A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY IRISH & IRISH AMERICAN AFFAIRS
Spring 2019 / VOL. 19 ISSUE 1
Cherish the Ladies Remain
Tops in Celtic Music
By: Aly Prouty, Special to the Irish American Post
For one member of the Irish Music Awards’ Top North American Celtic Group, music is a family affair.
Joanie Maden may hail from New York, but Irish music has surrounded her all of her life. Her father is from Co. Galway but is successful nationwide; he’s an All-Ireland Champion accordion player. Maden herself would go on to be a world champion in Irish music, but those solo acts are just a feather in her cap.
Maden is the leader of Cherish the Ladies, an Irish music group that has graced stages around the world for 33 years.
Like Maden, all the members of the band are of Irish descent, despite being brought up in various corners of the globe. When they come together, they bring a mix of deliverables to the stage as well, performing instrumental and vocal pieces alike, complemented by intricate step dancing.
There are six band members on the road right now, but the band never travels alone. Cherish the Ladies is currently tackling their tour with three Irish step dancers by their side.
The group always travels with dancers, largely in part because of how much the audience loves them. The music and dancing regularly results in standing ovations— something Maden seeks to achieve every show.
“We have the craic with the crowd,” Maden laughed.
Aside from the award-winning artistry being shown, Cherish the Ladies makes it a point to tell the stories behind the tunes they play, whether that music was composed by the group or passed down to them from their parents. They opt to share the inspirations and stories behind every song with the crowd. People love the stories. The music is beautiful, but the stories touch crowd’s hearts.
“Irish music touches people, no matter what background you’re from,” Maden explained.
One of the best places to build that connection happens to be the cluster of north-central states in the U.S. said Maden. Grabbing a quick phone chat before her March 23 show at the Cedarburg (WI) Cultural Center.
The Grammy-nominated super-group just celebrated a milestone anniversary of 34 years together since their first concert on Jan 5, 1985. Their 2019 Heart Of The Home Tour kicked off in Hardwick, MA in February and played 22 shows in 16 cities before wrapping up on March 30. Tunes from the concert are their latest album of the same name, released on Nov 1, 2018 It was the Ladies 17th recording
Madden enthused that the group loves to visit Milwaukee, especially in August.
“There’s nothing better than Milwaukee Irish Festival,” Maden said. It’s where they’ve been granted the opportunity to network with other Irish musicians they admire.
The Midwest, Maden claims, has been the group’s biggest supporters since day one and is what helped make them. She said Midwesterners, Wisconsinites in particular, are some of the biggest Celtic music-lovers she’s encountered.
While her supporters love her music, she loves them right back, ensuring they get the experience of an intimate show that mimics being in someone’s living room. She always goes into the audience and interacts with the people, and it pays off at the end of the night.
“When you have all the facets… and the audience behind you, you get the place going and you get the place rocking. We work our behinds off to get that standing ovation every night.”
More information on Heart Of The Home can be found at: http://www.cherishtheladies.com/