Kevin Rowsome and Cuisle Cheol na bPíob - the essence of what our tradition is about.

Cuisle Cheol na bPíob is the new album by Dublin born uilleann piper Kevin Rowsome. It is a solo unaccompanied recording and has been described as “the essence of what our tradition is about.”

Being the fifth generation of uilleann pipers and pipe makers in his family, Kevin was immersed in the world of traditional Irish music from an early age. He started learning the uilleann pipes at six years of age under the guidance of his grandfather Leo. After Leo's untimely death in 1970, Kevin continued his pipe lessons with his father, Leon. He also played Clarinet and Saxophone with the Artane Boys Band during his teenage years.  The contribution of Leo in particular is well documented and there are two events held annually dedicated to him and the Rowsome family tradition.

In 1999 Kevin released his acclaimed debut album “The Rowsome Tradition", and has featured as a guest musician on many recordings. Cuisle Cheol na bPíob is the culmination of over five years of research into ancient traditional Irish music. He analysed the archives of the Traditional Music Archive, Na Piobairi Uilleann and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann deciding on material for this recording. In doing so he sourced archival music from an array of music collections, including the Colclough, Darley, Goodman, Joyce, MacLean, O'Farrell, O'Neill, Petrie, Rowsome and Ryan collections from as far back as the early 19th century. In many instances, Kevin transposed and adapted the tunes to suit the uilleann pipes. Practically all of these pieces haven't been recorded before. The sleeve notes are well researched, highly detailed and conscientiously written.

This is track 12 from the album called “The Very Man” and “The Bee in the Bonnet”.

“The Very Man/The Bee in the Bonnet” are two of Kevin’s own compositions.  In the liner notes he says “I think that The Very Man is quite well suited to the pipes. To a certain degree I had that in mind when I wrote it. I composed The Bee in the Bonnet a couple of years ago while abroad on holidays.”

The album also features another self-composition, an air named "Cuisle Ceoil an Bhlascaoid" (the musical pulse of the Blasket Islands). It was awarded first place in a competition that was set up to find the most suitable musical piece to commemorate the Blasket Islands, off the coast of County Kerry.

"An Buachaill Caol Dubh (The Dark Slender Boy)" is a tune that Kevin learned from his father, Leon.  Both his father and grandfather Leo recorded that same air on solo uilleann piping recordings, Leon on the Glenside label in the early 1970's and Leo on his seminal recording "Ri na Piobairi (King of the Piper's)" on the Claddagh label in 1959.

At the 2016 Fleadh Ceoil in Ennis, Co. Clare, Kevin, was presented with a Bardic Award from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in recognition for the significant contribution to the promotion of a variety of aspects of traditional Irish culture.


The album is available from  and Claddagh Records.


The album is also available as a free download for broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre.



Photography: Brendan Grimes   

Recorded at the Irish Traditional Music Archive

Engineer: Danny Diamond 

Mastered by Philip Masure

Design: Aki


Thanks to: Noreen Rowsome, Helena Rowsome Grimes, Brendan Grimes, Danny Diamond, Aki, Benedict Kohler, Cormac Breathnach, Lisa Shields, Nicholas Carolan, Micheál Ó Cearúil, The Irish Traditional Music Archive, Na Piobairi Uilleann, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.


Recorded on a concert pitch set of pipes made by Leo Rowsome, Kevin Rowsome & Benedict Kohler.

All Titles Traditional except except: The Very Man, The Bee in the Bonnet, Cuisle Ceoil an Bhlascaoid composed by Kevin Rowsome

Further information: /

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