Beirt le Chéile
"Beirt le Chéile" is a guitar and vocal duo based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, performing songs in the Irish tradition. Our name is inspired by two old Irish proverbs, "Giorraíonn beirt bóthar" (two shorten the road) and "Ní neart go cur le chéile" (there is no strength without unity). Taken together, these two proverbs convey the value of friendship: when two share a journey together, united in strength, the path that lies ahead is made more fruitful and harmonious.
MEGAN BENNETT IRBY, a lifelong singer, only recently found her inspiration to perform in the Irish music scene after assisting in an impromptu sound check, which moved John Whelan to stand and exclaim, "Don't stop singing!" With the backing of seasoned DADGAD guitarist Don Penzien, Megan brings her own powerful and emotive style to much-loved traditional Irish songs.Â
While new to the genre, Megan already has captured the attention of top Irish musicians: John Whelan, 7-time All-Ireland accordion player, "Brilliant - the perfect voice for traditional Irish music"; Bridget Fitzgerald, master sean nós (old style) Irish singer, "Really lovely. Just beautiful"; Damien Connolly, All-Ireland accordion/melodian player, "Wow! so much emotion in her voice!"; Sean Clohessy, recipient of multiple All-Ireland titles, "Simply beautiful"; Don Meade, All-Ireland harmonica player, "Her song was the absolute highlight of this festival for me."
DON PENZIEN has long been a top-flight performer of traditional Irish music. He frequently tours nationally playing concerts and festivals with The Máirtín de Cógáin Project, John Whelan, Jil Chambless, Captain Mackeys Goatskin & String Band, Legacy, and the newly formed band Gailfean (formerly The Pure Drop) - featuring Brian Conway, John Whelan, & Máirtín de Cógáin. Dons dexterous work on DADGAD guitar provides solid, driving rhythms to traditional tunes as well as perceptive and sensitive accompaniments to songs and airs. When called upon, he also adds whistle, bodhran and vocals to arrangements.
Together, these two are Beirt le Chéile. Since their debut at Celtic Fest MIssissippi in 2014, each and every one of their performances to date has drawn the overwhelmingly enthusiastic approval of their audience!