Traditional Irish Music
Please write down what bodhrán maker you can vouch for here, preferably ones who are still alive and in business, for the benefit of people wanting a good quality bodhrán as opposed to those guinness logo thingies that would be best suited hanging on the wall with a lightbulb illuminating them from the inside :)
I'll start off with the ones i personally own and can recommend:
Eamon Maguire - 18 inch non tunable, thin goat skin
Brendan White - 18 inch tunable, thick goat skin (ordered as a "Colm Murphy replica" felt like plywood when i got it, but it is sounding better and better!
Seamus O'Kane - 15,5 inch tunable, Seamus new patented one screw tensioner system, lambeg goat skin.
Breandan De Faoite - 17" tunable, tuners built into the rim. Got this from Colm Murphy who kindly sent it to me, best bodhrán of the lot, pricey but worth it.
My personal favorites maker is Albert Alfonso from Texas USA.
The Ultra Blonde models he makes with pre-timpani calf skins are the most resonant and remarkable bodhrans i've ever played.
His Red Goat skin models are a bit more on the trad side for sound, but are still incredibly well made.
I also have a custom kangaroo skin drum made from Darius Bartlett in France, but I don' believe Darius is making drums these days.
Seamus O'Kane is a legend, and there is nothing that sounds like his lambeg skinned drums!
Rob Forkner on metloef.com makes great sounding and looking drums as well
For an idea of the sound character of the Breandan De Faoithe bodhrán, listen to
Just had a look at that website, but there don't appear to be any photo's of their Bodhrans.
You're right, not much in the way of photos, or other promotional material, for that matter. Their public relations department is not up to the standard of their artisans, for sure. I can't believe I ordered without a single picture to go by (though I may have); perhaps they're going through a phase. The only instruments with a good gallery of photos is guitars.
I'm going to bug them about this. Thanks for bringing it up. Meanwhile, a Google search for "Bucks County Music bodhran" brings up some interesting sites, like the Jolly Beggars'--I do believe Matt Torcellini is playing my bodhran!
Here's what I got from Bucks County in reply:
Thank you for your email and glad to know that you are enjoying your 18C! To answer your question, our website is a work in progress and pictures, as well as descriptions, of items we offer for sale are continuously being updated. We hope to have individual pictures of our Buck bodhrans up in the near future, however if someone is interested in a particular model and would like to see a picture, they are always welcome to contact us and we can email them directly.
Mine is a 16" by Albert Alphonso
Easily tunable on the fly with the thumb-wheels. Sounds great and deep as I choose, which I really like.
Mine is also "pre-timpani". As I understand it, that's just his term for an extremely thin calfskin head. But I could be wrong, I spelled his name wrong in my post after all. Oops. :-)
Is it like a Lambeg skin then?
Ross Jones said: