Former Independent-Scout reporter Andreas Transø has been pretty busy recently. With St. Patrick’s Day upon us, Transø, who is an Irish folk musician, has been singing, playing, and telling stories across the state.
The multi-talented Transø has been playing music for nearly his entire life.
“I started playing the spoons when I was about four,” Transø recalls. “Then when I was 11, my grandmother gave me a tin whistle.”
In addition to those instruments, Transø also plays Irish-style guitar, an Irish drum, a bouzouki (a long-necked instrument similar to the mandolin) and tenor banjo, but he is quick to point out that singing is really what he does best.
For Transø, getting on stage is not just about playing a song, it’s about the whole social experience of bringing people together through music.
“So many places I go, even when I’m not (officially) performing, I’ll whip out my spoons or tin whistle and play and people have such a good time, I call it ‘bar storming’,” Transø said. “Along with the singing is the Irish Story telling, or blarney, often times a humorous story at my own expense, but anyone who knows my family knows I come from a long line of story tellers.”
The move from playing around home for fun to performing formally came for Transø about 16 years ago, when he was a student at UW-Platteville.
“My first gig I played was at the Perfect Pint in Platteville with my brother, we played to raise some money for things we needed in college,” Transø recalled. “And now, it’s something that fits well into my life with having my son, I can perform on the weekends and bring him along at times, and he really steals the show.”
Transø’s two-and-a-half-year-old son, Atleigh, also dabbles with playing a little music like his dad, as he has his own Irish drum, tin whistle, and accordion to play.
“He usually goes right up and steals the mic and the crowd goes wild,” Transø noted with a smile.
Music has also taken Transø far and wide. He was even given the opportunity to study at the University of Limerick in Ireland for two summer semesters through a scholarship. There he was able to get more in touch with Irish dance music.
“The music there was really happening,” Transø explained. “It was different than the ballads I grew up on.”
Another fond memory Transø shared reflected how music brings people together.
“Tim Jenkins and I were busking on the streets of New York City and a homeless man was standing with us and listening and bobbing his head along to the music” Transø recalled. “Then, a couple of police women walked by and Tim put down his fiddle and told me to keep playing and Tim walked over to the man and the police women and got everyone together and started a little square dance right there.”
Transø was also honored to perform at a Irish Wake on the anniversary of the shootings at the Sikh temple in Milwaukee, helping to use a art form of the Irish culture to help others of another culture heal.
“One thing that is really exciting for me is that I don’t work with many people that share the same lanauage, but when we can play music together we can share a language that way, because everyone loves a good jig and reel,” Transø said.
Those interested in taking in some delightful traditional music and story telling from Andreas Transø will have a few upcoming opportunities to do so. He will be performing tonight, Thursday, March 17 at the St. Patrick’s Day Party at Wolfy’s Irish Inn in Muscoda, kicking off at 5:30 p.m. On Friday, March 18 he will be at the Wendigo in Stoughton, where he will be performing with Charlene Adzima Michales. On Saturday March 19 from 1 to 4 p.m., Andreas will perform at the Warriors’ Retreat in Sparta. Later, he will appear in Soldiers Grove at the Old Oak Inn with Matt Shortridge and Friends for their Irish Food and Music Party starting at 7 p.m. Andreas will continue on his musical journey on Sunday, March 20 at the Brocach on the Square in Madison with McFadden’s Fancy.
Those interested in booking Andreas Transø for a public or private event can contact him through Facebook or on his website www.driftlesstrad.com .