“Veterans of Planxty, the Bothy Band, De Dannan and more, Patrick Street represents the distillation of a crucial new strain that emerged in traditional Irish music some twenty-five years ago.” – Tim O’Brien
Kevin Burke, Andy Irvine, Jackie Daly and Ged Foley – collectively known as Patrick Street – are known throughout the Irish music world as four of its most brilliant players. On a repertoire steeped in traditional music, the band’s tightly executed arrangements and unparalleled musicianship know no equal. Beginning as a one-time tour of four recognized masters, nearly two decades and eight albums later this “supergroup” has reached legendary status. “Mesmerizing,” says Billboard, “…a must for those who love Irish music.”
Patrick Street adds a new lane this year with the addition of multi-instrumentalist John Carty. Known for his sensational fiddling, John will add double fiddle with Kevin as well as exciting variety to the band with his talents on banjo, flute and tenor-guitar.
Patrick Street was launched in 1986 as a one-off tour de force called Legends of Irish Music. Living up to its name, it featured fiddler Kevin Burke (veteran of The Bothy Band), singer/bouzouki player Andy Irvine (Planxty), and accordion player Jackie Daly (De Dannan), along with acclaimed guitarist Arty McGlynn. With the success of the tour, the quartet released an album that year named Patrick Street (after a road or avenue found in towns across Ireland) and a band was born. The line-up of Burke, Irvine and Daly has remained constant through the years, with other distinctive artists passing through the ranks including guitarist Gerry O’Beirne, fiddler James Kelly, and uilleann piper Declan Masterson. Ged Foley, a highly-skilled guitarist from England with past stints in the Battlefield Band and House Band, came on board in 1996. This year the Street widens it’s talents with John Carty.
The consummate Irish fiddler, Kevin has given to the band’s sound and repertoire the highly ornamented Sligo style for which he’s known. Jackie brings his wide repertoire of Kerry music to the fore with dazzling slides and polkas, and his seamless accordion-and-fiddle duets with Kevin are a highlight of the band’s shows. Andy Irvine is one of the great balladeers of Irish music, and his bouzouki playing has long been a standard by which others are judged. He brings his shared passions for Eastern European rhythms and American folksinger Woody Guthrie to the band. Ged’s inventive guitar licks provide ideal underpinning for Andy’s intricate songs and the group’s blistering sets of reels and jigs. With new recruit John Carty, Patrick Street brims with the spirit and sensitivity of Irish music at its best.
Kevin Burke (fiddle)
Kevin Burke was born in London, England to Irish parents who came originally from Sligo, an area renowned for its traditional music, particularly that of the fiddle. As a teenager he played in music clubs throughout England and Ireland, but in 1972 a chance meeting with Arlo Guthrie brought him to the USA to play on Arlo’s album, Last Of The Brooklyn Cowboys. At Christy Moore’s beckoning, Kevin moved for a period to Ireland to join what would become one of the most influential Irish groups of the 1970s, The Bothy Band. After the band’s breakup, he recorded two classic duo albums and toured with Bothy Band guitarist Míchéal O’Domhnaill. He is also a member of The Celtic Fiddle Festival. In 2002, Kevin was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. “My style is a definite composite,” he says. “The old Sligo players provided the building blocks but I’ve borrowed bits and pieces from all sorts of musicians along the way.” Kevin now makes Portland, OR his home.
Andy Irvine (vocals, bouzouki, mandolin)
Andy Irvine is one of the great Irish singers, his voice one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He was a member of two other groundbreaking groups, Sweeney’s Men and Planxty (which has recently reformed), and has worked closely with Paul Brady. Album collaborations include work with the likes of De Danann, Maddy Prior, June Tabor and Dick Gaughan. If his voice explores an aching Irish romanticism, his sprightly bouzouki playing has brought a Balkan edge to his musical collaborations. Andy was one of the first to bring bouzouki and Bulgarian music to the Irish tradition. His collaborative album ’East Wind’ with Riverdance composer Bill Whelan featured Hungarian singer Marta Sebestyen. His latest project is the group Mozaik with Donal Lunny, Bruce Molsky, Nikola Parov and Rens van der Zalm.
Jackie Daly (accordion)
Jackie Daly comes from North Cork and plays in the style of Sliabh Luachra, the area bordering Kerry and North Cork and encompassing such towns as Castleisland and Jackie’s home, Kanturk. Sliabh Luachra is a regional musical style known for its lively slides and lovely, spirited polkas, of which Jackie is a master. He was a member of the famous Irish group De Dannan and has toured or recorded with the likes of Dolores Keane, Buttons And Bows, Kevin Burke (as a duo), John Faulkner and Seamus Creagh.
Ged Foley (guitar, vocals)
Ged (pronounced “Jed”) was born in County Durham in the North East of England. Ged is a superb guitarist, a singer of distinction with a spare, unornamented style and a player of both the fiddle and the Northumbrian smallpipes. A one-time member of Scotland’s The Battlefield Band and a founding member of The House Band, Ged also worked in a duo with the excellent English singer/songwriter Jez Lowe. He replaced original Patrick Street member Arty McGlynn in 1996, and joined the Celtic Fiddle Festival after an initial tour with the band in 2001. He lives in the USA.
John Carty (fiddle, banjo, flute, tenor guitar)
Born in London, England and now residing in Co. Roscommon, Ireland, John plays in the Roscommon and Sligo styles of his family roots. He was recently named Traditional Musician of the Year for 2003 by Irish Television TG4. He has released a number of well-regarded albums and also plays with his band At the Racket.
“With the relaxed grace of masters, Patrick Street use their breathtaking virtuosity to display this ancient music at its wild and humble best.” – The Boston Globe
“An overall joy…Irish traditional music performed with fervor and fidelity.” – Irish Echo
“With the possible exception of the Chieftains, there’s no better Celtic music group in the world right now than Patrick Street!” – The Washington Post
“Mesmerizing…a must for those who love Irish music.” – Billboard
Comprised of treasured Sligo fiddlers, brothers Seamus and Manus McGuire, and internationally revered Sliabh Luachra button accordion maestro Jackie Daly, Buttons & Bows took traditional Irish melodies and mixed them with the traditional music of Canada, Scandinavia, and the Shetland Islands to create a poignant, multi-dimensional sound.
The band recorded three albums together, all of which were widely acclaimed, Buttons & Bows, (Mulligan, 1984) First Month of Summer, (Green Linnet, 1987) and Grace Notes (Tayberry, 1994). The trio toured all over the United States and Canada.
Seamus and Manus McGuire grew up in a family that valued both classical and traditional music. Both brothers began taking classical violin as a child, and by the time they were young teenagers, they were proficient in both
classical violin and traditional Irish fiddle. As teens, they won several competitions, and by the time they were young adults, they had already
extensively toured North America.
As a young adult, Seamus McGuire played with the Dublin Symphony, and in 1995, he teamed up with guitarist Arty McGlynn and flautist John Lee to produce an album of forgotten flute and fiddle tunes deriving from Co.
Leitrim: The Missing Reel, (Gael Linn, 1995). That same year, McGuire released a solo album, The Wishing Tree (Green Linnet) that blurs the line between classical violin and traditional Irish fiddle. In 1999, Seamus formed the West Ocean String Quartet with violinist/fiddler Niamh Crowley, Belfast-native cellist/composer Neil Martin, and Wishing Tree collaborator Kenneth Rice. The quartet has collaborated with many prestigious Irish traditional artists of the age, including Tony McManus, Mary Black, and Dervish.
Of Manus McGuire’s many albums to date, two are with his older brother
Seamus, three are with Buttons and Bows, two are with the group Moving Cloud, Moving Cloud (Green Linnet, 1994) and Foxglove (Green Linnet, 1997) and his solo debut Saffron & Blue (Green Linnet, 2000) has earned extensive praise both at home at abroad.
2004 brought the release of Manus and Paul Brock’s collaboration, the self-titled debut, Brock McGuire Band. In 2005, Manus and Brock joined with American singer- songwriters, John Cowan and Daryll Scott, for a track featured on Hands across the Water, (Compass
Records) a tsunami-relief effort album.
Jackie Daly is credited with revitalizing the image of the accordion and
concertina by taking them out of the dance band and into the trad band. A
founding member of some of the most prominent Irish bands since the mid-70s, Daly played in De Dannan, Arcady, and Patrick Street. Born in the Sliabh Luachra region of Ireland in 1945, Daly remains one of the most emulated carriers of the Sliabh Luachra-style tradition. Daly’s revolutionary musical trademark of playing in tight unison alongside fiddlers has
fundamentally changed the way that Irish music is performed in bands.
Three generations of Irish musicians, Mick Moloney, Eugene O’Donnell and Seamus Egan, come together to capture Irish-American musical history.
Seamus Egan (equally at home on flute, tenor banjo, uillean pipes, tin whistle and mandolin), the commanding vocal presence of Mick Moloney (effortlessly making the switch from humorous to serious songs), and the inimitable Eugene O’Donnell (more than ever a master of the slow airs and planxties which are the bane of many a lesser musician) round out the group.
Simon Thoumire internationally acclaimed concertina virtuoso, has a gift for both traditional Irish and jazz. The founder of Foot Stompin’
Records, Scottish Traditional Music Trust, and Hands Up for Trad, Thoumire established himself as a world-class performer by the age of 26.
Winner of the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Tradition Award in 1989, Thoumire joined the Boy’s Brigade (65th Edinburgh) as a highland piper at the age of 9, and when he was 12, he received his first concertina, after conceding to the fact that no one around could teach him his desired instrument: the mandolin. By the time he was a teenager, Thoumire was performing in accordion clubs across Scotland, before joining a locally gigging band, with whom he cut his first record.
Then, one day while Thoumire was practicing in his house, the promoter for the Scottish supergroup Silly Wizard walked by and heard him. She immediately introduced him to Alistair Anderson, and the Radio 2 Young Tradition Award, which the 19-year-old Thoumire won in 1989.
In the 1990s, Thoumire recorded several times with Ian Car, and Kevin Mackenzie and Simon Thorpe as the the Simon Thoumire Three which recorded the album Waltzes For Playboys, for Green Linnet in 1994.
In 1997, Thoumire toured the Netherlands with the free-imrov combo Drones in the Bones, and in 1997, he composed the Celtic Connection’s Suite for Glasgow’s Celtic Connection’s festival. 1999 brought a composition, Music for a New Scottish Parliament, and in 2000, The Scottish Requiem premiered.
The Big Day In, Thoumire’s first album with pianist David Milligan, was recorded in 2001. The duo traveled throughout Europe and Australia before he cut Experiments in Culture, a modern record featuring real-life recordings of “existence” accompanied by musicians improvising freely over the top.
Co. Dublin native Séamus Ennis (1919-1982), master uilleann piper, teacher, singer, storyteller, broadcaster, and song collector, is credited with being one of the most pivotal players in the evolving history of Irish music. During his career, Ennis witnessed and promoted the changing of the generational guard. He understood that it was essential to embrace new technologies in order to preserve Irish music while simultaneously emphasizing and passing along the organic, ever-developing nature of the oral tradition.
Ennis took up the uilleann pipes at the age of 13 under the tutelage of his father, a civil servant and national multi-instrumental champion. After graduation, Ennis told Colm Ó Lochlainn, a close family friend and the editor of “Irish Street Ballads,”, that he was thinking of joining the British Army. It was the beginning of WWII, and Lochlainn offered Ennis a job with The Three Candles Press to keep him off the lines.
While at The Three Candles, Ennis learned how to transcribe and print slow airs, a skill that he put to use after war shortages closed the press. He was subsequently hired by the Irish Folklore Commission to collect songs. Given a pen, some paper, a bike, and three pounds a week, Ennis spent the next five years collecting tunes from across Ireland.
In 1947, Ennis went to work as a broadcaster at Radio Eireann, where he recorded pipe great Willie Clancy for the first time. In 1951, Ennis moved to London to record traditional Irish, Scottish, and Welsh music for the BBC.
Ennis began work as a freelance musician in 1958, later returning to Ireland where he lived until his death in 1982.
Ennis bridged old Éire and modern Ireland. A master of the slow air, he lives on in the style and approach of many of today’s top pipers, having influenced the tradition as it transformed throughout the twentieth century. The once-obscure tunes that he collected are some of the most well-known today, and his work in broadcasting helped to legitimize Irish music’s widespread entertainment value.
In the northwest of France lies the province of Brittany, where a unique Celtic culture has flourished for centuries. Kornog merged traditional Breton tunes with the Scottish vocal repertoire, creating an exciting new acoustic music. The quartet’s complex arrangements result in a style quite unlike any other, at once graceful and thrilling, ancient and contemporary.
1980 saw the creation of the trio Kornog (meaning “West” in Breton) with vocalist, bouzouki, mandolin, and cittern player Jamie McMenemy, Breton guitarist Soïg Siberil, and French-born Breton fiddler Christian Lemaître. Soon flautist Jean-Michel Veillon joined the band, and the formula was complete.
Their unique sound, created by a focused unison of flute and fiddle, a complex bouzouki and guitar rhythm section, and complex arrangements, was ideal for the Western Europe concert circuit. When Kornog toured the United States for the first time, they had such an enthusiastic public response that they recorded a live album in Minneapolis, Premiere, released on Green Linnet.
In 1986, Soïg Siberil left the band, and guitarist Gilles Le Bigot joined in order to record the album Kornog IV. After a Yugoslav tour and a stint with the Irish traditional powerhouse the Chieftains, Kornog disbanded. Veillon and Le Bigot founded Barzaz, Lemaître joined Storvan and then the Celtic Fiddle Festival, and McMenemy took a nine-year break before guesting in several recordings throughout the 90s.
Then, in 1999, Kornog reformed with the addition of guitarist Nicolas Quemener. After the reformation, they toured the United States and recorded Korong, 2000.
Recognized as one of Celtic musicâ€™s most talented vocalists and songwriters, former lead singer of Irish band Silly Wizard Andy M. Stewart has captivated audiences through his talent and humor for over thirty years.
In the mid 80s, Stewart teamed up with Irish band Capercaillieâ€™s Manus Lunny, an esteemed multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and composer. The duo toured extensively and recorded Fire in the Glen (1985) (featuring Silly Wizard member Phil Cunningham), Dublin Lady (1987), and At it Again (1990).
The Kips Bay Ceilidh Band, an Irish Trad-fusion quartet, hailed from the Kips Bay district of New York City. The innovative group was a powerhouse of Irish-American and immigrant talent, and recorded three albums, Kips Bay Ceilidh Band (1993), Into the Light (1996), and Digging In 2000.
Band members included Pat Kilbride on guitar, cittern, and vocals, John Whelan on button accordion and keyboards, Steve Missal on percussion and vocals, and Richard Lindsey on bass guitar.
Various special guests on their two albums included John McGann on electric guitar, mandolin, and dobro, fiddler Tony De Marco, Joanie Madden on tin whistle and flute, and the bandâ€™s producer, John Simon, on keyboards and percussion.
A céilí (kay-lee) is a night of live Irish music and set dance; a massive party for all ages and the premier social event of rural Ireland, a céilí provides a regular chance for the entire village to come in from the fields for a pint, some set dancing, and good fun.
One of the premier céilí bands in the world, Co. Clare’s Tulla Céilí Band was formed in 1946 by Paddy Canny and P.J. Hayes. Since then, the Tulla Céilí Band has entranced audiences and dancers alike from Co. Clare to Carnegie Hall. A family tradition at it’s finest, P.J. Hayes’s son, world-class fiddler and Compass Records artist Martin Hayes, currently helps to lead the band when he is in town.
Whether live or recorded, a great céilí band creates a compelling, driving atmosphere intended for set dancers. Incorporating fiddles, accordions, flutes, whistles, a piano and a snare drum, the band will slip seamlessly from tune to tune, gaining momentum and intensity . The multi-award winning band has recorded four albums, including Echoes of Erin, The Claddagh Ring, Ireland Green, Sweetheart in the Spring and A Celebration of 50 Years, (Green Linnet).
Derry-born fiddler and renowned Irish step dancer Eugene O’Donnell is particularly well known for his vivid, riveting slow airs. The TCRG and ADTCRG (listened Irish dance instructor and adjudicator) began Irish dancing at the age of three, and was the first Irish dancer ever to dance on television in London at the age of twelve, all the while playing and perfecting Derry-style Irish fiddling.
As a teen, O’Donnell won an unprecedented five consecutive All-Ireland dancing championships, and in 1957, he moved to Philadelphia, where he has continued to promote the Irish arts. As a young man, O’Donnell frequented The Commodore Barry Club (The Irish Centre) in Philly. Six months after several Irish societies banded together to buy the building in 1958, O’Donnell helped to create a Ceili band that would go on to win the New York fleadh in the mid-60s.
Known for his Derry region-style fiddling, a Northern regional style characterized by an excitable, stacatto, Scottish quality (similar to the
Donegal region style), O’Donnell holds six All-Ireland fiddle championship titles. In 1978, O’Donnell teamed up with guitar/bouzouki/mandolin great Mick Moloney to create Slow Airs and Set Dances and in 1988, O’Donnell released The Foggy Dew.
“Andy M. Stewart is among the finest interpreters of Scottish Folk songs and a wonderful songwriter.”
The Boston Globe
Recognized as one of Celtic music’s most talented vocalists and songwriters, former lead singer of Irish band Silly Wizard, Andy M. Stewart has captivated audiences through his talent and humor for over thirty years.
Born into a family famous for their traditional singing, Stewart gained his first notoriety through leading the Wizards through eight albums and a few worldwide tours, and later through an extensive solo albums career that included four albums: By the Hush (Melody Maker Magazines Folk Album of the Year) Songs of Robert Burns, Man in the Moon, and Donegal Rain. Stewart also recorded three duet albums with Manus Lunny: Fire in the Glen, Dublin Lady, and At it Again.