It really does make my wee heart skip a beat every time I watch yet another posting from The Byrne Brothers on Facebook. A little part of me feels like their extended family. Having met the family just a few times, it really is very easy to just feel that connection with them. It all goes back to a meeting in The Cottage Bar in Letterkenny at the beginning of 2017.
I’d been commissioned to interview this young family for Irish Music Magazine. We were meeting on a Saturday afternoon for a chat. It was a chat to gain me a whole family of friends from that day forward. Tommy, Julie, Luca, Finn and Dempsey are a super talented family, but they also possess that down to earth factor, not every musician has.
We chatted about their Late Late Toy Show performance and how their lives catapulted from thereon. But even prior to this the boys and their Dad had been playing together for many years. The Toy Show just gave them that extra recognition that they so deserved. To cut a long musical story short, the family were in Orlando, Florida playing within a few months of the Toy Show appearance for a month. They returned to Donegal with the opportunity to return to Orlando with a residency at Raglan Road there, from the beginning of 2018. And so the family’s first year, based in the US, is well and truly passed. And it’s been a whirlwind of a year for them.
Shortly before the family left Donegal I was very fortunate to go along and see them play one of their final shows at The Central Hotel in Donegal Town. They totally blew me away that night, and although it was very sad to see them leave this beautiful county, it was clear that bigger things were in store for this super talented family.
The boys are all County Champions of their Traditional Irish Instruments, Duo and Trio Champions and Ulster Champion Irish Dancers. Their Dad Tommy backs them on Guitar and also plays Uilleann Pipes, Fiddle Whistles and Bagpipes.
Their Show is fast paced with brilliant musicianship on multiple instruments, exciting and dynamic arrangements as well as world class Irish dancing. It really is a sight to see and hear.
Since early 2018 the family have been resident at Raglan Road in Florida. Last summer they toured a large part of America, taking in a huge selection of festivals and venues. They played to sell-out shows everywhere they went.
They are the youngest ever cast members of Disney. They are doing a 4 month tour during this coming summer filled with Irish festivals and Irish Centers and then Hawaii.
They’re doing 3 cruises with Girty Byrne, Andy Cooney and Kathy Durkin. And to top it off, they’ve been begged by Americas Got Talent produces to go on the show; and their views on Facebook have passed the 30 million mark They have around 44,500 followers and their videos from this years St. Patrick’s celebrations have reached over 28,000 views and still going.
And to think I’ve hung out with this hugely talented family. Mum Julie is ever present in the background managing, planning, and doing all the prep work for the boys and Dad. It really is a collaborative effort from all the family.
I love watching the boys growing not only in talent, but in their new lives surfing, videoing, photographing and more. These guys have certainly come a very very long way, and they’ve still got a long way to go….the world!
The Byrne Brothers have also just released a new album, The Byrne Brothers and it’s so good. Buy it now at https://www.thebyrnebrothers.com/online-store. You really won’t be disappointed.
If I don’t get to the US in the next year to see/hear these guys, then I certainly hope there’s a home tour coming up soon. I think Ireland would be a great stop for a few gigs guys. Please…please….but for now, here’s wishing Tommy, Julie, Luca, Finn and Dempsey a fabulous summer ahead, with lots of miles, tunes and dance as they continue taking the US by storm.