Fraoch brings traditional Irish music to the Classic Bean

Lisa Herdman

Fraoch, a crowd favorite Irish Celtic band, returned on July 28 to the Classic Bean’s Fairlawn location to perform.

Fraoch has visited the coffee shop before, performing traditional Irish songs like “Drowsy Maggie” and “Cooley’s Reel.”

The six man ensemble is a traditional Irish band that plays a variety of music, from pub songs to ballads. Fraoch was officially formed in the spring of 2012, but the band had played together many times prior to that as friends for pure enjoyment. They got their start as back-up musicians for Irish dancers at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

The band is made up of Jeff Smith, playing guitar, keyboard, whistle and bodhran; Paula Ryan playing guitar and vocals; Dave Agee playing fiddle, mandolin and tenor banjo; Eric Ryan playing Irish flute and whistle; and Mark Fricke playing bass. Dave Agee was not present at this performance.

The performance included traditional Irish songs, as well as Fraoch’s original pieces “Newry Highwayman,” “Butterfly, Dever the Dancer” and “Polly.” Some Scottish jigs were performed by only two or three members of the band, and other songs were played by all four.

The band has performed at the Topeka Irish Festival, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival and the Celtic Heritage Festival & Highland Games. They have also played at multiple musical venues such as Gaslight Gardens in Lawrence and Conroy’s in Overland Park.

Upcoming events the band will be participating in include Buffalo Bill Days in Leavenworth Kansas on August 27, Cottin’s Farmers Market in Lawrence on September 8 and Southwest Missouri Celtic Festival in Buffalo on September 9. The band also plays for weddings and other private events.

CDs of the band’s original music can be purchased at events or at three other locations: Celtic Ranch in Weston, Missouri; Brit’s in Lawrence, Kansas; and Browne’s Irish Market in Kansas City, Kansas.

The Classic Bean’s Fairlawn location provides weekly entertainment to its patrons every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m unless otherwise specified. The coffee shop serves breakfast, lunch, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. The seating fills up fast on entertainment nights, peaking around 9 p.m., so an early arrival is encouraged.

For more information and events the band will attend, visit The entertainment calendar for the Classic Bean is available at The