The World Fleadh, one of Ireland's biggest music festivals, comes to Castlebar from July 31 to August 8, with a fantastic selection of top Irish traditional, folk Celtic and country music acts. The Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar is delighted to host a number of these prestigious concerts over the August Bank Holiday weekend:
Heidi Talbot and John McCusker
With the release of her new album In Love and Light, Heidi Talbot is set to establish her place in the firmament of great Irish singers. After five years as lead singer with the Irish-American super group Cherish the Ladies, and high praise for her previous solo outing Distant Future, Heidi now extends her talents over a broader, bolder musical canvas. Also performing on this double-bill is acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer John McCusker. From his early days with legendary Scottish folk outfit Battlefield Band, John has over the years worked with artists as diverse as Paul Weller and Patti Smith, Teenage Fanclub and Mark Knopfler. Known mainly for his virtuoso fiddle playing, he was presented with the Spirit of Scotland Award for Music in 2000. They will take to the stage on Friday July 31 at 8pm.
Carmina bring their own special style to the Linenhall
Founded by songwriters Rob King and Pippa Marland in the late 80s, Carmina’s music is an uplifting blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic sounds with jazz improvisation in powerful original songs, led by Pippa’s voice (“wondrous, emoting and enchanting” according to Time Out ). Original, soulful and sophisticated, their music has been compared with Moving Hearts, Joni Mitchell and Van Morrison, yet Carmina’s highly accessible music is uniquely its own. Carmina has attracted a world-wide devoted following, with four albums to date and countless tours in Ireland, the UK and worldwide. The band has just finished recording its latest album, My Crescent City, produced by the legendary Dónal Lunny. The full line-up of luminary musicians performing at this concert is: Pippa Marland (vocals, saxophone, whistles ), Rob King (guitar, mandola, bodhrán ), Geoff Castle (keyboards ), Diarmuid Moynihan (uilleann pipes, whistles ), Brian Morrissey (bodhrán, banjo, whistles, percussion ), Nic France (percussion ), and Julian Nicholas (saxophones, whistles ). Carmina will be on stage at 8pm on Saturday August 1.
The Dave Munnelly band coming home for the World Fleadh
On the road since 2000, the Dave Munnelly Band is one of the hottest bands on the traditional Celtic music scene. Headed by Belmullet button accordion wizard David Munnelly, who's toured and recorded with The Chieftains and with De Danann and has a string of acclaimed CDs to his credit, the band (David Munnelly, Kieran Munnelly, Philippe Barnes, Paul Kelly ) combines accordion, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, piano, bodhrán and flute for a high-spirited instrumental sound coloured with a bit of jazz, ragtime and percussive dancing, topped with the singing of All-Ireland champion Shauna Mullin. A night of trad at its most electrifying. The Dave Munnelly band will be on stage at 8pm on Sunday August 2.
Crooked Still to take the Linenhall by storm
On the road since 2002, bluegrass sensation Crooked Still has established itself as "the most important folk group to emerge from Boston since the early 60s” (Boston Globe ). Originally a four-piece that is now a quintet, Crooked Still continues to perform one of the most compelling and exciting forms of alternative bluegrass and string band music today, with both modern and traditional influences, bringing together improvised old time music, bluegrass, folk and original songs in a genre-bending sound that is the result of the combined alchemy of five distinctive talents: Aoife O'Donovan (vocals ), Greg Liszt (banjo ) Corey DiMario (bass ), Brittany Haas (fiddle ), Tristan Clarridge (cello ). Amazing, unique, and totally intoxicating! Crooked Still will be on stage at 8pm on Monday August 3.