Moya Brennan of Clannad, Lisa O’Neill, Ye Vagabonds: The best trad gigs this week
The Cork Folk Festival will bring top-class traditional music to the city
Saturday, September 28th
The Ace and Deuce of Piping
Na Píobairí Uilleann’s annual celebration of piping gathers together an eclectic line-up for Saturday’s concert. This evening of traditional music, song and dance features solo uilleann pipers Joseph Byrne and Nollaig Mac Cárthaigh, as well as Chieftans members Matt Molloy and Seán Keane, 2017 recipient of TG4’s Young Musician of the year award, Liam O’Brien with Miltown Malbay piper Seán Talty, singer Rita Gallagher and a trio of Johnny Óg Connolly on accordion, Cliodhna Costello on banjo and Pádraig Mac Dubhghaill on guitar with Galway sean-nós dancer, Seosamh Ó Neachtain.
Seamus Begley and Donogh Hennessy
The irrepressible west Kerry accordion player, singer and raconteur, Seamus Begley has a tune and song repertoire that’s seemingly endless. Tonight he saddles up with guitarist and former Lúnasa member Donogh Hennessy for an intimate session. Begley’s garrulous box playing is the perfect foil to his exceptionally delicate vocal style. A heady combination.
Tuesday, October 1st
National Concert Hall, the Pepper Canister and The Studio until Sunday
A snapshot of the rude state of health of our tradition, this six-day festival features a finely curated gathering of musicians. Lisa O’Neill, Ye Vagabonds, Sam Amidon, Catherine Ennis, Steve Cooney, Paddy Glackin, Neil Martin and Laoise Kelly are all in the mix. An intriguing prospect is Sam Amidon’s concert on Sunday night, when he will be joined by special guest regular Tom Waits collaborator, guitarist Marc Ribot. The second part of this special double bill is a musical celebration of the struggle for civil rights in Ireland and America – Sounds Like Freedom. Concertina player Niall Vallely joins forces with American power-jazz trio Harriet Tubman, along with Karan Casey and Aidan O’Rourke.
Thursday, October 3rd
Cork Folk Festival
Celebrating its 40th year, Cork Folk Festival kicks off with a concert from Andy Irvine on Thursday, and a programme that’s packed with possibilities running until Sunday. Dougie MacLean, Ger Wolfe, Iarla Ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney, Martin and Eliza Carty, Zoë Conway, Donal Lunny and Máirtín O’Connor and Amala can all be heard across a rake of great venues from the Goldie Chapel to An Spailpín Fánach and Cork Opera House. A heady mix that’s sure to be a magnet for anyone with an ear for fine folk music.
Saturday, October 5th
Moya Brennan and Cormac de Barra, Karen Matheson and friends
This is an exceptional gathering of musicians from Ireland and Scotland, marking the 25th anniversary of the radio programme Sruth na Maoile, which is an RTÉ RnaG/BBC Radio nan Gaidheal (Scotland) co-production in Irish and Scottish Gaidhlig. What a treat is in store with Clannad’s Moya Brennan and her regular collaborator Cormac de Barra, Seamus Begley with Méabh Ní Bheaglaíoch and Donogh Hennessy , Pádraig Rynne and friends, John McEvoy and Zoë Conway, and Capercaille’s sublime vocalist, Karen Matheson, with many others too.