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The Western trend has caught on everywhere this year, with cowboy boots, whip-stiched handbags, and Western shirts being sported by every trend-obsessed fashionista in town. But it’s also trending in a seemingly stranger way. This year, many traditional Irish bands have developed a strong affinity for the sounds of the American West.
Need proof? Check out The Indulgers on Friday at Fado’s Irish Pub, when the annual day-long St. Patrick’s Day music festival will spill out onto the plaza in front of Coor’s Field to welcome thousands of revelers. The Indulgers will debut five or six new songs from their upcoming CD, Out In The West, due to be released in mid-May. Singer Damien McCarron told me this week that songs like “Cheyenne,” “High Noon,” “Journey West” and “Earth and Blood” will showcase a new direction for the shamrockers, with a decidedly Wild Western flair. “We’ve always been perceived as this Western Irish rock band,” he said about their national tours, and now they’re taking that idea and running with it.
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In an odd coincidence, organizers of this summer’s Colorado Irish Festival announced the theme for the summer fest to be “Irish roots and cowboy boots,” and plan to explore the influences, both musical and otherwise, of traditional Irish music and culture on the history of the American West. Expect a slew of Irish, country, and bluegrass performances to illustrate the similarities and influences in fine fashion. Obviously, The Indulgers were working on their new album for nearly a year and the Western theme of the festival is purely coincidental, but I’m feeling a trend here. We’ll just wait and see when the fashion industry starts mixing up fisherman’s sweaters and fringe.