Traditional Irish Music
Not a new ‘genre’, (at least, not yet), simply two great players sharing their musical roots and interests; one steeped in traditional Irish music, while the other is a veteran California rocker. Kevin Burke has had a recording and performance career spanning decades and is known on either side of the Atlantic both as a soloist and for his work with giants of the traditional music world including Christy Moore, The Bothy Band, Patrick Street, The Celtic Fiddle Festival and many others.
John Brennan began his career as an LA session guitarist and then split his time between recording and touring with the likes of POCO, Graham Nash, country-rock icon Chris Hillman and original Eagle, Bernie Leadon.
He has since become highly respected in the NY area both for his versatile musicianship and for his production and arranging skills.
This unique pairing of the two main instruments - fiddle and electric guitar - along with original and exciting arrangements, creates exceptional layers of sound, giving familiar musical pieces a remarkable freshness. The CD contains versions of 60’s & 70’s rock ‘classics’, blues and country tunes, a song written by Kevin (and his good friend Cal Scott,) about post-WWII Irish immigrants, two Bach minuets, some re-imagined jigs and reels, and more.
Our sample track is called Blue Room Blues which Kevin says is from the playing of guitarists Lonnie Johnson and Eddie Lang. Kevin writes: “Johnson pioneered the guitar solo as we know it today and his recordings with Lang are among the first to feature black and white musicians playing together.”
For the last decade or so Kevin has been a frequent visitor to John’s home in Pound Ridge, NY. During many of those visits time was spent in the studio experimenting with ideas that might suit both Kevin’s Irish fiddle and John’s electric guitar. Those experiments led to several fascinating and unexpected musical journeys, culminating in the eleven tracks that can be heard on “The Pound Ridge Sessions”.
“Throughout the repertoire, the fiddle and electric guitar both share and exchange the melodies, comfortably complementing each other in the differing styles, whether it’s the soaring orchestral beauty of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘May This be Love,’ (featuring Irish pipes and whistles,) the hard rocking riffs of the old spiritual, ‘Wade in the Water,’ or the genteel calm of Bach’s minuets. Take a visit to 'Pound Ridge’ and be prepared for some spirited and original sounds from this unique musical partnership.
There are a range of other musicians who assisted Kevin & John on this project including Mark Egan on bass, Lou Bellofatto on piano, Winifred Horan on fiddles, Nuala Kennedy on whistle and vocals, Eamon O’Leary on bouzouki and vocal, Mike McGoldrick on uilleann Pipes, low whistle and flute, Sheila Falls Keohane on fiddle, Al Garth on alto sax and Johnny Connolly on accordion
The album is also available as a free download for broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre.
Kevin Burke - Fiddle/Vocal
John Brennan - Guitars/Mandolin/Dobro/Lap Steel/Keyboards/Bass on 2, 5, 7, 10/Drum, Percussion & String Programming
Mark Egan - Fretless Bass on 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11
Lou Bellofatto - Piano on 3, 11/ Electric Piano on 9
Winifred Horan - Fiddle on 2, 3
Nuala Kennedy - High Whistle on 6/Vocal on 7
Eamon O’Leary - Vocal on 7/ Bouzouki on 10
Mike McGoldrick - Uilleann Pipes/Low Whistles on 6
Sheila Falls Keohane - Fiddle on 1
Al Garth - Alto sax on 4
Johnny Connolly - Button Accordion on 7
Produced and arranged by John Brennan and Kevin Burke
Recorded and mixed by John Brennan at East Woods Recording,Pound Ridge, NY Additional recording at Bungalow 9 Studio, Portland, OR
Alto Sax solo recorded by Allen Sudduth Mix consultant - Al Garth
Mastered by Tim Gennert at Prairie Sun Recording, Cotati, CA
Kevin Burke and John Brennan’s Photography by Tom Pich
Special thanks to Philip Begley, Brad Angus for his instruments and The Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society for their support.
Additional instrument photography, photo styling and package design by Keith Buckley a.k.a. Zap Graphics Portland, Oregon
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