Traditional Irish Music
Tradconnect is an open publishing platform, available for all to connect with a global audience, and a lot of our content comes directly from artists and others involved in the promotion of traditional music. We receive a lot of emails about festivals, album launches and tours, and only a few include the all-important press release, the absence of which makes the publication of a news story difficult.
Write a good press release and submit it to us, and you can gain access to the largest niche audience of trad lovers online. Content featured on Tradconnect is also shared on our social media sites and in included in our newsletter which is issued to 9,000 people. We receive 135,000 unique readers each year.
Since the launch of our Download Centre we also have close to 100 radio broadcasters visiting Tradconnect every week, and they too will pick up on your news.
So to reach a wider audience we are encouraging people to write to us with a formal press release that highlights your particular news. A press release can relate to new albums, tours, collaborations, new videos, new SoundCloud releases, festivals, concerts, workshops etc. If you include links to relevant videos, websites and Soundcloud tracks, we can use that material, and as a result, you can reach a global audience.
So send us your press release with relevant links and images, and we will feature it on Tradconnect.
With regard to new albums, we include some samples that we have recently received, as a guide.
Réalta - Clear Skies
“Delightfully spirited and masterfully executed. The magical sounds of uilleann pipes and whistles weave their way harmoniously through an array of beautiful songs, lively tunes and soulful airs. Réalta's second album is a sumptuous blend of traditional music from Ireland and further afield and is a testament to the creative talents of these fine young musicians. The tradition is in safe hands with these guys. Long may their star continue to rise!" - John McSherry
"A full bodied pipe and whistle extravaganza!"- Irish Music Magazine
Réalta are leading the new wave of Irish traditional bands. Paying homage to the music and the masters that have gone before, yet taking the tradition by the scruff of the neck and giving it a good old shake out!
Featuring an exciting blend of duelling uilleann pipes, whistles, guitars, bouzouki and bodhrán, coupled with beautifully arranged songs, all with a scent of Ulster and a particular Northern edge, Réalta are reshaping the landscape for touring Irish acts. Conor Lamb and Aaron O’Hagan pursue the melody on uilleann pipes and whistles like hounds on the hunt, guitarist Deirdre Galway explores the harmony and rhythms within the tunes with great subtlety and All-Ireland champions Dermot Mulholland and Dermot Moynagh complete the line-up with dynamic accompaniments on double bass, bouzouki, banjo and bodhrán.
Comprising former and current members of Craobh Rua, The Emerald Armada, The Gráinne Holland Band and Ioscaid
(BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winners) and has toured in Germany and Switzerland alongside Irish music legends Altan, Réalta are former winners of the prestigious ‘Danny Kyle Award’ at Celtic Connections, and have performed for dignitaries and celebrities as far afield as India and South Korea. Most importantly though these young musicians have earned a reputation for delighting audiences with the enthusiasm, energy and passion they bring to their stage performances.
This fantastic new recording manages to capture that live energy and takes us on a journey through ancient Irish manuscripts, the Celtic regions of the north of Spain, love songs by renowned Ulster Poets and classic compositions of 17th century blind harpers. It even manages to include a couple of new melodies from the pen of Belfast musicians Paddy Davey & John Mackel, and in doing so continues tage-oldold cycle of tradition - shedding and absorbing music, new and old as it continues to wheel.
"Réalta - an exciting new name in Irish music - their approach is distinctive and invigorating and the results amazing!" Folk and Roots Magazine
"Youthful, energetic, stellar music, from one of Ireland's finest bands!" - Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (Altan)
Lorcán Mac Mathúna - The Arrows that Murder Sleep
By Lorcán Mac Mathúna, and featuring: Daire Bracken, Martin Tourish, Eoghan Neff, and Seán Mac Erlaine
Presenting a selection of songs from Classical Irish literature, newly set to music by Lorcán Mac Mathúna, which recall some of the most beautiful stories of Irish legend.
The Arrows that Murder Sleep presents the poignancy and tragedy of the story of Liadán and Cuirithir, Irelands 8th Century tale of star crossed lovers tragically struck down; The heartache of Colmcille’s exile, and his farewell to Erin “A grey eye looks back towards Éireann”; And the grief of Créid as she comes upon the still warm corpse of her lover Dínertach “with seven wounds upon his breast.”
The Arrows that Murder Sleep represents the best of Lorcán Mac Mathúna’s compositions over a six year period. In this recording, Lorcán has worked with a selection of some of Ireland’s most creative musicians in the traditional and contemporary scene.
Lorcán Mac Mathúna is a Seán-Nós singer whose compositions and arrangements go way beyond the boundaries of Sean-Nós.
Featuring Traditional Irish fiddle live-wire Daire Bracken (from the headlining Irish trad group, Slide); Avant-Garde fiddler Eoghan Neff (Riverdance and Anxo Lorenzo), improvising jazz woodwind instrumentalist Seán Mac Erlaine (This is how we Fly); and accordionist and composer Martin Tourish (Altan and TG4 Young musician of the year 2008)
The Arrows that Murder Sleep presents for the aural palate some of the most sensual moments of ancient Irish literature. All brought fully to life by this group of virtuoso musicians with powerful melodies and dynamic, cinematic, arrangements.
With songs taken from three major commissioned cycles (including the millennial celebration of the Battle of Clontarf, and the Life of Colmcille commissioned by the 2013 All-Ireland Fleadh cheoil, Derry), it includes two songs in English and nine in Irish. It includes one solo Sean-Nós song (Contae Mhuigheo) and an instrumental response to that; (Paddy Lynch’s ship).
The Images on the album’s artwork, created for the album by visual artist Rónán Ó Raghallaigh, depict extinction and transformation; two important themes explored by the music on this album.
"Ulaid features three supreme instrumentalists, gifted composers and talented interpreters of traditional and original music in one explosive package" - John O'Regan - Irish Music Magazine
When three of Ireland's finest talents join forces on a new recording it’s time to sit up, take note and fine tune the ears. This is where the tradition is at!! Lynette Fay - BBC Radio Ulster / Fleadh TV
John McSherry and Dónal O’Connor are the creative force behind the highly innovative traditional band At First Light. They have toured the world extensively and produced some of the most influential albums in Irish music today. Seán Óg Graham is regarded as one of Ireland’s finest accompanists and he tours and records with the successful and dynamic group Beoga. All three are currently living in County Antrim in the North East of Ireland, and having spent many late nights in each other's company on the Belfast session scene, it was inevitable that they would come together to record at some stage. Featuring new compositions which sit comfortably alongside traditional pieces from 19th Century collections, plus fresh and progressive arrangements, coupled with occasions of free form solos, Ulaid will take you on an emotive and uplifting musical journey. From Ireland to the neighbouring Celtic regions, these three fearless musical adventurers will chart a path from the ancient music of the Gael to the contemporary shape of traditional Irish music today.
John McSherry has been a major figure in Irish music for almost twenty years, and is hailed as one of the finest exponents in the art of Uilleann Piping. Described as ‘a true master’ by the Irish Music Magazine. He is a founding member of Lúnasa, Tamalin and Donal Lunny's ground-breaking super group Coolfin. John has subsequently produced an array of critically acclaimed and innovative albums, both solo and collaborative, and continues to push the boundaries of Irish music with his current bands At First Light and The Olllam. He is a composer, producer, arranger and an established studio session musician of international renown, recording and performing with a myriad of artists including Clannad, Sinéad O'Connor, Rod Stewart, Nanci Griffiths, Gary Kemp and The Corrs.
Son of the celebrated fiddler Gerry O’Connor and much revered singer Eithne Ní Uallacháin of Lá Lugh, multi-instrumentalist Dónal O’Connor has established himself as one of Ireland’s leading producers. He has played and recorded with the likes of Grainne Holland, Moya Brennan, Steve Cooney, Mary Dillon, Cathal McConnell, Bob Brozman, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, John Spillane, Lumiere and Barry Kerr. Having inherited a musical legacy of at least five generations of fiddle playing he has toured the world from a young age as both a lead and backing instrumentalist with a number of bands including Lá Lugh, more recently At First Light and the Gaelic song super group A Stór Mo Chroí. He has composed music for theatre, television and film and has presented music shows for BBC ALBA, BBC NI, TG4, BBC Radio Ulster and Raidio Na Gaeltachta.
Seán Óg Graham is a guitar and accordion player who has performed and recorded with many of Irish traditional music's top artists over the last 10 years. He is a founding member of the highly acclaimed band Beoga, with whom he has recorded 5 albums and toured worldwide. He is also a talented arranger and composer, with more than 50 of his works featuring in the Beoga repertoire. Seán Óg is a first class Honours graduate of the Irish World Academy of Music and is also a member of the Scottish super group Fiddler’s Bid. His versatile and tenacious style of accompaniment is in much demand and he has performed and recorded with Grammy nominated fiddler Liz Carroll, Karan Casey, Buille, Flook, Lunasa, Máirtin O'Connor Band, and The Cora Smyth Band.
Oisín Mac Diarmada - The Green Branch
Fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada has spent most of his musical life living in Sligo, an area noted historically for an extraordinarily rich fiddle tradition. On the new album The Green Branch, Oisín explores a wide repertoire of fiddle material accompanied by the piano of Samantha Harvey, the hallmark sound of so many classic recordings of Sligo fiddlers.
Founder of leading traditional group Téada, with whom he has toured extensively throughout the world since 2001, Oisín’s solo performances have seen him play at specialist music festivals such as Masters of Tradition in West Cork, accompanying former Irish President Mary McAleese on a State visit to Romania and a guest solo appearance performing Charlie Lennon’s Island Wedding suite with the Southern Georgia Symphony Orchestra in the US. Oisín has toured frequently in recent years with noted singer/accordion-player Séamus Begley, with whom he has released 2 duo albums. Most recently Oisín worked in a presenting role in The Sligo Masters documentary broadcast on TG4, which explored the fascinating story of 3 master Sligo fiddlers who emigrated to the US in the early 20th century.
Providing masterful accompaniment on piano, Samantha Harvey originally from Ventura, California now living in Sligo, is also an award-winning step dancer. Samantha's energetic dance and musical performances on stage has seen her become an increasingly prominent touring performer and teacher.
DISTRIBUTION: Claddagh Records (Ireland)
DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION: Bandcamp, CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon
ARTIST CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org +353 86 2904112
PUBLICIST: Judith Joiner - email@example.com
SOCIAL MEDIA: www.facebook.com/oisinfiddle
Iontach - a New Journey
A New Journey is the latest album by Iontach, and the first one with its new lineup. Founder members Siobhán Kennedy (vocals, flute, whistle, fiddle, concertina) from Dundalk, County Louth and Jens Kommnick (vocals, guitar, bouzouki, piano, cello) from Bremerhaven in Germany have recently been joined by Nick Wiseman-Ellis (vocals, button accordion, fiddle) who hails from Norwich in England.
The 15 tracks on this album take us on a journey from waltzes to reels, jigs to schottisches, and traditional to new compositions, providing us with a nice balance of old and new. The versatility of these three vibrant musicians also allows for a variety of constellations and the trio certainly optimised all the possibilities in their tastefully crafted arrangements. Resisting the urge to multi layer, with one sneaky little exception on the penultimate track, the CD is a live experience, and a very harmonious one at that.
Compositions from all three appear on the album, the title track being a waltz composed by Siobhán, and they are in good company with tunes such as "Only Viveka", a schottische by Karen Tweed, reels from greats such as Paddy O'Brien, Paddy Fahey and Connie O'Connell, a Junior Crehan hornpipe and a catchy jig called "Visiting Kittens" by Maurice Lennon also featuring. The songs range from traditional songs learned at school to powerful lyrics from the pens of Eric Bogle and Svavar Knútur and they have also been artfully arranged. Vocal harmonies sung by three voices that fit so well together have always played an important role in the Iontach sound, and evidently, this tradition has been carried on with the introduction of Nick, especially in the a Capella numbers such as "Green Among The Gold" or "All The Fine Young Men".
Siobhán, Nick and Jens have lived completely different musical journeys, gathering experiences and ideas on the paths which have culminated in this musical partnership. It makes for an exciting mix of styles, and yet they blend so well with each other that one could be forgiven for thinking that they have a long history of playing together behind them. Their music is melodic and sweet, it's very traditional yet with an evident sprinkling of Scandinavian, French, classical and jazz influences. It's fresh and relaxed, steady and rhythmic.
In addition, they have produced an artistic booklet to accompany the CD, which is very informative on the material and their sources. Photography is by Dagmar Steele, the backdrop being the Deutsches Auswandererhaus in Bremerhaven, a museum dedicated to telling the stories of emigrants and immigrants and the journeys they took which all ties in very nicely with the title.
In summation, A New Journey is an album that will have you immersed in the story of a particular track one minute, and up dancing the next!
Colleen Raney - Linnet
In October of 2008, traditional singer Colleen Raney and producer Hanz Araki embarked on a musical journey that would result in the release of her debut album, titled Linnet. This well-received album was shelved after the initial run and in 2015, Colleen returned to the studio to clean up a few loose ends. The conclusion is eleven sparkling songs – ten traditional, one original – featuring the best and brightest traditional musicians in the Pacific Northwest. With musical contributions from Araki (flute, whistle, vocals), and Cary Novotny (guitar) as well as Mark Raney(guitar, cittern), Kellam Throgmorton (fiddle), Matt Jerrell (percussion), Ezra Holbrook (bass),Eddie Parente (violin, viola), Nancy Conescu (guitar), Philip Boulding (harp), and Cali McKasson(piano), Colleen (vocals, bodhrán) and her collaborators have created an album which showcases her aptitude for re-imagining classic Irish and Scottish songs and places her own songwriting firmly within the tradition.
Colleen’s open-minded and -hearted approach to her repertoire was inherited from, and instilled by, her upbringing in Seattle’s celebrated Raney Family, steeped in step-dancing and song. She breathes new life into the old songs, finding facets in the music that haven’t been heard before and performing in the company of gifted friends who illustrate both the most delicate and upbeat aspects of her winning style. It’s earned her a following both among longtime adherents of Celtic music and fans who are new to the genre.
“Among the best in her genre.” – Irish Music Magazine
“Singing with a deep love for the tradition, and for the dark poetry of Celtic song, Colleen has been drawing new life from the old ballads and renewing our love for Celtic music.” - Hearth Music
“Raney brings a rich, hearty, and inviting voice – unmistakably American and without affectation or pretense – to her music.” - Boston Irish Reporter
“Raney has an incredibly expressive voice – powerful, yet full of emotion” – The Irish Edition
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