...vibrant and sure-footed, and tailored to fully reveal each tune’s character and personality.
— Sean Smith, Boston Irish Reporter
 

The Ivy Leaf sings rich, powerful songs and plays bouncy, danceable tunes, highlighting the best of traditional music from Ireland, England, Scotland, and America. First formed to explore the interconnected streams of folk music that cross the northern Atlantic, the band interprets a thorough and diverse repertoire - often culled from print collections and field recordings of the 19th and early 20th centuries - through a lens of ringing voices, lyrical strings, and punchy free reeds.

Lindsay Straw (guitar, bouzouki, vocals) formed the Ivy Leaf in 2009, combining her own instrumental skills and vocal repertoire with polkas and slides from Dan Accardi (accordion, concertina, fiddle) and an Irish-American bent from native Bostonian Caroline o'Shea (flute, tin whistle, vocals). All three members had been introduced to one another through Armand Aromin (fiddle, English concertina, vocals), then pursuing a degree at the University of Limerick; upon his return, the Ivy Leaf assembled in earnest. Armand and Dan have been playing together since high school, both studying fiddle with Jimmy Devine and building a shared repertoire of old and unusual tunes from Kerry to Donegal. Lindsay met Armand as a fellow student at Berklee College of Music, developing a greater interest in traditional music and exploring the rich network of singers and instrumentalists active between Boston and Providence. Caroline, a regular competitor at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh, met Armand at a local festival in her first year at Providence College. Their first album was released in 2012. When Caroline left for Ireland in 2016, Benedict Gagliardi (concertina, harmonica, vocals) became a full-time member, bringing an energetic English-inspired concertina style and a broad collection of work songs and sea songs of New England.

The members of the Ivy Leaf continue to teach and perform regularly in the northeast. Although they've been part of some of the biggest Celtic/folk festivals in New England - the Boston Celtic Music Festival, New England Folk Festival, Boston Irish Festival, Maine Celtic Celebration, Maine Highland Games, and Mystic Sea Music Festival included - much of their work remains regular and local. In addition to her busy schedule performing and recording solo, Lindsay teaches for the Passim School of Music and sits on the BCMFest board. Dan teaches fiddle for Boston's Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and plays at sessions throughout the greater Boston area. Armand and Ben perform together as the Vox Hunters, and in addition to organizing musical events of all types around Providence, have been studiously researching, recording, and publishing songs and tunes native to Rhode Island. Each set of interests and influences informs the Ivy Leaf's richly-layered sound: “vibrant and sure-footed, and tailored to fully reveal each tune’s character and personality” (Sean Smith, Boston Irish Reporter).


 

Short Version:

Comprised of Lindsay Straw (guitar, bouzouki, vocals), Dan Accardi (accordion, concertina, fiddle), Armand Aromin (fiddle, English concertina, vocals) and Ben Gagliardi (concertina, harmonica, vocals), The Ivy Leaf sings rich, powerful songs and plays bouncy, danceable tunes, highlighting the best of traditional music from Ireland, England, Scotland, and America. First formed to explore the interconnected streams of folk music that cross the northern Atlantic, the band interprets a thorough and diverse repertoire - often culled from print collections and field recordings of the 19th and early 20th centuries - through a lens of ringing voices, lyrical strings, and punchy free reeds.