KCUR, Steve Kraske Radio Interview

Why Retirement didn't last for Kansas City band The Elders

The Elders retired but their recording did not...

"The Elders, KC's Beloved Celtic Rockers, Retire and then Change Their Minds"

by Jon Niccum Special to the Star

April 24th, 2022 

Podcast aired "Old Man Dan" 3/27/22

Dave Bagdad "Kitchen Party Ceilidh"

Band Bio

“The Elders" remain one of the top Celtic-rock bands in the U-S after 24 years because of their timeless sound.    It’s their passion, great melodies, unique harmonies, unparalleled musicianship and strong song-writing that keeps them connected. 

And that songwriting began in 1998 when two musicians moved back from L.A. to Kansas City to play Irish music.  Norm Dahlor and Brent Hoad, played in numerous bands but their American and Celtic-folk rock roots were calling and The Elders were born. 

Their most recent studio album, number 9,  “Well Alright Then”, released in March, was conceived after the band retired and the country experienced a lockdown.   The band had not intended on recording again but did so in honor of guitarist Steve Phillips, who urged them to finish the album. Phillips recorded all of his vocals and musical parts before he passed in 2020. 

“Well Alright Then”, their 9th album, includes the unique story-telling the band is well-known for, with stories of love, loyalty and Irish feistiness. 

From an Emmy-Award Winning DVD, to an induction into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame and to a PBS concert televised across the U-S, The Elders are still going strong because of their powerful, personal and musical chemistry. 

Reviewed in numerous publications such as PASTE Magazine, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, Music Row Magazine, Goldmine Magazine, TRAD Magazine (France), Chicago Sun-Times, The Kansas City Star and more, the band still remains a recognizable music force. 

The Elders are Ian Byrne, lead vocals and percussion, Kian Byrne, vocals, drums, bass guitar, acoustic guitar and mandolin, Norm Dahlor, vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, Diana Ladio, vocals, fiddle, William "Liam" Latas, vocals, lead guitar, acoustic guitar and Daniel Loftus, vocals, keyboards, bass guitar.

"Well alright then tour"


Hello Elders fans!   

                                                 "WELL ALRIGHT THEN TOUR"

There have been many questions regarding the exciting activity surrounding the band, so here’s the long and short of it 

Our hearts have been full of songs since our retirement, and while we decided that we needed to end our touring days, we also collectively decided that we needed to share these songs in the form of a new album. The music in our hearts never ceases! 

Steve granted us the most amazing gift by writing recording many of his parts before his passing. He began working diligently as soon as he was given his prognosis in early 2020. 

We cannot begin to express how special and heartwarming this is, and we know it will be for you too. Steve is as present on this album as he’s ever been. 

With that in mind, we knew we owed it to him and the songs to make sure they were shared with the world, which meant some touring! 

We’ll be playing select shows and festivals throughout the year, and will be sure to keep you updated. (Sign up for emails on our website!) 

Our brother Brent has decided to refrain from touring for now, and we support him in his decision. 

We have welcomed two excellent musicians to join our ranks to help bring our songs to life, and we couldn’t be happier to have them on board. Bill Latas and Dan Loftus are incredibly talented and long-time friends of the band. 

We are beyond lucky to have the support of so many of our fans, friends, family, etc, and can’t wait to see you in different corners of the country soon! 

"Well Alright Then",


Ian, Norm, Kian, Diana, Bill, and Dan



The band was founded in 1998 by six individuals with a passion for music rooted in Americana and Celtic folk rock. From the beginning The Elders seemed to be channeling something ancient and enduring – something unaffected by fads, trends and the giant maw of mind-numbing commercialism. Their ability to bring together the art of story telling with elements both musically progressive and rooted in tradition, has won them a broad international fan base, as well as critical acclaim in numerous publications such as PASTE Magazine, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, Music Row Magazine, Goldmine Magazine, TRAD Magazine (France), Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star and more.

Their 8th studio album,True, builds upon The Elders' song-writing reputation. The songs feature story lines with vibrant narratives that explore history, legends, tall tales and true-life experiences.  In addition to the band's trademark mesh of styles, textures, and soaring vocals, the album features a few barn-burning instrumentals.

Their critically acclaimed albums serve as reflections of the group dynamic, but fans who are wild about The Elders can tell you that the real magic happens on stage, where their powerful personal and musical chemistry forges a deep sense of community with their audience.

The Elders have headlined major Celtic Festivals in North America and Europe.  For the past 15 years they have sponsored a tour of Ireland in which fans are invited to join in on an extraordinary 12 day excursion visiting historical and geographical sights during the day and gathering at a local pub or ballroom at night for pints and performances by the band.

Ian Byrne - vocals, drums, percussion, whistle

Norm Dahlor - vocals, bass, guitar, banjo

Kian Byrne - vocals, drums, bass, mandolin, guitar

Diana Ladio - fiddle

Bill Latas - guitar

Dan Loftus-vocals, piano, guitar

“These boys don't just pick and grin, they damn near set their instruments on fire... The Elders really do play a style of music fused in a fashion no others have captured quite so well. They are marrow deep in their unique art, and it's not only pleasing as hell, but infectious."

"Thrilling, propulsive, fantastic Celtic-pop. The Elders are a band to shout from the rooftops about.”   Robert Oermann - MUSIC ROW MAGAZINE

“Songs of magic and mayhem and of better days ahead … contemporary Irish Folk Rock at its very best.“  

"The key to the band’s success is in its flawless blending of the Celtic storytelling tradition with contemporary instrumentation and, perhaps more importantly, their ability to write original songs that sound as timeless and authentic as the ancient jigs and reels that have inspired them."  

“As local emperors of Celtic roots-rock, The Elders have developed a reputation for bristling live shows and, even better, for exceeding their lofty reputation.”   Timothy Finn-KANSAS CITY STAR

“Rocking music, thoughtful stories, and wonderful poetry”   Stephen McSweeney-CELTIC MUSIC MAGAZINE

"This band started off great and has only gotten better over the years. The rich arrangements create strong moods from anthem sounding songs to more folky things. Their timeless sound deserves to be heard." Jamie O'Brien - PHILADELPHIA IRISH EDTION

“The Elders are simply the best contemporary Irish band in America!  See them live and you’ll understand why they have such a following everywhere they’ve played.”  Doug Clifton-KCUV RADIO DENVER
"Racing the Tide is thrilling, pulsing, propulsive, fantastic Celtic-pop. These guys are a real find... a band to shout from the rooftops about."   Robert Oermann-MUSIC ROW MAGAZINE
"What I hear is absolutely amazing ... The Elders are without a doubt one of the greatest finds this century."  
Charles Dewhurst-Lochbroom FM, Scotland

“The Elders’ music is far from common. The lyrical and musical excellence of these songs will stick in your mind long after the final track has played.”

“Great melodies, harmonies, musicianship, and song writing. The Elders are on a short list of great Celtic-Rock acts from around the world that I would speak proudly of."  John Bowles-PADDY ROCK RADIO
“I cannot say enough positive things about The Elders – their program was first class.  This outstanding band literally had people dancing in the aisles.”   Douglas McFarlane-Williams Center for the Arts
“Simply put, one of the finest performances I have EVER seen, any genre, any venue!”  
"The Elders’ songs are up-tempo, high-energy and delivered with passion and fire …but they are clever… a solid 11.5 on the 'rollicking' end of a scale from 1 to 10."  The Humm-Almonte, ONTARIO
"The 2007 Great American Irish festival was a huge success and in large part because of the Elders. People are still talking about the absolutely fantastic shows you put on."  Mark Sisti - THE GREAT AMERICAN IRISH FESTIVAL, Herkimer, NY
"Named the Elders for good reason. Decades of combined experience have taught the band smart stagecraft, superb showmanship and taut professionalism. Many superstar acts would envy the level of audience participation the Elders achieve." 


“This Kansas City powerhouse is still growing musically, as evidenced by ‘Wanderin‘ Life & Times,’ strong story-telling and poetic lyrics backed by carefully thought-out musical accompaniment, at the same time capturing much of the energy and eclecticism of a live Elders show.”  Mark Sisti -MOHAWK VALLEY IRISH CULTURE EVENTS

2000 CD – “The Elders” 
2002 CD – “Pass it on Down”
2004 CD – “American Wake”
2005 DVD/CD - “Live at the Gem Theater" (Live)
2006 CD – “Racing the Tide”
2007 DVD/CD – “Alive & Live in Ireland” (Live)
2009 CD – “Gael Day”
2010 CD – “The Best of The Elders” 
2011 CD - "Wandering Life & Times”
2012 DVD/CD - "The Elders Hoolie"  (Live)
2014 DVD – “Live at The Uptown Theater”
2014 CD "Story Road"
2017 CD  "True"