Unique Traditional Irish - Americana - Roots Rock
The Sternwheelers are a Nashville-based band performing a unique blend of Americana, Irish traditional music, and roots rock.
The band originally sprang from Nashville’s Irish music session scene, where the three musicians became friends while playing in local pubs & soon decided to pool their varied experiences to create something truly unique.
With original songs and fresh reinterpretations of material from both Irish and American music traditions (and, of course, a fair serving of session tunes), the band celebrates the influences the two nations have had on one other — with pioneer spirit, sardonic wit, tragedy, pining and humor.
Singer/songwriter Patrick Martin spent his early years in rock bands. In 2007 he moved to Nashville and briefly had a stint as a songwriter on Music Row. He then spent several years as a touring side man, playing bass guitar for various Country acts. Always interested in Irish Music he took up the bouzouki, a natural transition from bass.
Sean Cunningham grew up in his father’s pub in New York City. He learned to play tin whistle and flute in the basement, picking out old Pogues tunes but quickly discovered the amazing Irish session community and had the opportunity to be mentored by some of the finest Irish traditional musicians in New York. That led to touring the country with several Irish-rock bands before landing in Nashville and helping lead the session scene there.
Josh Jernigan has been a student of drums and percussion since age 9 — and unofficially before then under the influence of his father’s playing. He spent his life living between Nashville and Annapolis, MD until he eventually settled in Nashville during college and fell in as a drummer in the many genres of Middle Tennessee’s music scene. He discovered the Bodhran and began voraciously attending any session he could.
Together these musicians hoped to blend their interests and backgrounds with their one common love, Irish music. What resulted was an authentic, trans-Atlantic Irish-American sound which mingles Country, Americana and Irish traditional music in songs with themes like unrequited love, immigration and general frivolity.
“Crisp Nashville songwriting combined with Celtic flavours.” —Cal Koat 2021
“Perfect recipe blending traditional and Americana styles.” —Billy Dickler