The 1979 CD “Noel Hill & Tony Linnane” is a classic recording in Irish music, and together with accompanying Christy Moore on his CD “The Iron Behind the Velvet” (1978) helped launch the careers of these two legendary Clare musicians.
Noel (concertina) and Tony (fiddle) started playing together as children. In the mid-1970s they joined up with Tony Callanan and Kieran Hanrahan to create the group “Inchiquin”, and recorded one album together in 1976 before Hanrahan and Callanan left to form Stockton’s Wing. Noel Hill has since released two solo CDs and two further classic recordings with Clare accordionist Tony McMahon.
In this concert they were accompanied by two other notable musicians.
- Padraic O’Reilly – one of Ireland’s top pianists, with two solo CDs (“Down the Ivory Stairs”, 2001 and “Highly Strung” 2007) and appearances on other recordings. He is also a multiple All-Ireland award winner as leader of the Ennis Céilí band and the many youth céilí bands he has tutored. For many years he has also run a fine traditional festival in his native Corofin, Co Clare.
- Mick Conneely – bouzouki and fiddle player, born in the UK but from a Connemara family – has played with De Dannan periodically since 1991 (full time 2009-2013) and has recorded on many CDs, including his solo CD “Selkie” (2013) and with Dave Munnelly “Tis what it is” (2012).
In addition, there were contributions from two All-Ireland champion singers.
- Kathryn Nea from Westmeath is the 2015 All-Ireland senior champion singer (in English), having won All-Ireland titles at junior level previously. She is sister to Kilfenora resident Colin Nea (himself a former All-Ireland winner on accordion).
- Deirdre Scanlan from West Limerick sings both contemporary and traditional songs, as evidenced on her 2008 CD “Faces”. She was All-Ireland champion in 2001, has sung at concerts with the Kilfenora Céilí Band, and in November 2015 recently featured in RTE 2’s programme “Ear to the Ground” in her role as Community Policing Officer for An Garda Siochana.
And finally there were appearances by
- Emma O’Sullivan, a seven times All-Ireland sean-nos dance champion and star of RTE’s “The All-Ireland Talent Show”. For more details about Emma, see here.
- Seamus O’Gorman – All-Ireland under-12 fiddle champion in 2014 and winner of a prize at the 2015 Meitheal Summer School to appear in Kilfenora. For more details see here.