Returning this weekend to the Wild Rose Moon is the Irish Bluegrass band, Jig Jam. Three years ago, Jig Jam blew the roof off the Wild Rose Moon (think storefront turned performance hall) in historic downtown Plymouth. “People were bouncing their feet and dancing on the street.” Says Jennifer Read, a Wild Rose Moon board member. “I’m so happy they are returning. They fill the room with joy!” On March 6th the band is coming back for the participatory radio show taping (Wild Rose Moon Hour) at 4 p.m. and a clap-along, stomp-along concert at 8 p.m.
JigJam has added more talent since the last time they left Ireland for American ground. Composed of founding members Jaime McKeough, lead singer and guitarist Daithi Melia, on the five-string banjo and dobro, and Gavin Strappe, on the mandolin and tenor banjo. The band has added two new members from Glasgow offering their Scottish roots to the bluegrass blend as well, with Calum Morrison on double bass and Danny Hunter on the fiddle.
As to the band’s origins, Jaime McKeough explains, “Three of us grew up around Tullamore. I got asked to play for a 21st birthday party and I didn’t want to do it alone so I got these two soldiers to go with me. We were just kind of doing the band for fun at that time, just playing in bars and other localities and then we recorded an album and now we’re on tour in the states and we’re excited to be here.”
George Schricker, Director of the Wild Rose Moon, talks about the “JigJam Experience.” “JigJam is the perfect answer to this moment in time. The band is so positive and energetic and their command of the I-Grass idiom is off the charts remarkable. Their music is tight, driving, and fun. Their harmonies are like liquid candy. Banjos humming, guitars thrumming, fiddle sliding, bass thumping, and mandolin chinking, they are a wild and joyous musical machine. ” That enthusiasm for the band is shared by many in the music business, Irish American News called Jig Jam “The best Irish group in Bluegrass,” and Midwest Records stated, “JigJam is Ireland’s answer to New Grass revival.”
Jig Jam’s performing journey began in 2014 with the release of their debut album “Oh Boy!” which skyrocketed them into popularity. Their album “Hello World,” released in 2015, was equally successful and produced several powerful music videos. “Live in Tullamore” captured the kinetic energy of their club performances. Their newest release is titled “Phoenix” and features some beautiful and plaintive ballads alongside the reels. Integrating their newest members, Jig Jam released their newest single Columbus Stockade Blues, featuring turns by all the new musicians.
The multi-award winning band is crossing America March through May, bringing in the spring season with foot-stomping, hand-clapping enthusiasm starting right here in the Wild Rose Moon and other Midwest venues, then traveling to southern sunshine of Florida, and finally ending up on the New York coast.
Want a burst of energy? A night of laughter and fun? If so, you can catch the live and participatory recording of the Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour (as heard on WVPE 88.1 FM) at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 6th. Or, catch the evening concert at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for both at www.wildrosemoon.com. You can also find Tickets at ASK for Flowers or at Wild Rose Moon Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $15 and $25, respectively. You can also enjoy the evening concert in the comfort of your own living room by going to Mandolin.com and purchasing an online ticket for $15. The JigJam stream is distributed live from Wild Rose Moon by virtue of a generous grant from The Marshall County Community Foundation, The Indiana Arts Commission, Culture Ireland, and an entire legion of generous underwriters.