The Elders Bids “Fare Thee Well” after 2018

Dec 13, 2017 – Utica

2018 to be the last year for GAIF favorites, the Elders

One of Central New York’s favorite bands, the Elders, is calling it quits after their 2018 touring season. In a letter sent last week to their many fans worldwide, they summed up their heartfelt decision, as only the Elders can:

“To all our families, friends and fans, It has been the ride of a lifetime! But after 20 years, it’s time for The Elders to bid farewell – we plan to make 2018 our last year of touring. It has always been important to us to go out strong – to end on a high note with our integrity & dignity intact. We’re all happy and healthy, and by “grace of God or force of will,” we intend to stay that way! We’ve met some amazing people in our travels and have made lifelong friends all over the world. We have watched families grow. We have sung together, danced together and cried together. Our hometown of Kansas City has been exceptionally supportive and our families too! We are blessed to have experienced this magical journey together. From our whole hearts we thank you all. 2018 will turn out to be one of our busiest years ever! Our New CD “True,” is getting some great feedback and we’re excited to play. We wish all the best to you who have supported us over the years and look forward to sharing another trip around the sun! Sincerely, The Elders.” 

To the Elders: It’s impossible to sum up in a few words what you mean to your many, many fans in the area. How many times have we heard “Hel-o-o-o-o Central New York!”? And every time you said “This is the BEST CROWD WE’VE EVER HAD!”… well, we believed it. From your multiple appearances in our area — at our Stanley Theatre, the Capitol Theater, the Great American Irish Festival, the Syracuse Irish Festival and the Halfway to GAIF Hooley, to your tours to and through Ireland — you have taken thousands of local fans to your heart.

We’ll always remember the first set you ever played at the Great American Irish Festival on July 27, 2007; how you went from a total unknown act (except to a few) to receiving a full-tent standing ovation in one magical hour! We’ll never forget where we were the first time we heard – and cried to – your incredibly moving anthem, “Men of Erin.” We’ll remember that January afternoon at the GAIF Hooley, where you trotted out the dynamic “Luck of the Irish” for the first time, with that booming, breath-taking A Capella chord. And the first time you played “Message in a Bottle” as your encore at GAIF? Goosebumps. We all fondly remember our own private “volunteer party” concerts, where over 70 volunteers would test the tensile strength of the stage, joining you in a communal – if atonal — rendering of “Men of Erin.”

And on and on. You get the idea; you will be missed. We’ll miss your songs, your musicianship, your humor, your story-telling, the “Fish;” all of it, and more. But most of all, we’ll miss your friendship and the genuine affection you showed to all of us. To Ian, Kian, Steve, Brent, Norm and Diana, to John Phillips, Tommy Sutherland, Joe Miquelon, Colin Farrell and Mark “Buzzz” Collins: Thank you all so much for the ride.  

The Elders will be performing at the 2018 Great American Irish Festival, which will be held on the last weekend in July.

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