Shores of America explores the band’s family and musical roots growing up Irish-American narrowbacks in New York City. The songwriting ranges from the intense “Flight of the Earls in reverse” in the title track Shores of America, to the intensely personal Going Home, and dreamy passion of First Kiss. The musical energy and skill is especially well captured in the instrumental Recovery Set.
What are the tracks about?
Shores of America, the title track for the recording is a song about the changing fortunes and direction for the Irish-Americans in the US and NYC specifically... from the perspective of the Irish-American firefighter who dies on 9/11, the Irish immigrant girl who decides to emigrate back to Ireland given the booming economy at home, and the Irish mother's lament about her sons serving in the US military in the current foreign conflicts. First Kiss is a NYC love song... probably outside the Irish bars off Queens Boulevard harkening to a magic moment under the legendary 7 train. Everyone can think back to a first kiss… this song is all about those magical moments.
Those Were The Days is a song for all our friends and supporters who have come out to see us in clubs and festivals all around the US. Our parents called us Irish American children “narrowbacks” because we goofed off and didn’t work as hard as they did… they were probably right… and this song is for all the narrowbacks.
Going Home is a bitter song about things gone wrong in the family... with a call out to get back to the roots.
Who I Am is an introspective tribute to Irish parents and their odd traditional ways that have become our own. This is a real standout for Kathleen’s songwriting.
Chapel Bells is a longing lament of an Irish immigrant missing his love still in Ireland. The track has a wonderful moody instrumental feel that culminates in a raucous tune crescendo.
Whisper is a rock tune that jumps out of the speaker at you. Drawing from newer alternative rock themes, this song asks a question about that someone from all of our pasts that seems to keep whispering in our ear.
Jukebox at Erin’s is a tongue in cheek tribute to a Catskills town where all the Irish families in NYC took their kids for a cheap summer vacation.
Recovery Set is what the band plays when they need to feel better… especially after late nights. This set of tunes was arranged one Sunday afternoon as the band was “recovering” from a big show the night before… and thus the name.
Summer of My Dreams is a tug at the heart strings ballad about young love and loss in a fishing town. Kathleen’s singing and Walter’s dobro steal the show here.
22 is the band’s favorite new instrumental… melding funk and traditional with a haunting lyric added by Kathleen.
Describe the band?
Celtic Cross is pop/folk with a strong Celtic traditional influence from the heart of New York City. Growing up with immigrant parents, the band was immersed in Irish music, dance, and tradition. But like all kids, also heavily influenced by music on the radio, Celtic Cross plays Irish tunes with a pop flare.
The seven-piece band is lead by lead vocalist Kathleen Fee, a talented singer-songwriter. The lively band features a solid bass-drums-guitar rhythm section, and a talented Irish accordion, fiddle, banjo/mandolin traditional section
Kathleen Fee is the band’s lead singer-songwriter, front-woman, and driving force. An accomplished Irish Traditional singer, Kathleen’s voice ranges from silky ballads to the driving rock and pop dance songs that are the band’s hallmarks. You may even catch her “give a step” during a performance, showing of her champion Irish step-dancing. With writing credit for Shores of America, Who I Am, Those Were The Days, Going Home on the band’s new CD, Kathleen has established herself as one of New York’s up and coming songwriters.
Kenneth Vesey is a All Ireland Champion and eight time North American Champion fiddle player. His eclectic style was developed in part by his instructors, Martin Mulvihill, Mary Mahon and Eileen Ivers. While a virtuoso Irish player, Kenny’s style fits right in with the country, R&B and rocking styles of the band.
John Vesey, button accordionist and brother to Kenneth and Kathleen, is a three time North American Champion. John blends impeccable Celtic chops with a Cajun and downright honky-tonk style. His innovative approach to traditional Irish music is evident in his unparalleled physical style overflowing with energy. You might even catch him playing the box over his head Jimi Hendrix-style.
Frankie McCormick on banjo and mandolin, from Tyrone, Ireland, came to the USA 1986. He has 2 All-Ireland solo championship titles on banjo and mandolin as well as the coveted All-Ireland Scor Award. Frankie brings a fresh northern punch to the phrasing of the tunes and his quick wit keeps the audience howling. When Kenny, John and Frankie play together, it is pure magic… so much so that they placed third in the 2005 Senior Trio Championship in Ireland this summer.
Walter Ensor is a native of the well-known Irish stronghold, Rockaway Beach, New York. With charming vocals and versatile guitar-playing, Walter is at the heart of the Celtic Cross sound. Walter hails from a family of musicians who have influenced his unique style and knowledge of music. Walter is also an accomplished solo performer around town.
Pat Dineen, another NYC native, is the band’s bassist/keyboardist. Also providing vocals and songwriting, Pat plays a major role in the band’s signature punchy rhythmic style. Pat has appeared with several popular NYC area bands including Tippling Way and Peter Street.
Dave Barckow grew up in Woodside, Queens. Like his bandmates, Dave has been playing the drums since he was a kid, and has vast and storied experience with a variety of leading bands, both Irish and rock & roll. Dave plays guitar, sings, and is an accomplished song writer. Also an accomplished solo performer, Dave’s other major musical project is Trigger, one of the most happening original alternative Irish acts in NYC.