Maggie Drennon Band at Kitty's

By Paul Moffett

The Maggie Drennon Band almost slipped into and out of town under the radar last month had it not been for a hand-lettered notice on the door at Kitty O'Kirwan's. Instead, a full house - including Kitty owner Martha Forde - was treated to a full-length, Sunday night show of the native Texan's Celtic rock stylings. Drennon, whose instrumental roles include fiddle and bass, is a dominating vocalist, firmly in control as she ranges from the softest ballad to a Jo Stafford-esque version of "Black Is The Color."

Most of the songs came from her eponymous CD and included covers of "North Country Fair" and the aforementioned "Black Is The Color," as well as several original tunes and traditional Celtic tunes. Drennon sang several a capella, allowing her two cohorts to take breaks for beer and demonstrating why Folk Tales Live Review said she had "the red-hot passion of a Celtic Janis Joplin."

It was clear that Drennon had spent some time playing the music and studying the language. She put together the Celtic band SixMileBridge in New York in 1997, which quickly developed a national reputation. She trimmed away everything but guitar, percussion, fiddle and bass to form the Maggie Drennon Band in 2001.

The band held nearly everybody in the room well into the evening, a not-insignificant feat for a Sunday night in Louisville. Kudos to Kitty's for putting on these regular Sunday night shows for free. Make a note to catch her the next time she's in town.