'The Elders' Bring Celtic Flair Back To Kansas City | KCUR

'The Elders' Bring Celtic Flair Back To Kansas City

Mar 13, 2014

The Kansas City-based band, The Elders, with their blend of American roots rock and Celtic folk, have performed together since 1998. This year marks their 12th annual Hoolie, a celebration of Irish culture through music and dance.

Brent Hoad (left) and Steve Phillips of The Elders perform during Thursday's Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

On Thursday's Up to Date, some of the band members talked about the March 15 event with host Steve Kraske.

"Mostly, it’s just the joy of playing. We all love to play. That’s why we’re still doing it in our mid-50s,” said Brent Hoad, who plays keyboards, as well as fiddle, guitar, mandolin.

Guitarist Steve Phillips told Kraske that the addition of a new fiddle player, Colin Farrell, has “kind of kicked us up a notch. This is a whole new ballgame.”

Hoad added that new songs for an upcoming CD, as well as Farrell’s influence, are moving the band to a more traditional approach.

“We still have the big rock sound, arena, drums and things like that, on some of the material,” he said. “But this is really good for us to stretch, and become equipped for that sort of music.”

Musician Kian Byrne is also one of the more recent members of The Elders. A drummer, bass and mandolin player, Kian first performed with them at the 2012 Hoolie, joining the band his dad, Ian Byrne, co-founded.

“It’s a blast playing with my dad. And I’ve grown up with all these guys. It’s like playing with five dads,” joked Kian.


  • Brent Hoad, The Elders: vocals, keyboards, fiddle, guitar, mandolin
  • Steve Phillips, The Elders: vocals, guitar, mandolin
  • Kian Byrne, The Elders: drums, bass, mandolin

HEAR MORE: The Elders play as part of the Hoolie at The Uptown Theater. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the band will be on stage after some Irish dancing at 8:45. Tickets start at $25. Click here for more information.