Our Story

"The Irish heartbeat cannot be found in the bottom of a pint of Guinness. It’s not revealed by a marching procession of politicians or via the aroma of boiled dinners; and it’s certainly not exemplified by a slew of stumbling locals clad in green costumes....It can be found in the stories and sounds of Ireland's music — and the members of South Buffalo’s Crikwater know it."
-Michael Farrell, The Buffalo News

“Crikwater plays a variety of traditional Irish songs...The songs are important, Caulfield said, because they provide a sense of where the Irish people have been. 'It's living history...It's one way to tell the story of the Irish people.' ” 
- Michael Canfield, Buffalo Rising 

Conceived in a late-night, Guinness-fueled campfire song session, Crikwater was born in the rustbelt working-class neighborhood of South Buffalo, NY in 2010, and has grown into the premier Irish-American Traditional Folk Band in Western New York. With numerous festival appearances, including: the Buffalo Irish Festival, South Buffalo Irish Festival, Niagara Celtic Festival, Hornell Irish Festival, Southern Maryland Celtic Fest...and more!..and boasting four multi-instrumentalists and an energetic live show, Crikwater stays true to the venerable Irish and American folk traditions, with arrangements that include multi-part vocal harmonies and intricate musicianship, while infusing the music through a contemporary filter making centuries-old music feel fresh and alive! Equally at home in pubs and on festival stages as they are in theaters and listening rooms, these veteran performers offer up a mix of fiery fiddle tunes, rowdy pub sing-a-longs, haunting airs, elegant ballads & original songs, and their music conjures scenes of gritty smoke filled Irish pubs, whiskey, pints of stout, and good craic!

Crikwater has just completed post-production on their third album, “Live in Buffalo,” which was recorded by David Pruski of Advanced Audio Productions at numerous venues in Western New York and is set for release in the Spring of 2024... Just in time for the Summer Festival season! With a busy gigging schedule, they eagerly look forward to spreading their Irish folk gospel throughout the land to support the album over the coming year!

Consisting of Liam Caulfield (Irish bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica, bodhran/percussion, & voice), Peter Zalocha (banjos, mandolin, & voice), Matthew Sperber (guitar, mandolin, harmonica, whistle, & voice), and Charlie Coughlin (fiddle, mandolin, button box, bodhran, & voice), Crikwater has played to audiences of all sizes throughout New York State and beyond! They’ve shared the stage with loads of phenomenal performers, including; Larry Kirwan/Black47, Town Pants, The Drowsy Lads, The Walker Roaders, Rory Makem, The Prodigals, The Dady Brothers, and many more! Crikwater is on a mission to have fun and to preserve the ages-old folk tradition that they so thoroughly enjoy...so that people remember where this tradition comes from in the hopes they make audiences young and old love the music as they do!

Liam Caulfield - Bouzouki, Mandolin, Bodhran, Harmonica, Voice

Matthew Sperber - Guitar, Mandolin, Harmonica, Whistle, Voice

Charlie Coughlin - Fiddle, Mandolin, Button Box, Voice

Peter Zalocha - Banjos, Mandolin, Voice