Socks in the Frying Pan, a multi-award-winning trio from Ennis, County Clare, Ireland—the mecca of Irish traditional music—was formed in 2014. Forged together by a fire of pure joy and passion for their art, the band comprises Aodan Coyne on guitar and lead vocals, Shane Hayes on accordion, and younger brother Fiachra Hayes on fiddle.
Their ‘Socks Sound’ combines virtuosic musicianship with a burning passion for the music and tradition, pitch-perfect harmonies, and a big splash of quick wit and banter. Their electrifying performances and on-stage charm have established them as the kingpins on the Irish Traditional Music scene today.
They have toured extensively, capturing hearts in 46 US states, dozens of countries, and every continent, showcasing at renowned festivals such as the Walnut Valley Festival in Kansas, Electric Picnic in Ireland, Tønder Festival in Denmark, and the world-famous New Orleans Jazz Festival.
To date, Socks in the Frying Pan have released three studio albums, each adding to their list of accolades including ‘Best New Band‘, ‘Best Live Band‘, ‘Album of the Year‘, and ‘Best Live Performance of the Year‘. Their latest release, Raw & Ríl, recorded live at Glór Theatre, was immediately awarded ‘Best Live Album‘.
Having been brought up in the musically rich Coyne family where his grandfather Eamon and father Mick were both well respected traditional musicians, he began playing guitar at age fifteen and went on to win a number of acoustic competitions around the country. This in turn stemmed onto his time with the ‘Inis óg’ grúpa ceoil where he began to focus more on traditional Irish music and alternate guitar tunings especially ‘DADGAD’. With this, his music education continued at Dundalk Institute of Technology where he qualified with a B.A. in Applied Music in 2008.
He has performed at prestigious venues around the world in various bands as well as in a solo capacity. Some settings include the president of Ireland residence, Áras an Uachtaráin, the president of Maltas palace, at the North & South ministerial council, the Olympia and the Music Academy of Paris and the University of Cambridge.
More recently he has toured extensively performing at such renowned events as the Milwaukee Irish Fest, Winfield bluegrass festival, the festival of Oulu in Finalnd, the Kansas City Irish Fest and at Caltech University in California.
He was a founding member and the President of the Dundalk Music society. He has been teaching guitar and vocals for a number of years and has worked with ‘The Summer Music on the Shannon’ course in conjunction with ‘The Clare Music Makers Academy’ at the University of Limerick.
Not just limited to a musical skill-set, he has studied Arts Administration in Cork and has also studied Biochemistry in Limerick. His debut solo album “If We Only Knew” has been highly acclaimed:
“What might very well be the best CD release of the year” – Irish American News
“We could not recommend this CD more highly to you” – Live Ireland
“A traditional singer who is capable of continuing the Irish song tradition and joining the ranks of the great Irish vocalists” – Folk World
Like the rest of the band he was born and raised in Ennis County Clare, the traditional music centre of the universe. From the moment he could walk he could be found sitting at the piano in his house pressing keys and experimenting with the different sounds. He began lessons on the tin whistle at age six and age eight had begun playing the accordion under the watchful eye of the great Kerry box player Tom Lynch. Under expert tutelage from Connor McCarthy & Martin Connolly he has emerged on the scene as one of the most prominent up and coming figures in Irish music.
Described as ‘prodigious’ by Irish Music Magazine, he has enjoyed great success since the release of his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Small Towns in Built up Areas’ in 2010. Shane was awarded best accordion player 2015 by the Irish Music Association. His energetic style and ferocious technique has earned him the respect and admiration of his peers and critics alike. His quick wit and friendly charm add to his reputation as the front man of the group. He is much sought after for recording and performance and to complete his CV has achieved a Masters of Irish Traditional Music from the University of Limerick where he is highly regarded as a top musician.
He has been influenced heavily by many forms of music most notably pop, funk, blues and world music. When not playing music he can be found playing a game of handball or drinking a cup of tea with a pink snack.
Fiachra started playing the fiddle and any other instruments that he could get his hands on from the tender age of three! Along with being encouraging by his family, he was inspired by the great musicians living in Ennis, which is a town steeped in traditional Irish music. His traditional fiddle teachers who have influenced his playing include Joan Hanrahan and Aisling Mulhern. He had begun music tuition on classical violin in ‘The Clare Music Makers’ from a very young age. Here he loved playing as many instruments as he could get his hands on which including the piano, mandolin, whistle and guitar. Having been influenced by his older brother who had been playing traditional Irish music Fiachra chanced his arm at the button accordion for a time and did not stop there. He states that he always had a special love for the banjo, having been inspired by his neighbor and close friend Steven Madden (RIP). This love can be heard clearly thought the liveliness of his playing on the band new CD.
But it is his fiddle playing that was his first musical passion and he has been recognized as an outstanding player in his field. He has participated and won many music competitions including the prestigious ‘Ceol an Gheimhridh’ and the under eighteen fiddle competition in County Clare. He shares these titles with such renowned musicians as Martin Hayes, Paddy Canny and Tara Breen, to name but a few. This, along with having competed on the All Ireland stage with varying groups from County Clare strengthened his musicianship.
He has the musical capability and intuition to easily adapt to varying musical style and genres, gigging with local rock, blues and indie bands in his spare time. He reached the final of TG4 program ‘Feis and Blood’ and has just completed a teaching degree with music from Mary Immaculate College Limerick.