Altan are probably the most talked-about and lauded
traditional group to come out of Ireland this past decade. Playing Donegal-based authentic
traditional music, they have achieved great popularity without diluting or jazzing up the
music. Altan's tireless touring has won them a loyal following especially in America, and
helped them make impressive inroads on world music charts.
Anams music is continually evolving. Although
predominantly rooted in the Celtic traditions they have always sought to push the
traditional boundaries forward while still respecting their rich musical heritage.
With Irish, Scottish and Cornish members in the group, there is a wealth of influence and
tradition among them.
With voices and harmonies woven from the mouths of angels,
Anúna may just be the most intriguing vocal group on the classical/pop scene today.
A very proficient traditional group from Ireland, created by
ace bodhran player Johnny ("Ringo") McDonagh when he left De Dannan; the
band has been up and down, and has included Sharon Shannon,
Frances Black, Tommy
McCarthy and Sean Keane in its lineup. Their first album, After the Ball, was a big hit,
but then nothing was heard for a long time until "Many Happy Returns" which has
marked a sort of resurection of the band.
Begley & Cooney
This unlikely pairing of an Australian ex-rocker guitarist
(Stephen Cooney) and Kerry accordion player (Seamus Begley) is now recognised as one of
the top acts in Irish music, playing traditional dance music with a fire that is true to
the tradition, and much appreciated by the dancers for whom the music exists.
FRANCES BLACK's professional singing debut was in 1986, when
she began performing with her three brothers and sister (Shay, Michael, Martin, Mary,
Frances) as The Black Family, performing a mix of traditional and contemporary/traditional
A few years ago, a friend in Connecticut sent me a CD
recording by an Irish woman singer she would soon be seeing/hearing. Coincidentally, I
recognized the name as a musician John Jennings had mentioned as recording a cover of Mary
Chapin Carpenter's wonderful song, Moon and St. Christopher - which had
intrigued me, but I had not yet tracked down the recording of that particular song.
The Bothies were possibly the greatest of new Irish
traditional groups that arose in the seventies. Their fire and brilliance has long
outlasted their three year history and the four albums they produced are prized possesions
of many celtic music lovers.
Boys of the Lough
Boys of the Lough are one of the past masters of celtic
music, combining members from several celtic traditions with a long history; where other
celtic groups last a few years, the Boys are now in their third decade and retain two of
their earliest members. Like that other long-running act the Chieftans, their music tends
to the formal; impeccable technique and sensitivity, with large, sometimes classical-style
arrangements, and very tight ensemble playing.
Fiddler Kevin Burke is one of those names that just pops up
everywhere, and with a lot of respect attached to it at that. From the seventies, with the
legendary Bothy Band to the present, with his own Open House, has has always been one of
the top musicians on the celtic scene.
Celtic Fiddle Festival
The Celtic Fiddle Festival is a group rather than an event, a
combination of one of the best fiddlers from each of three celtic countries - Johnny
Cunningham of Scotland, Kevin Burke of Ireland and Christian Lemaitre from Brittany. This
grouping came together in 1992 for an American tour, which was recorded and issued as an
Here is a Chieftains discography that I've put together from
several sources, not all of which quite agree with one another! Please tell me of any
additions or corrections. Thanks to Mark Fischer who supplied some of this listing, and to
Jeff Doty and Craig Lawrence for other Chieftains-associated albums.
Chulrua combines 3 of the finest Irish
traditional musicians touring today. Paddy O'Brien,
Senior All-Ireland button accordion champion. Tim Britton,
master of the uilleann pipes as well as wooden flute and tin whistle. Pat Egan,
master guitar accompanist and singer from Tipperary. Their collective mastery of Irish
music and song is unparalleled, providing a concert experience of the highest caliber.
With haunting songs, mesmerizing vocals, and a captivating sound that blends
elements of traditional Irish and contemporary music, CLANNAD continues to occupy a unique
place in the modern musical world.
O'Connell is a songwriter of vision, awareness and maturity.
He has the ability to take an everyday experience or thought and turn it into an effective
structured song. All his material is melodic and accessible and his keen sense of humour
is never far from the surface.
On the following pages, you will find details of Rita
Connolly's essential recorded output and an article and interview, first published in The
Living Tradition magazine in January 1995.
CRAN are a unique group in the Irish folk-music world with
their own highly-individualistic approach and a bewildering array of styles and
repertoire. Each member of the trio already had international reputations in their own
fields before the band was formed.
De Dannan are one of the most famous traditional Irish groups
of the recent past. Their often-changing membership has spun off solo careers for singers
Maura O' Connell, Mary Black and Dolores Keane and has included such luminaries as Andy
Irvine, Johnny Moynihan, Frankie Gavin. They are regarded by many as one of the great
Irish folk groups of recent years, along with the likes of Planxty and the Bothy Band.
The Dubliners were one of the first groups to revive Irish
traditional music and especially ballad music, in the sixties and are still going strong
many years later, especially popular in Europe.
Fliying Toads, The
The Flying Toads have been playing together for 3
years and their extensive repertoire ranges from lively jigs and reels to well known
singalong songs, or the occasional haunting ballad to make you cry into your Guinness! The
bands name originates from a spoonerism of the Irish hornpipe, "The Flowing
Tide"! Keith and Val were formerly in the popular Sussex Irish band Cushleen, along
with guitarist John Carroll, and have played together for 11 years. Dave is a well-known
singer/songwriter in his own right.
Four Mens and a Dog
Four Men and a Dog burst on the scene at the Belfast Folk
Festival in 1990, with a high-energy approach that combines furious traditional dance
tunes with irreverent new music and inimitable covers.
Recorder Player, Composer, Arranger & Conductor...
Martin Hayes was born in 1961 in Maghera, Co. Clare, into a
musical family; his grandmother played concertina, his uncle Paddy Canny was national
fiddle champion and his father is now celebrating a half century as fiddler and leader of
the Tulla Ceili Band, probably the best known of Irish ceili bands and major stars of the
dance band scene of the 50s and 60s.
Andy Irvine has been at the core of many of the great Irish
traditional groups, from the groundbreaking Sweeney's Men
to the classic Planxty
and more recently in Patrick Street. He has also had an extensive solo career and
collaborated with Dick Gaughan, Paul Brady, Davy Spillane and others.
Born in New York City, Eileen Ivers is one of the top fiddle
players in the world today. Eileen 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, the show with whom
she is currently touring.
For Generations, Irish dance was very much the poor relation
in a national family of talkers poets, actors, writers and singers
But all the
while, Irish dance was biding its time...
Born in Ireland, Pat started out in the English folk clubs
late in the 70s with Scotland's Battlefield Band, recording one album with them. (At The
Front, Topic Records) Pat spent most of the eighties in Belgium, where he recorded 3 solo
albums and toured Spain, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands with his own Band as
well as recording and performing in other projects.
LÚNASA is Ireland's hottest new traditional band.
In January 1999, Lúnasa took New England by storm during a 4 -day promotional tour of the
North East, laying the groundwork for the release of their first studio recording, and
subsequent tours of the U.S. and Canada. 'Folk with balls!' proclaimed a review of
Lúnasa's appearance at The Blue Mountain Folk Festival in Australia. 'Not since The Bothy
Band has an audience held its band in such awe and expressed its gratitude for their
talent so vehemently.'
One of the most influential people on the Irish traditional
music scene, Lunny has been a member of three groundbreaking Irish groups: Planxty, The Bothy Band and
Moving Hearts. He is one of the most accomplished bouzouki players in Irish music and is
largely responsible for its popularity in traditional music. More recently, he has moved
backstage, as a record producer, TV programmer and other behind-the-scenes roles.
Regarded by many as the "godfather" of Irish music,
Tommy Makem is widely known as the latter day "Bard of Armagh." On concert tours
around the world, recording, television specials and in his own Tommy Makem's Irish
Pavilion in New York City, for over three decades he has been weaving evenings of pure
Inspired by Irish parents and encouraged by the thriving
traditional music scene in his home town of Manchester, Mike began playing Irish music at
the age of 8. By the age of 15, he already had numerous All-Ireland Championship firsts
under his belt and was making a name for himself as a member of perhaps the first and
certainly the most influential Celtic rock band in Manchester - Toss the Feathers.
Famed Irish folk singer, this discography covers his solo
work as well as full coverage of Planxty and Moving Hearts.
Neili Go Deazz
Neilí go Deazz are an exciting and innovative new duo
consisting of the highly innovative and virtuosic flute-player , and the multi-talented Niall
Keeganbodhran player and singer, Sandra Joyce. Their music though influenced through the
myriad of styles of music current today is rooted in their own aural tradition,
particularily the instrumental traditions of Connaught and Ulster.
Nightnoise started as a partnership between Irish traditional
musician Mícheál Ó'Dómhnaill and American violinist Billy Oskay in 1983 when Mícheál
moved to Portland, Oregon. Their music is a fusion of jazz, traditional Irish, and
impressionistic chamber music, mostly written by the group's members. In most pieces, the
celtic influences are subtle, with some traditional tunes standing out.
Tommy is a members of the Sands family, one of the important
early folk revivalists in Ireland, and a very well known solo performer and songwriter. He
is best known for his songs on the Northern Ireland conflict, especially the very often
recorded 'there were roses', of two friends of his who were killed in the violence there.
Sharon Shannon is a young accordion player from Co. Clare,
Ireland who has had huge success both in her solo career and with A Woman's Heart and the
"Their live shows radiate
a raw pulsating energy and musical force not witnessed since the Bothy Band era... Their
reputation lies in the strength of their stage show and the power of their music... a
lethal concoction of musical dexterity and gut power... when they put the hammer down they
play with a fury unmatched since The Bothy Band's heyday."
Davy Spillane Message Board...
Stockton's Wing was formed by a quartet of All-Ireland
champion musicians in 1977 as a progressive band, with an individual style derived from a
traditional background. They blend a mix of fiery traditional sets with ballads and folk
Micheál Ó'Súilleabháin is an Irish pianist, composer,
producer and ethnomusicologist. He has pioneered a new style of Irish piano music in his
recordings and has become a major figure in the Irish musical world linking the worlds of
academia and performance.
Sweeney's Men were the first of the modern folk-traditional
Irish groups, and had a huge impact on almost everything that followed. In the late
sixties, the folk revival in Ireland was chiefly in the hands of the Dubliners and Clancy
Brothers, very much into vigorous ballad singing, and Sweeney's Men injected some fresh
instrumentals into the scene.
Who Were They? The Waterboys were a folk-rock group led by
Scotsman Mike Scott from 1981-1993. The style and membership changed dramatically through
the life of the group, revolving always around Scott. It started as a 'big music' (their
own term) rock group, then moved to Ireland where they took on a more folky, lyrical
Ceolas Celtic Music
The home of celtic music on the internet, since 1994. Ceolas
houses the largest online collection of information on celtic music, and has links to
hundreds of related sites. Current popularity is over half a million hits per month.
Feel free to copy any and all portions for individual desktop
use and/or your individual study of piping. You may not republish all or portions of this
collection in any form, or distribute it in any form, without permission. You must obtain
permission for each item you wish to use even if I have already permitted any use in the
past. You may establish electronic pointers or links to this page.