Spink Comhaltas

From the blog

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 in Galway, this band are firmly established in the US and you can hear the blue-grass sound in much of their work.

WB3 seamlessly converge the shared and varied traditions of Americana, Bluegrass, and Celtic music with pop-sensible songcraft to create a truly unique and gratifying signature sound. Brilliantly commanded instruments––banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and percussion––effortlessly elevate lead singer David Howley’s propulsive voice. Live on stage, their songs carry the listener along until, at the perfect moment, the band crescendos into catchy choruses with pitch perfect harmonies.

We Banjo 3 have released 6 CD’s – the most recent “Roots To Rise Live”, in July of 2019.  This album review, however, is of their first CD and is a great introduction to their music and style.  Favourite tracks are No 2 – Martin Wynne’s #2, and the song on Track No 7 –  We all need more kindness.

Don’t just read the review, buy the CD!


This article is part of a series of articles on selected traditional Irish musicians and CD’s.  At Spink Comhaltas, we believe it is critically important to support and promote our musicians, and never more so that at this time as the Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the music industry.

Having role models and heroes is important in any walk of life, and this is true of musicians too.  Some of our strongest musicians who have developed with Spink Comhaltas over the recent years have learned as much of their musidc from listening to these artists – both on CD and live – as they have learned in formal classes.  We encourage our current generation of young musicians – and their parents – to consider building up their own collection of music.  And while we live in a world of streaming, there is something special about being able to read the sleeve notes on an album that an artist has put a lot of energy and effort into that will always be much more meaningful than listening on a streaming service.

The musicians we have featured here are outstanding performers.  Different music styles, instruments, and interpretations will appear – as well a mix of solo and group music.  For most of the musicians featured, the CD featured is one of a number of works by that artist.

Spink Comhaltas promotes traditional Irish music across Laois, Carlow, Kilkenny, Kildare and further afield.  With excellent teachers and resources, as well as one of the largest music instrument banks in the country, Spink Comhaltas is an excellent place to begin your journey in traditional Irish music.

In addition to teaching and promoting music, Spink Comhaltas also fosters connections – with musicians across different counties and counties, different genres of music, and other artistic and creative groups.  Check out our website for more details.