Letterkenny Trad Week: Usher’s Island
Organised by Donegal County Council Cultural Services and An Grianan Theatre in association with EAF, DMEP and Ceol Na Coille, Letterkenny Trad Week comprises three concerts, including the first performance by new Irish group Usher’s Island, a preview show at the RCC on Saturday January 10th in preparation for their debut concert at Celtic Connections Glasgow.
Also visiting Letterkenny prior to a Celtic Connections show is Sea Road Sessions, a new six-piece ensemble from Ireland, Scotland and Sweden, led by Alan Kelly, who play An Grianán on Tuesday January 13th.
The final concert of the week features the first collaboration of Irish singers Maura O’Connell and Karan Casey at the RCC on Saturday January 17th.
All concerts commence at 8pm and tickets can be booked at An Grianan Theatre Box Office on 00353 7491 20777 or online at www.angrianan.com. Usher’s Island tickets are priced €18, Sea Road Sessions are €18/€15 and Maura O’Connell tickets are €12/€10. There is a special 3 for 2 Offer for all 3 concerts for €36, a perfect Christmas gift!
Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Mike McGoldrick, Paddy Glackin and John Doyle are among the biggest names in traditional music and they’ve combined their talents to form a new band, Usher’s Island. Musician, singer and songwriter, Andy Irvine has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his 45-year career. From Sweeney’s Men in the mid 60s, to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s and then from Patrick Street to Mozaik, Andy has been a world music pioneer. Dónal Lunny has been central to the renaissance of Irish Music over the last four decades. He has been involved in some of the most innovative bands to emerge from Ireland since the 70’s including Planxty, the Bothy Band, Moving Hearts, Coolfin, and more recently Mozaik. As a co-founder of best-selling Irish instrumental outfit Lúnasa and current member of Scottish/Irish favorites Capercaille, flautist and piper Michael McGoldrick is one of the most influential musicians of his generation. He has also contributed to albums by such acclaimed artists as Kate Rusby, Sharon Shannon, Afro-Celt Sound System and Youssou N’Dour. A founding member of the Bothy Band, fiddler Paddy Glackin left to pursue a solo career shortly before the band launched their professional career. He has continued to explore the Irish fiddling tradition ever since, as a soloist and in collaboration with the likes of uillean pipes player Robbie Hannon, guitarist Micheal ÓDomhnaill and fiddler Paddy Keenan. Guitarist and singer John Doyle is a founding member of Irish American group Solas and recently served as band leader for Joan Baez. He received a 2010 GRAMMY nomination for Best Traditional World Music album with fiddler Liz Carroll.
Sea Road Sessions
The ‘Sea Road’ designates the maritime route historically linking Sweden, Scotland and Ireland, the home countries of a brand new six-piece line-up comprising singer/guitarist Kris Drever, accordionist Alan Kelly, guitarist Ian Carr, banjo ace Éamonn Coyne, flautist/singer Steph Geremia and bassist Staffan Lindfors. Having frequently crossed paths in other projects, they now pool their formidable talents and diverse repertoires for this brilliant ensemble show.
As friends and peers for many years, these 6 individuals have performed and recorded with each other in various ensembles. However, this is the first time they will take to the stage together for what promises to be a stunning collaboration, presenting a fresh and exciting body of work including traditional music from Ireland, Scotland and Sweden as well as new compositions both vocal and instrumental.
Maura O’Connell and Karan Casey
Music fans have the chance to see the first collaboration of two of Ireland’s finest singers Maura O’Connell and Karan Casey, who are joined by accordionist Martin Tourish and guitarist Ed Boyd as part of a Music Network Irish tour, at the RCC on Saturday 17th January. Blending Irish and progressive American folk singing styles, O’Connell burst onto the trad scene in the 1980s as vocalist with De Danann. The Ennis singer’s career has brought her international acclaim, two Grammy nominations and collaborations with everyone from Bonnie Raitt, Nanci Griffith and Dolly Parton to Alison Krauss, The Chieftains and Van Morrison. Former lead singer with Solas and a highly-acclaimed solo artist, Karen Casey is one of the most highly regarded vocalists in folk music, performing with such luminaries as James Taylor, Liam Clancy, Peggy Seeger, The Dubliners and Imelda May.