Edel Vaughan performing on tour with the Kilfenora Céilí Band. (Photo: Martin Connolly of Kincora Photography)
A little about Edel Vaughan …
Edel Vaughan is a native of the County Clare who has been playing music and participating in traditional and sean nós singing from an early age. She has won six All Ireland titles and has travelled the world with the renowned Brú Ború group. Edel has also travelled and worked with the dance show Ragús and has had the honour of being a member of the prestigious Clare Memory Orchestra for a specially commissioned millennium suite commemorating the death of Brian Ború in 1014 AD. Edel is also no stranger to the camera having performed on many television series including Abair Amhrán, Fleadh TV and Geantraí.
Currently touring with the renowned Kilfenora Céilí Band, Edel also teaches Irish and history at St. Flannans College in Ennis and traditional singing in many Comhaltas branches throughout Ireland. Edel released her debut album Spreagtha (Inspired) in April 2016 – here is a sample featuring several songs from the album.
Martin Doyle‘s daughter Aoife Doyle is an accomplished jazz singer who has just released her second album entitled ‘Clouds’. Differing from Aoife’s debut album, Clouds is a collection of original songs. These words from an article announcing the release on the Music Network website:
Clouds – a newly released album by Aoife Doyle
Aoife’s unique, expressive voice is equally at home with jazz, folk, country, bluegrass or blues, and her singing can evoke memories of the sophisticated, velvet tones of Ella Fitzgerald, the earthy, sweet lyricism of Patsy Cline or the straight‐up country clarity of Alison Krauss. Backed by Johnny Taylor’s subtle piano, Andrew Csibi’s inventive bass and Dominic Mullan’s sensitive percussion, the band has won much deserved critical acclaim.
Speaking about the CD, Aoife says, “We are delighted to release this collection of songs, our first album of original music. Our sound has developed a lot in the last few years and the fruits can be heard on this CD. Creatively we have come a long way. Music Network’s support has been imperative to this development. Their understanding of the elements that contribute to the development of an artist are undeniable. To avail of the support and experience Music Network has to offer has been a privilege I am most grateful for.”
Mick McConnell performs The Ballad of Lidl and Aldi – a cracking good yarn written by himself about retail shopping and the effects it can have on ones marriage and living conditions. Mick is Cathal McConnell‘s brother and the world is a richer place for the fact that traditional music and story telling courses through the veins of these men.
“We had music in the house…” It is an expression that one quite often hears when Irish musicians and singers recall the good fortune of having parents, relatives and friends who would play their instruments, sing their songs and tell their stories during informal gatherings and house sessions. This ‘living tradition’ has been the catalyst for a great many people into the joyful (and sometimes storm-tossed) river that is music and Martin Doyle’s family, upstream and down, is no exception. Martin’s three children, grown adults now, are all instrumentalists and singers. Martin himself recounts the influence of his parents and grand-parents in his own development as a musician and flute maker. So the gift of music often flows down through the generations and evolves as creative self-expression in those who are blessed to receive it.
In the case of the Martin’s daughter, Aiofe Doyle, it is through the voice that the gift of music seems to have manifested itself most powerfully although it is worth noting that she is also an accomplished fiddler. This past August, Aiofe released her debut CD, This Time the Dream’s on Me, a jazz album backed by a four piece band which Journal of Music introduces with these succinct words:
“I have an Aikido course all day on the 12th in Galway and when that’s over I’m straight into the car and down to Limerick. My daughter Aoife is singing at the UL concert hall and I’m really looking forward to it!”
All nations can mark key moments in their history when an event, entity or individual has made a crucial contribution to the development and character of their homeland. Most often these moments seem to spring during times of adversity but history also shows that they can occur during peaceful and prosperous times as well. Ireland is a nation that has seen it’s fair share of adversity throughout the centuries but the courage and fortitude of her people has helped to forge and maintain a very special character that shines in the world as something most unique.
As with most colonised nations, the retention and eventual rejuvenation of the native language and music is tremendously important to the internal strength of a country. Examples of individual and collective commitment to the rejuvenation of Irish culture are many and varied. Ireland boasts a plethora of ‘heroes’ who, through the ages, have in various ways kept her sacred music alive for future generations to protect and develop. As a result, the music of Ireland is loved the world over and has kept it’s homeland’s heart beating proudly through thick and thin. Like her native language, Ireland’s music has been the mortar that has bound Ireland’s hopes, tears, smiles and dreams into an amalgam of collective fortitude.