REGION — This March the San Diego Music Awards will celebrate its 26th year of recognizing local bands from 20 genres of music. Included in that celebration is North County band Brogue Wave, which is nominated for Best World Music.
The category of world music draws diverse nominees. This year’s contenders range from traditional mariachi, to Polynesian/urban reggae/ska, to Celtic/folk rock played by Brogue Wave.
Band lead vocalist David Lally describes Brogue Wave’s sound as relentless, lightning fast, raucous, rocking Irish folk. Key to the music is band members’ joy while they perform.
“We’re not interested in playing unless we’re going to have a good time,” Lally said.
Brogue Wave is a group of experienced musicians, who have long played together, and decided to form a band a few years ago.
The masterful group draws a loyal following, has released a few singles and is preparing to release its first CD. Lally said he is pleased with the recognition the band is already receiving.
“(The nomination) It’s a big honor for us, especially with the caliber of music here in the city,” Lally said. “It’s a nice unexpected situation.”
Lally is from Ireland. He has lived in Oceanside and played locally for 18 years.
Bandmates include Matt Hensley, accordion, who also performs with Flogging Molly; Jordan McKinley, drums, from Oceanside; Tim Foley, pipes, low whistle, bodhran and vocals; and Patric Petrie, fiddle and vocals.
Each band member has a strong stage presence. Hensley is so well known the band cannot announce he’s performing at small venues.
The group’s live shows usually last three hours. Songs range from traditional Irish reels and fast-paced jigs, to twists on modern folk music of the Waterboys, Sawhorse and Mumford and Sons, and original pieces.
“We take tunes we love and enjoy the hell out of them,” Lally said.
Lally said there is a close bond between the band and the audience during a show. Part of that kinship is due to traditional tunes in the mix. Part is due to the expertise and on-stage ease of band members.
“There isn’t a lot of ego related to Irish music, we’re interpreting tunes that have been around a very long time,” Lally said.
Their years of experience playing before thousands of audiences also show in the music.
“We’ve been around for a while, we’ve learned to negotiate a little bit,” Lally said.
The awards ceremony next month brings together top local bands, and serves as the primary fundraiser for the Guitars for Schools Program. The program provides guitars to elementary through high school students through a partnership of the San Diego Music Foundation and Taylor Guitars of El Cajon.
The 26th San Diego Music Awards will be held at the House of Blues San Diego March 21. Music fans can vote online for their favorite bands through Feb. 26 at sandiegomusicawards.com/nominees.