Reilly Adds Another Chapter
Milwaukee Celtic-rock band, Reilly, was originally formed by percussionist Brian Reilly in early 2000 as little more than a “pub band” - a small group of friends getting together at a local bar to play traditional Irish music while having a few pints. Over twelve years later, the group continues to expand its range – musically and geographically – as one of the Midwest’s premier Celtic-Rock bands.
After Reilly’s untimely death in August of 2000, original members Jim Kiley, Patrick Moores, and Johnny O’Donnell sought to keep the little “pub band’ going. After being asked by Kiley to attend a rehearsal one Sunday night, drummer Brian Bruendl suggested the group head in a more “contemporary” direction utilizing a drum set and electric guitars instead of just the acoustic instruments the group had been using. At rehearsals over the next few weeks, the “Reilly sound” was created. Three months after the renewed group’s first rehearsal, the band played their first shows over St. Pats season in 2001. In early 2002, the group added multi-instrumentalist Bruce Troeller, and released the group’s first album, “Beyond the Pale”. A few hundred pub gigs later, and with yet a new member in the fold, Milwaukee music scene veteran, Michael “Tinker” Tierney, Reilly released their sophomore effort, "Saints of the Ocean" in 2007. Both self-produced by Troeller and the band, "Beyond" and "Saints" are collections of Reilly originals and traditional Celtic tunes that have been "de-ranged" by the group in their own style, which seeks to meld the tradition and history of Ireland with the energy and instrumentation of the rock music the band is influenced by. From the Celtic-Blues of "On the Dole", to the pounding version of the Luka Bloom favorite "City of Chicago", to the new Milwaukee pub favorites "Sinner's Sermon" and "Train of Thought", Reilly's music has always held something for all music lovers, especially lovers of contemporary Irish music.
In 2008, the group nationally released “Kick Ass Celtic Christmas” on Oglio Records of Los Angeles, CA. Hardly a “traditional” Christmas album, “KACC” is an in-your-face collection of original Reilly holiday songs and traditional Christmas classics performed with a hard rockin’ Celtic flair. The lead single from the album, “Dear Santa (I Can Explain)”, received airplay on radio stations all over the country, and appeared on a national compilation of holiday songs alongside artists such as George Strait, Yo-Yo Ma, and Rascal Flatts.
Fast-forward through another few hundred gigs to 2013. Reilly’s new four piece lineup (featuring Bruendl and Tierney, as well as fiddle player Kimberly Unger and bassist Joe Neumann) released “Revelry and Regret”, the latest in Reilly’s collection of Celtic Rock. Produced by the band and acclaimed Milwaukee musician/producer, Jeff Hamilton, the group exhibits a more mature sound on “R&R”, but doesn’t stray far from the raucous pub-rock that helped the group gain their following. Now a regional/national touring band, Reilly has come a long way since its early pub days, but still maintains the same energy and attitude, not to mention a fierce DIY approach to handling their business and performances.
Reilly strives to entertain crowds with both original tunes, and music by contemporary Irish artists, as well as traditional Celtic tunes performed in as much of an energetic, hand clapping and foot stomping manner as possible - and to have a good time doing it. The boys in the band seek to celebrate Ireland's musical heritage (and their own) with anyone who will listen, and will do so at any festival, pub, or celebration where such a lively musical feast can be savored.
REILLY ROCKS IRISH - and they're looking to prove it to you soon!
Milwaukee Irish Fest: 2001 – 2012
Deadwood Mountain Grand Casino, Deadwood, South Dakota, St Patricks Performance, 2012
Potawatomi Casino with Gaelic Storm: 2004 and 2005
Shamrock Club of Wisconsin—New London Parade Day: 2006, 2007, 2011
Chicago Scottish Highland Games: 2007, 2008, 2010
Milwaukee Westown Association
Shamrock Club Party and Farmer’s Markets: 2002 – 2011
Racine Harbor Fest with Seven Nations
River Rhythms with Barra MacNeils and The Bridies
Wisconsin State Fair: 2007, 2010, 2011
Milwaukee Bucks and Admirals Games: 2004 – 2009
Opener for The Prodigals,Clumsy Lovers, Luka Bloom, Michael Black, Enter the Haggis
Manhattan IL Irish Fest: 2011
Illinois Institute of Technology St. Baldrick’s event: 2010, 2011
Fox 6 Wake Up News in Milwaukee: 2002 – 2009
Waukesha Gaelic Fest: 2001 – 2005
Mitchell Park Domes: 2010
North Star and Hollywood Casinos: St. Patrick’s events 2011
Port Washington Pirate Fest: 2007, 2008
Foot Stompin' Irish Music For The Masses !!