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:
Róisín Elsafty (sean-nós singer), Siobhán Armstrong (harp) and Ronan Browne (Uilleann pipes, flute and whistle) perform together as Elsafty, Armstrong and Browne (EAB) and bring to life the unique sounds of early Irish music.
This trio presents the scintillating voice of one of Ireland’s finest Conamara singers, Róisín Elsafty together with the very rare and meltingly beautiful sound of the medieval Irish harp, played by Ireland’s foremost historical harper, Siobhán Armstrong, woven with the diverse colours of Ronan Browne’s flutes, whistles and 170-year-old pipes. From sparkling songs to harp laments and old pipes “pieces”, we are given a glimpse of the unique sound of early Ireland. Róisín performs evocative unaccompanied songs in the florid Conamara style, together with achingly beautiful 17th and 18th century Irish harpers’ songs with harp and flute accompaniment.
… and says it rather well …
Composed, performed and recorded by himself and, by the way, that’s one of his father’s flutes he’s playing …
Fair play Joe …
Cran is an Irish traditional music group made up of three people who, as individuals, are very important figures in the contemporary Irish traditional music culture.
Ronan Browne (uilleann pipes, flutes, vocals) is widely regarded as one of the great virtuosos of the uilleann pipes, Ronan has carved out an international reputation both as concert performer and session musician. Ronan is the piper on the original recording of Riverdance and is also the original piper with the Afro Celt Sound System, appearing on their first two top-selling albums. Read more: About Ronan Browne »
Desi Wilkinson (flutes and vocals) is one of the leading exponents of the traditional Irish flute (“the timber flute”) and a fine singer, to boot. Originally from Belfast, he was inspired to get involved in Irish music through the playing of Fermanagh fiddler, Tom Gunn, a near neighbour. It was from Tom that he learned his first tunes. Read more: About Desi Wilkinson »
Seán Corcoran (bouzouki and lead vocals) has had a long career as a solo singer before founding Cran with Desi Wilkinson, and is internationally renowned as a skilful interpretor of songs from the Irish tradition, both in English and Gaelic. Read more: About Seán Corcoran »