This glorious album from Sligo fiddlers (and brothers) Seamus and Manus McGuire and revered Sliabh Luachra button accordion maestro Jackie Daly is as welcome as the first month of summer. This trio's music evokes its own distinct atmosphere with a splendid selection of dance ... more
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.