Celtic Rock band The Elders, led by front-man Ian Byrne from Arklow, last Friday returned from retirement to release their first all-original album in five years. 'Well Alright Then'.
In September 2020 the band lost their lead guitarist, Steve Philips, one of the founding members, and they say that his death was a key driver to returning, and that 'Steve is as present on this album as he's ever been'.
Steve died on September 29, 2020 due to pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease that he had been battling with since earlier that year. According to the band as soon as he was given his prognosis he began working diligently to add his parts to this new album.
As well as releasing a new album, the Kansas City-based outfit is set to go on tour in the US.
In their first interview since returning, Ian told Kansas City radio station randmillerradio.com: "We had songs we were working on and even after we were retired we'd still do our boys club on Tuesday evenings and go up and write and talk about our kids and wives and drink a bottle of wine.
"We said, 'let's make a record' and then we said, 'let's go out and play it'. And there's lots of parts of Steve on this.
He added: "We took our time with this and teamed up with Andy Oxman who is an amazing engineer at Soundworks Studio."
Joining Steve in the band is his son Kian, Norm Dahlor, Diana Ladlo, Dan Loftus and Bill Latas - recently nicknamed 'Liam' by the gang to help bring out more Irishness in the redhead, they jest.
"We're an Irish band singing songs about our experiences and about stories and characters that we've met in Ireland," Ian continued. "And actually stories we get from fans about their family members."
He joked: "Every American-Irish immigrant I've met, they used to own a castle, and they were all leaders of the clans and they all use Irish spring soap."
'Well Alright Then' realeased on Friday, April 29 is The Elders' ninth album and can be purchased for download via theelders.bandcamp.com, music.apple.com or from The Elders Store on eldersmusic.com.