Mother Grove: Kilt Rock in Indianapolis

The city of Indianapolis, Indiana isn’t exactly the Emerald Isle. There’s no three to four hundred year cultural history. There’s no unparalleled seafood, except maybe at the Palomino Restaurant. You can’t visit ancient castles, roam the highlands, or drive on the left side of the road. But there’s at least one thing Indianapolis has in common with Ireland: a passion for music.

Mother Grove, an Indianapolis music group in the genre of celtic rock, brings Ireland to Indiana. They are a self proclaimed “kilt rock” group: too complex for Celtic rock, Mother Grove (or, as their fans call them, Mogro) is its own breed of Indianapolis band. Claiming influences as diverse as Flogging Molly and the Dave Matthews Band, Mother Grove is comprised of five members: Brad Sprauer, Laura Adams, John Holland, Ron Fife, and Jim Farley. The group plays bar room stompers, rousing chanters, and passionate tear jerkers, all infused with complex harmonies and modern spins on a classic style of music. The compelling duet of Sprauer and Adams intertwines on many songs with the traditional pennywhistles, fiddles, and bagpipes of Celtic music to create a unique sound that you won’t find anywhere else in the Circle City.

Video of Indianapolis band Mother Grove performing “A Whiskey and A Friend” in 2008


The celtic rock band currently has six albums: Listen to Your Mother, released in 2002, Mother May I, released in 2004, TRÍ, released in 2005, Live at Dublin Pub, released in 2006, Mother Grove’s Fifth, released in 2007, and their most recent, By Request. By Request was made available for sale in June of 2009 and consists of new songs and reworked tracks from Listen to Your Mother and Mother May I, both of which are out of print.

Mother Grove, an Indianapolis Celtic rock band, performing live in this video from 2007


Mother Grove has a long history of successful showmanship and stellar performances. They have performed with national acts like The Violent Femmes, Seven Nations, and Blue Oyster Cult. Many different Indianapolis bars and Indianapolis music venues are proud to have accepted Mother Grove onto their stage, like Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub in Fishers, Indiana, and the Indiana State Museum for its third Thursday event. In addition, Mother Grove has shown off their infectious sound at a huge amount of fairs and festivals, including the Kalamazoo Irish Fest, the Gaelic Highland Festival, the Mint Hill Highland Games, and one of the most popular Indianapolis festivals, the Indy Irish Festival.

For more information on Mother Grove, including celtic rock samples and upcoming tour dates, please visit the band’s homepage.

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