Saint Patrick’s Day is finally here me lads and lasses, so it makes perfect sense the Mighty Ploughboys, a popular five-member Irish rock band with roots in New Fairfield, Sherman, and Danbury, are in the spotlight tonight! The band is headlining at Daryl’s House Club in Pawling, New York, a popular restaurant and live music club hotspot owned by the famous Daryl Hall of the 1980s pop rock band, Hall & Oats.
To land this premier gig it takes much more than Irish luck. These musicians have that extra special something, called a distinctive sound, and this is exactly what the Mighty Ploughboys are known for throughout the tristate area.
So, how does a rock band with a unique, Celtic vibe get the honor of performing at Daryl’s House on Saint Patrick’s Day? In an interview with the Mighty Ploughboys, John Rich, the band’s vocalist and guitarist, said “when we reached out to them to see if they would like to hear us play, the manager told us to send in a video along with some original music samples, so we did just that.” Pat Hearty, the band’s lead singer and acoustic guitarist, added how it helped a lot that Renato Ghio, the band’s guitarist and mandolin player, owns a professional production studio, RmediA.tv, that produces videos for YouTube and iTunes. He thinks this gave the band a polished image that resonated really well with Daryl’s House. Pat also said, “I think it helped a lot that we were the headline at the Greater Danbury Irish Festival at Ives Concert Park last year,” which is quite impressive.
As for what makes the Mighty Ploughboys a local sensation, their music is certainly something new and different. Their unique sound is vibrant and energizing, and they creatively and harmoniously blend classic rock and alternative with traditional Irish styles. When asked to describe their music, Pat said it best. “At its core, we have a good rock edge, and we’re always ‘ploughboying it up.’ We’re traditional, too, which translates really well. We try not to cross the line and always try to stay true to our sound while balancing and paying tribute to the traditional.”
Since 2010, the five band members have experienced much success together with their first and second albums and the latest radio / music video single “Jenna McLean” is a hit. The second digital single “Up and Down” was just “unofficially” released last week and fans can’t get enough of it. Pat also shared how two months ago he formed his own record label, Paddy Boy Records, and the band’s third album will be released this year under this new label.
What’s interesting about the Mighty Ploughboys is how they write and create all of their original songs together. When a band member comes up with an idea, they get together and “play it out” until they have a new song.
When asked, what’s your favorite song, both Pat and Renato instantly said “Jenna McLean.” As for John, his all-time favorite is “Foggy Dew.” Jim Lynch, the band’s drummer and vocalist, loves the traditional. “Star of the County Down” from their first CD is his favorite. “Doing that song was the first time we really put our own spin on a traditional tune and made it unique. People really responded to it right away during our live shows.” Sean Finnerty, the band’s bass player, just loves all of their original music and said, “I like the new stuff we are working on because it’s fresh and different.”
Another secret to their success is how well the band members know each other. Pat said, “we’ve known each other for so long. All of us grew up and went to school together in New Fairfield, and years later, we still live in the area. We are all really good friends. Our band is a collaboration and there are no egos involved.” Renato added, “I’ve had some of the best gigs in my life with our band!”
The Mighty Ploughboys don’t just play onstage in nightclubs, and their fans are of all ages. They also perform at Irish festivals, community theaters, local events, and fundraisers. In fact, the Mighty Ploughboys just performed at Molly Darcy’s in Danbury and they rocked the house to raise money for the Danbury Saint Patrick’s Day Festival. To see them live was a treat for the whole family, and it was a perfect example of how old Irish traditions blend perfectly with new Irish rock.
So, why does this Celtic contemporary rock band make you proud to be Irish or at least wish that you had some Irish in you? Find out for yourself and go see a show! The Mighty Ploughboys are performing on Saturday, March 19, at the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center’s Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend Concert, and the show starts at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, April 6, they are performing at the Ridgefield Playhouse, and the show starts at 7 p.m. For more information, visit their website: MightyPloughboys.com or follow them in social media channels.
Story and photos by Alicia Sakal. This article was written for Citizen News, Saint Patrick’s Day edition.