Originally formed in 1996, The Killdares have come to be known as one of the hottest, cutting edge bands in music today—Celtic or otherwise. World-class musicians from all over the U.S., they have come together in Texas to create and perform a brand new version of hard-driving, alternative Celtic rock music.
Blending traditional Celtic playing skills, power-pop accessibility, and straight up rock ‘n’ roll hooks, The Killdares have created a fresh new sound that’s blended with enough commercial edge to be instantly recognizable, always engaging, and appealing to fans of all ages. Their live shows are filled with an infectious energy so powerful that it has been known to move people to tears. Even die-hard fans of purely traditional Celtic music have embraced the band’s powerful genre-bending sound.
Expanding the definition of “Celtic”, the band uses the unconventional pairing of screaming, fire-driven fiddle and bagpipes with the wail of electric guitar, bass and drums to create brilliant arrangements of traditional tunes and original compositions. This distinctive sound combined with the band’s incredible stage presence is nothing short of awesome.
“I love the idea of combining something as beautiful and melodic as a traditional fiddle or bagpipe with crunchy American rock n’ roll guitar, and having it work,” says founding member Tim Smith.
Joining the likes of Don Henley (The Eagles), Phil Collins (Genesis) and Fred LeBlanc (Cowboy Mouth), Dallas native Tim Smith handles lead vocals and drums with amazing nonchalance, locking in with Troy Gallaher’s energetic and “in-the-groove” bass playing and the beautifully expressive electric and acoustic guitar stylings of Brek Lancaster.
Drums, bass, and guitar—all the ingredients of a quintessential rock-and-roll band.
But wait, there’s more!
Add to this dynamic rock-and-roll band, the 2005 Grand Master Fiddler Champion, Roberta Rast, and competition piper Matt Willis on the haunting Great Highland bagpipes, and you have all the right ingredients for a truly amazing Celtic Rock / World music / AAA / Rock-and-Roll extravaganza!
In 2002, six-time National Fiddle Champion Roberta Rast joined the band. With the title of Grand Master Champion, her fiddling journey has taken her from small-town Idaho to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and now on stage with The Killdares.
Since first appearing on the music scene over 10 years ago, The Killdares have gone from local pub performers to national touring headliners, sharing stages with an incredibly diverse range of national and international artists.
In 1998, the band released their self-produced debut CD, Broken With A Word. Their 2001 follow-up, A Place To Stand, showed exceptional growth and maturity in their song writing, and contained a higher energy that caught the attention of producer Chris Bell, who has worked with Erykah Badu, and also with other prominent acts such as U2, Kirk Franklin, Fuel and most recently the Polyphonic Spree. A Place To Stand would be submitted in 2001 for Grammy® nominations in 5 categories.
The Killdares released their third CD in the middle of the following year. Simply entitled LIVE, this album is a snapshot of their broad live set list, and in 2002 was also submitted for Grammy® nominations. Over the course of five albums to date, the band has delivered top-notch original numbers, and introduced fans to a roster of influences that includes Big Country, Fairport Convention, and punk pioneers The Ramones. From their signature instrumental jams, to their radio-friendly pop-rock songs, The Killdares continue to solidify their reputation as a great live band.
With the release of their 2005 full-length recording, Any Given Element, The Killdares continued to expand their tour schedule all over the U.S. playing hundreds of shows a year, and building thousands of new fans throughout the nation.
Finally, in 2008 The Killdares reached new heights with their 5th independently released and produced album, Secrets of the Day. This album has been described as “dark, captivating and experimental,” and combines electronic, acoustic and other unique instrumentation to create an exciting new sound that has attracted new fans, but captivates and elates existing fans.
Presenting a perfect blend of rock, pop, and Celtic, The Killdares have established themselves as a unique team of musicians—stretching the boundaries of independent rock ‘n’ roll, while bridging the gap between the traditional and the cutting edge.
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