Irish bluegrass/Celtic hybrid group We Banjo 3 has an ambitious December planned. Their first Christmas album, A Winter Wonderful, releases on Friday, and they begin a 10-day US Christmas tour tonight in Denver. The month culminates with the lads performing a special live holiday concert on December 18 that will be live-streamed worldwide online.
The group began as a banjo trio, hence the name, and has since expanded to include mandolin, guitar, fiddle, reso-guitar, and more. Members are Enda Scahill on banjo and vocals; Martin Howley on banjo, mandolin, and vocals; Fergal Scahill on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, reso, and vocals; and David Howley on lead guitar and vocals. Energetic live shows have been their claim to fame, and the band has built a large following from their aggressive touring this past ten years.
Martin Howley says that the band is so happy to be back on the road after the COVID shutdowns.
“The friendships and kinships we’ve experienced on the road all over the world were interwoven into an incredible celebration last year during the pandemic with our livestreamed concerts. The holiday edition, A Winter Wonderful, was a particular highlight, so we want to make it an annual tradition. We are so thrilled to return to the US after close to 21 months off the road for our Winter Wonderful tour, which will include very special livestream on December 18th direct from the Rocky Mountains. Our fans can celebrate the holiday season with our banjo family in venues and in their living rooms.”
Their new recording includes a lovely mix of traditional and original music, both instrumental and vocal, and they have agreed to share their arrangement of The Wexford Carol, an Irish carol dating back to the 12th century, with our readers. The track features guest performances from Kiana Howley on fiddle and Ruth Smith on vocals.
Have a listen…
The full track listing of A Winter Wonderful includes:
1. Christmas in Prison (John Prine)
2. Sunrise at Solstice (We Banjo 3)
3. Driving Home for Christmas (Chris Rea)
4. We Three Kings (John Hopkins)
5. Joy to the World (Handel)
6. Silver Bells (Jay Livingston & Ray Evans)
7. Little Drummer Boy (Katherine Kennicott Davis)
8. The Wexford Carol (Traditional)
Tour dates for the holiday dates this month, and their additional US dates in 2022, can be found online.
Pre-orders for A Winter Wonderful, the album, are enabled on the We Banjo 3 web site. There you can also purchase tickets for the December 18 livestream concert, which can be viewed on any internet capable device through New Year’s Day for only $20.