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Somehow Making Sense: An Evening with Boiled In Lead

November 10, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Boiled in Lead promo poster

Boiled In Lead continue their 40th Anniversary celebration with an evening concert at Celtic Junction Arts Center. One should always expect the unexpected with BiL, so this will be a “full range” show from solo acoustic to extreme noise, with a few winter holiday selections.

Guitar, bass, fiddle & drums playing country music from many countries, Boiled In Lead is the longest-running Celtic punk band in America, and an important part of the foundation of what became Minnesota punk rock. Today, the band’s star is still on the wall at First Avenue.

While in high school, bass player and founder Drew Miller became obsessed with traditional music on vinyl. He started the band in 1983 to turn the volume up and bring those tunes and songs to new audiences. Following their first LP, he met guitarist / vocalist Todd Menton at an Irish session. With distribution from Twin\Tone, the band was soon playing the First Avenue Mainroom, the Winnipeg Folk Festival; that led to a UK record deal and tours in Europe and around the country. The group and the individual musicians have won many Minnesota Music Awards, and toured throughout the US and in Europe.

Over the years, the band’s sound has changed with its membership. Violinist David Stenshoel, who passed away in 2021, pushed the band to expand beyond Ireland to tackle many world folk music traditions. Menton says: “…when we play… the very coolest thing is the tune itself. The original tradition is the power.”

Boiled In Lead routinely demolishes genres with its highly-identifiable sound. An Onion A&E quote describes the band’s approach well: “…the prime purveyor of a style of Celtic music infused with punk-rock attitude, developing over the years with a hard-driving swirl that combined Irish folk with heavy rock and elements of styles from all over the world. …one of the best bands Minnesota’s ever produced. …even without amplification, Boiled In Lead can summon up furious punk-folk energy.”

Todd Menton (vocals, guitar, mandolin, bodhran, whistle) joined BiL soon after their 1st LP, and was the lead singer on the classic albums From the Ladle to the Grave and Orb. After a hiatus, he rejoined the band in 2005. He’s currently an instructor at the Center For Irish Music in St. Paul.

Drew Miller (bass guitar) founded the band in 1983. He anchors the low end with a hint of distortion, and sometimes plays solid-body dulcimer. Recently he formed Kinda Fonda Wanda, a high-energy tribute to Wanda Jackson. He has been profiled in Bass Player Magazine. and runs a record store in White Bear Lake Minnesota.

Mo Engel (drum kit) is a versatile Twin Cities music vet. He and Drew found their groove together in Kinda Fonda Wanda. Also a member of Retrofizz, Kings of Cole, and Saddle Sores, Mo keeps the beat going and chimes in on harmonies.

Haley Olson‘s (fiddle, vocals) love of traditional music has led her to learn an ever-increasing range of musical styles. She has performed on Lake Superior, in the Smokey Mountains, and other places nationally and internationally.

Tickets will be available online until 4 pm on the day of the show, after that, you may purchase tickets at the door for $30.  Youth 18 years and under receive free admission.  Tickets will be available at the door unless this event is marked as SOLD OUT. 


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November 10, 2023
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
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CJAC’s Performance Hall
836 Prior Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104 United States
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Celtic Junction Concert Series