Four top Irish traditional musicians return to their native soil for The Homecoming, a night of dazzling music at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Thursday January 21 at 8pm.
Forget all the hype about the Irish brand, here are four top musicians who left Ireland to ply their musical trade in the US in the 1980s and 90s. They went, they played and they conquered. Accordion maestro Paddy O’Brien made his mark with the legendary Shanachie trio and continues to spread the Gaelic gospel with his highly-acclaimed groups Chulrua and The Doon Céilí Band. Vocalist Susan McKeown hit the ground running with her debut album Bones in 1995. Eleven albums on she has a Grammy under her belt and list of collaborators that reads likes a musical who’s who.
Fellow Dubliner and guitarist Aidan Brennan is a major presence on the Portland, Oregon trad scene who has also worked with the likes of Martin Hayes, Emer Maycock, and Loreena McKennitt as well as touring with Riverdance, while Armagh-born piper Cillian Vallely has appeared with fiddler Seamus Connolly, New York-based band Whirligig and on Tim O’Brien’s The Crossing, and he’s also a member of Celtic supergroup Lúnasa.