Ike Reilly is actually from Libertyville, Illinois, but he has gained such a strong following in Minnesota that many consider him to be a local musician. It took a while for Ike to get around to making a record. He was busy spending his time as a working class man, holding a jobs as a doorman and a cemetary worker and "halfway screwing around" with his hobby as a musician in his free time. He and friend/producer/keyboardist Ed Tinley sat down and made a demo tape together, and it eventually turned into the 2001 breakout album "Salesmen and Racists."
Ike's first record features his signature gritty yet soothing voice and brutally honest lyrics (though he claims that none of his songs are really about him). "Last time, I couldn't make you come," blurts the opening line, proving that making music, for Ike, isn't about impressing anyone. Backed up by Tinley's catchy and innovative guitar and keyboard riffs and a tight cast of band members, "Salesmen and Racists" showed that garage band rock revival music can become a well mastered art form.
Ike was really "discovered" by the Minnesota music scene after the release of his first album, partly due to the press he got from friend and music critic Jim Walsh, and mostly due to a four-night stand at the Turf Club in St. Paul in the summer of 2001 and subsequent shows that he played there in the following years.
In 2003 Reilly became the Ike Reilly Assassination (IRA for short) and released "Sparkle in the Finish." His second album was also well received and earned him airplay on the FM station Drive 105.
Despite the success of his recorded material, Ike's main draw will always be his raucous, driving live performances. Packed full of energy and, usually, a lot of alcohol, his concerts bring the phrase "rowdy bar band" to a whole new level. Ike continues to play frequently around the Twin Cities, and he tends to favor venues that have a bar and plenty of room to dance/jump up and down/make a fool out of yourself, especially the Varsity Theater and the 7th Street Entry.
Ed Tinley: Producer/keyboard/guitar/back up vocals
Tommy O'Donnell: Bass
Phil Karnatz: Guitar
Dave Cottini: Drums