Steam Irish Quartet + Catherine O'Connell (fiddle, concertina, guitar, bodhran, vocalist)
The STEAM quartet takes its name and inspiration from Chicago native (by way of Doolin, County Clare) John Williams' 2001 ground-breaking album of the same name. A dynamic blend of traditional Irish and Celtic melodies with modern rhythmic ideas and chord structures, this album explored the themes passed down to him from a family deeply rooted in Irish traditional music. STEAM carries this forward even further by incorporating musicians with backgrounds in the classical and jazz genres. Unpretentious and accessible, their deceptively "simple" music is both emotionally evocative and engaging. Re-imagined arrangements of exuberant jigs and reels as well as quiet, soulful melodies from the West coast of Ireland and beyond create a unique expression of the ever-evolving folk music tradition.
The Steam Quartet is a powerful combo of the leading exponents of traditional Irish music from the international acoustic scene. Chicago artists John Williams, Katie Grennan, Steve Morrow and Jeff Lindblade have thrilled audiences from Shanghai to Chicago and from Paris to Pittsburgh. Concertina, fiddle, bodhran and guitar ignite to raise the rafters and warm the heart. Appearances on BBC, PBS, Dreamworks, Riverdance and with the Chieftains round out their various backgrounds and their versatility embraces dance, wit, and road-tested musical integrity.