About our Music

Mikey Dunlavey (Mícheál  Duínnshléibhe) was raised in a large Irish family in Erie, PA; descendents from Port Salon, Donegal.  Irish music is his lifelong passion.  He began his solo career in 1997 singing Irish Ballads. Major influences included Luke Kelly and The Dubliners and The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.  In 2009 Mikey formed The Celtic Hooligans along with founding members Tommy Wilkinson and Randall “Merf” McCaslin in Erie, PA. They were joined by outstanding Irish folk musicians Louis Nicolia, Paul Rogers and Brian Gray and played throughout Northwestern PA/NY until 2021. Sadly, Tommy and Louis passed away in 2015 and 2021 respectively. The are greatly missed.

 In 2021 Mikey and spouse  Katie moved to Tucson, Arizona and formed their own band The Wild Swans in 2023 after attending the Ceol na Coille School of Irish Music in Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland. 

Our performance set consists of Traditional Irish ballads, sea shanties, Sean Nos singing (Gaelic) and session tunes. Wedding, Funeral, and Christmas melodies are also included for special invents, Instruments include the guitar, harmonica, six-string banjo, penny whistle, bodhran and uilleann pipes.

We offer special topic concerts such as “A Celtic New Year Celebration” which features songs of love, laments, death, ghosts and fairies. “The Wind that Shakes the Corn” special performance features songs of martyrs, rebels and blackguarding as well as love and loss. “An Irish Christmas Celebration” features traditional Irish holiday music. 

The Wild Swans also host an open traditional Irish Music Session at The Hotel McCoy every Tuesday.  All folk musicians and singers are welcome, especially those interested in learning more about Irish music tradition. Click on the Tucson Irish Music tab for more info. 
Go raibh mile maith agat! 

Mikey and Katie in Donegal

Oh, Son of God, it would be sweet, a lovely journey, to cross the wave, the fount in flood, and visit Ireland: to Eolarg Plain, by Foibhne Hill, across Loch Febail, and listen to the matching music of the swans.   -Colum Cille, 11th Century

Photo credit: Phil MItchell