The summer season is a busy one for Irish musicians. They no sooner get a break from the St. Patrick’s Day festivities before rolling into a busy festival calendar during the warm months.
For Celtic Cross’s lead singer Kathleen Vesey Fee, she is combining music and vacation when she brings a few musicians onto the dock of Swallow East in Montauk for a series of Tuesday evening shows through August.
“Friends of mine opened Swallow East out in Montauk and asked if I would do a regular gig there during the summer,” she explains. “There is a very chill, relaxed vibe at Swallow East and we will be playing right outside on the deck, next to the dock, where the fishing boats come in. The restaurant has quickly become a local favorite here in Montauk.”
Fee will be joined at Swallow East by Walter Ensor on acoustic guitar, Ryan Cavan on percussion and Dan Muniz on electric guitar. And what can Celtic Cross fans expect if they make their way out to the dock?
“I thought it would be a really great opportunity to do some fresh, new material that may have not been a great suit for Celtic Cross,” she explains. “It has been such fun rehearsing and learning almost a whole new set of songs for this gig. We are really excited to try them all out!”
Fee counts the Kinks, Dixie Chicks, Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead in her list of favorite bands, and she is rehearsing some songs from those catalogs as well as some tried and true Celtic Cross crowd pleasers.
Fee says it will be weird at first not to perform with the rest of the Vesey clan (her brothers make up the bulk of the band).
“I have been singing with them since I was 16 and most of the gigs I have done, they have been right by my side,” she says. “You have to get out of your comfort zone to grow, but I forgot that my big brothers always set up the PA system and now I have to figure that out. Sorry in advance if anyone hears any screeching feedback!”
Fee is excited by these new gigs, but is equally stoked to put her nose to the grindstone finish the long-awaited follow-up to Celtic Cross’s classic Shores of America. The band has been writing and rehearsing with the goal to have an all-original album out before St. Patrick's Day.
“We are also looking forward to trying out some of our new material at some fun performances this summer and fall,” she says.
Those gigs include the Sloppy Tuna in Montauk on Sunday, August 5, the Buffalo Irish Festival on September 8, Ulysses Oyster Festival on September 22 and up to East Durham for the Gavin's Guinness Festival on October 6.
Check out Fee on Tuesdays at Swallow East (474 West Lake Drive, Montauk, Long Island; www.swallowrestaurant.com