Quick Takes

Here are short snippets of information on many celtic groups and musicians which haven't yet been given a detailed write-up. Even more than usual, your comments, corrections and additions are very welcome.

Gerard Manning

Copyright (c) Ceolas, 1995-1997

Battlefield Band

One of Scotland's best known and long-lived traditional groups. The Band was founded in Glasgow, in 1969 by Alan Reid, and has continued, with a varying lineup to the present. Past members include Ged Foley, Brian McNeill and Dougie Pincock, while the current (1994) crew are:
Alan Reid        Keyboard, vocals, harp
John McCusker    Fiddle, mandolin, cittern, whistles, keyboards
Alistair Russell Guitar, vocals
Iain MacDonald   Highland pipes, flute, whistles
The Batties play mostly traditional pieces, with some syths and rock motifs, and nowadays more tunes than songs. Of the songs, many of them are new.
Home is Where the Van Is         FF 250
The Story Fo Far                 FF 274
After Hours                      TP 2001
There's a Buzz                   TP 2007
Anthem for the Common Man        TP 2008
On the Rise                      TP 2009
Music in Trust, Vol.1            TP 2010 (with Alison Kinnaird)
Celtic Hotel                     TP 2002
Home Ground, Live from Scotland  TP 2034
New Spring                       TP 2045
Quiet Days                       TP 2050
Opening Moves                    Topic 468
(TP=Temple, FF=Flying Fish)

Bourne & McLeod

Bill Bourne joined Alan McLeod and the Tannahill Weavers in 1980, and left in 1985 to concentrate on songwriting, at the same time as Alan retired from the group. His new songs were enough to grab Alan back from his new career as a painter and Bourne & McLeod was born. Concentrating on Bills songs rather than the traditional fare of the Tannahills, the duo put together the album Dance and Celebrate, which won the 1991 Juno award for best roots/traditional recording. Moonlight Dancers followed, but the duo broke up soon afterwards. Alan McLeod moved to Vancouver to play with the Paperboys, who have also since disbanded (and maybe rebanded again, from recent reports).
Dance & Celebrate   ACD 1314
Moonlight Dancers   ACD 1343

Dan ar Braz

Breton guitarist, who rose to fame in Alan Stivell's band, of which he was a part for some 11 or so years. He also played with British folk group Fairport Convention (1976-78) and Silly Sisters (1988-?) and has been leader of a number of bands, as well as having a prominent solo career.
1992   Les Iles de la Memoire (compilation)   KLM 32
1992   Xavier Grall chanté par Dan Ar Braz
1992   Reve de Siam (film score)              KLM 33
1991   Frontieres de Sel                      KLM 23
1990   Songs                                  KLM 14
1988   Septembre Bleu
1985   Musiques Pour Les Silences A Venir
1981   Acoustic                               Green Linnet 3035
1979   The Earth's Lament
1978   Allez Dire a La Ville
1977   Douar Nevez
19??   Irish Reels, Jigs, Airs & Hornpipes    Shanachie 9701

Liz Carroll

A dynamic young fiddler from Chicago, she is rapidly making a place for herself in the Irish traditional scene. She is also a member of the group Trian, along with Billy McComiskey and Daithi Sproule.
1978   A Friend Indeed         Shanachie 29013
       (Irish Fiddle and Piano)
1978   Kiss Me Kate            Shanachie 29010
1988   Liz Carroll             Green Linnet 1092
1992   Trian                   Flying Fish 586

The Clancy Brothers

Long before the likes of Planxty or the Bothy Band, the Clancy Brothers were the popular side of traditional Irish music. Their strength has been in strong chorus ballad singing, with more emphasis on gusto and spirit than on technicalities.

Seamus Egan

A hot young multi-instrumentalist from Philadelphia (stomping ground of Mick Moloney and Eugene O' Donnell), Egan has won all-Ireland championships on four different instruments. His banjo playing, in an uilleann-pipe style is particularly energetic. He has recorded with Mick Moloney in a few incarnations.
1990   A Week in January             Shanachie 65005  Egan on flute and banjo
       Traditional Music of Ireland  Shanachie 29020  with sisters Siobhan and 
                                                      Rory Ann

Seamus Ennis

The late Seamus Ennis was a a top-rated uilleann piper and tin whistler, as well as a major figure in Irish folklore, a storyteller and singer.
1977   Feidlim Tonn Ri's Castle      Claddagh
1977   Forty Years of Irish Piping   Green Linnet 1000
       The Wandering Minstrel        Topic, Green Linnet 3078

Maire Ni Cathasaigh and Chris Newman

Dynamic harp and guitar duo from Ireland. They play Irish traditional music, the obligatory Carolan and some original, pretty jazzy stuff. Technically very good, from the little I've heard of their work.


An American group out of Niwot (near Boulder), Colorado, playing original and Irish traditional music, lead by Donegal man Mick Bolger. Still touring regularly in 1996.
Mick Bolger      bodhran and vocals
Jean Harrison    fiddle and accordion
Mike Fitzmaurice bass and guitar
Brian Mullens    mandolin, guitar, bouzouki, mandocello and flute
Rod Garnett      flute, fifes and whistle
They have made three CDs (Oxford Hotel, Some Foreign Land, Life of Riley's brother) and may have more albums on tape.
Contact address: Colcannon, 1055 Colina Drive, Laramie, WY 82070, or email Rod Garnett

Ewan MacColl (1915-1989)

One of the major figures in the Scottish and British folk revival. Born in Scotland, he sung a great repretoire of traditional tunes and wrote many classics himself. On top of that he was a playright and actor. He made several albums with his wife, Peggy Seeger (sister of Pete Seeger).
1991   Black and White   Green Linnet 3058 (retrospective)

Dady Brothers

Two or more brothers, who play in the Rochester, New York area. They have one recent (1994?) CD called 'Soul Lilt' as well as one vinyl album and several tapes. Soul Lilt is entirely instrumental. Contact address: Dady Brothers Music, 355 Lake View Park, Rochester, NY 14613. 716-254-3704

Celtic Frost

Despite the name, not a traditional group, rather a death-metal band from Switzerland.

Shaun Davey

Davey is a composer who makes orchestral arrangments based on traditional themes, in a very tasteful manner. His "Granuaile" and "Brendan Voyage" suites have been extremely successful, both critically and popularly.
19xx   The Brendan Voyage     Tara 3006
19xx   The Pilgrim            Tara 3011
19xx   Granuaile              Tara 3017
19xx   The Relief of Derry    Tara 3024

Joe Derrane

One of the most popular of Irish button accordionists in the 1950s, several of his original "78" recordings have been remastered and issued by Rego Records (800-854-3746). He played at the 1994 Washington Irish Festival in 1994, after decades of silence: up to recently he didn't even own an accordion any more. Reports from that performance say he has lost nothing in the intervening years.

Liam O' Flynn

Probably the most successful uilleann piper playing today. He first came to fame in the landmark group Planxty, where his piping provided a solid traditional foundation for the other more folky instruments. In recent years he has moved in the direction of chamber music, both in some of his solo work ("Out to another side") and in collaboration with Shaun Davey, in his orchestral suites.

The Irish Tradition

Baltimore, US trio, playing good Irish trad.
Billy McComiskey   Accordion
Brendan Mulvihill  Fiddle
Andy O' Brien      Vocals, Guitar

1978   The Corner House     Green Linnet 1016
1985   The Times We've Had  Green Linnet 1063


Scottish traditional 'supergroup' of individual solo artists. At least one album, "Mairidh gaol is ceol" on Temple records, containing mostly accompanied songs, with several purit-a-beul's. Their vocal harmonies have been described both positively and negatively as 'smooth'.
Christine Primrose   Vocals
Eilidh McKenzie      Vocals
Art McCormack        Vocals
Alison Kinnaird      Clarsach (Harp), cello
Blair Douglas        Accordion, Keyboards

Makem Brothers and Brian O' Sullivan

The three sons of Tommy Makem have teamed up with neighbour Brian Sullivan for the past few years. They play somewhat in the style of their father, and appeared with him on a PBS special called 'Songs of the Sea'. They have made one tape and are currently (1994) apparently working on a CD. Brian Sullivan has now left the band, and the continue as a trio.
Brian Sullivan		Lead Guitar
Shane Makem		Rhythm guitar, Bodhran, vocals
Conor Makem		Electric Bass, vocals
Rory Makem		Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Harmonica, vocals
Contact address: Kevin O'Shea, 2 Longmeadow Rd., Dover, NH 03820, (603) 742- 3880

Matt Molloy

Another name that crops up frequently, Matt is best known as the virtuosic flute player with the Chieftains, but he has also had spells with the Bothy Band and Planxty, and has several excellent solo albums. He owns a very musical pub somewhere in Westport, Co. Mayo where "Music at Matt Molloy's" was made, to mimic the pub session atmosphere
Heathery Breeze                Shanachie 79064
Stony Steps                    Claddagh, CCF18
The Fire Aflame                Claddagh CCF30 (with Sean Keane and Liam O' 
Molloy, Peoples, Brady         Green Linnet 3018
Contentment is Wealth          Green Linnet 1058(with Sean Keane, Arty 
Music at Matt Molloys          CDRW26
Matt Molloy with Donal Lunny   Green Linnet 3008

Mick Moloney

From Limerick, but now living in Philadelphia, Mick is a major figure on the Irish-American music scene. He is the moving force between the Greenfields of America group, and has recorded with several shorter-lived collaborations. He is now Dr. Moloney, and is due to publish his thesis on Irish music in America.
1973   We have met together                  Transatlantic, 
1978   Mick Moloney with Eugene O' Donnell   Green Linnet 1010
1980   Strings Attached                      Green Linnet 1027
1984   Uncommon Bonds                        Green Linnet 1053
       Three Way Street                      Green Linnet 1129 
       (with Seamus Egan, Eugene O' Donnell)
For more info, see the full Mick Moloney page

The Poozies

Scottish folk group who play celtic, cajun, folk and a bit of rock.
Sally Barker    Vocals, guitar
Karen Tweed     Accordion
Patsy Seddon    Harp, fiddle?
Mary MacMaster  Harp
They have one album 'Chantoozies' out on BMG/Ariola (1993), and apparently another (Danceoozies?) in the works (1994) Contact: Stonyport Music, +44 131 660 2344

Skara Brae

An early and important group showcasing the O' Domhnaill siblings Micheal, Triona and Mairead from Donegal and Derryman Daithi Sproule. Micheal and Triona later founded the Bothy Band and Relativity and are currently playing in Nightnoise; Mairead is currently playing in Ireland and Daithi is now a fulltime member of Altan. In this quartet, all sang, while Micheal and Daithi played guitar and Triona harpsichord.
19xx   Skara Brae   Shanachie.


Scottish harp duet of Mary MacMasters and Patsy Seddon, who also comprise half of the Poozies, and are both members of Clan Alba.
Delighted with harps 
Beating Harps 
File under Christmas (cassette)
Contact: Stoneyport Music, +44 131 660 2344


Touchstone, based in North Carolina mixed Irish traditional music with the Irish-derived folk traditions of bluegrass and old-time. The lineup consisted of Triona Ni Domhnaill, Claudine Lagnille, Zan McLeod, Mark Roberts and Skip Parente. The band is now defunct, I think it existed in the early eighties
The New Land    Green Linnet 1040
Jealousy        Green Linnet 1050

Joemy Wilson

Joemy Wilson is best known in the celtic world for her interpretations of O' Carolan's music on hammered dulcimer. Her five albums feature her playing, backed by the 'Carolan consort', giving back to the music the chamber-music feel for which they were originally composed. Her debut album, 'Dargason-A Dulcimer Sampler', also features mainly Irish music, and led to the fouding of her independent label, Dargason Records.
Dargason-A dulcimer Sampler   DM101
Carolan's Cup                 DM 102
Carolan's Cottage             DM 104
Celtic Dreams                 DM 107
Celtic Treasures (1993)       DM ???
Contact Address: Dargason Music, PO Box 189, Burbank, CA91503, USA

Groups with expanded profiles

(maintained here for the sake of link to this page).

Copyright (c) 1993-1995 Ceolas.

Home | Artists | Feedback