, over 56,000 followers on social media, front cover of The Irish Music Magazine, toured 44 US States and 2 Caribbean Cruises, The Byrne Brothers are making a great name for themselves in America and all over the world as a festival "must see" band!
THE BELFAST BOYS are Alyn Mearns (guitar & vocals) and Adrian Rice (mandolin, bodhran & vocals). Classically trained, Mearns is well-known as a consummate guitarist and inspired singer-songwriter, whose work with his ex-band, Airspace, won many plaudits from those in the know.
In performance, the boys work hard to deliver a serious traditional Irish set of jigs, reels, polkas and songs. They pay their own particular homage to folk classics from the likes of Planxty, The Bothy Band, and Christy Moore, mixed in with some tastefully popular pub numbers like ‘Molly Malone’ and ‘Tell Me Ma’. They even manage to breathe memorable new life into folk favourites like 'Danny Boy' and 'The Wild Mountain Thyme'.
Mearns and Rice both hail from the Troubled streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Carroll Brown was born and raised on a farm in rural South Carolina. His first music influences were church music and what scatterings he could pick up from the night time radio. Traditional southern gospel and bluegrass would give way to Jim Croce and James Taylor as he entered college.
His broadcasting degree would qualify him to be a recording engineer which was to be his ticket to the music business. His album “Roots and Wings” is the story of a farm boy who is driven from home by a dream only to eventually return to his roots. Those roots include Irish blood and his intense interest in the Irish music led to visits to his ancestral homeland and the release of his “Songs of Ireland project” in 1998.
The Foreign Landers
“I see the shining stars. I wonder if you see them too wherever you are.” ~ from “Foreign Lander”
This line of the traditional song from which The Foreign Landers take their name captures something of what makes this Transatlantic folk duo’s story so compelling. Mandolinist David Benedict grew up in South Carolina while Tabitha Agnew Benedict started playing 5-string banjo at a young age in her homeland of Northern Ireland. They spent their early years playing the same music, gazing at the same stars, yet still so far away from each other. But today Tabitha and David are carving their own path in the acoustic music world together, drawing on their unique international heritage to create something new. With the 2022 release of their album Travelers Rest, they share their own story in a way that is beautifully honest and moving. Although it is their story, listeners will find much that resonates within themselves—fears in the face of uncertainties and change, a commitment to cling to hope, and a longing for home/a familiar place to rest—all presented in a unique musical experience that sparks curiosity and joy, and showcases a love that unites across borders.
EJ Campbell, a New Jersey native, was born into Irish music. He returns for the second year to the Irish Fest Camden Saturday line-up and Friday evening's ShamROCK the Block. EJ learned most of the songs in-person watching his mentors, the Dublin-born Willie Lynch (The Willie Lynch Band) and Kerryman Kevin Guerin (Round the House), perform in establishments all around New Jersey and New York.
As a young boy, he was even called on stage to sing with the Wolfe Tones, Irish rebel band, and all were amazed that an American child knew the lyrics to their songs. Campbell didn’t pick up his guitar until his senior year of high school and hasn’t put it down since. After honing his craft practicing at home and playing family parties, he got his first opportunity performing between sets for ‘Round the House'. Since then, he’s performed around New Jersey and is excited to bring his style of Irish folk music to South Carolina!
Brandon Mullis has been rocking acoustically for more than 20 years. Hailing from North Augusta, SC, he has played stages from New York City's Carnegie Hall to Saint Augustine's Chianti Room, and everywhere in between. His sound is a folksy acoustic rock peppered with Southern charm. His second album, "Highways and Stars," was just released on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Brandon has been featured on Charleston's 98 Rock and Augusta's Southeastern Songwriter Series, and he hasn't updated his look since the '90s.