Say an ‘Irish hello’ to these Celtic-infused weekly music sessions
It’s almost time for Kansas City’s Irish Fest but if you can’t wait until Labor Day weekend for your Irish music fix, you can attend an “Irish session” to get you in the proper spirit.
An Irish session is a gathering of musicians in a public venue (generally a pub) to play traditional Irish tunes—more like a jam session that lasts for hours with rotating musicians. An Irish session is not a performance in a traditional sense but more of a social gathering where your instrument carries the conversation.
Shaun Brady from County Tipperary, Ireland is co-owner of Brady & Fox on 63rd street. He and his partner Graham Fox Farris wanted to bring a bit of Ireland to the neighborhood with their scratch-made Irish menu.
Music has always been a dream of Brady’s, and he admits the infamous O’Donoghue’s Pub in Central Dublin is one of his favorite hole-in-the-wall spots in the world. The pub began hosting an impromptu Irish session that eventually introduced the founding members of The Dubliners in the early ’60s.
“They were doing what we’re doing here,” says Brady. “A little jam session where local musicians show up and start playing. They still do it to this day and I’ve been in that bar way too many times. They had music all the time, but if you called them up and asked, they would say, ‘No we don’t have music.’”
The KC Irish Sessions Facebook group posts gathering locations around town and have worked Brady & Fox into their regular schedule.
The pub just east of Brookside has had anywhere from six to 26 musicians of all ages show up. The first round of drinks is on the house, and you pay your way forward after that. Bring an instrument to sit in or sit back and enjoy the continuous live music.