Tag Archives: Irish folk music

Rising Celtic Fiddle Talent Matt Tighe

Matt Tighe – Matt Tighe (Greentrax Recordings, 2017)

Matt Tighe is an excellent fiddler from South London in the UK. On his self-titled album he delivers an impressive set of original and traditional tunes highlighting his talent as a fiddler. The selection ranges from lively tunes and dances to mesmerizing slow airs.

On most of the tunes, Matt Tighe uses a fiddle and rhythm guitar format although a fuller ensemble featuring piano, percussion, bass and concertina also appears in some of the pieces. There is also great interplay between the fiddle and concertina on “Cronin’s” and the piano on “Clancy’s.”

Tighe is deeply influenced by of County Clare in Ireland and the Scottish music he was exposed to at the Cambridge Folk Festival and Glasgow.

Occasionally, Tighe treats the listener to beautifully-crafted fiddle overdubs that are best enjoyed with a good sound system or headphones.

Personnel: Matt Tighe on fiddle, octaive fiddle, and harmonium; Tad Sargent on bouzouki, guitar, mandocello, bodhran, piano and harmonium; Chris O’Malley on piano and harmonium; James Lindsay on double bass; Luke Daniels on button accordion; Brian McNeill on concertina; and Jock Turner on shaker.

Overall, an outstanding Celtic music album by a talented young fiddler.

Buy Matt Tighe in Europe

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Artist Profiles: Michael McGoldrick

Michael McGoldrick

Inspired by Irish parents and encouraged by the thriving traditional music scene in his home town of Manchester, England, multi-instrumentalist Michael McGoldrick began playing Irish music at the age of 8. By the age of 15 he already had already won numerous All-Ireland Championship and became well-known as a member of influential Manchester-based Celtic rock band Toss the Feathers. He later performed with leading Celtic and folk music acts Capercaillie, Flook, Lunasa and Kate Rusby.

On Fused, McGoldrick teamed up with members of Capercaillie and Flook to create a sound that borrows as much from ambient trance as it does from traditional Irish music. Guests on the record include Karan Casey formerly of Solas and Karen Matheson and Manus Lunny of Capercaillie.

In 2010 he performed at Celtic Connections with the Future Trad Collective along with Ian Fletcher and Andy Dinan. The band released a self-titled album in 2011.

Discography:

Live at the 32 Club with Toss the Feathers (1988)
Rude Awakening with Toss the Feathers (Magnetic Music, 1993)
Columbus Eclipse with Toss the Feathers (Magnetic Music, 1989)
Awakening with Toss the Feathers (1991)
TTF’94 Live with Toss the Feathers (1994)
The Next Round with Toss the Feathers (Magnetic Music, 1995)
Flook! Live! with Flook (Small, 1996)
Morning Rory (Aughgrim Records, 1996)
Lunasa, with Lunasa (1997)
Otherworld with Lunasa (Green Linnet GLCD12 (1999)
Fused (Vertical Records, 2000)
At First Light, with John McSherry (Vertical Records, 2001)
Wired (Vertical Records, 2005)
Aurora (Vertical Records, 2010)
Future Trad Collective (Vertical Records, 2011)
Live, with John McCusker & John Doyle (Vertical Records 2012)

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Dónal Lunny to Receive Folk Alliance International Lifetime Achievement Award

Dónal Lunny

Acclaimed Irish musician Dónal Lunny will receive a Folk Alliance International Lifetime Achievement Award a during a special ceremony held during The ExChange, a Micro-Conference that is taking place this week, September 19-21, 2017 in Ireland.

A lifelong musician, Lunny has been at the vanguard of the Irish traditional music renaissance for over five decades. He was a founding member of various essential Irish bands such as Planxty, The Bothy Band, Moving Hearts, and Coolfin. He continues to maintain a busy international recording and performing career with Mozaik, Triad, ZoDoMo, Usher’s Island, and Atlantic Arc Orchestra.

Lunny holds the unique legacy of popularizing the bouzouki (a Greek instrument) in Irish music and has produced some of the most significant albums of the “Trad.” music revival since the 1970s.
Recording and production highlights include work with Kate Bush, Paul Brady, Elvis Costello, Indigo Girls, Sinéad O’Connor, and Clannad. In 2008 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Trinity College Dublin and was also made a member of the 250-member national Aosdána, honoring his outstanding contribution to the creative arts in Ireland.

Lunny has written music for many films and theater productions, and he continues to divide time between composing, performance, production, and teaching.

FAI commissioned a special edition, Lifetime Achievement Award documentary short-film, honoring Dónal Lunny. The film will be shown at the event Thursday and followed by a short performance with longtime collaborator Paddy Glackin.

View the film:

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Artist Profiles: Dennis Cahill

Dennis Cahill

Dennis Cahill is a virtuoso guitarist versed as well in classical, blues and rock as he is in traditional Irish music. A native of Chicago, he studied at the city’s prestigious Music College before becoming an active member of the local music scene.

Cahill’s innovative accompaniment is acknowledged as being a major breakthrough for guitar in the Irish tradition. In addition to his recordings and live work with Martin Hayes Dennis has performed with such renowned fiddlers as Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers and Kevin Burke.

Cahill and Hayes, along with singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and pianist Doveman, are the members of The Gloaming, an Irish-American supergroup

Discography:

The Lonesome Touch, with Martin Hayes (Green Linnet 1997)
Live in Seattle, with Martin Hayes (Green Linnet 1999)
Welcome Here Again, with Martin Hayes (Green Linnet 2008)
The Gloaming (Brassland Records, 2014)
The Gloaming 2 (Brassland Records, 2016)

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Artist Profiles: Liz Carroll

Liz Carroll – Photo by Knuff Photography

Born in Chicago to Irish parents Liz Carroll was a natural at the fiddle right from the start. At age 18 she amazed the Celtic music world by winning the All-Ireland Senior Championship. Raised in the close-knit South side Irish community she learned the fiddle from her father and other older Irish musicians tagging along with him to Irish,session” where such respected musicians as fiddler Johnny McGreevy and pianist Eleanor (Kane) Neary could be found. She wrote her first tune at age nine.

An original member of the group Cherish the Ladies Liz has performed with artists ranging from the late virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin to rock musician Don Henley. She has also performed with the String Sisters (with fellow fiddlers Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan Natalie Mac Master Catriona MacDonald from Scotland Annbjørg Lien of Norway and American Liz Knowles). The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Liz the National Heritage Fellowship the country’s top honor for the traditional arts in 1994. In 1999 Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley named September 19th,Liz Carroll Day, during the Chicago Celtic Festival.

Discography:

Kiss Me Kate with Tommy Maguire (Shanachie 3412, 1978)

Trian with with Trian (1992)

Liz Carroll (Green Linnet, 1993)

Trian II with with Trian (Green Linnet SIF-1159, 1995)

A Friend Indeed (Shanachie 3413, 1995)

Lost in The Loop (Green Linnet 1199, 2000)

Lake Effect (Green Linnet 8122, 2002)

In Play with John Doyle (2005)

Live with String Sisters (2007)

Double Play, with John Doyle (Compass Records, 2009)

On the Offbeat (2013)

website: www.lizcarroll.com

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Artist Profiles: Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke – Photo by Jack Vartoogian

Kevin Burke’s sparkling lyrical fiddle has earned him a reputation as one of the finest most influential players in music today. From The Bothy Band to Patrick Street he has defined Irish fiddling for a generation. His work with artists as disparate as Kate Bush Arlo Guthrie and Christy Moore has given him an audience that not only spans continents but defies attempts at categorization.

Born and raised in London England Burke picked up his first fiddle at age eight when his parents decided music studies were in order. “To this day I have no idea why they chose the fiddle except that it’s popular in County Sligo where the family comes from and where we spent our vacations ” he laughs. “For the next five years or so I dutifully diddled around on it. Then I discovered Irish music. Suddenly I was hooked. I spent my teens wandering into pubs waiting for a chance to sit in with the musicians.”

London in the 196s was a vibrant musical scene for the Irish emigrants could be heard playing the styles of Kerry Sligo Galway Limerick and Clare. And Burke was listening. Though he counts such masters of the Sligo style as Michael Coleman Paddy Killoran and Tom McGowan as primary influences he also points to fiddlers Bobby Casey (County Clare) and Brendan McGlinchey (Ulster) and to a wealth of Irish musicians on the London scene as important in his development. “I had access to it all whereas if I’d been living in Ireland I might not have been so lucky.”

Good fortune aside Kevin’s undeniable talents brought him to the attention of Arlo Guthrie in 1972 when he was invited to the United States to play on Guthrie’s Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys. Shortly after Christy Moore the great Irish singer/songwriter asked Burke to Ireland to play in his new band. He stayed with Moore two years before joining what would become one of the most influential Irish groups of all time The Bothy Band.

Hailed as “the Yardbirds of Irish music ” the Bothy Band boasts some of the finest musical alumni in all of Ireland including Matt Molloy (Chieftains) Mícheál Ó Domhnaill and Tríona Ní Domhnaill (Nightnoise) Dónal Lunny and Paddy Keenan. Burke initially joined the band as a temporary replacement for fiddler Tommy Peoples but his role soon become permanent. His elegant impassioned fiddle was a cornerstone of the band’s legendary sound from 1976 until 1979.

During their years together Burke and guitarist Míchéal Ó Domhnaill discovered a rare musical rapport. When the Bothy Band parted ways the duo toured Europe and recorded the groundbreaking Promenade which was awarded the “Grand Prix du Disque” at the 198 Montreux Jazz Festival. They went on to record Portland named for the adopted hometown where Burke still resides.

In 1986 Burke joined an all-star cast of Irish musicians that included Andy Irvine and Jackie Daly for a tour that evolved into the legendary quartet Patrick Street. Eight albums and countless tours later the partnership is stronger and more electric than ever. In the late ‘8s Burke formed Open House his short-lived but critically acclaimed project with American musicians Paul Kotapish Mark Graham and Sandy Silva. Kevin created Open House to stretch beyond his Irish roots and explore music from all corners of the world.

As if that weren’t enough he is an active member of The Celtic Fiddle Festival a dazzling pan-Celtic ensemble that also features Scotland’s Johnny Cunningham and Christian LeMaitre of Brittany. Though the trio first came together for a one-off tour they went on to record two successful albums both highlighting the brilliant interplay between the fiddlers.

In Concert is Burke’s first solo release in 15 years. His fiddling tone and power are in mighty form as he sails through tunes drawn from throughout his remarkable career. “There are thousands of old tunes good ones that haven’t been played in years. When I find something I love I play it. And when I find something I like I bend it out of shape until I love it…Good music is good music. It should be heard.”

A lot of people think Irish music is wistful and melancholy. That’s one side of it but there’s also a great rough resilient spirit in the music an element of joy underlying even the most plaintive melody. I grew up listening to musicians with that spirit and I value it. So much in music today makes people passive bored and boring: three things I never want to be.</em>”

In 2002 Burke won the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship.

Discography:

Sweeney’s Dream (1972)

If The Cap Fits (Green Linnet 1978)

Promenade (1979)

Eavesdropper (1981)

Portland (1982)

Up Close (Green Linnet 1984)

Burke/Daly/Irvine/McGlynn: Patrick Street (Green Linnet 1986)

No. 2 Patrick Street with Patrick Street (Green Linnet 1988)

Irish Times with Patrick Street (Green Linnet 199)

Open House with Open House (1992)

Celtic Fiddle Festival with Celtic Fiddle Festival (1993)

All in Good Time with Patrick Street (Green Linnet 1993)

Second Story with Open House (1994)

Corner Boys with Patrick Street (Green Linnet 1996)

Hoof and Mouth with Open House (1997)

Made in Cork with Patrick Street (Green Linnet 1997)

Celtic Fiddle Festival: Encore with Celtic Fiddle Festival (1998)

Live From Patrick Street with Patrick Street (Green Linnet 1999)

In Concert (Green Linnet 1999)

Rendezvous with Celtic Fiddle Festival (2001)

Street Life with Patrick Street (Green Linnet 2003)

Play On with Celtic Fiddle Festival (2005)

In Tandem with Ged Foley (2006)

Across The Black River with Cal Scott (2007)

On the Fly with Patrick Street (2007)

Equinoxe with Celtic Fiddle Festival (2008)

Suite with Cal Scott (2010)
Live in Brittany with The Celtic Fiddle Festival (Loftus, 2013)

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Artist Profiles: Jerry O’Sullivan

Jerry O’Sullivan

Uilleann piper flutist and whistler Jerry O’Sullivan has been at the very heart of the traditional Irish music scene in New York for many years and is always the first to help when a member of the community needs it. A gifted performer he has worked with many groups in the area as well enjoying an enviable career as a solo artist.

He has amassed a substantial discography with appearances on over sixty albums. He has been a music teacher for many years at The Tara Circle and many Irish arts weekends and has always been happy to share his time and talent.

Discography

The Invasion (Green Linnet 1997)
The Gift (Shanachie 1998)
O’Sullivan Meets O’Farrell (2005)
O’Sullivan Meets O’Farrell: Volume II (2010)

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Artist Profiles: Eileen Ivers

Eileen Ivers – Photo by Patrick McBride

Eileen Ivers – The musical star of Riverdance and currently a sensation in Europe, Eileen Ivers is the most successful American-born competitor in the history of the all-Ireland championships. Along with her thirty medals, Eileen Ivers won seven All-Ireland fiddle titles and an eighth on the tenor banjo. The native New Yorker displays a breathtaking technical range and refreshing choice of repertoire.

Born in the Irish community of the Bronx, New York, Eileen Ivers began playing fiddle at the age of eight and eventually studied with famed Limerick-born fiddler Martin Mulvihill.

As an Irish-American raised in an ethnically diverse Bronx neighborhood, Eileen was forever intrigued by the multicultural sounds of her childhood environs. After graduating magna cum laude in Mathematics from lona College, Eileen passionately immersed herself in the myriad of musical genres that had once filled her young ears. Perhaps it was the mathematical mind coupled with her passion for seeking parallels in certain traditional music styles that contributed to what has become Eileen’s signature sound: A beautiful and enthralling melange clearly grounded in traditional Irish music that embraces the rhythms of African. Latin and American roots music in a natural way.

Eileen Ivers in 2006

Eileen was a founding member of the all-woman Celtic folk group Cherish the Ladies and has been a member of such notable bands as, Hall and Oates, The Green Fields of America, and Chanting House before joining the World Wide hit show Riverdance.

On her album Crossing the Bridge, Ivers collaborated with a broad array of celebrated world-music performers, including John Doyle and Seamus Egan of Solás, Bakithi Kumalo (heard on Paul Simon’s Graceland album), Joanie Madden of Cherish The Ladies, and jazz artists Eddie Gomez and Randy Brecker.

In 1999 Eileen established a touring production company in New York City to present the music which now encompasses Eileen Ivers and her band, Immigrant Soul. This mix of African and Latin percussion and bass, Irish instrumentalists, and American soulful vocals is privileged to appear at major performing arts centers, guest with numerous symphonies is true to the heart of Irish music while embracing the multiculturalism of American life.

Discography:

Eileen Ivers (Green Linnet 1139, 1994)

Wild Blue (Green Linnet 1166, 1996)

So Far – The Eileen Ivers Collection 1979-1995 (Green Linnet 1185, 1997)

Titanic (Sony Classical SK 6691)

Crossing the Bridge (Sony Classical SK 6746, 1999)

Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul ( Koch CD-8494, 2003)

An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas (2007)

www.eileenivers.com

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Artist Profiles: Deanta

Déanta

Déanta was an excellent contemporary Irish folk music band from County Antrim. The young virtuosos steadily built an international reputation for music both pristine and pulsating. They were recipients of numerous awards for their beautifully-crafted vocal and instrumental work.

Musicians: Mary Dillon (vocals), Deirdre Havlin (flute and whistles), Rosie Mulholland (keyboards and fiddle), Eoghan O’Brien (harp and guitar), Kate O’Brien (fiddle and viola), Clódagh Warnock (bouzouki).

Discography:

Deanta (Green Linnet, 1993)

Ready for the Storm (Green Linnet, 1994)

Whisper Of A Secret (1997)

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Artist Profiles: Connie Dover

Connie Dover – Photo by Gherig Fry

Connie Dover is an acclaimed singer specialized in the traditional music of Great Britain and Ireland. Her remarkable voice and inspired arrangements have earned her a  place among the world’s finest Celtic singers.

Connie’s best-selling albums: Somebody (1991) The Wishing Well (1994) and If Ever I Return (1997) and The Border of Heaven (2000) were produced by former Silly Wizard multi-instrumentalist Phil Cunningham. They feature instrumentation by excellent traditional musicians from both side of the Atlantic.

Connie began her Celtic music career as a lead singer for the Kansas City-based Irish band Scartaglen. She also performed in a duo with former Scartaglen member Roger Landes. She has toured extensively throughout the USA and Canada appearing on radio television in concert and at nearly every major folk festival in North America.

In addition to her solo recordings Connie contributed songs to seven recordings on the Narada Record label and has been a guest on numerous collections of folk and Celtic music. In 1991 she founded the Taylor Park Music record label to release her own albums which are now distributed worldwide. Her voice can also be heard in film and television soundtracks and she was a music consultant for the Ang Lee Civil War epic film Ride with the Devil.

Born in Arkansas and raised in Missouri, Connie Dover is of English, Cherokee, Mexican, and Scots/Irish descent. She discovered the wealth of the Celtic music tradition as a teenager and began a search that continues to this day devoting her life to the research collection preservation and recording of traditional songs and ballads. Her history degree earned from William Jewell College and her undergraduate work at Oxford University have further enriched her unique perspective of the historical context of folk music and her insightful interpretations bring ancient ballads to life.

When Connie is not touring or recording she spends time working on Wyoming cattle ranches where she is a trail cook during ranch cattle drives (and where she can often be heard singing old-time songs around a roaring campfire to the accompaniment of hoarse cowboys and lowing cattle).

The theme that runs through her work is the exploration of the common ground between British Isles and American folk music and she offers the modern listener a musical experience that transcends both centuries and cultural boundaries and affirms our connection with the past.

Discography:

Somebody (Taylor Park Music TPMCD 11, 1991)

The Wishing Well (Taylor Park Music TPMD 21, 1994)

If Ever I Return (Taylor Park Music, 1997)

The Border of Heaven (Taylor Park Music, 2000)

The Holly & The Ivy (Taylor Park Music, 2009)

Restless Angel – Ranch Girl Love Lyrics (Taylor Park Music, 2016)

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