The Drovers Tickets
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The Drovers are a Chicago rock band whose original songs were influenced by Irish traditional dance music. Founded by traditional fiddler Sean Cleland in 1988, the group recorded four albums and soundtrack music for the motion pictures, Backdraft and Blink. Songwriters Mike Kirkpatrick (guitar) and David Callahan (bass, vocals) drew from Irish rhythmns to craft songs that became increasingly psychedelic over a 12-year period until the band ceased performing in September 2002. Kirkpatrick, in particular, created uniquely Irish compositions, often including reels and jigs of his own invention. Callahan's songs, while obviously influenced by Celtic/American folk music, tended toward a less ethnic-sounding psychedelia. The group is remembered for its unpredictable, incendiary live performances as the "house band" at Chicago's Cabaret Metro during the early to mid 1990s. They exported this act and won ardent fan bases in Upstate New York and New York City, the rust belt, and Midwestern college towns from Oberlin, OH to Omaha, NE. Even though they gained worldwide exposure through the release of "Blink," in which they appear onscreen as themselves, the band toured exclusively in North America. The Drovers' 1991 first studio album, "World of Monsters," featured Kathleen Keane on flute, vocals and button accordion and Jackie Moran, in addition to Cleland, Callahan and Kirkpatrick. "Book of Songs" brought the Drovers their first commercial radio exposure. The songs, "Boys and the Babies" and "When Fortune Turns Her Wheel," would later be re-recorded on the "Blink" soundtrack. The follow-up to "Monsters" was the 1993 EP "Kill Mice Elf," noted for the epic, acid-drenched "She's as Pretty as Brian Jones Was." In 1995, the Drovers were at the top of their game, sharing bills with some of the 1990s' most interesting bands, such as the Coctails, Red Red Meat, Yo La Tengo, Steve Earle, Ani DeFranco and Poi Dog Pondering. The continuous touring left them little time to record, so when they finally released the Steve Albini-produced "Little High Sky Show," the increasing psychedelicization of their sound took many of their fans by surprise. The album fared poorly in sales, compared to "World of Monsters" and the next five years were spent attempting to record a full-length in their own custom-built studio. The final album was never released but for a limited run they sold only at a few final shows. While never officially dissolving, the Drovers eventually stopped performing and Callahan formed the Stroby Alliance, a band with the Swedish artist, Anna Liljas. Sean Cleland helped start the band bohola (www.bohola.com) with piano accordion player Jimmy Keane and released 4 albums on the Shanachie label. He now has a very successul Irish music school, (www.irishmusicschool.com) in the Chicago area that teaches Adults and kids. Kirkpatrick is producing and teaching music. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.