Tag Archives: Irish folk music

Artist Profiles: Beoga


Beoga (Irish word for ‘lively’) are an exciting young five piece from County Antrim who create a completely unique sound, with the dueling accordions of Seán Óg Graham and Damian McKee, superb bodhran playing from four times All-Ireland champion Eamon Murray, Liam Bradley’s jazzy piano, and singing and fiddle from acclaimed Limerick musician, Niamh Dunne.

Immediately embraced by press and fans alike, Beoga’s debut album, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ZIZ0QG?ieUTF8&tagmusidelmund-20&linkCodexm2&camp1789&creativeASINB000ZIZ0QG | A Lovely Madness, earned 9/10 in Ireland’s Hot Press, and was one of their Top Trad/Folk Albums of the year. Beoga released their subsequent album, Mischief, with then new vocalist Niamh Dunne, in 2007.

Over the last few years Beoga have performed at major Celtic and Folk festivals throughout Europe and the USA, including the Cambridge Folk Festival, the All-Ireland Fleadh, Dranouter Tender Boston, Kansas, and Milwaukee Irish Festivals, the Guinness Irish Christmas tour of Austria the Irish Folk Festival tour of Germany along with Solas and Kevin Burke, and the Irish Unplugged Tour of Holland with the Fureys and Davey Arthur.

In September 2007, Beoga performed live with the BBC Orchestra to a television audience of millions as part of the prestigious “Last Night Of The Proms”.

In 2009, Beoga released The Incident and toured the United States and Europe.


A Lovely Madness (Compass Records, 2004)
Mischief (Compass Records,2007)
The Incident (Compass Records, 2009)
How to Tune a Fish (2011)
Beoga: Live At 10 -The 10th Anniversary Concert (Compass Records, 2014)
Before We Change Our Mind (2016)

Web sites: www.beogamusic.com


Artist Profiles: Alan Kelly

Alan Kelly

Born in Co. Roscommon in 1972, Alan Kelly grew up in a house steeped in traditional music and dance. His grandfather was a fiddler; his grandmother, a melodeon player; his father, Frank Kelly, a piano accordionist from Fourmilehouse in southern Roscommon.

Alan chose to follow in his fathers’ footsteps and learn the piano accordion. Very soon, Alan had forged his own inimitable style influenced mainly by his father Frank and local musicians such as Paddy Ryan, John Carlos, Patsy Hanly and Frank Jordan.

In his early music years, Alan went on to win All-Ireland titles on piano accordion and piano, and also with brother John in duets and neighbor and life long friend John Wynne in trios.

Determined to become a full time musician Alan moved to Galway in 1993 where he quickly became part of the thriving traditional music scene, forging an excellent reputation for himself.

In 1994 he landed a part in the Druid Theatre’s award winning production of Vincent Woods’ ‘At the black pigs Dyke’ and spent the next 12 months performing in Dublin, Galway, Glasgow, Toronto and Sydney. He also toured with Druid’s and Vincent Woods production of ‘The Yellow Bittern’ in 1995.

Back in Galway, Alan decided to concentrate on his debut solo album and in 1997 he released Out of the Blue (BBM 001) on his own label Blackbox Music. Co-produced by Alan and Steve Cooney and featuring a host of Ireland’s top musicians, the album received ecstatic reviews from the critics, earned him a ‘Best Newcomer’ award from Irish Music Magazine and launched Alan on his solo career.

Extensive touring ensued, especially in the United States of America and Canada where ‘Out of the Blue’ was released on the Kells label.

However, it wasn’t long before theatre beckoned again and towards the end of 1997, Alan was invited by New York’s awarding winning avant-garde theatre company Mabou Mines to join their production of Peter and Wendy in Los Angeles and has since performed with them in New Haven (’98) San Francisco (’99) Dublin Theatre Festival in 1999 and New York 2002.

Alan Kelly

Also, in 1997, he was invited to become a member of the house band for Sibin, a weekly music program for TG4, performing with artists such as Matt Molloy, Sean Keane, Cathy Ryan, Kieran Goss, Mick Hanley, Sean Tyrell, Arty McGlynn and Nollaig Casey.

During January 1999 Alan toured with Music Network’s “Best of Irish” nation-wide tour alongside Michael McGoldrick, Karen Casey and Cathal Hayden playing to full houses all over the country. In the same year he also featured on Michael McGoldrick’s groundbreaking album ‘Fused‘ and continues to tour regularly with this band appearing at festivals such as Lorient 1999, Celtic Connections 2000 and Cambridge 2001 as well as many others.

In 2000, Alan released his second solo album Mosaic (TARACD4011) with a concert at the Galway Arts Festival featuring an 8 piece band with a line-up which included guitarist, Arty McGlynn, saxophonist, Richie Buckley, trumpeter, Danial Healy and Sean Smyth on fiddle. Produced by guitarist Arty McGlynn, Mosaic features many new compositions from both Alan and Arty, as well as traditional music from Scotland, Finland and, of course, Ireland.

Alan Kelly and the Mosaic Band quickly established itself as one of the hottest live acts on the Irish scene with its exciting blend of traditional, salsa and jazz rhythms, and propelled Alan onto the World Music stage.

Also in 2000 he worked with the award winning Lyric Theatre in Belfast for their production of Brian Friel’s “Wonderful Tennessee.

Alan’s other recording credits include appearances on Niamh Parsons’s Loosely Connected in 1992, Michael McGoldrick’s Morning Rory in 1996 and Fused in 2000, and Sean Keane’s Seansongs in 2002. He guested with Lunasa on their Irish tour promoting their album Otherworld and also collaborated with Alison Brown, the Grammy award winning banjo player on her Irish tour in 2001. During July 2002 Alan toured with Ireland’s legendary De Danann in Canada.

Alan’s most recent recording project has seen him return to his Roscommon roots for a duet album with his brother John. The album titled Fourmilehouse (BBM 2003) is traditional music served straight up, with no need for studio sweeteners or sleight of hand.

Today Alan is credited with single-handedly reviving the piano accordion in Irish traditional music.


Out of the Blue (Black Box Music BBM 001, 1997)
Mosaic (TARACD4011, 2000)
Fourmilehouse (Black Box Music BBM, 2003)
After the Morning (Black Box Music, 2009)
Small Towns & Famous Nights (Black Box Music BBM 006, 2011)
The Last Bell (Black Box Music BBM 007, 2014)

web site: alankellygang.ie


Artist Profiles: Aine Minogue

Aine Minogue

Aine Minogue has been studying and playing the harp since she was 12 years old. Her albums feature ethereal vocal and instrumental Irish and Scottish traditional music as well as original compositions full of Irish mysticism.

Born in Borrisokane, County Tipperary, Ireland, to a large musical family, Áine was introduced to all types of music and instruments at an early age. She has toured extensively as a harp player, composed soundtracks for television and has several solo recordings, in addition to her numerous collaborations. Aine currently lives in the United States of America.

In 2012 she released an album of Irish lullabies titled Close Your Eyes, Love.


Irish Harp Music (Irish Records International, 1992)
Were You at the Rock (Beacon, 1993)
To Warm the Winter’s Night (Evergreen Music, 1995)
Mysts of Time (North Star Music 83, 1996)
Between Worlds (BMG 68846, 1997)
Circle of the Sun ( BMG 63108, 1998)
The Vow, with Druidstone (North Star Music 113, 1999)
Celtic Moon, compilation ( BMG/Green Hill 5195, 2000)
Celtic Meditation Music (Sounds True, 2004)
Celtic Lamentations (Gemini Sun Records, 2005)
Celtic Pilgrimage (Gemini Sun Records, 2008)
Close Your Eyes, Love (2012)


Winter, A Meditation (2009)

Web Site: www.minogue.com


Artist Profiles: Brian Finnegan

Brian Finnegan

Brian Finnegan is a renowned tin whistle and flute player from Armagh, Ireland. He is one of the most technically inventive and imaginative of flute and whistle players to have emerged from Ireland in recent years. Brian’s well-recognized abilities in traditional Irish music are often blended with folk music from other traditions.

He was a founder member of Upstairs in a Tent. He later formed the hugely popular, ground-breaking Celtic band Flook. Flook recorded three highly acclaimed studio albums, Flatfish, Rubai and Haven. Their album Rubai was voted Folk Album of the Year and Brian was voted Male Musician of the Year by LiveIreland.com and the Irish American News. Collecting awards and a huge fan base wherever they toured, Flook were crowned BBC Band Of The Year 2006. They disbanded in 2008.

Brian Finnegan traveled and toured through India and Eastern Europe. This experience had a deep and profound effect on his talent as a composer, hinted at early on with the release of his first CD,‘When The Party’s Over’ in 1993. In 2008 he was commissioned by The Sage Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne to compose a piece for the opening of ‘The Eighth Bridge’, a major art installation across the river Tyne.

He has toured and recorded with many artists including Cara Dillon, Kate Rusby, and Russian group Aquarium. Celtic Connections 28 premiered his northern big band, The Singing Tree; thirteen performers, musicians, singers, poets and dancers, all from the northern counties of Ireland.

In 2010 he toured the West Coast of the United States and Ireland with guitarist William Coulter. Brian and William met at the Boxwood flute camp in Nova Scotia during the summer of 2008, where both were teaching. A concert was in the works and the musicians enjoyed playing together so much they talked about the possibility of touring as a duo.

Brian’s album, ‘The Ravishing Genius Of Bones’ was released in March 2010 and coincided with the formation of his new quartet called Kan. The band includes guitarist Ian Stephenson and drummer Jim Goodwin and fiddler Aidan O’Rourke.


Flook! Live! (Small CD 945, 1996)

Flatfish (Flatfish Records 2CD, 1999)

Rubai (Flatfish Records 4CD, 2002)

Haven (Flatfish Records 5CD, 2005)

The Ravishing Genius Of Bones (2010)


Absorbing Celtic Flute and Human Beatbox Encounters

Matthew Olwell – CyberTrad (2016)

Celtic music and beatbox beats come together in a fascinating album titled CyberTrad. Multi-instrumentalist Matthew Olwell uses several types of flutes to deliver a mix of Irish and Breton traditional pieces, along with original compositions backed by body and vocal percussion.

Although the combination is uncommon, the result is very satisfactory. Celtic music goes well with frame drums and hand percussion and the talented Shodekeh Talifero does a fabulous job with his beatbox and vocal rhythms.

Matthew Olwell grew up listening to music on a boombox radio. The mix included his parents’ wide-ranging tape collection, as well as radio programs like National Public Radio’s Celtic music show The Thistle and Shamrock.

His father, Patrick Olwell is a renowned Irish flute maker and both his parents and brother played flute, so there were always musicians around. The Olwell family was active in the United States’ East Coast Irish music scene, regularly attending the Washington D.C. Irish Festival and Irish Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Virginia.

This splendid music community gave Matthew an appreciation for many folk traditions, including Canada’s Quebecois, old time, and Cajun music. Through this festival scene, Matthew met Eileen Carson-Schatz and The Fiddle Puppet Dancers at Augusta, and ultimately joined the later incarnation of that group, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. From 1994 to 2004 Matthew performed with Footworks, touring internationally, situating him on a pathway to a career in music and dance.

The lineup on CyberTrad includes Matthew Olwell on wooden and bamboo flutes, vocals, cornamuse and bodhran; Shodekeh Talifero on human beatbox, vocal percussion and panpipes; Aimee Curl on vocals and upright bass; Simon Lepage, the bass player of famed Quebecois band Matapat; Aimee Curl on vocals and upright bass; Jaige Trudel on cello, and Joey Abarta on uilleann pipes.

Cybertrad is a superb alchemy of flutes from the Celtic regions and the contemporary human beatbox tradition.

Buy the digital version of Cybertrad

Buy the Cybertrad CD


The Breath to Perform in Liverpool

The Breath
The Breath

Contemporary Irish folk music group The Breath is set to perform on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus.

The Breath is Stuart McCallum (former guitarist of The Cinematic Orchestra), Irish singer Rioghnach Connolly, and McCallum’s fellow Cinematic colleague, pianist John Ellis, along with drummer Elliot Bennett.

Born out of Manchester’s fertile music scene, they mix Irish folk influences with mesmerizing guitar riffs, anthemic themes and powerful hooks.

The Breath - Carry Your Kin
The Breath – Carry Your Kin


Buy Carry Your Kin in Europe

Buy Carry Your Kin in the Americas


Heidi Talbot Releases “Here We Go 1, 2, 3”

Acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Heidi Talbot has a new album titled “Here We Go 1, 2, 3” (Navigator Records).

‘Here We Go 1, 2, 3’ is Talbot’s fifth solo album, produced by musical colleague and husband, John McCusker.

The album contains a mix of Irish folk, Americana and pop.

Buy Here We Go 1, 2, 3 in the Americas

Buy Here We Go 1, 2, 3 in Europe