The Irish Rovers return to the Alberta Bair Theater in Billings with The Farewell Continues tour on Thursday, Feb. 21, and The Ellen in Bozeman Feb. 22. The Irish music ambassadors are celebrating The Scottish Album, their latest release that reflects the Scottish influence on their Northern Irish roots.
Last year, to celebrate the Gold Anniversary of their breakout hit from their second album, The Unicorn, The Irish Rovers released The Unicorn, the Continuing Story – the long-awaited sequel to their famed Unicorn song and answered the question of what happened to the unicorns when the ark left them stranded on the shore.
The Unicorn, a “lucky little ditty” of a title track written by Shel Silverstein, took The Rovers from folk clubs of America to concert halls and television sets worldwide.
For more than 50 years “these international ambassadors of Irish music have maintained their timeless ability to deliver a rollicking, rousing performance of good cheer – one that will soon have you singing and clapping along,” writes the Belfast Telegraph. “Their songs have become anthems of revelry and joy among generation after generation of fans.”
The Rovers were recently honored as one of Ireland’s greatest émigrés by EPIC, Ireland’s newest and most state-of-the-art museum. “The Irish Rovers are iconic, world class and with very a long career,” says Mervyn Greene, Dublin’s EPIC Ireland Museum Director. “As it happens, The Unicorn album is part of EPIC’s Irish Rovers installation.”
Since the 1960s, the Celtic super-group travelled the world as musical ambassadors taking them as far as the Arctic Circle, Japan, and Germany, with regular tours to Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.
The Rovers first became known in the 60s on shows like The Tonight Show, The Smothers Brothers, Mike Douglas Show, The Dating Game (George Millar actually won the date), and even starring in The Virginian. In the ’70s they hosted their first of three international television series, The Irish Rovers Show, and throughout the next 20 years their weekly television shows brought Ireland into living rooms of America.
More recently, their 2012 Drunken Sailor album went viral on YouTube, made news headlines back home in Belfast and put them back on radio across North America. The 2015 50 Years triple CD broke tour sales records, while the lads returned to the small screen with three North American television specials, The Irish Rovers Home In Ireland, The Irish Rovers Christmas, The Irish Rovers LIVE on St. Patrick’s Day/50th Anniversary Special, all produced in the last few years.
Tickets to the Rovers
Billings: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Alberta Bair Theater; tickets are $50, $37, and $20 for students with valid I.D. and are on sale at the ABT Box office, located at 2801 Third Ave. North, by phone at 406-256-6052 and online at www.albertabairtheater.org.
Bozeman: 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at The Ellen; call 406-585-5885 or order online