Galloglas, Musical Ensemble
The ancient Gallowglasses were fierce Scots mercenaries who fought for the Irish chieftains. The musical group Galloglas is made up of Americans of Irish and Scots ancestry who love to sing the songs and play the music of their ancestral homelands. Greg Byrne (guitars, mandolin, bass), whose musical family immigrated from County Wicklow, is a former member of the Lexington-based folk band Mad Catherine and the Moondog Pirates. He is well versed in many genres of music, including rock n roll and jazz.
Hailing from Eureka, CA, Edith Stein (recorders, bass, harmonica) has strong Clan McKenzie roots and is a descendant of the Shepherd of Ettrick, a famous Scots song collector. She is active in Scottish country dance and has composed original dance music in the Scots tradition.
An active chamber musician and recitalist, Danette Rhoads (fiddle, mandolin, bass) has studied at the Catholic University of America (under Robert Gerle), at Indiana University, and in Louisville with Peter McHugh. A member of Clan Kinkade, Danette recently traveled to Scotland to perform with various musicians and bands. Galloglas also performs some of her original compositions.
Paul Whitty (guitar, bouzouki, bass, banjo, bodhran) has ancestral ties to County Wexford, where he has been involved in organizing international family/clan gatherings. He is also a side drummer in the Louisville Pipe Band and is an active member of several heritage groups.
From the whimsical to the wild, Galloglas performs an exciting blend of traditional, contemporary, and original music and song from Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales. The players swap various instruments, and they all sing. Together, they have appeared at Irish and Celtic festivals as well as highland games and art fairs from Nashville to New York, in addition to pubs and clubs locally and regionally.