Indulge in one of the last free summer concerts |

Indulge in one of the last free summer concerts

Special to the DailyThe Indulgers play the Dillon Amphitheatre tonight.

DILLON – The main thing The Indulgers seem to gratify themselves with is music. They work constantly. Songwriter Mike Nile wakes up at 7 a.m. and writes music all day. Lyricist Damien McCarron works with him. The two have produced 30 songs in 40 days.”We’re obsessive,” McCarron, who lived in Ireland until he was 40, said with an accent. “We’re just mad in essence.”McCarron and Nile used to write music with the guitar, but now they often use the mandolin or accordion as a base.”It gives it at totally different feel,” McCarron said. “Usually you latch onto chords with the guitar, but with the accordion, there are a lot of spikes in the music, and you’re writing to spike as opposed to flow. It’s a little more up and down. The music has a tendency to fly off in different directions.”The Indulgers began delving into their signature Celtic sound in 1998, when the group of five musicians came together with various musical backgrounds.

McCarron was born in Dublin, Ireland and spent summers in Scotland. He moved to the States in 1991 for economic reasons. When he arrived in Denver, he met an Italian musician singing Irish songs, and he wanted to present a more authentic sound.”I wanted to bring in the Scottish side of things – with a more harsh sound and bagpipes – and the Irish side, which is more subtle, more romantic,” he said.Multi-instrumentalist Nile infused the traditional Celtic sounds with rock. He toured as the bass player with the legendary rock band Spirit and has worked with bands from Fleetwood Mac to Alice in Chains.”He has touched on every aspect of rock, but he has a country Western background because he grew up in Utah, so we melded the Celtic and the country sound.”Fiddler Renee Fine is a classically trained violinist and has played with the Boulder, Colorado Philharmonic. Drummer Pat Murphy originated from New York, and bass player Chris Murtaugh came from Chicago; both grew up in Irish neighborhoods that provided a foundation for Celtic music.

After playing their first gig as openers for the Young Dubliners in Vail, the musicians decided to write their own songs as opposed to arranging traditional Irish ballads in a rock format.”I try for as much depth as possible,” McCarron said. “I don’t want to write the same idea, the same line, the same song twice, even after writing hundreds and thousands of songs. When people see us live, they see us having fun, but when they buy our album they say, ‘Wow, there’s depth. They’re not just having fun.'”The band’s first album, “In Like Flynn,” won the Ethnic CD of the Year Award 2000 at Just Plain Folks and peaked at No. 2 in’s international independent chart.By 2001, the band had won the Hard Rock/Jim Beam Backroom Band Search, Westword’s World Music Award and’s Denver’s best band award.Their latest album released in March, “Chase the Ghost,” features the backdrop of Dillon Reservoir on a rainy day.

“We played at the amphitheater last year in July, and we had an absolutely fantastic time,” McCarron said. “We had such a good time, we returned in the fall to use (the scenery) as a backdrop for our album cover. It was drizzly, and we were dressed in kilts, so it looks like it could be in the highlands in Scotland.”The group looks forward to its return to Dillon and promises a foot-stomping, good time.”You can’t possibly not tap your foot to Irish music, and that’s the basis of it all,” he said. “The music has magic in it. We don’t know what it is. It decrees we stay with it. The feedback we get and the loyalty of fans is just amazing. You don’t have to be Irish, you don’t have to be Scottish, you just have to be awake (to enjoy it).”Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at

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