Tap 'Er Light

Dublin Gulch

Sit back with a glass of porter, gaze at a turf fire, and think "High Kings" but with a true Butte, American- Irish twist.

Dublin Gulch has finally reached the quarter century mark and is still going strong. For the past twenty-five years, Butte native son, Tom Powers has led the group with his vocal prowess and encyclopedic knowledge of songs. Mick Cavanaugh, aka The Tin Whistle Wonder of Walkerville, is a triple threat on banjo, mandolin, and guitar. He also adds his vocals to the mix. Jim Schulz claims he has at least one drop of Irish whiskey in a giant keg of German beer which allows him some genealogical credibility (albeit shaky) to play the music. You can hear him on guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, banjo, and bones as well as lead and harmony vocals. Fiddler/banjoist John Joyner is the hillbilly of the band and can trace his Norman roots to William the Conqueror by way of Virginia. He adds real spice to the group with his unique blend of Celtic, bluegrass, jazz, and old-timey sensibilities. New members include: Conor Powers on percussion and Luke Michelson on bass and violin.

In celebration of the band's twenty-fifth year, we asked many of our musical heroes to join us on "Tap 'er Light" and they agreed. Featured guest artists include: Prodigal's front man, Gregory Grene; Solas button box master, Mick McCauley; Irish Female Vocalist of the Decade, Cathie Ryan; Rory Makem, Mickey & Liam Spain of Makem & Spain; Nova Scotia power duo Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty; Irish fiddler Mary Angela Collins and Celtic favorites Ken Willson & Kim McKee.

Dublin Gulch has been featured on Rich Warren’s The Midnight Special-WFMT, Chicago; Penn State’s The Folk Show and NPR’s Here And Now with Robin Young as well as Thistle & Shamrock with Fiona Ritchie.

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Dirty Old Town

Dublin Gulch

From Butte, America comes a mountain fresh blast of reels, jigs, polkas, and songs; think Dubliners but different. These lads can rock and bake a mean pasty ta boot!

"Don't bother to tarry in America, go straight to Butte," was the call of many an Irish hardrock miner to his relatives back in Ireland.

Most of Butte's Irish came from West Ireland, predominately County Cork, but thousands immigrated from Co. Mayo and Donegal as well. David Emmons, author of The Butte Irish, writes that by 1900, Butte had 12,000 residents of Irish descent in a population of 47,635. A quarter of the population was Irish, a higher percentage than any other American city at the turn of the last century, including Boston.

Dublin Gulch has emerged as Butte and Montana's premier traditional Irish band. For the past twenty-five years, Tom Powers has led the group with his passionate and pure vocal prowess. Multi-instrumentalist Mick Cavanaugh adds his stellar whistle, banjo, mandolin, and guitar virtuosity to the mix. Jim Schulz provides driving rhythm support with guitar, bouzouki, and mandolin as well as harmony vocals. Fiddler and banjoist John Joyner completes the group with his unique blend of Celtic, bluegrass, jazz, and old-timey sensibilities. It all adds up to an orchestra of the best that Irish music has to offer!

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