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Irish Band Skipper's Alley on Forging Their Path in Traditional Music

Joy Powers

Skipper’s Alley has found a following in places far from their home in Dublin. The Irish band has played on cruise ships, on a St. Patrick’s Day tour in the African nation of Zambia, and now the group is bringing their music to Milwaukee with a performance at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center

Skipper's Alley describes itself as a "modern Irish folk band with an old-school approach," and their music falls within the traditional Irish music genre - more generally. 

Skipper's Alley performs "Butcher's March."

"If you look at Irish music as an entire map... from solo traditional playing, where it's very much, kind of pure, and then the whole other end of the spectrum, we like to think of ourselves as somewhere in the middle. Verging certainly on the side of the ensembles and the contemporary music, but taking a lot of influence from the pure and solo traditional Irish music," says Macdara Yeates, who does lead vocals for the group. 

Skipper's Alley performs "She's a Gay Old Hag."

Skipper's Alley performed in studio with Yeates on bouzouki and bohdran, Fionnán Mac Gabhann on uilleann pipes, Ultan O'Brien on fiddle, Paddy Cummins on Irish tenor banjo, John Flynn on whistle and flute, and Sean Gavi on flute. 

Joy Powers is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.