Eileen Dahill/St. Paul-Minneapolis/N. America

I did not like Charlie Roth when I first met him. For about 3 minutes.

In 2010 I arrived at the Festival Theater in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin to go backstage with two dancers from my Irish Dance School – Hannah and Teresa. They were performing with the Ring of Kerry band. I saw immediately that Hannah and Teresa had not tapered their dances for the rehearsal with the Ring of Kerry Band that Charlie Roth had just joined.

They were dancing full out at 100% and having their own wee show with their private band. “Oh those two little minxes!” I thought. “Now they will be performing 18 dances in 3 hours. Sore knees and swollen ankles are sure to follow. And Spit! Who is this hillbilly-rockabilly guitarzan who is egging them on?” (Charlie Roth) I stopped the rehearsal.

Shooed them back to the dressing room and had an adult conversation with the band. There were mumbles of we-were-almost-finished-anyway and the band dispersed. But Charlie had the worst hangdog look on his face. He apologized profusely.

Charlie explained he was new to the band and even though he had two children of his own he just wasn’t thinking about safety, shin splints, and rolled ankles that I had just enlightened the band about. But with a twinkle in his eye he said, “We’ll be a lot more careful – next time.”

So this rough looking Santa has been a great favorite of my Irish Dancers when we are invited to perform with The Ring of Kerry Band.

This week Charlie was posted on Facebook recording with the Henry Sisters in Malin, Donegal. This was his second tour of the Isles. I think had connected with Karen, Lorna, and Joleen McLaughlin in Iowa and now was recording with them in Ireland. D

id he mistake them for one of his honky-tonk angels? What a great opportunity for this farmer (he is) who performs his own Tex-Mex blurred vision of blues, folk, rock, and Irish. What a great craic it must of been in the recording sessions. Charlie’s a bit of a wild one. I am glad he was outnumbered by the Henry Sisters.


And here’s Charlie with the Ring of Kerry Band behavin’ himself (the best that he can) with my group – The St. Paul Irish Dancers – just before the curtain rose at the Paramount Theater this past March 2013. It was a full house.


Charlie has his own band too. ‘Charlie and the Healers’ His band is Kurt Rodman and Tommy Vee. Tommy Vee is Bobby Vees son. Bobby Vee (“Take Good Care of my Baby”) and his family have lived in Minnesota since 1980 and not too far from Charlie Roth’s farm. And that will be my next article!