The Happy River Band

Irish music and song that will make you happy


Shane Donnelly

Vocals, Guitar and Bodhran

Shane was Born in Limerick, Ireland and has been a professionel musician since he was 16 years old. He grew up in the Irish music scene but left Ireland in his early twentys to live and play in europe. 20 years ago he found himself settling in Denmark and since then has become a part of the folk music scene there. As Half of the Duo “Jane & Shane “ he has enjoyed a very fulfilling musicial career with both the duo and also in colaberationds with Niels Hausgaard, John Sheahan (The Dubliners) , DR underholdningsorkestret & Ålborg symfoniorkester. In 2015 Jane & Shane took a break from touring as Jane devotes herself to a new type of career “Motherhood”. The Happy River Band is a new step forward mixing the music of Ireland with the music of the cultures that it's touched.

Louise Ring Vangsgaard

Fiddle, Bratch, Vocals

Louise started playing violin and singing from an early age. As a teenager she really got into folk music and since then both Nordic and Irish traditional music have been a great part of her life and musical carriere.
For ten years Louise was a member of the contemporary Nordic Roots /fusion band Instinkt which was one of three bands representing Denmark in the music export project Danish Roots. Instinkts two albums were awarded with several prices at The Danish Music Awards.
Her ongoing fascination of the Irish Traditional music has brought her through countless sessions and as a member of Instinkt, Irish trad band Moving Cloud and now Tradish and The Happy River Band she's been touring on the folk scene inside and outside Denmark for years.
Doing perfomances as sidewoman for different singer-songwriters and concerts with church ensemble Prisme, she is a comprehensively musician of many interests.
Besides teaching violin at music schools, seminars etc Louise is also in demand as a studio musician, with a long list of collaborations.

Mads Knude Hovgaard

Mandolin, Banjo, Bouzouki, Dobro, Vocals

Mads was raised on the mixture of his dad's classical records and his mother's jazz records. Despite this, it was the music of Danish troubadours HP Lange and Paul Banks that turned his attention towards folk music. Groups like Nickel Creek and Union Station introduced the wonders of bluegrass. Mads has played in various groups since then (Rubarb, Gadjo Project, Green Groove) , mainly as guitarist but more recently as banjo- and mandolin picker. Apart from the Happy River Band, He currently plays in the legendary Danabluegrass Band ( and in the original americana band Rio Grande ( When not picking, he found the time to obtain a PhD in structural engineering from Aarhus University.
Mads plays a Collings MF5 mandolin built in Austin, Texas, a Stelling Golden Cross Banjo, built in Afton, Virginia and a Rozawood RD18 guitar built in the Czech republic.