Traditional Irish Music
It's hard to believe that three kids, aged just 16, 14 and 11, can already have clocked up 25 years of musical development between them. Throw into the mix the fact that these young trad musicians are also classically trained and your interest is piqued. Finally, add a flair for composition and arrangement, two and a half years' work, and the result is Little giants and Other Oxymorons, the debut album from The Maguires.
The band made the trek from their native Wicklow to Killarney to record the album with Tony O'Flaherty in Sonas Recording, following in the footsteps of Frankie Gavin & De Dannan, We Banjo 3, FullSet, Breaking Trad, John Spillane, and Seamus Begley among others to have recorded there. Tony has captured perfectly the energy of The Maguires' music, tastefully blending the melodies with harmonies and counter-melodies which define the overall style of the album. The high energy of the jigs and reels is complemented by a selection of slower tunes composed in the traditional idiom and arranged with a classical feel. Six of the eleven tracks on the album were composed by the band themselves.
This is the opening track from the album and includes the reels, Fergal O'Gara's, The Hunter's House and Speed The Plough.
The Maguires have been playing together as a band for three years and are regular performers at festivals and concerts throughout Ireland. In May 2016, they played live on The Ray D'Arcy Show to a primetime Saturday night audience of c. half a million viewers. The band's line-up is Emma (fiddle, flute, piano), Aoife (concertina, uilleann pipes), Seán (bodhrán) and Dad, Philip (guitar).
Emma and Aoife are the main composers, with occasional help from Philip. Most of the arrangements are done by Emma (16), assisted by Aoife (14) and Philip, and Seán (11) adds a little sprinkle of fairy dust with his driving rhythm on the bodhrán. The band has already built up a substantial fan base with over 20,000 followers on Facebook from all over the world. They plan to tour extensively in 2017 with the new album, starting off with 3 gigs in the iconic Mulligan's Bar in Amsterdam in early January, with further tour dates to be added after the album launch.
According to the band : “The old saying ‘You can't put an old head on young shoulders’ will come under serious scrutiny as you listen to this album. The standard of musicianship, the maturity of the arrangements, the quality of the compositions, and the overall sound of this debut offering from The Maguires will quickly draw you in and you'll find your foot tapping and your head bopping.”
With regard to the album title Philip explains: “Even though I have seen Emma, Aoife and Seán develop as musicians and composers over the years, and I get to enjoy their music on a daily basis, they never cease to amaze me with their musicality, creativity and versatility. So, while they are still little people (Emma was 16, Aoife was 14 and Seán was 11 when the album was recorded), they are very much musical giants to us lesser musical mortals. Hence, the term 'Little Giants'. And, of course. Little Giants is an oxymoron (a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction). Irish people use oxymorons regularly in everyday speech and it always amuses me, so I thought I'd give the tracks oxymoron titles (the tune titles are also included).” This includes titles like An Open Secret, Bitter Sweet and Go Ahead Back, a term used by unofficial parking attendants on the streets of Dublin in the 1980’s.
The album is also available as a free download for broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre.
Emma Maguire Fiddle/Flute/Piano
Aoife Maguire Concertina/Uilleann Pipes
Seán Maguire Bodhrán
Philip Maguire Guitar
Tony O’Flaherty Bass (tracks 4,6) and Keys (track 6)
All arrangements by The Maguires
Produced by Philip Maguire & Tony O'Flaherty
Recorded & Mixed by Tony O'Flaherty in Sonas Recording, Killarney
Mastered by Ruairí O'Flaherty in Los Angeles, California
Photography by Brendan Cullen of fotos.ie
Artwork by Brian Hanlon of Óg Media Group
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