ERIN ROGUE was formed when my wife and I got tired of searching the pubs in the city for good Irish music. Music and a pint always seem to go together, much like football and a pint, or, for that matter, cleaning the attic and a pint.

After months of searching, one winter night we finally found a place that struck a welcome balance between harmonious sounds and pleasing malt beverages. At the end of the evening – after a number of these beverages – we asked the management if they would be interested in hiring our own Irish band to play Christmas music for the upcoming holiday. At the time, no such band existed, but they said “yes” and “Kelly’s Christmas Band” was born.

I called some musical friends, starting with Lori. I had heard her singing at a local church where she leads the worship service, and I was in awe of her voice. She lives in the country – way in the country – and when not singing, she is busy restoring and remodeling her turn-of-the-last-century farmhouse. I asked her to sing with the new band, and, with a lilt in that sweet voice, she said, “Sure.” Now, with two people, it was really a band.

Greg and I have played music together for twenty years (I never thought I’d do anything for twenty years). When I called, he gave me a quick lesson in musicology, then said, “Well, you know, I'm not really Irish, I'm actually Welsh.” He followed with a short course on the Celts, the Scandinavians, the History of the British Isles, etc. Then he said: “Yes.”

Mark is the rogue of the group, an author, standup comedian, physician, and percussionist. I had heard about his percussion skills from Eric Swanlund, another musical doctor featured on our first disk, so I called his office asking for “some doctor who plays drums.” Luckily, one thing Mark says a lot is, “I'm in.”

Over time the band has changed a bit. Jerome, who I have known for years as a fun loving bass and man of all talents, use to occasionally stand in (on bass). Now he is almost always there. Music for all of us is such a good counter to the wear and tear of everything else. Larry and Matt on the other hand joined the group at about the same time. Matt is a fiddle playing friend of a friend. I've noticed Larry playing a hot harmonica for some time. Rather quickly they just became like family. Lori joins us from time to time.

Together we became Kelly’s Christmas Band, and then, when we figured out that the holiday season would end, Erin Rogue. It’s a name that suits us -- friends, musicians, and rogues tied together in a Celtic knot of friendship, music, and, of course, a pint.

David Brown

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