St. Patrick’s Day marathon fires up Celtic band

Tara’s Fire, a Youngstown-based Celtic rock group, has begun their St.Patrick’s Day marathon tour.

The eclectic group will be bringing their “Celtic rock with a classical twist” to seven shows across the county over the holiday weekend.

“It’s Celtic rock inspired by the melodies and folk songs of mother Ireland,” said Matthew Cunningham, the band’s director of media, “a weaving together of traditional and modern genres with an upbeat hard edge and classical accompaniment.”

The group formed in 2004, but recently added classically trained flutist Aurelia Aranda to the mix.

“There’s not many rock bands that have a flute!” Cunningham said.

Aranda has been playing the flute for more than 30 years and has traveled with orchestras across the county performing.

Founding members of the band are Ray Marks, lead singer, and Greg Stumbo, lead guitar. Will Donahue will be on bass, while Frank Young is on drums. The kick off of their tour on Friday was the first time the group performed together with Aranda; Cunningham said it had very positive feedback.

“It’s going to pick you up out of your seat,” Cunningham said, “It’s got a good flow to it and a good energy.”

Cunningham promised an assortment of traditional Irish songs along with originals to add to the festivities of the weekend.

“They are somewhere between Celtic Thunder and Dropkick Murphys,” Cunningham said, “they live in the same neighborhood.”

The group’s driving beat with melodic lines, combined with the member’s over-the-top personalities should mix well for a rowdy St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Hosting the shows will be local comedian Joe McCormick.

Samples of the band’s music can be heard on