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The Mickey Finns: Prayers and Idle Chatter

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The Mickey Finns had been called “the BEST Celtic Rock trio in the world”, by PaddyRock Radio.  That opinion has been amended by the same reviewer who now calls them  “one of the BEST Celtic Rock bands in the world”.  After releasing two albums and touring the States for years as a trio, The Mickey Finns have expanded the band and their sound on their new album, “Prayers And Idle Chatter”. 

 The core of the band has remained the same.  Singer/Guitarist, Ray Kelly, hails from Co. Clare and his whiskey soaked voice is the trademark of The Mickey Finns sound.  Kelly was one of the original members of the “jig punk” band, The Prodigals, recording two albums with them and helped usher in a new era in Celtic Rock sound.  His song, “Tanks & Barbed Wire”, about the struggles in Northern Ireland has become a staple on Celtic Rock radio and remains a fan favorite at live shows. 

 Drummer and songwriter Brian Tracey hails from New York City.  Raised in an Irish-American family, Tracey was also one of the founding members of The Prodigals.  He recorded three albums with the band and along with former bass player, Andrew Harkin, was “firmly established as one of the most melodic and grooving duos involved in rock & roll, folk, Celtic rock, worldbeat, or whatever category this innovative quartet inevitably gets labeled as”, according to AllMusic.com.  After working mostly with African percussion for the recordings and live shows of the Mickey Finns, Tracey returns to the drum kit on the new album and subsequent tours.

 Fiddle player extraordinaire Matt Mancuso also hails from New York. The former lead fiddler of the Broadway smash “Lord of the Dance”, Mancuso has performed with many other acts, including The Cathie Ryan Band, The Prodigals, Raglan Road, and The McCabes, but has remained in The Mickey Finns since the beginning.  Mancuso helps bridge the gap between traditional Irish fiddle playing and Celtic rock, marking him as one of the most incredible and versatile performers on the Irish circuit.

 Multi-instrumentalist Eric Kaye may be a new name to some Mickey Finns fans, but he’s been a crucial addition to their sound on their last two albums.  Kaye co-produced “It’s Not The Whiskey” as well as “Prayers And Idle Chatter” and plays bass, mandolin, and guitar throughout both albums.  As a musician or producer, he has worked with the Prodigals, Clint Black, Marc Cohn, Luther Vandross, Tito Nieves, Lucy Woodward, Pat Dinizio of the Smithereens, and Dave Wakeling of the English Beat, among others.  In addition to performing and producing, Kaye is a successful composer for film and television.  Kaye brings a wealth of musical knowledge and prowess to the Finns.  

 The Mickey Finns will release their third album, “Prayers And Idle Chatter”, in July of 2012, but an early review from PaddyRock Radio says, “Two things you need to do in your lifetime… pick up this album… and go grab some pints and see The Mickey Finns”.