Spink Comhaltas

November 2020

Robert Harvey – Feochán (The Gentle Breeze) – Album Review

A Laois musician, Robert Harvey is one of the best exponents of flute, tin whistle, whistling and lilting in the country.  Combining a first-class academic background, wide-ranging teaching experience as well as being a fine live performer, Robert and his brother James are two of the most musical brothers you…

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Téada – In Spite of the Storm – Album Review

Téada is Gaelic for “strings”.  The five members of the band are fiddle player Oisín Mac Diarmada, button accordion player Paul Finn (from Laois), Damien Stenson on flutes and various whistles, Seán Mc Elwain on bouzouki and guitar, and bodhrán player Tristan Rosenstock.  A traditional band with a truly worldwide…

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Shandrum – The Boss Murphy Musical Legacy – Album Review

In 2015, Cork representatives Shandrum Céilí Band took Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Sligo by storm, winning the first of three back-to-back all-Ireland titles a mere eight months after the group’s formation.  Founder and leader is box player Alan Finn, and this album is the band’s second album. This album…

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We Banjo 3 – Roots of the Banjo Tree – Album Review

Don’t be fooled by the name – there are 4 musicians in this group for a start, and their usual line up combines banjos, mandolins, guitar, fiddle and some bodhran.  The band comprises 2 sets of brothers – Enda & Fergal Scahill and Martin & David Howley.  With roots originally…

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Rhiannon Giddens – Factory Girl – Album Review

This reviewer first listened to Rhiannon Giddens by chance when she was performing a live lock-down session on TG4 earlier this year.  Her performance was lilting an Irish Trad tune which is available on this album as “Mouth Music”.  Giddens has a really strong and diverse music background and she…

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The Blackwater Céili Band – Music in the Valley – Album Review

The Blackwater Céilí Band hails from the Clogher Valley region of County Tyrone, taking its name from the River Blackwater, which flows through the heart of South Ulster. The band was formed in February 2015 and consists of musicians from counties Tyrone, Monaghan, Down and Leitrim. They have become a…

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Irish Concertina Ensemble (ICE) – Zero – Album Review

ICE is made up of 5 virtuoso concertina players – Míchael O Raghallaigh, Caitlín Nic Gabhainn, Pádraig Rynne, Edel Fox and Tim Collins. ICE creates a new sonic template for Irish Traditional music. Situating it within this quintet format pioneers an exciting and innovative performance trajectory for the concertina, where…

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