Poor Man's Gambit was formed in 2015 and hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The trio has released 3 albums, completed two international tours, and has been noted as an increasingly popular Irish-American group.
Featuring Corey Purcell (button accordion, cittern, bodhran, vocals, dance), Deirdre Lockman (fiddle, vocals), and Federico Betti (guitar, fiddle) PMG brings together three diverse musical backgrounds which complement the other's musical styles both on stage and in the studio. With two multi-instrumentalists in the line-up, PMG has been noted for their ability to change instrumentation many times over the space of a performance, and offer several levels of musical depth to listening ears. The addition of Corey's flashy footwork on the occasional reel adds an extra punch of energy to their shows.
The trio's latest album 'Land of Sunshine' showcases a carefully selected offering of spirited tunes balanced with an equal number of expressively performed songs. Most of the repertoire is rooted in Irish traditions, but some pulls from other provincial influences including England, Brittany, and Scotland, in addition to several original compositions also included in the collection.
Button Accordion, Cittern, Bodhran,
Vocals, and Dance
Having been introduced to Irish culture at a very young age, Corey quickly grew to love the Irish music and dance which surrounded him. Advancing rapidly through the ranks of the competitive Irish dancing scene, Corey soon found himself on the National, then World stage of competition. After competing for 14 years, and discovering that he preferred his own artistic and rhythmic approach to the strict form required by the judges, Corey transitioned from competitions to stage productions and performance. He now dances with several notable bands including the esteemed Irish group Danú.
Corey’s musical talents began developing when he was 16, and started teaching himself tunes on the Irish style button accordion which he bought himself for his birthday. Progressing quickly, he was soon studying under 7-time All Ireland Champion John Whelan, and began honing his technique under John's tutelage. Corey found his true calling in traditional Irish music, and rapidly branched into other instruments including cittern, guitar, bodhran, and voice.
You can learn more about Corey at his personal site - coreypurcellmusic.com
Guitar, and Fiddle
Federico grew up in Milan, Italy, and it is there where he first learned to play the fiddle and fell in love with traditional Irish music. In 1996 he co-founded the trad band Inis Fail, a group that would become a leader of the Italian Irish music scene. After sharing the stage at music festivals in Italy with various Irish musicians and bands such as Altan, Dervish, and Lunasa, he decided to move to Ireland in 1999 to further pursue his passion and ended up living there for 20 years. In Ireland, Federico immersed himself in the Galway trad music scene, learning from a range of fiddle players and traveling to trad festivals all over the country. His most influential teachers were Australian fiddle player Rob Zielinski and Breda Keville from Galway.
He also began listening to guitar played in DADGAD tuning and was captivated by the sound. He started teaching himself in earnest. In 2009 he co-founded the Galway band Sumbrellas which played in and around Ireland, also touring in Italy, Germany, and the U.S.A. The band was featured playing one of their original songs in the first episode of Jack Taylor, an Irish television series now on Netflix. In 2010 Federico began teaching fiddle at the Galway City branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.
In 2017 Federico moved with his wife and four children to Chalfont, Pennsylvania where he firmly planted himself in the Philadelphia Irish music community. Soon after, he met Corey and Deirdre, and was delighted to join them in Poor Man's Gambit.
Fiddle, Vocals, and Dance
Deirdre (fiddle, vocals, dance) has been pursuing her passion for Irish music and dance since the age of four when she was first introduced to the fiddle. Born into a musical family, she was soon performing with her family band, in addition to numerous orchestras and ensembles including the Junior String Philharmonic, and the Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra. A quick study, Deirdre began competing in fiddle competitions at an early age, and holds several regional fiddle titles.
Deirdre began Irish step-dancing at the age of 5, and competed at the regional and national level with the DeNogla School of Irish Dance out of New Jersey for eleven years, before focusing her full attention on traditional music.
In addition to her work with PMG, Deirdre offers private fiddle lessons to students in the greater Philadelphia area. You can learn more through her personal site here: www.deirdreviolin.weebly.com