Andy Irvine and Dónal Lunny, and Heidi Talbot, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, John McCusker and Paul Meehan: this week’s best traditional gigs

Tommy and Saundra O’Sullivan, and Cormac Begley and Rushad Eggleston, are other highlights of the next seven days

Imaginatively curated foursome: Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, Heidi Talbot, John McCusker and Paul Meehan are in Dublin on Tuesday

Imaginatively curated foursome: Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, Heidi Talbot, John McCusker and Paul Meehan are in Dublin on Tuesday

 

Sunday, May 6th

Tommy and Saundra O’Sullivan
O’Sullivan’s Courthouse pub, Dingle, Co Kerry; 4pm; free; osullivanscourthousepub.com
The local guitarist and Sliabh Notes veteran Tommy O’Sullivan launches his new album, Safe Home, a collaboration with his wife, Saundra, in the belly of the Dingle beast. With Matt Cranitch, Máirtín O’Connor, Gerry O’Beirne and Cathal Hayden among the album’s guest musicians, O’Sullivan has been cooking up a serious jambalaya for his latest collection.

Cormac Begley and Rushad Eggleston
St James’s Church, Dingle, Co Kerry; 9pm; €15; cormacbegley.com
Cormac Begley has been conducting intriguing conversations with bass, baritone, treble and piccolo concertinas, and his debut solo album bore testament to an adventurous spirit rooted in the rich tradition of Corca Dhuibhne. Tonight he continues on his extensive tour with the American improvisational cellist and acrobat (yes, truly) Rushad Eggleston. So expect hairpin bends, musical Catherine wheels and all manner of witty musical curlicues.

Tuesday, May 8th

Heidi Talbot, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, John McCusker and Paul Meehan
Sugar Club, Dublin; 8pm; €20/€15/€10; musicnetwork.ie
The stars promise to be in alignment for the opening night of this Music Network tour. Heidi Talbot, who cut her vocal teeth with Cherish the Ladies, has enjoyed a robust solo career in more recent times. Polkas and slides from Sliabh Luachra, along with the most delicate of songs, are embedded in Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich’s DNA, while the Scottish fiddler and composer John McCusker has long been pushing the boundaries of his own tradition. The guitarist Paul Meehan, a veteran of Lúnasa, makes up this imaginatively curated foursome. Check out the 10-date tour that follows this curtain opener.

Friday, May 11th

Andy Irvine and Dónal Lunny
Ruby Room, Royal Theatre, Castlebar; 7pm; €22.50; royaltheatrecastlebar.ie
These two linchpins of our tradition saddle up together to bring their wealth of tunes and songs westwards. Andy Irvine is no stranger to that finely wrought melding of traditional tunes with his own compositions, beautifully stitched together by his fine mandolin. Dónal Lunny’s percussive force on bouzouki is legendary. The two together are most definitely more than the sum of their parts.

David Syme and the White Horse Guitar Club
Ionad Cultúrtha, Ballyvourney, Co Cork; 8.30pm; €20; ionadculturtha.ie
The American pianist David Syme, now resident in Ireland, is joined by 11 singers and guitarists from Cork, and together they reinterpret the American Roots songbook – with some very fine results. Their sound has been compared to that of a Welsh choir tackling the songs of the southern United States. A rich tapestry still very much in the weaving.

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