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Paddy’s Pig from LA plays Hamburg

Los Angeles Irish band Paddy’s Pig flew 2,500 miles to play St. Patrick’s Day weekend shows in Buffalo and Hamburg.
For Irish band Paddy’s Pig, Buffalo is the perfect place to be on St. Patrick’s Day.

So much so that the band is flying 2,500 miles from Los Angeles just to be here.

“My sister Alison tried to coax me back the last few years,” said drummer Damon Pipitone, whose sister Alison Pipitone, a local music staple, told the band about the Irish scene here. “We looked at it this year and thought this could be really cool. Let’s go try the real thing.”

Paddy’s Pig was started in the late 90s by Mike Flanagan and lead vocalist Missy Gibson. They met through a mutual friend who recommended that they work together. For Flanagan, who always had an interest in Irish music and Gibson, who fronted an Irish band in Detroit, starting an Irish band made sense.

“We both like Irish music and have Irish ancestry,” Flanagan said.

Combining traditional Irish music with their own flare, the band brings a refreshing take on old Irish favorites as well as some of the lesser known Irish songs.

“I kind of like the idea of introducing a song that people haven’t heard,” Flanagan said, “or for people that have, them being surprised that we played it.”

The band has released two full length CDs, one in 2008, titled “Maple & Wire” and one in 2011, titled “Do Your Worst.” Both albums combine well-known favorites like “Whiskey in a Jar” and “Wild Rover” with more obscure songs like “I’ll Tell Me Ma” and “The Foggy Dew.”

Paddy’s Pig tries to reach-out to a wide audience, Flanagan said, from fans of bands like The Dubliners to more modern day Celtic influenced bands like Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys.

“We like a mixture,” he said. “From 80-year-olds to 20-year-olds. Sometimes they dance together and that’s the best.”

While Los Angeles is known for its music scene, the Irish scene there is lacking, Flanagan said. There are pockets, but there isn’t a “large Irish contingent.”

“It’s going to be fun to see what the Irish music scene is like in Buffalo,” he said.

The band hopes for energetic, enthusiastic crowds when they play, which shouldn’t be an issue around St. Patrick’s Day.

“That’s what you do music for, the excitement of the crowd,” Pipitone said.

For Pipitone, who lived in Hamburg until he was 8-years-old, the trip is more than just playing shows with the band.

“I get to see family and friends,” he said. “I can’t wait.”

Missy Gibson was unable to make the trip and will be replaced by Zadra Ibanez.

The band is playing shows on Thursday, March 14 at Shannon Pub at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 15 at Erie Community College’s South Campus at 11 a.m. and at J.P. Fitzgerald’s at 6 p.m.; Saturday, March 16 at J.P. Fitzgerald’s at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 17 at DBGB’s at 1 p.m. and at J.P. Fitzgerald’s at 6:30 p.m.


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