It has been almost two decades since the Minneapolis-based Sweet Colleens first struck a chord together, and like a simmering springtime pot of maple syrup, the Colleens keep getting sweeter and sweeter. Five accomplished multi–instrumentalists—with nary a “colleen” among them—the Sweet Colleens together fuse their diverse musical backgrounds into an “infectious, and crowd–pleasing mix of Celtic folk–rock and alt. country/Americana, with Cajun and Caribbean seasonings” (Minneapolis Star Tribune). With hundreds of performances in the band’s rearview mirror, the Sweet Colleens have honed an exciting live show, with dazzling instrumentals, moving originals songs, rich storytelling, and a spirit of musical generosity that leaves listeners with smiling faces and tapping toes.
The Sweet Colleens have played at Celtic, folk and rock festivals from St. Paul to Texas to France, and have recorded with an array of notable musicians including Grammy award–winning Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet, “River Dance” lead soprano Katie MacMahon, and the Minneapolis Youth Chorus, with whom the band recorded a critically acclaimed CD of original kids’ songs, “The Monkey Dance.” The Sweet Colleens have appeared at Irish music festivals in numerous states, have shared stages with such Irish-music mainstays as Gaelic Storm and the High Kings, and have rattled the floorboards of just about every Irish pub in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Building on a rich repertoire of original songs, the group has also enjoyed success beyond the Celtic music community, with air play on Minneapolis Americana/alternative/folk radio stations including The Current and Cities 97, gigs at the Twin Cities’ premier original music venues such as First Avenue, the Fine Line, and the prestigious Basilica Block Party, and numerous appearances at the Minnesota State Fair.
The Minneapolis-based band’s trademark high-energy mixture of Celtic, Cajun, and American folk roots music is on full display in the band’s fifth full-length recording, “10 Mona Lisas” (Wraggle Records, 2017), which features beautiful original songs, sparkling arrangements of traditional tunes, lightning-fast instrumentals, and a duet with Katie MacMahon (original voice of “River Dance”).