- Category: Musical Performers
JigJam are the hottest new act on the Celtgrass music scene. They have developed a new, exciting, energy-fuelled live sound blending the best of bluegrass and Irish folk music. The band comprises Jamie McKeogh (Guitar, tenor banjo and lead vocals), Daithi Melia (5 String Banjo and vocals) Cathal Guinan (Double Bass, fiddle and vocals) and Gavin strappe (Mandolin, tenor banjo & vocals). JigJam's debut album "Oh Boy!" is a tour de force of Irish and Americana music, and a brilliant representation of their live show. It has been described as:
“Even before I put this in the CD player I suspected it was going to be good, engineered by Tony Flaherty at Sonas Studio in Killarney, cover shots by Macroom’s Con Kelleher, endorsed by Galway’s Tom Cussen banjos, it had a hallmark of excellence stamped on it. After the initial twenty seconds I was convinced this is a gold star deal. First impressions? A huge sound from a trio: Jamie McKeogh – Guitar, Tenor Banjo, Mandolin & Lead Vocals Daithí Melia – Five String Banjo, Guitar & Vocals, Cathal Guinan – Double Bass, Fiddle & Vocals.
"JigJam are as close to authentic as you can get without having been raised on grits and fried squirrel”
“They label themselves as Traditional Irish and Bluegrass fusion, and they hail from Offaly, but you’d suspect from the work here they’d been raised in the mountains south of Harrisburg. For too many years Irish country music has been a limp imitation of the proper stuff, well Jigjam are as close to authentic as you can get without having been raised on grits and fried squirrel. There will be inevitable comparisons with We Banjo Three (and that’s a good thing, they even credit Fergal Scahill on the liner notes).
“Jigjam’s vocals are strong, they choose catchy lyrics, their tunes are upbeat the banjo is the main melodic instrument adding the bluegrass flavour and driving everything forward. They are not however, WB3 clones, Jigjam have their own recognisable sound, thanks largely to the pumping double bass of Cathal Guinan, which fills the air and adds full colour to the vocal tracks. They show their Irish trad roots on the jigs Ringing the Bell/Banks of Newfoundland, explore some classic Bluegrass in Big Sandy River, fire on all cylinders on a set they call Gypsy Jazz March. They are joined on Beeswing and Cedars of Lebabon by fiddler Ciara McKeogh and it is here they calm it down as effortlessly as they can rip it up. Their songs are varied ranging from Old Crow Medicine’s Show’s Levi (a song about a soldier’s life in Iraq). More Americana on Rye Whiskey and Jack of the Woods, then they tackle Richard Thompson’s Beeswing and the modern favourite Riptide by the Australian songwriter Vance Joy. They close the album with a children’s song, The Fox, you know the one about the Fox went out of stormy night, there is thunder and lightning in this version, a backwoods county fair of banjo picking, mando–chopping and tight bass syncopation." – Sean Laffey of Irish Music Magazine
“Listening to this in the kitchen, the teenage daughter said, “I’d love to see these lads live, I bet they are a brilliant festival act…” I had to agree with her. Their opening track is called Tickle Me Pink and if you like your music with a mountainy swing this album from Jigjam will put a permanent smile on your face. Great debut album from a great trio, Offaly should be proud of these lads."A scintillating debut album from a great bunch of young guys. JigJam are a terrific live act" – Enda Scahill of We Banjo 3.
"Absolutely Terrific!" – Pat Kenny of Newstalk.
Miss this band at your peril.