Month: April 2016

Imagining Home concerts now available on Radio Player

To listen, visit, click the links above or search ‘Imagining Home’ on the RTÉ Radio Player.

A number of the Imagining Home series of concerts that took place in the National Concert Hall, are now available on the RTÉ Radio Player, for listeners in Ireland and internationally, for a limited period.

Imagining Home comprised seven sell-out concerts presented at the National Concert Hall, in association with Ireland 2016, over the period of the 1916 commemorations in March.

The concerts featured music, spoken word and theatrical performances from heavyweights of the Irish music, theatre and literature worlds such as Glen Hansard, Roddy Doyle, Joseph O’Connor, Colm Toibín, Louis de Paor, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Camille O’Sullivan, Paul Brady, Andy Irvine, Cait O’Riordan, Lisa O’Neill and many more.

In March, RTÉ Radio 1 broadcast four of the concerts live and recorded the other three, which will be aired later this year.

From Friday April 15 until Friday May 13, the four previously-broadcast Imagining Home concerts will be available to listen to anytime, online or on mobile, on the RTÉ Radio Player.

Simon Taylor, Chief Executive of the National Concert Hall said of the series, “Inspired by themes drawn from the 1916 Proclamation, Imagining Home explored Ireland’s cultural journey over the last 100 years, its place in the world today and our shared future. From the outset the programme was developed in collaboration with the artists involved and is a unique and fascinating reflection of the wealth of artistic and creative talent for which Ireland is renowned globally.”

The four concerts that are available to listen to are:


Celebrating the long musical conversation across the Atlantic, a gathering of Irish and American musicians perform songs from this rich musical dialogue. Artists include Rosanne Cash, Paul Brady, Maura O’Connell, Rodney Crowell, Andy Irvine, Tim O’Brien, Mick Moloney and band.


Kevin Rowland and Sean Read of Dexys (formerly Dexys Midnight Runners) and Irish singer/songwriter Declan O’Rourke, perform alongside Martin Carthy, Camille O’Sullivan, Cáit O’Riordan, Paul Brady, Andy Irvine, Cathal Coughlan and Lisa O’Neill in a unique event, hosted by writer and broadcaster John Kelly which looks at the musical interplay between Ireland and England.

This Is Ireland

Curated by Glen Hansard, and featuring international musicians and home-grown talent, the concert celebrates Ireland now and its place in the world.

Out of the Tradition

Well-known traditional singers, sisters Maighread & Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, join sean-nós singer Treasa Ní Mhiollain, celebrated Irish harpist Tríona Marshall, fiddle player Aoife Ní Bhriain, Irish language poet Louis de Paor and award-winning actress Olwen Fouéré in this concert which explores a journey through Irish traditional music from its roots to the thriving traditional scene of today. They are joined by fiddler Martin Hayes and guitarist Dennis Cahill, Usher’s Island, the Tulla Céilí Band, fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Iarla Ó Lionaird.

The concerts to be streamed will also include extras and exclusive interviews that took place during the intervals.



Celtic Connections Live Review: Usher’s Island at Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow

Rob Adams, Folk & Jazz critic

Celtic Connections: Usher’s Island, Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow


For the second time in less than a week a Celtic Connections concert involving musicians with close ties to Christy Moore has been held up due to a fire scare. Entirely coincidental, of course, but maybe the festival should just give the ould fella a gig. He’d have been right at home in this new band, which brings together his Planxty colleagues Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny with the great fiddle player Paddy Glackin and two representatives from a younger generation of Irish music practitioners, flautist-ulleann piper Michael McGoldrick and singer-guitarist John Doyle.
Together these men are capable of creating a spark themselves, as an early tune set confirmed. This, though, is a group that takes a wider view than the hell-for-leather instrumental school. With Irvine’s gentle vocal lyricism onboard, as well as his distinctive work on fretted instruments and harmonica, songs play a large part in the repertoire, and to Irvine’s richly portrayed tragi-ballad Molly Bawn and reveries of youthful days in Lubliana, Doyle added a refreshing revision of the gentler variation on The Wild Rover, his own superb adaptation of W.B. Yeats’ poetry in Path of Stones and an heroic telling of the slave-to-goldsmith story of a seventeenth century adventurer, Richard Joyce, very much in keeping with Irvine’s own talent for such narratives.

There are instrumental riches here, too. The arrangements supported the singers – Lunny contributed an energetic vocal as well as apposite frets, keys and bodhran – with splendid colour and a sure sense of purpose and the reels and hornpipes favoured the kind of steady pace where tone, melodic shape and natural momentum bring their own satisfaction and a classy sense of uplift.





Sat-Sun 17-18.  Michigan Irish Music Festival, Muskegon
701 Shoreline Drive, Muskegon  MI 49440

Wed  21.  The Burren, Somerville MA
247 Elm Street, Somerville  MA 02144

Thur 22.  BLUE, Portland ME
650 A Congress St, Portland  ME 04101

Fri   23.  Middletown House Concert, CT

Sat   24.  An Béal Bocht, Bronx
445 West 238th St, Bronx  NY 10463

Sun  25.  Rocky Sullivan’s of Red Hook, Brooklyn
34 Van Dyke St, Brooklyn  NY 11231

Exclusive UK festival performance by Irish supergroup Usher’s Island

Usher’s Island

~ Exclusive UK festival performance by Irish supergroup Usher’s Island~

Usher’s Island sees the coming together of five of the most influential and acclaimed names in traditional Irish music- Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, both founding members of Planxty, Paddy Glackin a member of The Bothy Band, Mike McGoldrick member of Lunasa and Capercaillie and John Doyle who played with Solas. Each of course is a talented soloist in their own right but in this new band they offer a blend of old and young and of vocal and instrumental talents.


Irish Times – Imagining Home: Out of the Tradition review

The NCH closes its week-long exploration of 100 years of cultural history with a freewheeling journey through traditional music and words

Siobhan Long

All the musicians from Into the Tradition on stage at the NCH

Venue: NCH
Date Reviewed: April 3rd, 2016
Elemental and meandering, our music, songs and poetry have carved themselves into the fabric of who we are, and this celebration of the last 100 years goes some way towards acknowledging that rich and complex journey. Anchored by a sublime melding of lighting and atmospheric film images, this is a night that celebrates the bedrock of the tradition in the shape of the solo voice (fiddle, pipes and harp), and then traces a picaresque path through some of the seminal moments that have added further tributaries to that river of sound.
Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh chooses the music of Sliabh Luachra, stripped bare of its more boisterous and wayward qualities, as a fitting introduction to a night that is equal parts revelation and reverie. Liam O’Flynn’s pipes follow, and his ability to marry stately restraint with a freewheeling trajectory gives voice to the contradictions of disciplined self-expression and feckless imagination that have fuelled much of our journey over the past 100 years.
We live in an age when aerial views reign supreme, but tonight’s performances underscore the value of the subterranean, and of the unseen. Martin Hayes speaks of the strands that make up our musical identity and Louis de Paor makes sure we catch sight and sound of the more contrarian ones, those that go against thet grain, like Seán Ó Riordáin’s glorious poetry, and the wordsmithing that gave us the word “Poblacht”, just in time for its debut as the opening salvo in our Proclamation.
Out Of The Tradition cast its sights to the local and the global, from the boldly European perspective of O’Carolan to the belly deep emotion of Dónal Óg, by sean nós singer Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, and the jagged-edged, charismatic genius of Seán Ó Riada. Brian Conway and Brendan Dolan reignite the high octane sound that Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman mined out of early 20th century Manhattan, and the newly-minted Usher’s Island (anchored by Dónal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Paddy Glackin) shifts the intensely familiar (The Pigeon On The Gate) into spirit-shockingly new terrain, just as they did all those years ago in The Bothy Band, Sweeney’s Men and Planxty.
In between, Olwen Fouéré, Aoife Ní Bhriain, Iarla Ó Lionáird and others add to what is a glorious finale to a week of imagining and re-imagining.