The Peninsula News (Rockaway Beach, NY)
May 25, 1993

Biting sharp fiddle sounds dance above the chunky rhythms of guitar and a bouncing drumbeat of the hand-held, round, skin drum called the bodhran. A tinkling banjo enters the mix and you're listening to a lively jig. These are the sounds of Four to the Bar, one of many Irish bands slated to appear at this weekend's festival.

Consisting of two Americans, Pat Clifford on bass, and Keith O'Neill on fiddle, two players from Ireland, David Yeates, the drummer and flute player who also sings, the four member group recently added a fifth, accordionist Tony McQuillan, who hails from Canada, and who has played with such notable acts as the Wolfe Tones and the Furey Brothers. "We won't be changing our name to `Five to the Bar,' though," says the band.

A delightful mix of traditional Irish songs and new material, Four to the Bar will fill the stage with spirit- moving music sure to get your toes tapping. The band has just completed a cassette recording that will be available at the festival. One song on it, "St. Brendan's Voyage," done up in proper sea shanty style, recounts the tale of Ireland's most intrepid voyager. Another selection, likely to be performed this weekend, is the traditional sounding ballad, "raglan road." Bittersweet and soulful, you might want to take a break from the dance floor on this one for a cry into your beer.

The high-energy, versatile band can really get the room rockin' so they've been set to close the show on Monday with a dynamic finale.