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Ted Leo touring in Dexys Midnight Runners tribute band around St. Patrick’s Day

Ted Leo (L) with Too-Ry-Ay
Ted Leo (L) with Too-Ry-Ay

Last year, Ted Leo played a St. Patrick’s Day show at Brooklyn’s Bell House where he led a Dexys Midnight Runners tribute act called Too-Rye-Ay. While the that show was certainly fun, Dexys are not a laugh to Ted: the UK band were a big influence on him, both with his ’90s band Chisel and the Pharmacists. Last week, Ted talked with NPR about Dexys and how they’re much more than “Come on Eileen,” and his favorite song, “Geno”:

It was a huge hit in the U.K. and virtually unknown here. It’s just a really great, horn section-driven song; I think it’s in this song that I started to realize what Kevin Rowland was doing with his warbly, emotive soul yelp — this Jackie Wilson, Wilson Pickett kind of shout-singing.

Over the years, I’ve certainly — sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously — also looked to a lot of those same antecedents for vocal cues myself. I do find myself sometimes, especially in live performance, tilting a little too into wildly emotive, over-the-top expression — something that I could probably rein in a little bit. But when one is feeling something, one wants to express it the way one is feeling it.

Dexys songs are more complex than they may seem, as anyone who’s tried to sing “Come On Eileen” at karaoke knows, and Ted and the band (which includes The Dambuilders’ Dave Derby, and a full horn section) did a killer job, playing songs from throughout the band’s catalogue. You can watch Too-Rye-Ay performing “Come on Eileen” and “Geno” at the Bell House below.

Ted will be playing with Too-Rye-Ay again this year, but this time they’ll do it in other cities too on a short tour leading up St. Patrick’s Day at The Bell House. Dates include stops in Boston, Providence, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. All dates are listed below.

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Too-Rye-Ay ft. Ted Leo – 2020 Tour Dates
Thursday, March 12 – City Winery, Boston, MA
Friday, March 13 – Columbus Theatre, Providence, RI
Saturday, March 14 – Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, PA
Sunday, March 15 – City Winery, Washington, DC
Tuesday, March 17 – The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY

Too-Rye-Ay lineup:
Adrienne C.N. Berry – tenor saxophone
Anthony Cekay – alto saxophone
Claudia Chopek – violin
Therese Cox – accordion
Dave Derby – bass
Richard Alwyn Fisher – guitar
Tom Gavin – banjo/guitar
Ray Ketchem – drums
Sam Kulik – trombone
Ted Leo – lead vocals
David Nagler – keyboards

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