Irish Supergroup The ALT Brings Celebration of Friendship to the Ten Pound Fiddle

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 8:00 am
Christopher A. Wardell

To call the Irish folk group The ALT a “supergroup” would be an understatement. All three of the group’s members – John Doyle (guitar, bouzouki, vocals), Cathy Jordan (vocals, bodhran, bones), and Eamon O’Leary (guitar, bouzouki, vocals) – are all successful solo artists in their own right.

The trio will perform Friday April 20th at 7:30 p.m. at the MSU Community Music School, as a part of the Ten Pound Fiddle Concert Series.

O’Leary is an in-demand vocalist and guitarist in folk music today in his own right, while Jordan has performed her music in over 40 different countries. Her travels even brought her to the Rock in Rio festival where she performed in front of a crowd of over 250,000 people. Doyle was once referred to by Wall Street Journal music writer Earl Hitchner as a guitarist who’s risen to a level that is occupied by him alone.

According to O’Leary, it was a mutual admiration that brought the trio together to write and perform new music.

“The three of us are old friends who had played informally together for many years, meeting at various gatherings, festivals, and recording sessions.” O’Leary said. “All three of us play a lot of instrumental music, but our first love is the song. We decided that the focus of this particular trio would be songs - particularly unearthing older, lesser known songs and arranging them for strings, flute, and voices.”

This unearthing of older songs led to the inspiration for their first album, “The Alt,” in which the group honors their love of traditional Irish music, and pays respects to the first Irish immigrants who settled in Appalachia. To truly honor this tradition, the group secluded themselves and recorded the album in a cabin in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains.

“The remote setting gave us complete focus on the recording process, with no distractions.” O’Leary said. “There were a few technical limitations, but we tried to turn that into a virtue.”

O’Leary is not sure if the group will write or record new material anytime soon. Right now, the musician is just looking forward to touring with his friends, which will hopefully steer them back home to Ireland in the near future.

“It’s hard to say if we’ll record another album together.” O’Leary said. “We regularly work on new material whenever we meet, so perhaps those songs will be recorded down the road. All our touring has been in the United States and Canada to date, so we would all like to bring the music home and tour Ireland one of these days.”

The audience at the Ten Pound Fiddle show can expect the artists to bring a night of songs from their native Ireland, solo songs, and tunes they’ve written together.

“The Alt is more about traditional song, although we have each brought some original compositions to the set.” O’Leary said. “Each member will bring in ideas and then we’ll collaborate on arrangements.”

Sally Potter, the Booking Agent for the Ten Pound Fiddle, said she expects a night of really special music.

“This is a trio of superstars in the Celtic music world, who happen to be great friends and enjoy touring together,” Potter said. “Their blend of music is exquisite. They focus their energy to make one magical sound to be shared with the room. They are all about the beauty and the music they create.”


Tickets are $20 for the general public, $18 for Ten Pound Fiddle Members; and $5 for Students. They are available online or at the box office starting at 6:30 PM.

MSU’s Community Music School is located at 4930 Hagadorn Road

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