About Us / Book Us

Blackthorn Folly is a four piece traditionally inspired band performing in the Milwaukee area. We play traditional Celtic tunes and pub songs with high energy and a ground stomping tempo. Our highest priority is providing great entertainment for the audience through great music and audience participation.

Blackthorn Folly was formed in 2012 to perform on St. Patrick’s Day at a couple of the local pubs in Milwaukee. After the overwhelmingly positive response from the audience, they decided to continue to perform and create a serious band. Since they started, Blackthorn folly has continued to perform regularly in pubs around the Milwaukee area. Additionally, they have performed at Irish cultural festivals including the Milwaukee and Oshkosh Irish fests.

The band was originally founded by Christopher Chan (bouzouki/banjo/vocals) after getting a chance offer to perform at a local pub. He was immediately joined by Christian Tomsey (vocals/fiddle), Joe McElroy (flute), Jacob Davida (fiddle/vocals), and David Wojnowski (bodhrán). Jacob has since moved on to other opportunities, but still performs with the band as a guest artist on a regular basis. In late 2014, the band was joined by Josh Gratz (tenor banjo/mandolin). They also features local artists such at Randy Gosa, James Riley, Karen Riley, and Jessica Kelliher for selected performances.

In August of 2017, the band was devastated by the untimely death of founding member Christian Tomsey. Losing Christian was definitely a serious blow to the group, but they chose to soldier on and carry his memory forward into the future with Christopher Chan taking over as the lead vocalist and incorporating more songs featuring Josh Gratz on vocals. They are currently looking for a new member to augment their sound.

Blackthorn Folly is available for club performances, festivals, or private parties. For booking information, please contact David Wojnowski at 414.306.2334.

Our members
Left to right: , David Wojnowski (bodrahn, manager), Joe McElroy (flute/whistle), Christian Tomsey (lead vocals/fiddle), Christopher Chan (bouzouki/vocals). Josh Gratz (tenor banjo/mandolin)

Blackthorn Folly Members 2014