Daniel Neely's Blog (12)

U.S. not worth trip anymore: Irvine

Andy Irvine's nine-day tour of the United States began last Friday and will be taking him through Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, and New York (see www.andyirvine.com for details).  Regular readers of the column will know that I’m not generally in the habit of announcing tours, but it’s a post Irvine made to…

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Added by Daniel Neely on September 23, 2016 at 3:00 — 2 Comments

Borrowing from two traditions

“Stone Walls & Street Lights” is the new album by New Road, a group that features Leonard Barry (uilleann pipes & whistles), Rick Epping (harmonica, concertina, 5-string banjo, jaws harp & vocals), Andy Morrow (fiddle) and Seamie O’Dowd (guitar, mandolin, fiddle & vocals).  A mix of songs and instrumental music, it’s an incredibly strong album…

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Added by Daniel Neely on September 14, 2016 at 7:00 — No Comments

‘Box Sets’ has beautiful music

In the liner notes to his new album “Box Sets,” button accordionist John Redmond relates a story about going home to County Wexford to decompress after breaking his collarbone. Inspired by his rambles away, he resolved to “write an album that would reflect my love for the area and my family who all still live there.” “Box Sets” is the fruit of that time. On it,…

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Added by Daniel Neely on August 22, 2016 at 4:00 — No Comments

NYCB learned from the best

The Ennis-bound New York Céilí Band is inspired by the 1960 original.  Photo by Marianne Mangan.

In 1960, the New York Céilí Band, a legendary bunch that counted Paddy Reynolds, Andy McGann & Larry Redican (fiddles), Paddy O’Brien (accordion), Mike Dorney & Jack Coen (flutes), Gerry Wallace (piccolo), Felix Dolan (piano) and Chris…

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Added by Daniel Neely on August 6, 2016 at 4:00 — No Comments

Straight-up trad at its best

“Music From the Lost Continent” is the new album from Jesse Smith (fiddle), Sean Gavin (flute), John Blake (piano), and Johnny “Ringo” McDonagh (bodhrán), and it is a bona fide cracker. Featuring a group of young players who are considered musicians’ musicians, the album hits on every cylinder. The individual performances are spectacular, the players articulate with a…

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Added by Daniel Neely on August 1, 2016 at 0:30 — No Comments

CD commands listener’s attention

Nathan Gourley and Joey Abarta are two of America’s great young trad musicians, and together (with the help of bouzouki player Owen Marshall, who appears on several tracks), they’ve released “Copley Street,” a wonderful album of duet playing that traditional music fans will welcome with open arms – it’s a fantastic release.

Gourley is a brilliant fiddle player with an…

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Added by Daniel Neely on July 20, 2016 at 9:30 — No Comments

McComiskey Named 2016 Fellow

Billy McComiskey is one of the country’s greatest traditional musicians and last week he was named a 2016 National Heritage Fellow.  The National Heritage Fellowship, which is administered by the National Endowment for the Arts and is considered the highest honor our government gives a traditional or folk artist, is an extremely…

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Added by Daniel Neely on July 11, 2016 at 9:00 — No Comments

Must-haves for music fans

It’s not very often that a recording comes along that can be properly and inarguably called “classic,” but such is the case with a pair of recently related three-CD sets documenting Irish music in London, “It Was Mighty! The Early Days of Irish Music in London” and “It Was Great Altogether! The Continuing Tradition of Irish Music in London.”  Curated and edited by…

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Added by Daniel Neely on June 17, 2016 at 9:00 — No Comments

Vallely CD will thrill trad fans

Cillian Vallely is one of the great names in contemporary uilleann piping.  He’s a brilliant musician whose playing is synonymous with the tradition and with modern trends in traditional Irish music.  A longtime member of the seminal group Lúnasa (www.lunasa.ie), with whom he’s recorded seven albums and toured the world to…

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Added by Daniel Neely on June 12, 2016 at 20:30 — No Comments

Duo play as if with one mind

Last Wednesday, the Irish Arts Center hosted uillean piper David Power and fiddle player Willie Kelly, who had been out on tour in support of their new fiddle and piping duet album “Apples in Winter.” It was, from all indications, a brilliant night of music, which shouldn’t surprise as the album – which has…

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Added by Daniel Neely on June 3, 2016 at 15:00 — No Comments

CD has beauty, wildness of spirit

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to catch Open the Door for Three at the Irish Arts Center in New York City.  The group, which includes fiddler Liz Knowles, uilleann piper Kieran O’Hare, and bouzouki player and singer Pat Broaders, were absolutely fantastic.  Regular readers will remember that …

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Added by Daniel Neely on May 21, 2016 at 1:30 — No Comments

McAuley’s breadth of vision revealed

Hello everyone! My name is Dan Neely, I'm a musician, an ethnomusicologist, and I write the traditional music column in the Irish Echo newspaper in New York. Tony (who runs this site) asked me if I wouldn't be interesting in posting my columns now and again, and I said "sure." Here's the first one! Hope you enjoy! If you'd like to get caught up on past columns, you can visit the…

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Added by Daniel Neely on May 12, 2016 at 12:30 — No Comments

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