The Prodigals

Based in New York, this Irish/American group should not be confused with Mike Garden's Scottish outfit bearing the same name although they share styles. This band has obvious traditional influences coupled with strong punk and drum'n'bass references. The accordion playing style of Gregory Grene resembles that of John Whelan and is the Prodigals' lead instrument. Grene's expertise on accordion and his understanding of Irish music elevates the group as one of the premier Celtic rock bands leading into the 21st century. Their rhythm section of Andew Harkin (bass) and Brian Tracey (drums) is one of the most powerful and pulsating within the genre, adding an element of uniqueness to their sound. Their first album was a self-titled independent 1997 release when the band was a quintet. Guitarist Sean McCabe and harmonica/fiddle player Alex Tobias departed after that debut album and were replaced by guitarist Ray Kelly whose gruff lead vocals added a more aggressive element to their music. Their second release, Go on, from 1999 features the foursome of Grene, Harkin, Tracey, and Kelly. ~ Dave Sleger

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