Extra Stout brings holiday spice to Red Cross benefit CD.Written by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | email@example.com
Ellen McCarty of Extra Stout remembers hearing “Christmas in Killarney” played around the holidays at her Irish-born grandmother’s house in Toledo in the 1950s.
“Most of us with Irish backgrounds will have similar memories,” she said.
All six members — Ellen, her husband Mike McCarty, their nephew Tom Moeller, Marty Brogan, Tom Troy and Renata Burgett — have Irish roots. Irish-Americans John Redmond, James Cavanaugh and Frank Weldon wrote the traditional Irish Christmas song in 1950, Ellen said. It became a hit when sung by Irish tenor Dennis Day. Since then, the song has been covered by many others, including Bing Crosby and The Irish Rovers.
McCarty said Extra Stout’s version, which appears on this summer’s American Red Cross benefit CD “Red, White & You, Too!” “Christmas in July” section, was modeled after The Irish Rovers version.
“It just makes you happy. It makes you want to dance, makes you want to sing,” Ellen said. “We did kind of put our own touch on it. We have a great fiddle player (Burgett) so we made sure we made that a strong part of the song. I think it adds so much to the song. We also have some really good vocals so we wanted to make sure that was accentuated.”
The group, whose name comes from the label on a bottle of Guinness, is working on its third album.
“The music is pretty much an expression of joy and stems from our common heritage. We try to get everybody [in the audience] to participate. It’s sharing the joy,” Brogan told Toledo Free Press last year.
The McCartys both said it’s an honor to use their music to give back.
“I am really big into helping anybody and I think the rest of the band feels the same way,” Mike said. “It makes you feel good when you can do something with the talent you have that is really going to be a benefit to someone else.”
Tags: Bing Crosby, CD, Christmas in Killarney, Ellen McCarty, Extra Stout, Frank Weldon, Guiness, Irish Rovers, James Cavanaugh, John Redmond, Marty Brogan, Mike McCarty, Red, Red Cross, Renata Burgett, Tom Moeller, Tom Troy, Too!, White & You