Heart of Buffalo
The Leftovers have captivated audiences for over five years. The band's strong emphasis on Irish rebel songs, witty stage banter and pure showmanship makes them one of the most unique Celtic bands. The Leftovers are made up of Jerry Shea, Pat Gerken, Steve Schumer, Elizabeth Shea and Ryan Young. Their talents were brought together in 2001 when Jerry and Pat were asked to entertain the customers on St. Patrick's Day at a friend's establishment, Hoak's Armor Inn. Jerry put together words and music of about 30 suitable songs for the night. He, his daughter Elizabeth, and Pat arranged and practiced the songs for about six weeks. Two days before the big debut, they enlisted the talents of Steve Schumer on upright bass and Elliot Jacobson on drums and percussion. Elliot has since moved to NYC to pursue a career in the music business. In the winter of 2004 The Leftovers added piper and vocalist Ryan Young, making the band complete. Where does the name of the band come in, you ask? Well, the band is so named because when asked how they would be announced on that fateful night in March, they realized "The Leftovers" would be a perfect fit because they were all that were left to entertain that night. What was supposed to be a one-night stand continued on for the next five years. The Leftovers have since released three CDs, which include three original songs. They have traveled all over WNY playing their way into the hearts of the people. Heart of Buffalo is the band's third release. The title track was inspired by the city's loss of it's most precious commodoty, it's youth. It depicts an old salt's desire to return to his hometown to settle himself before the end. 'The Tewksbury' is another original that tells of one man's attempt to save lives during a winter 1959 disaster on the Buffalo River. Many of the other songs relate a longing for one thing or another: peace, gainful work, childhood, a lover, even revenge. Pat Gerken hails from Hamburg, New York. His classic '60s roots add a "modern" dimension to style. He is the band's unofficial front man, ever ready to spice stage presence with humor and aplomb. A retired government official, Pat has forfeited his pension for 15 minutes of fame and an occasional pint of Smithwick's. Jerry Shea brought the portfolio with all the tunes. Oh, and his daughter. He's a South Buffalo lad who quit his first band after members hired a REAL Irishman who could play more than one instrument. The new guy, someone with the silly name Bono, now runs some world charity. So much for versatility. He would love to be a teacher some day. Steve Schumer found himself wanting to be a spiritualist but he couldn't commit himself fully, only now and zen. His favorite snack is a big bowl of Fritos and dip-the dip is a pustular concoction he insists looks and tastes just like mayonnaise. Steve is a trusted member of a very large trust company. His company screen name is Mel Feasance. He's the backbone of the rhythm section and as solid a bass player there is. Elizabeth Shea's first words as a toddler were, "would you be my friend?" Twenty-two years later and she still can't resist making friends with most anyone. Some of her friends are Republicans, but we still love her. Her ridiculously talented voice gives the band legitimacy. Ryan Young is Pipe Major and historian for the Gordon Highlanders Pipe Band. He's from Marilla-which may be somewhere in Portugal, we think. He learned to play the pipes because he doesn't have neighbors.