Liz Kane, from North Connemara, is a much respected musician and educator. Born in Letterfrack, she was educated in Kylemore Abbey School. She was taught music by her grandfather, local fiddle player, Jimmy Mullen and Mary Finn, a Co. Sligo musician and teacher.
Liz first came to national and international prominence during the three year period in which she and her sister Yvonne toured with accordion player, Sharon Shannon as members of her band, The Woodchoppers. They travelled all over the world with her band and are featured artists on Sharon’s album ‘The Diamond Mountain Sessions’. At that time, a Hot Press review by Siobhan Long confirmed ‘…while ‘Fire in their Bellies’ (with Liz and Yvonne Kane) is ensemble playing at its best and most naked.’
Following this period of touring with Sharon Shannon, the girls decided to embark musically on their own and they recorded their first album together entitled ‘The Well Tempered Bow’. This received rave reviews including this review from well known New York music critic, Earle Hitchner:
“Aptly titled, ‘The Well-Tempered Bow’ is fine-honed unison fiddling by two musicians who know how to draw out the heat and light within a melody. There’s no superficial flashiness substituting for a more difficult-to-achieve understanding of what makes a tune tick. This duo debut has real depth and heft, with superb accompaniment from guitarist and pianist John Blake, a member of the band Téada. The Kanes Head Up Best Traditional Albums of 2002”
The Kane Sisters toured Ireland and the United States following the release of their first album and this followed with a second album entitled ‘Under the Diamond’ in 2004.
Based in Letterfrack currently, Liz and Yvonne teach music during the school year and tour in the US during the summer. Between them, they have close to 200 students and travel all over the west coast teaching music. Their latest album Side by Side was launched in July 2010 at The Catskills Irish Festival in East Durham, NY and followed by a two week tour with concertina player Edel Fox.
Danny O’Mahony is a traditional musician from Ballyduff in North County Kerry. He grew up playing music with the older generation of musicians in his locality. His late father Mick had a very positive influence on Danny as a young child and nurtured his keen ear and interest in traditional Irish music. Both imaginative and fearless in his interpretation, Danny’s musical style is expressive and deeply personal, and reflects his affinity with the music of past masters. His performance abilities have been acknowledged through winning Junior & Senior All-Ireland titles and graduating from the University of Limerick with a Masters in Performance. In 2013 Danny was awarded Top Button Accordionist (US, IRE, EU, UK) by the Irish Music Association in America.
2011 saw the release of Danny’s long awaited and critically acclaimed debut solo recording ‘In Retrospect‘ accompanied by Patsy Broderick on piano, Cyril O’Donoghue on bouzouki and Johnny ‘Ringo’ McDonagh on percussion. He collaborated with concertina maestro Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh in 2012 and released their duet album, aptly titled ‘As it Happened’. This features Danny & Mícheál playing unaccompanied and was awarded Instrumental Album of the year by LiveIreland Music Awards.
The Shannon Vale Céilí Band was revived by Danny in 2009, having been originally formed in Ballyduff in 1959. Some of their achievements to date include winning the prestigious All-Ireland Senior Céilí Band title at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (2011), performing at Áras an Uachtaráin for President Michael D. Higgins on St. Patrick’s Day (2014), and releasing their debut album ‘Shannon’s Lovely Vale’.
Danny presents and produces a popular weekly radio programme on Radio Kerry, which features Irish Traditional Music and Song. ‘Trip to the Cottage’ began in 2004 and has many followers, not only in Ireland but all over the globe, who tune in live on Monday nights or download the podcasts. Danny’s current area of special interest is the music of his relative Tom Carmody and the James Morrison Instrumental Quartet. Danny performs regularly on RTÉ, TG4, RTÉ Radio One, Lyric FM, and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
He frequently attends festivals and summer schools, nationally and internationally, as guest tutor, lecturer and performer.
“The mark of a real musician, whatever his or her learning, is the ability to bring fresh perspectives to the most timeworn forms, and that’s where Kerry box player and radio presenter Danny O’Mahony shimmies into the spotlight with chutzpah” Siobhán Long, The Irish Times, July 2011.
“In Retrospect is an instrumental fusion of generational tradition where nostalgic tones are enhanced by the innovative instrumentals of a serious talent. A debut delight” – Irish Music Magazine, September 2011.
“Minimalist ‘method’ results in brilliant ‘As It Happened’ “– Daniel Neely, Irish Echo, New York, June 2012.
“Danny O’Mahony and Liz Kane’s performance at The Trip to Birmingham TradFest 2016 was outstanding. The duo are true virtuosos of the tradition and it was a delight to see them in their element. Their masterful playing, full of personality, journeyed from driving, modal dance tunes to lamenting, heartfelt airs, making plenty of stops along the way in what was a truly authentic exploration of the idiom. Danny and Liz’s presence over the weekend was warmly received by all at the festival, organisers and punters alike. It was an absolute pleasure to have them and we hope they’ll be back in Birmingham in the not too distant future.”
The new Roscommon based Traditional group, Gatehouse will be doing an Autumn 2016 Irish tour to celebrate the release of their debut CD, Tús Nua.
Gatehouse is a recently formed band with a line up of experienced and up and coming artistes, who are launching their sound on to the scene in 2016 and beyond with the release of their critically acclaimed debut CD, Tús Nua. Internationally renowned fiddler Martin Hayes says of the album that “it is beautifully arranged and recorded. Everything happening here is authentic. This recording proves that Traditional music can be continually fresh and alive without being flashy or over produced.”
Following on from the Summer of 2016 release of Tús Nua, the album received a superb five star rated review in The Irish Times The band formed in late 2014 and throughout 2015 they have performed at a number of venues and festivals as well as on live TV. John Wynne and John McEvoy along with Jacinta McEvoy have been performing regularly since the release of McEvoy’s and Wynne’s duet album, Pride of the West, in 2007. This trio were delighted when talented young Roscommon singer, Rachel Garvey agreed to join them to form Gatehouse.
The songs and tunes from Gatehouse are based in the North Connaught traditions, the Sean Nos singing tradition of Connamara, the rich Ulster song tradition along with sprinklings of other influences. The band’s arrangements are appropriate and musically thoughtful. The band also draws on some newly composed music, including two of John McEvoy’s compositions which are included in Tús Nua.
Members of Gatehouse are John McEvoy(fiddle/viola/piano) Jacinta McEvoy(guitar/concertina/backing vocals), Rachel Garvey (vocals) and John Wynne(flutes/whistles)
John McEvoy is a renowned fiddler and noteworthy composer. John was particularly drawn to the fiddle playing of the Sligo masters. John has played with many groups including Flynn’s men Bakerswell and kelp. He released his long awaited second solo CD entitled Traditional Fiddle Music in 2012.
Jacinta McEvoy is equally adept on guitar concertina and piano. Jacinta is a sought after accompanist and arranger, and she has recorded on recent albums by Chris Droney, John Wynne and John McEvoy.
Rachel Garvey is a young singer of great promise and star quality. An All Ireland winner in Irish and English singing, Rachel’s sweet singing can be heard on a CD, Alone by the wildwood, featuring songs from Roscommon.
John Wynne has become established as one of the leading players and tutors of the North Connaught flute style. John recorded and toured with Providence as well as releasing two acclaimed solo CD’s. In 2007 John released the celebrated Pride of the West duet flute/fiddle CD with John McEvoy which was voted one of the best releases of that year by esteemed U.S. critic, Earle Hitchner.
Every now and again, a collection sidles its way into the ether and stills the listener. Gatehouse’s aptly named Tús Nua (Fresh Start) does just that. It infiltrates every molecule of the music, infusing it with a freshness that promises to propel this collection into that elusive ‘must have’ category for years to come.
John Wynne and John McEvoy are a flute/fiddle duo with a rare reputation for finesse, and they’ve frequently shared tunes with Jacinta McEvoy on guitar and concertina. The remarkable voice of Rachel Garvey is the magical ingredient that raises the bar on this particular quartet’s set, as she interprets songs more and less familiar, with a staggering originality.
John McEvoy’s own tunes are a delight too, particularly the title tune, which embraces a baroque sensibility while still resting cosily in the belly of the tradition. An unerring delight. Irish Times
Tickets for this event can be purchased here.