Through songs & stories, Peg transports you on a journey from Ireland to America, connecting you with your Irish roots and sharing with you the culture of the Emerald Isle. She has a soothing voice that hints of her Irish ancestry and writes clever and engaging songs in traditional Irish and American folk styles that tell stories of Irish history, emigration, musical craic (the Irish word for fun), love and parting.
Peg grew up in St. Louis, Mo., before moving to Little Rock, Ar., in 1987. Her Irish ancestors emigrated from counties Cork, Limerick and Kerry during the Great Famine. Peg began singing as a young child under the influence of her father, an Irish tenor, and her mother who instilled pride for all things Irish. Her interest in traditional Irish music took hold when she patronized John D. McGurk’s Irish Pub in Soulard, south of downtown St. Louis.
In Little Rock, Peg has performed frequently at Hibernia Irish Tavern, and Dugan’s Irish Pub as well as the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Ozark Folk Center, the Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and other venues.
Peg performs annually at various regional festivals including: CelticFest in Jackson, MS, the North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas, TX (March 2011 & 2013 with John Burleson, as well as previous years with the traditional Irish band Cairde), the St. Louis Tionól in St. Louis, MO, Clanjamfry in Memphis, TN, and the Wheeling Celtic Heritage Day in Wheeling, WV.
Awards and Recognition:
In 2007, Peg was selected by the Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas to be the Grand Marshall of the 8th Annual Rock to North Little Rock St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Peg’s Mom accompanied her in the horse-drawn carriage saying, “I wouldn’t call the Queen my aunt!” – a phrase used to express the thrill at being treated as “queen for a day.”
In May 2008, Peg’s song, The Fiddler’s Feet won a Gold medal (first place) at the Midwest Fleadh in Detroit, one of two Irish music competitions in the United States. Peg’s first place finish qualified her to compete in the All-Ireland competition in Tullamore, County Offaly in August 2008. She was the sole representative from the United States in her category of Newly Composed Songs in English. While she didn’t bring home any trophies or medals, she experienced the personal gratification of everyone in the room tapping their foot to her song.
In May 2009, Peg won a bronze medal for Newly Composed Song in English for her song, The Forgotten Ten and a silver medal for Bodhrán. The latter again qualified Peg to compete at the 2009 All-Ireland in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland, where the adjudicator complimented her traditional style of playing the bodhrán.
In June 2010, Peg won a silver medal for Newly Composed Song in English for her song, ‘Til Night Became Day, and competed at the All-Ireland for the third year in a row.
Recordings and Published Works:
Book/CD – December 2012 – The Path, Songs and Stories to Quiet the Mind, Calm the Heart & Inspire the Soul. This is Peg’s most recent project and will be a CD as well as a book. As the name suggests, it is a collection of original songs that chart her spiritual journey to rediscover her path and life purpose. The book includes the stories of what inspired the songs, the song lyrics themselves and reflective questions for the reader to consider as they journey on their own path.
Book – December 2011 – The Gratitude Book Project – My Favorite Christmas Memory, Donna Kozik, Editor. Peg is a contributing author with an essay called “Meet Me in St. Louis” about her family’s Christmas gatherings and how they evolved across the years.
eBook – September 2011 - The Gratitude Book Project – Celebrating Personal Heroes, Donna Kozik, Editor. This free downloadable eBook was released in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and celebrates the personal heroes in our lives. Peg contributed an essay about her personal hero – her husband, George.
Book – May 2011 – The Gratitude Book Project – Celebrating Moms and Motherhood, Donna Kozik, Editor. Peg is a contributing author with an essay written in tribute to her Mom as part of the “Greatest Generation” on the occasion of her mom’s 90th birthday.
Book – December 2010, The Gratitude Book Project – Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude, Donna Kozik, Editor. Peg is a contributing author to the book, having written the essay, “What Makes God Smile,” the entry for April 2.
CD – 2007, Carving in Stone, Peg Roach Loyd – nine original and three traditional Irish songs from singer-songwriter Peg Roach Loyd. This is Peg’s debut CD as a solo artist.
CD – 2003, Blessing Rare, Cairde – traditional and original Irish music from Little Rock-based Irish band Cairde. Peg served as lead singer and band leader for the group during its eight-year tenure. Note: this CD is sold out and out-of-print.
Peg is former president of the Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas (IrishArkansas.org) and the Arkansas Celtic Music Society (ARCelts.com) and continues to volunteer for both organizations as their Director of Public Relations. The Irish Cultural Society presents the annual Rock to North Little Rock St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Peg is on the Arkansas Arts on Tour Roster and available year-round for performances, workshops, creative retreats and speaking engagements.