Rig the Jig are Michael Banahan (Vocals, BodhrÃ¡n & Acoustic Guitar), Johnnie Duffy (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle & Banjo), Brendan Doyle (Accordion & Acoustic Guitar), Jimmy Flanagan (Banjo, Acoustic Guitar & Vocals), Noel Carberry (Uilleann Pipes, Whistles), and Paul Gurney (Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar & Keyboards).
Formed in 1997, Rig the Jig have evolved into one of the leading lights in Irish traditional / folk music.
After gigging regularly as a quintet, Rig the Jig decided in 1998 to record an album, so with producer Charlie McGettigan went into LG Studios in Longford and recorded "One Night in Harlow's". An album that is as close to a live album as is possible, this was recorded in two days with no overdubbing. The concept behind the album was recreating a night in J.J. Harlow's pub, which was one of the first venues in which Rig the Jig performed together. The album received critical acclaim as the band from the midlands combined traditional tunes, Irish songs and American folk songs. This was followed in 1999 by the release of their second album, "Finding the Gold". This album spurred the band to even greater heights, culminating with the production of album number three, in 2002, "Stormy Brew".
Stormy Brew is attracting a sensational level of interest at the moment. Radio stations all over the world are reporting torrents of requests to play tracks from the album. The band has been requested to give radio interviews all over the world, and has performed live on several local radio stations by popular request. Live performances on air have endeared the band to radio and TV producers and audiences alike.
Rig the Jig are no strangers to television either. After "Finding the Gold" was released, Rig the Jig featured on TV shows such as 'GeantraÃ' on TG4 and "Up for the Match" on RTE 1. The band has three times appeared on the very popular RTE television show Open House. In Austria they were invited to appear on the top rated TV chat show VERA. As if that weren't enough, in Taiwan that the band bumped into none other than Ronan Keating who was out there promoting his own debut album. The band made an appearance at Ronan's press conference, which led to an invitation to perform two days later at an open-air festival. MTV Asia broadcasted this, and the performance went out live to over 20 million viewers.
Rig the Jig have set up a website - www.rigthejig.com. The website includes biographies, music samples, photographs and the latest news from the band. A full list of forthcoming gigs is included in the "Concerts" section. Using this website fans can access information about the band, purchase product if they so wish using CCNow's online purchasing facility, and join the Rig the Jig emailing list, keeping up to date on all news concerning the band. Watch Rig the Jig go from strength to strength and listen out for the best folk 'n' traditional band in Ireland!
As mentioned already, Rig the Jig have expanded their horizons by travelling abroad. In 2000, Rig the Jig toured Austria where they played one of Austria's most prestigious venues, the Metropol Theatre in Vienna. In 2001 and 2002 they returned to Austria for four sell out shows, with return visits to the Metropol. In addition, the band has played, in Sarajevo (1998) and Taiwan (2000). 2001 saw them travel to Switzerland, where they played at the Inter-Celtic Folk Festival. In August 2002 Rig the Jig headed stateside, to Illinois to be precise. On the strength of "Stormy Brew" the band was invited to perform at an international folk festival in Peoria, Illinois. This was the centrepiece of a tour of the area, taking in Chicago, among other cities. In 2003 Rig the Jig are toured Hong Kong and returned to the USA on two separate occasions.
What strikes the casual observer most about Rig the Jig's live performances is the reaction of the audience. In every case, music lover or not, the concert-goer is thoroughly entertained. This is achieved through sheer variety of material, performing virtuosity, and perhaps most importantly, an acute sense of what entertains an audience. A Rig the Jig performance brings an audience on a rollercoaster experience. At various stages they are spellbound with awe at the skills of the musicians and singers, laughing uproariously at the banter which constantly bats forward and back from one musician to the next, joining in with the catchy choruses, and, finally, vowing that this will not be their last Rig the Jig concert. What comes across time and again is the enjoyment that this band itself gets out of the live performance, and this transmits unerringly to the seated audience.
This is Rig The Jig's third album and we have seen them progress from a group who swept us along with their sheer enthusiasm to a cohesive unit who have accumulated vast experience through many TV appearance and world wide sell out concerts. They are now a powerful force in the Irish traditional music scene but, thankfully, they still retain the enthusiasm which is so much a part of what they are. Their playing is, as usual, flawless.
"Rig the Jig gets your toes tapping, your heart racing, and Irish or not, it brings out your Irish roots. .This band knows how to have fun, and it shows in their music..Go out and buy a cd.."
Roz & Howard Larman
www.folkscene.com Los Angeles, California
Rig The Jig is one of the most exciting new bands I have heard in my nearly 15
years as a Celtic music radio programmer. All of its members are exceptional
players, and with three singers capable of being soloists with any other band,
Rig The Jig is in the forefront of the current new wave of Irish musical groups.
When you add their two world class step dancers into the mix, you have one of
the most entertaining groups on the planet. Considering their impeccable choice
of both instrumental and vocal pieces, you can put Rig The Jig in a class by
"Treasures From The Isles"
Glen Ellyn, IL USA
When Rig the Jig let fly, a spirit of connection exists between Irish traditional music and contemporary American material, which is both fresh and invigorating as well as sounding completely natural and unforced
John O'Regan, Folk Roots Magazine
Here you will find a selection of reviews by several writers on Rig the Jig's albums to date
"Rig the Jig are a veritable melting pot of maestros. Everywhere it's the richness of texture that strikes a chord. It's a genuine cornucopia"
SIOBHAN LONG - HOT PRESS
"Fast paced instrumentals, fine singing with that distinctive new Irish country feel to it, somewhere between Christy Moore and The Waterboys, songs full of good humour and witty words"
ANDY RYAN - IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE
Rig the Jig's first album, 'One Night in Harlow's', was a "masterpiece of energy and atmosphere".
JO ROGERS - IRISH POST (LONDON)
"There is comradeship in these men's voices and the sound is proud and sad but Jimmy Flanagan's voice has an irresistible and sensuous feel."
JO ROGERS - IRISH POST (LONDON)
"The concert stage beckons for this outfit and the performances here show they are ready to make the transition. Rig the Jig have found their voice and Finding the Gold has them ripe for discovery by the wider world"
JOHN O'REGAN - ROCK 'N'REEL
"Rig the Jig play a mixture of traditional tunes and folk ballads with humorous intentions. Not that they play for laughs but there is so much good nature in the work that you cannot help smiling at the results. [Stormy Brew] is a well crafted calling card for sure.
SEAN LAFFEY - IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE
Check out the artist's website:
1. Take Her In Your Arms
2. Connaught Combination (Jigs)
3. Hard Times
4. Southern Surprise (Slides / Reel)
5. Storms On The Ocean
6. Slow Air
7. McComiskey's Set (Reels)
8. The Errant Apprentice
9. Steady Does It (Reels)
10. The Groves Of Kilteevan
11. Morning Dew Set (Reel / Jig)
12. Goin' The Wrong Direction
13. Christmas Eve Set (Reels)
14. McKeown And I