Old Dogs & Celtic Tigers
Joe Cullen started performing at the age of 11 in his native Donegal. His first paid gig, he walked away with a pint glass full of fifty pence pieces. Joe quips, "and the glass came in handy later." The piano accordion is Joe's instrument of choice, and he has been entertaining thousands with his music ever since. Joe grew up in the Gaeltacht (Gaelic speaking region) of his native Donegal, and has always sung in both his native Gaelic and English. He moved to Chicago in 1986 where he immediately joined the local Irish music scene, which at the time was magic. He joined "Listowel" a traditional Irish ballad group, which dominated the local scene for the next few years. Band members included, Mike and Mort Buckley (Muck Brothers). During this period Joe sat in on traditional Irish sessions with the likes of: Pat Finnegan, Martin Hayes, and Jimmy Moore. In 1989, Joe joined the "John Dillon Band" playing a hectic 5-6 night schedule each week all year round. Including festivals, weddings, parties, restaurants, and clubs. Five years later, in 1994, Joe and Sharon Cullen started the group "Velvet Green" which proved to be a tremendous success, building up a huge and loyal following in Chicagoland. Since 2008, Joe has shared the stage with Kathleen Keane for most of his performances. They are currently enjoying tremendous success and rave reviews.