Traditional Irish Music
Branches is the second disc in a concept album series which charts Andrew Finn Magill’s musical progression in Irish music. In June this year we featured the first album in this series called Roots which has received critical acclaim.
On Branches the album’s ten original compositions reflect ten years of musical influences and professional partnerships including those with David Brown (Rising Appalachia), Paul McKenna & Seán Gray (Paul McKenna Band), Colin Farrell (Lúnasa), Grant Gordy (The David Grisman Quintet), Duncan Wickel, Dan Iannucci and Micah Thomas.
Legendary fiddler Liz Carroll described the music as melodic and heartfelt, with arrangements that are “gorgeous”. She says, “every note, chord, and beat captivates and delights. There’s a globe of influences whittled down here to one fiddler’s vision, and the result is a wonderful perfection of an album.”
This is Track 2 from the album featuring the tunes Farewell to Vass/Hello Picadilly. "The first tune was written for fiddler Mike Vass after his farewell tear with the lads one night. Hello Picadilly was a welcome tune I wrote for the street, Picadilly Circle, where I lived for a short while." The track features Andrew Finn Magill - fiddle, Colin Farrell - fiddle and Séan Gray on guitar.
“I play many different genres and always wanted to do a project which showed my different musical sides.” Finn said. “Releasing separate discs allows me to focus more on the respective genre of each, as opposed to doing one album that is a mish-mash of everything I do. Also I really want to show how my music has evolved and the ‘series idea’ means I can release a third album later showing how Branches has evolved into...(title still in progress!). Irish traditional is the inspiration for both albums however.”
Andrew Finn Magill grew up immersed in music, spending every summer at the Swannanoa Gathering Folk Arts Workshops learning fiddle from some of the finest folk musicians in the world. By age 16, he was a two-time finalist at the All-Ireland Championships and he is equally proficient in several American folk idioms such as old-time and bluegrass. He has toured France with the popular Celtic music & dance revue, Celtic Dances, under the musical direction of Liz Knowles & Kieran O’Hare, and produced a Fulbright-MtvU- funded concept album, Mau a Malawi, with Malawian Afro-vibes artist Peter Mawanga, about those affected by AIDS.
From the refreshing re-imaginings of the tradition on display in Branches’ first cuts, Finn continually uses familiar tune forms such as reels, strathspeys and polkas in startling and creative ways, injecting Appalachian and swing flavors to create exciting and original new music. Then, with his traditional bona fides established, Finn ventures into more jazzy territory with “Relapse,” followed by the fiddle funk of “December” and concludes with the hypnotic and atmospheric “Shooting Stars,” leaving the listener floating in the firmament, wondering toward which shining frontier Finn will be venturing next.
The album is also available as a free download for broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre.
Andrew Finn Magill - fiddle
David Brown- baritone guitar
Colin Farrell - fiddle
Séan Gray- guitar
Duncan Wickel - cello
Paul McKenna - guitar
Micah Thomas- drums
Dan Iannucci- acoustic bass
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