Born in Birmingham, England, Kevin Crawford’s early life was one long journey into Irish music and Co. Clare, to where he eventually moved while in his 20’s.
He was a founding member of Moving Cloud, the Clare-based band who recorded such critically-acclaimed albums as Moving Cloud and Foxglove, and he has also recorded with Grianin, Raise the Rafters, Joe Derrane, Natalie Merchant, Susan McKeown and Sean Tyrrell. Kevin appears on the 1992 recording, The Maiden Voyage, recorded live at Peppers Bar, Feakle, Co. Clare, and appears on the 1994 recording, The Sanctuary Sessions, recorded live in Cruise’s Bar, Ennis, Co. Clare.
Kevin now tours the world with Ireland’s cutting-edge traditional band, Lúnasa, called by some the “Bothy Band of the 21st Century,”with eight ground-breaking albums to their credit: Lúnasa, Otherworld, The Merry Sisters of Fate, Redwood, The Kinnity Sessions, Sé, The Story So Far and La Nua. His latest project is the Teetotallers, a supergroup trio that also features Martin Hayes and John Doyle. A virtuoso flute player, Kevin has also recorded several solo albums including The ‘D’ Flute Album, In Good Company (a recording featuring Kevin playing in duet with many of Ireland’s top fiddlers), On Common Ground (a duo recording with Lúnasa’s piper, Cillian Vallely), Carrying the Tune, and his most recent The Drunken Gaugers www.lunasa.ie
A native of the slower moving West of Ireland, Seán took his time before committing himself to record his first solo album. Seán emigrated to New York in 1968 put together a band “Apples In Winter” and recorded an album in 1974. He later moved to San Francisco and began a solo career where he rubbed shoulders with some of the greats of the folk scene. Eventually he tired of the road now having a young son and returning to Ireland in the late seventies he continued to work at his music, but seldom played professionally. In 1978 he began working for University College Galway, based in the heart of the Burren in county Clare. He was invited to ‘guest’ on two albums with renowned uilleann piper Davy Spillane and having toured with Davy soon got a taste for the road again ..
All of his time off the road had led to a huge catalogue of new material that he was now anxious to record. It was during this time in his hide away in Clare that he first encountered since his school days the amazing, forward thinking 18th century poem for all ages Cúirt An Mheán Oíche, The Midnight Court by Brian Merriman, translated by David Marcus. It fascinated him (All 1,206 lines of it). He set it to music and approached the renowned Druid theatre Galway with the idea of putting it on as traditional opera with a cast of ten musicians and singers. Regarded by the critics as the hit of the Galway Arts Festival when Druid staged his traditional opera in 1992.
Cry of A Dreamer his first solo project in 1994 was given a spotlight review by Billboard, voted Best Folk Album of the Year by both Folk Roots and Hotpress. He has performed at major festivals and concert halls, TV and radio in Ireland, England, Europe, Australia and the USA. In 1997 he released his much anticipated second solo effort, The Orchard. Again met with great critical acclaim. Voted Best Overall Folk Act by the readers of Irish Music Magazine voted it Best Folk Album. It was Michael Hartnett’s poem Belladonna in the Bar that gave him the title for his third CD Belladonna. He collaborated with international musicians on Songs of Peace Recorded and performed them at concerts over two nights at Passchendaele cathedral. This was later released as a CD Songs Of Peace. A decade or so later and three solo CDs Seán launched in Ireland ‘Rising Tide’- The Collection’, comprising 16 tracks including a blend of familiar favourites, plus seven new tracks.
Albums were now coming fast and furious with his release in 2011 of And So The story Goes, The Walker Of The Snow’ album released in May of 2012 and a release in the USA of ‘The Vital Record’ in August 2013. Moonlight On Galway Bay Launched in the USA at The Burren in Boston April 2014.
More recently he has concentrated on touring a solo version of Message Of Peace,The Midnight Court” and solo concerts.
Award winning trad musician Eoin O’Neill will be joined on our November 2018 tour by special guests from the Clare music scene. Eoin has lived in Clare for the past 30 years and has been an integral part of the traditional music landscape in the county. His passion for his craft has led him to preserve music that was in danger of being lost forever, and is now being enjoyed and re-invented by a new generation of musicians. He is famous for his informal music sessions and classes in many venues throughout the county, and is chiefly responsible for encouraging the playing of young and old alike.
Eoin O’Neill is a big part of the scene in Clare. “I arrived in Doolin on December 28, 1979. I thought I was coming for an afternoon and I’m still here,” he says of his arrival in this county. That wasn’t far off 40 years ago and he has been playing here since, while he also hosts shows on local radio.
In 2015 Eoin was the winner of the MÓRglór award for Outstanding Contribution to Traditional Music in County Clare. He is a regular contributor to sessions throughout the county. Every Sunday morning he presents a hugely entertaining radio programme on Clare Fm, where he plays a wide range of music of all styles. Eoin says that he’s lucky to have the chance to play the music he loves on radio every Sunday morning. “I’m more passionate than ever. I’m lucky in that I have a couple of shows on Clare FM and that allows me to feature the local musicians, especially the local ones that should be featured and aren’t featured enough.”
Music in Clare is noticeably different from elsewhere, he feels. “The most distinctive thing about Clare is that there is music everywhere. No two musicians play the same anyway, but there is a thing going on in Clare that gives space to the music, gives space to the notes. They don’t rush it. I am a rhythm player and it gives me a great opportunity to express myself the way I want.”
Michael is one of the most exciting uilleann pipers in Traditional Music. He was taught the uilleann pipes by the great Limerick piper Mickey Dunne. His influences are the playing of Paddy Keenan, who is a regular visitor to his home in Clare, Finbar Furey and the great Johnny Doran.
He has been playing the pipes from a young age and is currently living, and playing, at the heart of Irish music in County Clare. He regularly tours Europe, the USA and the Far East but is also very much at home at his local bars in Ennis or Doolin. At concerts and sessions Michael O’Connell performs with gusto, and audiences are swept away by his exuberant and fast flowing piping style.
A regular guest of Na Píobairí Uilleann (uilleann pipes association), and the William Kennedy Piping Festival. He teaches and performs at the annual Catskills Irish Arts Week in New York, and the Doran Tionol, as well as being a full time tutor at the Irish World Academy of Music, University of Limerick.
He has also has toured extensively with various dance troupes in the USA, China, Taiwan and Dubai, including on Broadway and in Carnegie Hall. He has performed with Paddy Keenan, Finbar Furey and the Chieftains. He is an ambassador for Irish tourism as part of the worldwide internet and TV campaign by Tourism Ireland.
1977 began professional career with Maura O Connell in a duo called TUMBLEWEED. 1980 Joined Stocktons Wing as guitarist, singer and songwriter and recorded the album ‘Take a Chance’.
Wrote the songs on Stockton’s Wing’s ground breaking and critically acclaimed Album ‘LIGHT IN THE WESTERN SKY’ (1984) including hit songs ‘BEAUTIFUL AFFAIR’ and ‘WALK AWAY’ and toured extensively with the band for 15 years.
1989 Sammy Davis Junior invited the band to perform at his Lansdowne Road shows in Dublin. They also played support to Michael Jackson and Prince at their Cork gigs. In 1990 Stockton’s Wing went on location to take part in the Noel Pearson/Jim Sheridan film production of the John B. Keane play “THE FIELD” which featured Oscar nominee Richard Harris and John Hurt.
Mike Left Stocktons Wing in 1994 to tour with Finbar Furey and pursue a solo career in Europe recording his first album for German label Wundertutte ‘Someone like You’. His second album ‘what you know’ was released in 2002.
Spent ten years with long time friend Ronnie Drew in 1997 as performer, producer and co writer of the critically acclaimed Ronnie ‘I hardly knew ya’.
Music Director for The Legends of Irish Music featuring Ronnie, Liam Clancy, Finbar Furey, Johnny McAvoy, Jim McCann and Paddy Reilly as The Legends of Irish Folk.
Producer and performer with Ronnie Drew/ Eleanor Shanley
Writer performer with Brendan Begley on Dublin Burning, an Anthology of songs and stories from 1916.
Tours and records with Leslie Dowdall of In Tua Nua.
Tours with Eleanor Shanley.
Mike left the music business for a number of years to pursue a career in food at The Ballymaloe cookery school where he eventually worked as a teacher. Later he created the very successful food destination pub with his friend Pat Shortt at his bar Pat Shortt’s bar in Castlemartyr East Cork before returning to set up the highly acclaimed kitchen deli The Artisan Parlour in Ringsend. These days he is currently writing a memoir of a life in food and music to be published in 2019. Stocktons Wing perform a series of gigs to celebrate 40 years in music.
John Whelan represents the best of Irish music in America. Seven time All-Ireland Champion, John Whelan was raised in the vibrant London Irish music scene. He started playing in 1970 up to his move to the US in 1980 at the age of 20. Learning his craft from such legends as Lucy Farr, Roger Sherlock, Paddy Taylor, Mick O’Connor and his teacher Brendan Mulkare, he recorded his first album in 1974 at the age of 14 and toured extensively throughout England and Ireland up until he came to the US.
It did not take long for John to establish himself in the US as he teamed up with Brian Conway and Eileen Ivers. He recorded his first highly regarded US album with Eileen in 1987 called Fresh Takes, on Green Linnett Records. John and Eileen toured the US and Canada and were awarded the duo of the decade by Earle Hitchner, writer for the Irish Echo and Wall Street Journal. In 1990 John recorded his first solo CD in the US, From the Heart, which won an honorable mention by NAIRD. In 1995 John signed a 5 CD deal with Narada, a large independent record label based in Milwaukee, WI, becoming one of the highest selling traditional artist in the genre.
Through his deal with Narada, John went on to sell close to one million CDs and appeared on the Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Fox After Breakfast with host Tom Bergeron and his music could be heard on such TV shows as Sex In The City, History’s Mysteries and History Detectives. John has also appeared in two motion pictures, Gods and Generals with Robert Duvall and Ang Lee’s, Ride with the Devil.
Today John still performs with the John Whelan Band and has recently teamed up with his old pal Brian Conway forming the group Gailfean, which also features Máirtin De Cógáin and Don Penzien. Gailfean has recently released a new CD.
The Black Donnellys are a highly regarded award winning professional outfit. They are a 2-piece band, originally from Dublin, Ireland and now living in Las Vegas, USA.
The band consists of singer/songwriter Dave Rooney ( voted best Irish singer/songwriter of the year 2012) and world record breaking guitarist Dave Browne ( Dave broke and still holds the world record for marathon guitar playing … 114 hours nonstop). They have recorded and played with many of the legendary artists from Ireland including The Dubliners, Derek Warfield of The Wolfe Tones, Aslan, Terry Woods of the Pogues to mention just a few. Together they make for a great nights entertainment with an eclectic mix of Irish traditional ballads, folk, celtic rock, contemporary and original tunes and songs delivered in a high energy performance second to none.
The band have a residency at Rira , Las Vegas and are frequently touring the USA where they headline many Irish festivals.
Socks in the Frying Pan are a multi-award winning trio from County Clare on the West coast of Ireland, the universal hub of Irish traditional music. Their dynamic vocal harmonies, virtuosic musical ability and their onstage wit has captured and captivated audiences the world around. One of the most sought after groups in Irish music today, ”The Socks” continue to bring their music far and wide, performing at such prestigious festivals as The New Orleans Jazz Fest, Milwaukee Irish Fest, Walnut Valley, and le Festival Interceltique de Lorient to name but a few.
This youthful trio blend Irish traditional melodies with their own personal flair which has gained them critical acclaim and accolades including ‘New Band of the Year’ by the Irish Music Association. The group have been embraced in the United States, having been booked by every major Irish festival and praised for their modern traditional style and energetic approach to music. They have a clear love for live performance which only compliments the traditional essence in their shows and makes for a truly unique form of entertainment.
From Ennis, County Clare, the band is made up of brothers Shane and Fiachra Hayes on accordion and fiddle, with Aodan Coyne on guitar. Growing up in County Clare instilled in them a sense of musical and cultural appreciation of the region, one which they are eager to showcase.