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Four Seriously Irish Concerts to See in Chicago

Traditional fiddlers and folk singers—some from Ireland, others from the South Side—bring the brogue to town from now ’til May.

The Tossers perform at the Metro on March 15
The Tossers perform at the Metro on March 15   Photo: Courtesy of The Tossers

The Tossers

South Side native Tony Duggins got his start playing traditional Irish songs in neighborhood pubs before forming this rollicking outfit in 1993 (before Celtic-punk was a thing), which pairs mandolin, fiddle and accordion with traditional rock instruments for a folk-and-punk-steeped Celtic sound that’s all its own.
3/15 at 8, Metro

Brian Conway

One of the world’s top players of the rapid-fire fiddle style from the Sligo region of Ireland, the NYC-born musician hits town for a workshop and performance through the “Visiting Masters” series at Irish Music School of Chicago.
3/28 (no time listed), Chief O’Neill’s

James Kelly & Dáithí Sproule

Ireland native James Kelly is a decorated traditional fiddler that has played with The Chieftains, appeared on Prairie Home Companion and has scooped up numerous folk-music awards. He appears in the second installation of the “Visiting Masters” series, alongside one his musical collaborators, guitarist Dáithí Sproule.
4/5 at 7, Chief O’Neill’s

Black 47

Teens of the 90s will recognize this Irish new wave act’s breakout single “Funky Céilí (Bridie’s Song),” which hit MTV airwaves in 1993. After 20 years of writing brogue-infused rock jigs, the NYC-based sextet are hanging up their scally caps on this farewell tour, which hits the Gaelic Park Irish Festival this spring.
5/25 and 5/26, Gaelic Park Irish Festival

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