Songs & Stories Podcast: S2, E9
Show Notes: In this episode, our guests are Irminsul Harp and Joanie Collins from the Celtic-rock fusion band known as The Kona Rogues. From their debut album, Battin’ Down The Hatches, you’ll hear “Pikes Will Be Together” and “OroSeDo.”
You can find Songs & Stories on all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. It also airs weekly on KONA 100.5 FM in Kailua, Kona. You can also read an excerpt from the podcast’s transcript below.
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Steve Roby: How did The Kona Rogues come together?
Irminsul Harp: Joanie [Collins] and I were playing we’re sitting in with a band called Craiceáilte, which is done by my good friend Chris Cusick here on the island. We were doing a St. Patty’s Day gig down at a local venue called Quinn’s Almost By The Sea. We were just having a heck of a good time and taking Irish music and kicking it up more than a few notches into what I would just consider closer to rock than just what you might think is traditional Irish music. Shortly after that, maybe about a year or so after that, I called Joannie on a lark and saying, ‘You know, we ought to do this full-on. What do you think about getting into a Celtic rock fusion group? You know, doing what you do with violin and I’ll do what I do on harp, and add some other people for a full band.” And she said, “Absolutely!” She was into it. I pulled together some material, and just started tossing it her way, and she took it and ran with it, with her violin. And man, you know, I loved it! And the rest is, here we are.
Roby: Is that how it came together, Jonnie?
Joanie Collins: That is pretty much it. And, you know, Irminsul is such a joy to play with. He’s one of the few people I play with that we can start off with, say, Pachelbel and all of a sudden one of us gets this harebrained idea to segue into “Eleanor Rigby,” or, you know, a Led Zeppelin song. The other one will just go, “Oh, that’s where we’re going.” He’ll just throw his head back, let out a big laugh, and off we go!