The Nettles

The Band

The Nettles at The Yachats Celtic Festival

Eclectic. Celtic. Folkadelic. From Irish and international music to American Oldtime to rock music, The Nettles put it all through their folkadelic kaleidoscope.

Celtic music that’s progressive, exciting and a little bit dangerous. This band ignites audiences with fiery music that blends traditional music with modern spices. The Nettles play improvisational music based on traditional tunes, a Celtic jam band that makes audiences move and groove.

The Nettles blend traditional Irish and American music with modern spices. Laura Brophy’s powerful fiddling forms strong yet lyrical melodies punctuated by wild improvisation. The Nettles are propelled by the mighty rhythm engine of Kevin Nettles on guitar, Michael Proctor on bass and drummer Tracy Dougherty.

The Nettles play for festivals, dances, bars, and weddings on the West Coast. Their music retains the driving energy of its roots but The Nettles’ unique interpretations add new excitement to the tradition with every performance.

The Nettles joke that "We never play the same tune once."

Since 1996 The Nettles have played in venues ranging from the Wintergrass Bluegrass Festival to the Oregon Bach Festival to dance camps to a wedding in the Opal Creek Wilderness Area to the opening ceremony for the Oregon Senate.


Corvallis Gazette-Times, 19 May 2006. Click to read.

  • There is enough of a twist on the traditional to keep it interesting for the people who prefer a little something new, but not so much that those who are looking for their beloved sounds will feel cheated. Indeed, this is truly a Celtic CD that many people would enjoy.
    Catherine L. Tully, Celtic MP3s Music Magazine
  • We have a rating system for CD’s we receive so that DJ’s in other genres have some guidelines when they play a CD they may not be familiar with. We rate 1 the worst and 7 the best. I rated The Nettles a 7. All music sent to WVUD is catalogued into the station music library. I had a hard time giving this one up. I found The Nettles CD to be exciting, fresh and alive. Very enjoyable listening
    Ellen Ellis, The Green Willow;, WVUD, Newark, DE
  • This album is really very nice. . . . A marvelous get-up-and-go album to play first thing in the morning
    Victory Review, June, 2000
  • Rimheach! [Gaelic: ‘Superb!’] The combination of musical talent, expertise of the instrumentation and the musical feeling, Celtic spirit, makes it impossible to sit still. Everyone at the station was tapping their feet, wiggling in their seats or dancing, and some were doing all three.
    Dave MacLean, Radio Scotland
  • Outstanding! A perfect fit for the sound of our programs of Celtic music....It’s in heavy rotation right now.
    Marty Scarborough, KASU-FM program director
  • ...this CD truly shines as a Celtic album! From the opening’ll think you’ve wandered into some small, crowded bar where the beer is cheap and the music ever so sweet. Just make sure you put your soft-soled dancing shoes on
    The Green Man Review0
  • [The Nettles’ CD is] A delightful collection of energetic tunes. I’ll be playing it again
    Jan Vanderhorst, Just Us Folk;, CKPC 92.1 FM, Brantford, Ontario,Canada
  • Your CD arrived this week and I enjoyed it so much I made it the featured album on today’s program. I reckon The Nettles would be great fun at pub gigs and the like. There’s a lot of energy and I really like the direct approach you take with the music. You mix up American and Irish tunes delightfully through the album, as well as tossing in a couple of tunes of ‘other parentage’ sitting very well with the rest. The album works well for my taste. It gives a strong indication of your ‘live’ sound...I would love to see you guys live on stage...Thanks for sending me a copy--it will continue to get airplay.
    Bruce Cameron, Come All Ye; (longest-running folk program on Australian radio), 2MCE-FM, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia
  • Excellent, all-around. Great arrangements and musicianship!
    Steve Jerrett, Sunday Morning Coffeehouse, KOPN, Columbia, MO.
  • The Nettles are well-known on the West Coast for their original approach to contra dance music. Playing traditional music from all over the world, The Nettles create a strong rhythmic groove under soaring improvisations. Rhythmic drive and melodic fluidity allow The Nettles to propel contra dances into the stratosphere.
    Eugene Folklore Society newsletter
  • The best time I’ve had at Folklife in the 20 years I’ve been coming!... Definitely on my list of top 10 dances ever!... This is what I came to Folklife for... Folklife just started!
    Comments from dancers at The Nettles dance at Northwest Folklife
  • This progressive Celtic group takes traditional Irish and American music and sets it ablaze with wild improvisation and driving rhythm. Their music has delighted audiences from Ashland to Seattle at festivals, dances, bars, coffeehouses and live radio shows
    Corvallis [Oregon] Gazette-Times, 6 August 1999
  • This inventive crew has taken the festive traditions of Celtic music and then added elements of jazz, funk and rock to create a new fusion that sounds delightful and warms the spirit. The instrumentation is that of a classic ensemble (pipes, fiddle, guitar, bass, tin whistle, drums and percussion), but the playing is a thoroughly invigorating mix of improvisation and exploration (now defunct)
  • This four-piece band from Oregon isn’t just another Celtic knockoff band playing ‘Ireland’s Greatest Hits.’ No, The Nettles expand upon the theme, mixing newer tunes in with obscure traditional ones, and adding in touches of music from other areas, like the Balkans and Quebec...They play their traditional music with a great deal of energy and mix in touches of jazz and rock to keep things interesting and fresh
    Dirty Linen, #90, October/November 2000
  • The Nettles lead a double life: by turns a kickin’ and innovative concert band, and a vigorous but reliable contra dance band.
    Frank Gosar, The Saturday Cafe, KLCC 89.7 FM, Eugene.
  • Wow!...I’m loving this! This is one of the best evenings we’ve had in a long, long, long time.
    Pete Lavelle, The Back Porch, KLCC 89.7 FM, Eugene.
  • Portland dancers were wildly enthusiastic over the Nettles at their Portland debut. Dancers were coming up at the end of the evening raving and asking when they’d be playing again. Much hooting and hollering was heard throughout the evening....vigorous, passionate playing among folks who very clearly are having fun.
    Judith Swinney, Portland Country Dance Community board member
  • The Nettles have developed a strong following of dancers and Celtic music fans in their home towns of Corvallis and Eugene...They play neo-Celtic music that blends Irish roots with blues and jazz influences. The music is strong, layered and expressive. The band sets a tune in place, gives dancers the strong rhythm they need and then plays with improvisation. Brophy’s fiddle occasionally soars over the tune with a free flowing invention quite unlike most contradance music.
    Footnotes, Jan/Feb 1999
  • Laura Brophy of The Nettles keeps the spirit of the contra dance alive..
    Corvallis Gazette-Times, 23 October, 1998