"WE ARE ALL IRISH ON ST. PADDY'S DAY" - Anon
"Irish traditional music has survived more strongly against the forces of cinema, radio and the mass media than the indigenous folk music of most European countries. " - Wikipedia
Tom is originally from New Milford, NJ where he began playing bluegrass music on the 5-string banjo at the age of 12. He later developed an interest in acoustic and electric guitar and was involved in several rock and roll bands. Tom came back to the banjo in 1990 and was fortunate to study with legendary banjo master Tony Trischka for several years. In 1993, Tom started working for an Irish music record label and his obsession with Irish dance music and the uilleann pipes began. Having received his first "practice set" as a Christmas bonus, he began studying the pipes in 1995 under the tutelage of famed piper and teacher Bill Ochs in New York City. Tom studied with Bill consistently for the next 4 years and eventually moved to Maine in 1998 where he began to perform Irish music for the first time. In 2001, Tom attended the University of Limerick, Ireland and received a Masters Degree in Traditional Irish Music Performance. While there, he was fortunate to study with some of the masters of modern piping like Tommy Keane, Jimmy O’Brien Moran, Maire Ni Ghrada, Mickey Dunne, Mick Coyne and more. After a short tour of Finland with the Limerick-based group Sionna, Tom returned to Maine where he has been a staple of the Sunday afternoon session at Brian Boru ever since. In 2006, Tom began hosting and booking the Irish Night at Blue series in Portland which has now been running weekly for over 10 years and has been host to some of the area’s best homegrown talent as well as some of the leading players from around the world today. Tom currently lives in South Portland, ME, teaches uillean pipes and banjo, plays gigs whenever he can and continues to host the Sunday session at Brian Boru and curate the Irish Night at Blue series. He plays a full set of concert pitch pipes and a half set of flat pitch “C” pipes, both made by David Quinn of New York.
Chris “Junior” Stevens
Accordion & Concertina
Chris hails from Cape Neddick, Maine, where he began playing music at an early age. He has been playing traditional Irish music since 1998. Chris studied music at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He has performed at various festivals in and around New England with several groups and as a solo performer. In addition to Boghat, Chris currently plays with the much-lauded traditional group The Press Gang as well as Robert Sylvain’s Acadian Aces. Chris traveled to Ireland in 2000 to perform at the Fleadh Ceoil na Eirrean in Wexford. In addition to teaching many students, he has also led many Irish music “seisuns” and is a regular at the Brian Boru session on Sunday afternoons in Portland. He has been called "one of the most promising up and coming exponents of the Irish concertina in New England".
Songs, Bouzouki & Guitar
Calling Maine his home for the last 12 years, Matt is no stranger to the performance circuit throughout New England and afar. In addition to the guitar and mandolin, Matt plays bouzouki, tenor banjo and Old Time 5-string banjo. Matt earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Vermont College in 2004, majoring in Traditional Music Studies. During his time there, he toured through Nova Scotia, North Carolina and Maine compiling songs and stories from people he met, which later culminated as a radio documentary about traditional music in the 21st Century. Matt currently teaches at 317 Main St. Community Music Center and can be heard playing with Darlin’ Corey, Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection, High Range, The New England Bluegrass Band and in various Irish music ensembles. Matt has put out recordings with High Range and Erica Brown and played on others with Ron Cody’s “Talking Rake”, Joe Walsh’s “Sweet Loam” and Brad Strauss’ “Close to the Bone”. He also has released 2 recordings of his own. Matt is the newest member of the group, joining Boghat in 2016.