Big Paddy starts St. Patrick’s in Avon |

Big Paddy starts St. Patrick’s in Avon

Sarah Mausolf
Avon, CO Colorado
Big Paddy's Sean Gaughan on vocals and Jon Sherman on guitar, performing two years ago at Jack Quinn's in Colorado Springs.

AVON, Colorado “-Considering that Big Paddy attracts kilt-wearing fans, it makes sense they’re kicking off St. Patrick’s Day festivities at Finnegan’s Wake in Avon, Colorado Saturday night. The dynamic duo consists of Boulder’s Jon Sherman and Sean Gaughan. They play a mix of rocked out Irish songs and covers (think Flogging Molly, the Pogues and the Dropkick Murphys). Although St. Patrick’s Day isn’t technically until Tuesday, Big Paddy plans to get the party started early. The band has been playing at Finnegan’s on St. Patrick’s Day for the past four years.

“It’s always really crazy, really fun,” Sherman said. “People are out to have a really good time and everyone’s kind of pumped up because it’s St. Patrick’s Day and we’re pumped up also,” he said.

Sherman, 43, talked to the Daily about his not-so-Irish heritage, the band’s naughty catch phrase and songs about whiskey.

1. Vail Daily: Are you Irish?

Jon Sherman: I am a little bit. I’m kind of a real mix of everything. Sean’s dad is from Ireland, so he’s first generation.

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2. VD: What is your heritage then?

JS: I have a little bit of Irish. I’m sort of Austrian, a little bit of Russian. I’m just a basic American mutt, I guess you would say. I do have red hair, though, and I look the part. It’s definitely the culture I identify with.

3. VD: Where does your interest in Irish music come from?

JS: Well, I grew up near New York and I used to hear Irish music on the radio. At the time, there were some bars in New York that had live Irish music and they would let high school kids like me in and they wouldn’t card us back then. I also played in Irish bands living in Boston.

4. VD: How did your band get started?

JS: The first time we ever played together was actually on the Pearl Street Mall out on the street. It’s an outdoor pedestrian mall. I was playing my mandolin out there and Sean happened to be walking by with a pair of drum sticks. And we started playing together and it clicked and the rest is sort of history.

5. VD: Your catch phrase is “Jigs, reels and songs ’bout whiskey.” What does that mean?

JS: We do a lot of drinking songs and songs about whiskey, which are always fun songs where usually the main character in the songs ends up in trouble because of drinking too much whiskey.

6. VD: You play mandolin, tenor banjo, guitar and bodhran in the band. Which of those is your favorite instrument to play?

JS: It depends on the song … My guitar is kind of an electric acoustic type guitar, which really works on the more rocking type numbers. Mandolin and tenor banjo are both something that work really well on the more traditional Irish songs and I think the audience really responds to those because they’re not as common …

7. There is a reference on your Web site to ‘Ferf—ksake Productions.” Is that your record company?

JS: That’s just kind of a joke. We distribute our own CDs so we don’t really have a record label at this point. … I’m not really sure how it started but every time we say the name Big Paddy, our audience, especially people who knows us, yells out ferf—ksake. It’s something that kind of started way back when we first started. It just caught on and stuck.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

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