For over 15 years, Mick Moloney (vocals, guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, octave mandolin) and Athena Tergis (5 string fiddle) have stood together at the forefront of traditional Irish music performance. The pair first crossed paths at New York City’s infamous Mona’s session in 2000. Struck by the passion and flair in Athena’s music, Mick invited her into his legendary group the Green Fields of America, and since then the two have blazed a musical trail on the road, in groundbreaking recording projects like If It Wasn't for the Irish and the Jews, McNally’s Row of Flats, Absolutely Irish, and Green Fields of America, and through acclaimed stage productions like A Celtic Appalachian Celebration and An Irish Christmas Show. Since 2010 they’ve performed as a duo, with Mick’s experience and selfless commitment to the music a perfect complement to the humor, pathos, and exuberance in Athena’s playing. The special rapport they’ve developed has lifted up audiences in Ireland, Scotland, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cuba, and throughout the USA. With constantly evolving material and an unmatched energy, their music transcends tradition and leaves audiences feeling uplifted and more connected to Irish music, its story, and beyond.
A concert with Mick Moloney and Athena Tergis typically features a varied program of songs and instrumental music from Irish, Irish American, Scottish and Cape Breton traditions. These include jigs, reels, hornpipes and other instrumental pieces drawn from the vast Irish instrumental repertoire on both sides of the Atlantic. Their concert material draws from a huge repertoire of Irish American traditional and popular songs which highlight issues Irish emigrants faced and the social conditions they experienced from the 1700s to the present day. Distilled from contexts tragic and uplifting these songs convey the complex evolving experience of this emigrant population -- the oppression, famine and poverty that pushed the Irish west across the ocean; a deep and abiding memory of the homeland left behind; a profound sense of sadness for loved ones lost but also celebration of new loves and opportunities found. They tell of the backbreaking task of survival in the New World; the fights waged for fair treatment and fair pay for work done on railroads, canals and in mines; in construction and in factories. The songs and instrumental pieces are linked by urbane, witty and highly informative commentary which invariably endears itself to audiences of all sizes.
Mick Moloney, mickmoloney.com. Author, musicologist, professor and professional musician, Mick brings a depth and life to his music through his extensive knowledge of the history of Irish music and its journey to America. One of the all time greats on the banjo, Mick is also a master singer and storyteller. Having been involved in the production of over 50 albums, host on three nationally syndicated series of folk music and awarded the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mick Moloney’s knowledge is wide ranging but it is the personal stories and spirit in his music and singing that have captured the hearts of audiences nationwide.
Athena Tergis, www.athena.cd. Born in Manhattan and raised in San Francisco, Athena took up the violin at age four with the Suzuki method, developing her quick ear at an early age. Inspired by attending VOM Scottish fiddle camp, she found her true voice in folk music of Scotland and Ireland. After living and playing in Ireland for over three years, Tergis came to New York to star in Riverdance on Broadway. A full time member of The Green Fields of America, Tergis tours and records regularly with founder Mick Moloney and is a featured soloist with the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra. She has worked with artists including box player Sharon Shannon, Clarence Clemons from the E-Street Band and Bill Whelan, composer of Riverdance. Her CD, A Letter Home, has been well-received on both sides of the Atlantic.