From a casual jam session in Grand Rapids, MI, to becoming a popular favorite at Celtic festivals across the Midwest, CrossBow has been humbled and excited by every turn on their musical journey.
Co-founding fiddlers, Steve Lesko and Carly Meloche, met in their high school Celtic band, the Chelsea House Orchestra. This extracurricular group also produced fiddlers, Diana Ladio (The Moxie Strings and The Elders), Kiana Weber (formerly of Gaelic Storm) and Wes Fritzemeier (The Kreellers and Thunderwüde). In 2011, Steve and Carly, along with vocalist/guitarist, Clare McMillan, founded CrossBow in a small music practice room. With just two violins and a guitar, the three young musicians never expected to showcase their traditional Irish music much beyond campus hallways and local pubs. Yet they were immediately met with overwhelming enthusiasm and the trio quickly realized they were onto something special.
Next to join the group were percussionist, Ethan Noga, and woodwind player, Adam McMillan. Through playing private parties, local fundraisers, and wherever they could find a stage, this new and quirky group generated a following and soon ventured to share their music throughout much of Michigan. To date, CrossBow has performed in every major Celtic, Scottish and Irish festival in the state, and has been featured in festivals and venues in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York.
As CrossBow grew in numbers, so did its repertoire. In 2016, Mike Spencer joined Ethan on a variety of drums and rounded out the band's percussion section. By incorporating pop, rock and folk sounds into their set list, CrossBow delivers a distinct, eclectic vibe that still remains true to their Celtic roots, appealing to audiences of all ages.
Much of the thrill in experiencing a CrossBow performance actually transcends the music itself. This excitement stems from the contagious joy and camaraderie shared between the players, and communicated directly with their audience. Apparent from the moment they hit the stage – these high-energy musicians naturally feed off of one another, creating a toe-tapping, shenanigan-filled, dynamic, wholly unique performance that shouldn’t be missed.