About Us

Ar Éigean Gael, one of Pittsburgh’s newest Celtic Folk bands, brings audiences the lively fun of drinking and sailing songs, rebel yells, and ballads drawn from the rich traditions Ireland and Scotland, and enriching them with a more modern sensibility and style to capture the ears and imaginations of young and old alike.

The story of the band begins back in the Spring of 2007 when Matt Hughes was rocking the Pittsburgh scene as a solo act. It was fulfilling, but lonely work and Matt felt that with the right people, the right combination of sounds and energy, something really special could be brought to the Pittsburgh stages.   

At the same time, his friend, Karl Greenley, had been working on ways to get back into musical performance. He'd be taking vocal classes, had joined the Sixth Presbyterian choir, and had been learning to play the tin whistle, and was looking for opportunities to push himself to the next level.

One evening, after a gaming session fell through because to many players called off, Karl asked Matt if he would like to collaborate on a new musical project.  Matt agreed thinking that this may be the inspiration he had been looking for- he had the experience and equipment needed to get a band rolling, while Karl brought fresh and eager talent with a fair measure of formal training.

They invited another friend, Paul Giampaolo to join them on the bass guitar to provide a strong rhythmic sensibility to their music that hearkened to Matt's background in Rock and Metal, helping to create a sound that distinguished them more the more traditional style that was common in Pittsburgh.

One afternoon while perusing a local forum for Irish musicians and their fans, Matt stumbled across an ad by Sue Borowski. This hip mandolin and fiddle-playing musician was looking to jam with other musicians. He invited her to practice with the group and she quickly discovered that she enjoyed the the style of music they were playing and everyone agreed that her playing helped to properly fill out the bands sound.  

Together, the music loud and full of life and laughter, Ar éigean Gael now tours the local scene bringing a Celtic touch to every venue. 

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