Monday, 18 February 2013

Lúnasa to Release Album with RTE Concert Orchestra (World Music Central)

Cover of Lúnasa
Lúnasa, one of the finest Celtic music bands from Ireland will release their new album titled Lúnasa with the RTE Concert Orchestra this year. The album is a musical collaboration between the all-star Irish traditional band and the distinguished national orchestra of Ireland. Lúnasa with the RTE Concert Orchestra is scheduled for release on April 16th on Lúnasa Records, distributed by City Hall Distributors in the United States. It will be preceded by a digital release in time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in March.
Lúnasa with the RTE Concert Orchestra began when RTÉ approached Niall Vallely, one of Ireland’s most talented rising composers and arrangers and brother of Lúnasa’s Cillian Vallely, with the idea of creating arrangements and working with a traditional band. Niall suggested Lúnasa for the project, and the result is a captivating union of Ireland ‘s top traditional band and Ireland ‘s national orchestra to create a very new sound in Irish music.

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Goodman Project - Sat, 16th of Feb 2013 -Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre

Emer Mayock


Mick O’Brien (uilleann pipes/flute/whistle), Emer Mayock (flute/whistle) and Aoife Ní Bhriain (fiddle) come together to mark the release of their CD Tunes from the Goodman Manuscripts with repertoire drawn from original sources collected by Canon James Goodman in the mid 19th century in his native province of Munster.
The manuscripts, which since his death have been held in the Library of Trinity College are of great significance because they preserve much of the traditional music of the south of Ireland as it was sung and played in the years before traditional culture there was devastated by the Great Famine of the 1840s.
The Goodman manuscripts have preserved music that could easily have disappeared from the Irish repertory and provide unique insights into the evolution of Irish traditional music.
Mick, Emer and Aoife have chosen music ranging from unusual versions of tunes in the modern repertoire to those apparently unique to the collection.

Highly recommended.

Competition for young Irish musicians: An Ré Nua - The New Era

Donal Lunny
Cover of Donal Lunny

In search of the best new talent on the trad/folk scene

Young emerging acts with their own unique brand of Irish traditional music are encouraged to take part in an exciting new project in association with Comhaltas Dhoire and Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.

‘An Ré Nua ~ the New Era’ is a competition designed to encourage young and innovative musicians to compete against each other for a chance to kick start a career in folk and traditional music.

Bands, duos and singers will have the opportunity to perform at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, sharing a bill with popular acts such as Flook, Beoga, Cara Dillon, Tim Edey & Brendan Power, and Dervish.

Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh, chairperson of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and Arts Development Officer at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin said: ‘I’m really excited about this new project. It’s the perfect way to gear the city up for the overload of great music we will have in August, but it also gives young musicians a fantastic platform for furthering a career in music.’

The winners from each of the three categories will record their music for a new compilation album called An Ré Nua 2013, showcasing the high standard of contemporary trad/folk music from young musicians. They will will also receive a mastercopy of their music as an EP.

Odhrán Ó Maoláin, the project co-ordinator, says the opportunity is too good to refuse: ‘The eyes of the cultural sector are on Derry this year, making it the ideal location for the An Ré Nua project. Acts that take part should expect maximum exposure to the folk music industry and loads of media interest.’

The winners will have their music professionally recorded and the album will be launched at the first ever Fleadh Cheoil in Derry City. They will also be booked for a prestigious gig as part of the Fleadh’s illustrious live music line-up. In addition, all finalists will get a showcase spot at Music City, another major music event in the City of Culture programme.

The preliminary heats will coincide with Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin’s monthly arts programme for 2013, giving all competitors the opportunity to share a stage with the hottest acts on the traditional music scene. This will include visits from the likes of Lau, who are several times winner of ‘Best Group’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk  Awards and whose recent album Race The Loser was received to widespread critical acclaim, earning a five star review from the Guardian and a spot on Later… with Jools Holland.

Goitse, Rura, Donal Lunny, Pádraig Rynne and Sylvian Barou are also names involved in the project, with the first heat taking place on 8th March, followed by an energetic live set from the ever popular PJ McDonald, Bríd Harper, Gerdy Thompson and bodhrán maestro John Joe Kelly.

There will be three categories in the competition: bands, duos and singers. The competition is open to participants in the UK and Ireland and there is no age limit. New emerging musical acts are advised not to miss out on this exciting new project which could be the perfect launch pad for a career in Irish folk music.

Entries must be submitted by 1st March 2013 and anyone interested can register online at or call the fleadh office on +44(0)28 71 373 573.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Comhaltas: Dún Uladh Workshops 16/02/2013

Music and Language workshops coming up on Sat 16th of Feb at Dún Uladh, Omagh.

Workshops 16th Feb Cost £10 Each 2-7PM

Fiddle – Brid Harper
Whistle – Sharon McDermott
Accordion – Patricia McDermott
Singing – Kathryn McLaughlin
Bodhrán – Seamus O’Kane

Contact for more details 028 8224 2777 or

Comhaltas: Blog: Dún Uladh Workshops

Trad band Mórga for Matt Molloy’s

Four-piece trad group Mórga are playing in Matt Molloy’s, Westport, on February 12, as part of their nationwide spring tour.
Comprised of David Munnelly on accordion, Domnic Keogh on bodhrán, Danny Diamond on fiddle, and Jonas Fromseier on banjo and bouzouki, Mórga are renowned for playing high-energy, ‘souped-up’ Irish traditional music, they were all inspired by the great bands of the 1970s.
Belmullet man David Munnelly’s prowess on the accordion has become famous, and he is known for his colourful style which includes bold bass fingerings, complex arrangements and modern compositions and a masterful knack for letting a tune take its own time. He has recorded and toured with some of the greatest Irish bands and musicians, including The Chieftains, De Danann, Gerry O’Connor, Arty McGlynn and Sharon Shannon.
Dominic Keogh, who hails from Kilmovee, is a founding member of Mórga, which has been playing music since 2008. Dublin fiddle player Danny Diamond has also been with the group from the start. His fiddle playing is soulful and technically precisce, and his command of classical technique combines with immersion in the Irish tradition to create a sound all his own. Originally from Denmark, Jonas Fromseier took up the banjo in his teens. He has also performed with Irish music and dance show Celtic Crossroads, touring extensively in the US and playing hundreds of gigs for massive crowds.
Mórga’s eponymous debut CD, released in 2008, was hailed by critics as ‘powerful, compelling, and full of life’ (Alex Monaghan, Irish Music Magazine) and a ‘sizzling’ and ‘impressive debut with limitless spark in its fuse box’ (Siobhán Long, The Irish Times). The band toured extensively after its release, and took a break in 2011 to recover. Now, they’re fully recharged and ready to take their audiences by storm.

Paddy O'Brien Autobiography - The Road from Castlebarnagh

By Paddy O’Brien, foreword by Martin Hayes

‘I entered the world in 1945, the middle of the twentieth century, but my family’s way of life had not changed substantially for more than a hundred years …. The area around our house is still known as Castlebarnagh, which is a small townland near Daingean in northeast County Offaly, in the midlands of Ireland ….’

The Road from Castlebarnagh covers the many adventures of Paddy O’Brien, Irish traditional musician, composer and collector, as a boy growing up more than half a century ago in the midlands of Ireland. Paddy grew up in a small thatched house without running water or electricity, near the town of Daingean in County Offaly. It was a time when the social life of the Irish countryside often took place around the fireplace, where stories were told and music was played. In his book he writes of the many colourful characters who shaped his perception of Irish life and culture. Showing Paddy’s flair for storytelling, The Road from Castlebarnagh is the story of how a young musician absorbed his surroundings while developing his own distinctive musical style.


New season of Geantraí on TG4

English: Logo of the irish television channel ...
The long running popular traditional music series, Geantraí starts a new 10 week run on TG4  starting on Sunday 17th Feb at 10pm and repeated Friday 22nd at 8pm. The series presented by a different musician each week is produced in genuine traditional music pub locations around Ireland and as well as featuring many of our best known musicians it is also a platform for emerging young musicians. The opening programme in the Geantraí series comes from PJ Hayes Pub in Carlingford, Co Louth and is presented by fiddle player Dónal O’Connor where among the guests are At First Light, Zӧe Conway and singer Pádraigín Ní Uallachain.
Other musician/presenters in the series will be banjo player Daithí Kearney, harp and concertina player Freda Hatton, fiddle player Liam O’Connor, fiddle player Michael Harrison, flute player Joe Byrne, fiddle player Dónall Donnelly, concertina and harp player Holly Geraghty, singer Seán Tyrrell and fiddle player Ronan O’Flatherty.


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