BAYONNE, NJ - While brothers Bill and Jim Dwyer, as well as Mike Brady and Eric Redrotty, may not be superheros, their dual identities, transforming from a retired hospital administrator, a travel agent, a civilian employee of the Department of Defense, and a data engineer, to members of the famed Bantry Boys is almost as impressive.
Named after the small West Cork town that the Dwyer brother’s mother hailed from, the Bantry Boys first played together on March 7, 1981, and have been entertaining crowds with their brand of Irish folk music since. On Monday, with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in full swing, the band played before a standing room only crowd at the Bayonne Museum, as part of the City of Bayonne’s and the Urban Enterprise Zone’s Music at the Museum series.
Equating the music as “storytelling” there is not a place around the globe, Jim said, where the words and melodies aren’t well recognized. And perhaps that’s the appeal, he added. “A traditional Irish folk band can sing anywhere in the world,” he added.
Anyone who knows the centuries of Irish history knows that it’s a nation that’s fallen victim to harsh rule by an occupying nation, famine, and civil war. Despite this, it’s also a country that continues to hold a special place to nearly 40 million Americans, and one that “even when suffering is well known for its upbeat music.”