A Shillelagh Good Time

traditional Celtic band is perfect for St. Patty’s, says I

Lindsey Quinnies, photos by Nick Meyer |

The Shillelagh Lads, shown here rocking Houligans.
The Shillelagh Lads, shown here rocking Houligans.

It doesn’t have to be St Patty’s to have a “rollickin’ foot-stomping jig-dancin’ gut laughin’ mug poundin’ rabble rousin’ tuneful good time.” The Shillelagh Lads make you feel Irish all year round by creating authentic pub music with traditional instruments, the banjo, accordion, mandolin, and ever-popular penny whistle. Band members include brothers Michael, David, and Daniel Rambo, Michael VanHemert, and friends that play their instruments of choice while making the vocals a joint effort. Since their memorable first performance on St. Patrick’s Day two years ago at Houligans, the Lads’ reputation has exploded. So much so that if you’d like a seat at one of their regular shows you better purchase your tickets at least a week in advance. Last year on St. Patty’s, they filled Houligan’s well past capacity, so this year they have decided to do double performances to control the mayhem (though they’ll also be joined by UWEC’s Irish Dance Group). And they’re not constricted to only St. Patty’s, as they have shows on March 3 (UWEC), March 9 (Houligans), and March 10 (Acoustic Café). “Our vision is to become a regular/monthly event that will attract people to Eau Claire from across the region, and I think we have the foundation to do it,” says Michael Rambo.