Providence

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Some bands make false starts before finding their feet. But not many wait seven years between attempts. For the aptly named Providence, though, it took a couple of tries to get it right. Guitarist Paul…
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Some bands make false starts before finding their feet. But not many wait seven years between attempts. For the aptly named Providence, though, it took a couple of tries to get it right. Guitarist Paul Doyle put together the original version of the band in Dublin in 1992. But the timing wasn't right and within a year, the group had disintegrated. Doyle, however, didn't let the idea go. As Irish bands seemed to be less focused on traditional music, and as their playing switched gears to hyper speed, he knew people wanted to hear the music as it had been in the grand days of the Bothy Band and Planxty. So in 1999, he assembled a different set of musicians, including singer Joan McDermott (whose day job at the Irish Traditional Music Archive has given the band access to plenty of material), accordionist Michael O'Raghallaigh, and fiddler Maedb O'Hare, and revived the Providence name. Playing around Ireland, they quickly made a name for themselves with their more thoughtful, retro style and in 2000, they released their self-titled debut. Following that, O'Hare left, to be replaced by Clodagh Boylan, while flutist and whistle player Troy Bannontook the place of John Wynne. After taking time to gel as a unit, they went into the studio to record A Fig for a Kiss. Following its release in the U.S., the band undertook their first American tour.