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The Irish Rovers to perform in St. Patrick's Day celebration

Irish Rovers final note

The Irish Rovers plays during their 50th anniversary television special, "LIVE on St. Patrick’s Day." The Irish Rovers, self-proclaimed ambassadors of Irish music, will stop by 7:30 p.m. March 3 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

The Irish Rovers, self-proclaimed ambassadors of Irish music, will stop by 7:30 p.m. March 3 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The Irish Rovers have charmed audiences around the world with their Irish-influenced music, according to the theater’s website.

“Throughout the years, these ambassadors of Irish music have maintained their timeless ability to deliver a rollicking, rousing performance of good cheer – one that will have you singing and clapping along,” the website reads.

With five decades of music experience under their belts, the eight-member group has toured Japan, Germany, Australia and New Zealand according to an Irish Rovers press release.

But it wasn’t until the 1960s that the Irish Rovers made headway in the United States on shows, including "The Tonight Show," "The Mike Douglas Show" and "The Dating Game," according to the release.

The band also had its own international TV series, “The Irish Rovers Show,” in the '70s before going on to start the weekly TV show, “The Rovers Comedy House,” for the following 20 years.

“‘The Rovers Comedy House’ brought Ireland and other Irish musicians into the living rooms of North America,” the release stated.

The group’s 2012 album, “Drunken Sailor,” led to the Irish Rovers’ resurgence, putting them back on radio stations across North America, according to the release.

Each band member is a renowned musician on his own, according to the release.

Banjo player Sean O’Driscoll was born in Blarney, Ireland, but spent years performing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and became an Irish Rover 21 years ago.

“Big Sean has long been a bright light in the traditional music scene,” according to the release.

Vocalist and songwriter George Millar started the band in 1963 and focuses his songwriting on Celtic history and emigration, according to the release.

Ian Millar sings and plays guitar and bass for the Irish Rovers. He took over his father Joe Millar’s role in the Irish Rovers when he joined the band.

Fiddle player Gerry O’Connor has played for the Irish Rovers’ albums and TV specials for many years, according to the release.

Morris Crum sings and plays accordion and keyboard for the Irish Rovers, while Fred Graham plays the bodhran, a handheld drum. Geoffrey Kelly picks up the flute for the Irish Rovers, and Wilcil McDowell is the group‘s accordion player.

But the band’s days of TV specials and viral videos are winding down.

“The days of the long tours are finally coming to an end for these Irish lads as they are now completing one last world tour,” according to the release. “After that, they will rove again only for special events, festivals and longer stays.”

Christine Fernando

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