All of the pieces of music that feature on this album instantly struck a chord with me the first time I heard them. My approach here has been simply to connect as honestly as possible with them. I wanted to produce a solo concertina album using the full range of concertinas from bass, baritone, treble to piccolo, and to highlight some of the instrument’s possibilities spanning across seven octaves. Each track is one take, featuring one concertina and are all free from studio manipulation. I have sourced previously unrecorded music, new compositions and other tunes within the tradition that have been my companions and my internal sound track during my life to date.
I’d like to dedicate this album to my family and extended family from Baile an Rua Bhroic (Baile Reo and Baile na Buck), those who are still with us and those who have passed, as well as the numerous musicians who have encouraged and influenced me.
released May 11, 2017
My father, Brendan, was my first teacher and I’d like to thank him for his direction, encouragement, wisdom and patience. He has taught me most about the heart and philosophy of music. I’d like to thank my mother Marion, a great woman with great rhythm, who is a lovely dancer with an ear for good tunes. Thanks to Clíodhna for her friendship, support, advice and feedback over the past few years and throughout this recording process. Also thanks to Breanainn and Conchúbhair for their support.
From an early age, I’ve been inspired by and drawn to the musical approaches of west-Kerry, east-Clare and Sliabh Luachra musicians. Musicians from these regions include Tommy ‘an Lord’ Ó Conchúbhair, Maurice Quinn, Con Durham, Muiris Ó Dálaigh, Mary and Andrew Mac Namara, Paddy Canny, Martin Hayes, Johnny O Leary, Paddy Cronin, Denis Murphy and Denis Doody. ‘Younger’ musicians who have had a significant influence on me include Marie McHugh, Tim McHugh, Fiachna Ó Mongáin, Clíodhna Ní Bheaglaoich, Breanainn, Niall and Eoin Ó Beaglaoich, Jack Talty, Noel Hill, Páraic Mac Donnchadha, Aidan Connolly & Saileog Ní Cheannabháin.
Special thanks to Libby McCrohan for her creative input, help and advice creating this album. Further thanks to my friends: Chris Plaice, Mauwice, Danielle Rosenberg Polak, The Taltys of Lissycasey, Anna Kaszuba, Paraic MacDonnchadha, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Maitiú O Casaide, Eithne Ní Chatháin, Patsy Ní Chatháin, Peadar O Riada, Liam McGonigle, Conor Connolly, Mick O Brien, Róisín White, Eoin O’Neill, Shane Mulchrone, Gary Hastings, Catherine Moore Temple and the vestry & St. Nicholas’ Church, Mick & Gwen McCrohan, Danny Sheehy, Micheal Ó Cathain, Peter O Toole, the Rian crew, Todd Morrison, Maurice Lennon, Rushad Eggleston & Jim O’Neil.
Thanks to the following:
Concertina tuner and repairer: Stephen Chambers
Photography: Martin Hughes, Sarah Flynn and Derbhla Hutchinson
Recorded at: St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Galway
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered: Jack Talty (www.jacktalty.com
Album Graphics: Cillian Ó Mongáin