The number one independent band in Ireland is performing a free concert for music fans on Friday, July 20, at Swanny City Park.
The Dublin-based roots band I Draw Slow takes the stage at 4:30 p.m. during the Moab Farmers Market. The show is the third concert of the summer in the Moab Free Concert Series.
Americans say the band’s music sounds Irish, said Dave Holden, the group’s guitarist and mandolin player. But in Ireland, he said, their music is not considered Irish at all.
Holden and his sister, Louise, have played music together for 20 years. The siblings founded the band I Draw Slow roughly 12 years ago, when they added Konrad Liddy on double bass, Adrian Hart on fiddle and Colin Derham on banjo.
The band is influenced by Appalachian music — which, of course, is rooted in the Scottish and Irish music of the immigrants who settled there.
“There’s a lovely scene of people playing that music at home,” Dave Holden said. “It’s natural for us to write songs in that genre.”
Dave writes the music, while Louise pens the lyrics.
“I come from an English literature background so I like to write stories with characters,” she said. “For me it’s folk, roots music.”
Although she refers to their music as “straight-ahead folk tunes,” the sounds of banjo, bass and fiddle give it an Appalachian tune, she said.
“We wanted to write original, modern music,” Dave Holden said. “We have a great palette to write songs that started in the Appalachian style, although we try not to be too pinned down.”
I Draw Slow made its debut appearance in the United States in Nashville, Tennessee, five years ago.
I Draw Slow signed with the independent roots label Compass Records in 2017.
The group’s fourth album, “Turn Your Face to the Sun,” which was recorded in Nashville, was funded by pre-sales. The album reached No. 1 on the Irish charts in the independent category, Dave Holden said.
Their previous album, “White Wave Chapel” reached number two on the Irish charts.
The band tours the United States three or four times each year. The group also performs in Ireland and across Europe.
The band had just arrived from Ireland for their current three-week tour starting in Bozeman, Montana, when Dave made time for a phone interview with the Moab Sun News. After their Moab performance, I Draw Slow travels to Paonia, Colorado, and then to the sold-out 46th annual RockyGrass Festival in Lyons, Colorado.
In Moab, concertgoers can expect to hear songs off the latest album, plus new songs the group is currently working on.
Dave Holden said a lot of their fans discover them through videos online.
“We put a lot of effort into our videos,” Dave Holden said.
Opening for I Draw Slow is the local music group Green Light, featuring Miriam Graham, Brett Bentley and Tamara Freida.
Green Light will perform traditional Irish music, one original tune and an “international set” that will include songs from Denmark and Eastern Europe, Graham said.
“I think it’s funny that I Draw Slow plays a lot of American music and we play mostly Irish,” Graham said. “They’re good — I can’t wait.”
Free concert in the park by I Draw Slow and Green Light
“We wanted to write original, modern music. We have a great palette to write songs that started in the Appalachian style, although we try not to be too pinned down.”
When: Friday, July 20, at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Swanny City Park, 400 North and 100 West
Info: Visit moabfreeconcerts.com or idrawslow.wordpress.com