athas | Irish Music from Milwaukee

Irish Music from Milwaukee

áthas lights the dance floor on fire with a combination of traditional and newly composed Irish music. Fierce fiddle, driving bodhrán, and funky guitar riffs come together to lift listeners' feet, drinks, and spirits.

áthas - 10 for 10: Live Tracks and Rarities: Track Notes

athas 10 for 10: Live Track and Rarities

May of 2015 marked 10 years of us together as áthas. To celebrate and as a way to say thanks to our fans and supporters, we decided to put together some live tracks and radio appearances from the past several years. We hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane! 

1. Tonra’s/Bill Collins’/The Spotted Dog (jigs) 4:54

Heather got “The Spotted Dog” from classes with the ladies of Liadan at the 2007 Irish Fest Summer School. It was written by Birmingham fiddler John McEvoy. Tonra’s and Bill Collins’ are both played around the Milwaukee area.

2. The Ballydesmond/Terry Teahan’s/The Goat (polkas) 3:55

These three polkas were again sourced at the Irish Fest Summer School. Heather got “The Goat” from Liz Carroll, who in turn got from the playing of the Doon Ceili Band.

The set was recorded as part of WMSE’s Local Live show during the week of the 2008 Milwaukee Irish Fest. Our good friend Paul Marshall joined us on djembe for the set. We used the interview time to talk about the Paul Phillips’ Scholarship and the fundraising recording project that we’d completed with Paul Marshall in the early parts of 2008.

3. Spootiskerry/Teatime with Seamus (reels) 3:42

This set of reels appeared on our first CD, but it has evolved into a faster pace during our live sets the past few years. “Spootiskerry” is a tune from the Shetland Islands, and Heather wrote “Teatime with Seamus” in honor of her and Amy’s first meeting with bodhran maker Seamus O’Kane.

4. The Torn Petticoat/Padraig O’Keeffe’s (slides) 3:37

We put these slides together during our times playing for the Milwaukee area set dances.

5. Josefin’s Waltz/Hare’s Paw/Tommy People’s (waltz/reels) 6:09

This set is another example of how tunes from our first CD have evolved over the year. “Josefin’s” was written by Roger Tallroth of the Swedish band, Väsen. It’s been popular around Milwaukee for years. The slow jam version of “Hare’s Paw” came out of our weekly gig at the Brocach Pub a few years back (which sadly came to a close in the fall of 2014 after a management change), and it only seemed natural to include “Tommy People’s” to finish off the set.

6. The Frogg/Mopac Crawl/Tom Mhic’s (polkas) 4:02

Our good friend Charlie Branch from The Tea Merchants wrote the first two polkas. They’re named for two roads in the Austin area, and he wrote the tunes while stuck in traffic on said two roads. “Tom Mhic’s” is a traditional tune.

7. Where’s The Cat?/Eileen O’Riordan’s/Kings of Kerry (slides) 3:34

Another set from the WMSE appearance, this set of slides was put together during the Paul Phillips CD project. “Kings of Kerry” was written by Sharon Shannon and the lads in the Waterboys.

8. Maid Behind the Bar/The Earl’s Chair/The Gravel Walks (reels) 5:16

This set of reels was recorded at the fantastic Paddy’s Pub on Milwaukee’s East Side back in January of 2008.

9. Walsh’s/Typolka (polkas) 3:34

Heather’s Irish side comes from Walsh family, so this traditional tune is fitting. She wrote “Typolka” for one of her cats.

This track is also our first studio recording since our debut release back in 2007, but it’s not for lack of trying! Heather’s fiddle part was originally recorded in 2009 for a potential new album. We scrapped those plans as we added flutist Kathleen Bremer to the lineup later that summer. Jeff rediscovered the track going through his hard drive doing some late spring cleaning in 2015.

Jeff and Amy tracked their parts this past July and ta-da… new recording!

10. The Wren/Anything for John Joe/The Devil’s Dream (An Dro/reels) 5:14

Another set of tunes from the WMSE appearance featuring Paul Marshall on djembe. Heather got the Breton an dro from a student, and the reels have been favorites of ours for years.