Alan Reid & Rachel Conlan – “A Quare Yield”
Alan (from Leitrim) and Rachel (from Wicklow) – now living outside Kilfenora – met whilst studying music in University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy where Alan now teaches. The duo have researched and recorded a diverse selection of tunes from field recordings and old manuscripts, including many previously unrecorded items. There are highly detailed liner notes by Alan.
Rachel is a fine fiddler, gaining popularity in North Clare sessions, and Alan plays banjo, bouzouki, mandolin and oud. Alan featured on the CD, Leitrim Equation 3 (a project led by Donal Lunny, Seamus Begley & John Carty), and he can he heard rocking out with the band Arum on their 2016 CD.
Their playing is notable for tight arrangements and steady rhythm, with sparse but inventive use of ornamentation and variation. The renowned piper Ronan Browne comments “this is one of the finest duets I’ve ever heard – two people perfectly in sympathy with each other…Listen, grin, and enjoy.”
Tommy Guihen – “The Torn Jacket”
Tommy is from near Arigna in Roscommon, and learnt his music from greats such as Josie McDermott, Patsy Hanly, Pakie Duignan, Seamus Tansey and Seamus Horan. (Seamus Tansey sourced the flute he still plays.) His playing harks back to the great John McKenna. Tommy won the Senior All- Ireland flute title in 1978. In the 1980s and 90s, he toured Britain, America and Australia with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, and played for many years with the group Shebeen.
As the renowned Dr Mick Moloney succinctly observes, “Tommy Guihen is a remarkable musician. Steeped in the brilliant ﬂute playing of the Roscommon,Sligo and Leitrim masters of the past, he has evolved his own distinctive way of playing with an infectious pulse, swing and vitality allied to an acute musical sensibility. ”
On this long awaited CD, he is accompanied by Mary Corcoran on piano and Paul Gurney on guitar.
Bobby Gardiner – “Melodeon Mad”
Bobby is one of Ireland’s most celebrated accordion and melodeon players, and is also notable as a lilter. Originally from Lisdoonvarna, Clare, as a child he played with the likes of Micho Russell and Micleen Conlon, and joined the Kilfenora Céilí Band at 15. At 19, he was a professional musician, touring all over Ireland. At 21, he moved to America and played with legends such as Paddy Killoran, Joe Cooley, Ed Reavey, Joe Derrane and Andy McGann. He returned to settle in Tipperary, and raised a family of accomplished musicians
He has travelled extensively with different groups including touring in China, Japan, Spain, Canada and the US. He is also a renowned music teacher, in Cork, Tipperary, Waterford and Limerick – among his pupils is Benny McCarthy of Danu fame.
Over the years Bobby has featured on many recordings, and on radio and TV. His first CDs was recorded in New York in 1958. Other notable recordings include “The Master’s Choice” (1989). “The Clare Shout”(1995) and “The High Level” (2010). For more information see http://www.bobbygardiner.com/
“Melodeon Mad” is his 8th CD. Released in February, it is already garnering praise from many quarters. Martin Hayes comments “it has kind of lift that makes a great dancer have to dance. Bobby is the master of this rhythm, and yet he remains sensitive to the beauty of the melody, never overcrowding it with more ornaments than are needed.”