The Prodigals

The Prodigals are one of the most successful bands to emerge from the East Coast Irish scene. The band combines original lyrics and melody with a genuine passion for the traditional music of Ireland and a funky energy that is pure New York. The roots of the music are unmistakably traditional Irish; the branches that shoot off delve into rock, worldbeat, jazz and punk, and the result has been called “the best Irish trad-rock band.”

Calling their genre of music "jig punk", the Prodigals fall within a tradition epitomized by the Pogues and Black 47, merging traditional Celtic melodic roots with rock rhythms. As of 2008, the band members are Gregory Grene (button accordion and lead vocals), Ed Kollar (bass and backup vocals), Dave Fahy (guitar and lead vocals), Darren Maloney (banjo) and Eamon Ellams (drums). New drummer Brendan Smith joined the band in 2013. The Prodigals call Paddy Reilly's (the world's only all-draft Guinness bar) their home when in New York City. The band has its own distinctive sound, particularly distinguished by lead melodic roles being filled by button-key accordion and bass along with the vocals, and has received substantial critical notice through the years.

Their song "Open Reel" was played in the film Pride and Glory during the bar fight scene between Edward Norton and Colin Farrell

The Prodigals band has had many changes to its members over the years. In fact the only remaining original Prodigal is the front man Gregory Grene. Here is a listing of ex-Prodigals:

  • Alex Tobias - harmonica, fiddle, and vocals
  • Sean McCabe - guitar and vocals
  • Ray Kelly - guitar and vocals
  • Brian Tracey - drums
  • Chris Nicolo - drums
  • Colm O'Brien - guitar and vocals
  • Andrew Harkin - Bass
  • Ed Kollar - Bass
  • Eamon Ellams - drums
  • Eamon O'Tuama - guitar and vocals


  • The Prodigals (1997)
  • Go On (1999), effectively the band's breakout album
  • Dreaming in Hell's Kitchen (2001, produced by Scottish fiddler and record producer Johnny Cunningham)
  • Needs Must When the Devil Drives (2003, produced by Howie Beno, who notably also produced the Red Hot Chili Peppers single "Give It Away")
  • Beachland Bootleg (2005), a live album/DVD recorded at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Momentum (2006) Whiskey Asylum (2008)

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** excerpts sourced from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia