Amid the flurry of national tour stops firing up crowds from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo was an understated finale for a much-beloved West Michigan Celtic band that’s calling it quits.
All good things must come to an end, and for An Dro, it came on a gorgeous fall day at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.
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The much-beloved and acclaimed Celtic music band played its final, farewell show outdoors on Sunday afternoon, with a family-friendly audience cheering — and dancing — in tribute to the West Michigan group featuring percussionist Carolyn Koebel, bouzouki player/multi-instrumentalist Jim Spalink, fiddler Michele Venegas and accordionist/flautist Cara Lieurance.
Formed a dozen years ago, An Dro has recorded several albums and regaled audiences across the state and country with traditional Irish tunes, medieval French music, Arabic rhythms, Breton dance songs and more.
“It’s been a great ride,” Spalink told Local Spins. “There are many highlights from the festivals and venues we played, but the one that stands out most I think was being invited to play for the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in Los Angeles a few years back.”
As for saying farewell and bringing An Dro to a close, Spalink said band members “are all busy individually with other musical projects” including solo work and other collaborations. Koebel alone has been involved in numerous ensembles, solo work, Japanese taiko drumming, teaching and hospice music therapy.
Spalink stressed that the An Dro offshoot called Selkie — featuring Spalink, Lieurance and Venegas — will continue to perform “Celtic music in a more traditional style.”
Still, he conceded that An Dro held a unique attraction for both its members and its fans.
“I think what made An Dro special.” he said, “was the band’s fusion of traditional Celtic music with some pretty unconventional approaches.”
Scroll down for photo galleries from a week of West Michigan shows, including Pop Evil’s homecoming, Bleachers w/ Claud, Pokey LaFarge, Todd Snider, Every Time I Die, Opiuo, BoneHawk, Passafire w/ Indubious and The Arcadian Wild w/ Cole Hansen.
PHOTO GALLERY: An Dro at Kalamazoo Nature Center (Sunday)
Photos by Derek Ketchum
PHOTO GALLERY: Pop Evil at The Intersection (Sunday)
Photos by Eric Stoike
PHOTO GALLERY: Todd Snider at Wealthy Theatre (Saturday)
Photos by Anna Sink