IF YOU GO
What: Irish Jamboree with the Savannah Ceili Band and In For A Penny
When: 8-10 p.m. March 11
Where Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.
Cost: $15 or $13.50 for members
The three-piece In For A Penny made its first appearance on St. Patrick’s Day 2015. The band performed nearly a dozen shows in its first week and now regularly performs on the Savannah and Tybee pub circuit.
Members are Sean McNally on mandolin and vocals; Jeremy Riddle on guitar and vocals; and drummer Henny Da Butcha.
“This is our time to make hay,” McNally says. “It’s just fun music.”
The Savannah Ceili Band features Colleen Settle on fiddle; Michael Corbett on guitar and banjo; Jerry Stenger on bouzouki, mandolin and guitar; Jim Quigley on bodhrán and mandolin; and Dan O’Connell on accordion, flute and whistles. All members also provide vocals.
Founded in 2007, the Savannah Ceili Band released its CD “At River’s End” in 2013. A subset of the band is called Seldom Sober and features Settle and Corbett as a duo.
Although Seldom Sober is listed as playing the Irish Jamboree, it is actually the full Savannah Ceili Band that will perform.
“We are very excited about this,” Corbett says. “I have not been to the Tybee Post Theater, but I love playing in old theaters. This is going to be a great experience.
“We’re hoping to reach a new audience because In For A Penny has a different sort of audience than we do. We’re eager to bring that music and let that audience hear it.
“We have a nice full sound when we have the full band,” he says. “We do a lot of traditional style, but a lot of what we do has been composed more recently. We play traditional style with modern energy.”
None of the band members are Savannah natives, says Corbett, who hails from Boston.
“To some extent, I grew up with Irish music,” he says. “Colleen grew up near New York City and was immersed in it her whole life.
“She started learning to play when she was very, very young,” Corbett says. “I didn’t start to play and perform until I was 18, but I was familiar with it before then.”
It was at a Yancey Brothers concert that Corbett decided to play Irish music.
“I said, ‘I’m a good singer, why can’t I do that?,’” he says. “My parents owed me a graduation gift, so I asked for a guitar.”
The Savannah Ceili Band members are excited to perform with In For A Penny.
“We have respect for what they do,” Corbett says. “There’s a segment of the population that really wants that rowdy kind of music. I think they have respect for us, too.
“There’s one thing I can promise to this audience — energy,” he says. “They’re going to get plenty of it.”
Settle says the band formed through local sessions.
“We’ve been playing together for eight or nine years,” she says. “The core Irish musicians in town kind of gravitated together.
“For me personally, I kind of had no choice. I was the youngest of four and everybody played.
“All my grandparents were from Ireland,” Settle says. “My parents wanted to steep us in that culture. We always participated in Irish events and we have a lot of Irish traditions.”
Everyone in Settle’s family started music at age 6 and all played different instruments.
“I kind of chose the fiddle,” she says. “I’m sure my parents when I was 4 and 5 started feeding me information.”
The family passed down an aural tradition and everyone learned to play mostly by ear.
“I usually didn’t see any sheet music,” Settle says. “For others, it might seem difficult, but for me, it seems natural.”
After performing at the jamboree, the whole band will play at Tara Feis on March 12, and In For A Penny has a slew of performances set for the week.
“Michael and I will be performing a couple of times during the week,” Settle says. “On St. Patrick’s Day, we will be at Kevin Barry’s Pub after the parade.
“It’s such fun music. We all have such a passion for it. We all have day jobs, so we’re not in it for the money.
“We want the most opportunities to play,” she says. “We have so much fun starting in February at the Irish Festival and sometimes during the week, as well. We absolutely love the music and playing together."