If you go
What: Gaelic Storm, Irish rock
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Strings Music Pavilion, at Pine Grove and Mount Werner roads
Listen: Songs by Gaelic Storm are streaming at www.myspace.com/g...>
Steamboat Springs Back when she worked with Strings in the Mountains, fiddle player Jessie Burns frequently would see CDs by the Irish rock band Gaelic Storm come across her desk.
"I really appreciated : that you didn't have to be Irish or be familiar with Irish music to really just love the music," she said. "It was very, very accessible, and I think the band, the writers, have a real skill at making that mix happen."
About seven years ago, Burns made the decision to leave Strings and become a full-time musician. A little more than four years after that, she decided to join a "big touring band." Gaelic Storm was on her list of possibilities, and she asked the group to be her friend on MySpace. Within a few days, Burns had a response.
"Their management gave me an e-mail and said, 'Please call us,' and I had no idea what was going on. They said, 'We're actually looking for a fiddle player; would you be interested in auditioning?'" she said. An audition got Burns the gig, and she's been part of Gaelic Storm's powerful take on tradition ever since.
The band comes to Steamboat Springs today, bringing Burns back to the summer music festival where she worked in programming for five years. Gaelic Storm plays Strings Music Pavilion at 7 p.m. today; open-seating tickets are $38, and there will be a dancing area available.
Burns grew up in England, playing classical music in youth orchestras across Europe. She came to Colorado for the snow in the late 1990s.
"I did the ski thing and realized I needed a bit more to stay interested and employed, and then I just hounded Strings in the Mountains for about three months, I think," Burns said. The festival eventually gave Burns a job and a way to stay involved in music.
"It was a fantastic grounding in festival production and sound and lighting, and I met some incredible musicians who really encouraged me to go for it myself," she said.
During her five years in Steamboat, Burns founded and played fiddle for the Irish band Shenanigans. The group was the house band at an Irish pub in Ski Time Square and featured local musicians including Bob Shaffer, Von Wilson and John Aviza.
Gaelic Storm got an early boost when its members appeared as the sinking ship string band in the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic." With seven full-length records, seven headlining appearances at the Milwaukee Irish Fest and hundreds of concerts from then until now, the band has developed an infectious, danceable sound Burns said appeals to all ages.
Gaelic Storm is Jessie Burns on fiddle; Patrick Murphy on vocals and accordion; Steve Twigger on guitar and vocals; Ryan Lacey on percussion and vocals; and Pete Purvis on bagpipe and other traditional instruments.