Stirling Galway Sessions
Stirling and Galway have now signed a partnership to further develop their links; both culturally and commercially. 2012 marks the 3rd year of a growing cultural partnership and friendship with Galway, and musicians from Galway will take part in performances and sessions in Stirling between 1 to 9 June. Musicians from Scotland will then be heading over to Galway on the second leg of the sessions – 11 to 17 June.
Here in Stirling, we are celebrating with some of the very best of both Scottish and Irish music, with a range of events including music, dance and talks.
What's in store?...
The week will kick off with two of Scotland’s most popular groups – The Tannahill Weavers on Friday 1 June and Capercaillie on Sunday 3 June. Capercaillie has many milestones for a band that have sold over a million albums worldwide. These include three silver and one gold album in the UK, the first Gaelic Top 40 single, writing the music for, and appearing in the Hollywood movie "Rob Roy", and performing in over thirty countries including Iraq, Macedonia and the Sudan.
Monday night the Stirling Folk Club welcomes the Jake Cogan Band and Falkenau, Ullman & Murray. Falkenau, Ullman and Murray are a trio of dedicated and uncompromising musical talents based in Galway. Covering an array of vocal and instrumental talent - fiddle, guitar, banjo - they deliver bold and striking renditions of Irish Traditional and American old-time tunes and songs as well as highly crafted and expertly arranged original tunes and songs.
On Thursday the 7 June, the F.U.M trio will be performing in the Tolbooth.
With pleanty more acts getting ready to entertain...
On Friday 8 June, music and song in the Tolbooth from the Gaeltachts, Connemara, Corca Dhuibhne and Argyll with Johnny Connolly, Johnny Og Connolly, Meaiti Joe, the Begleys, dancer Paul Moran and from Argyll, Scotland Griogair Laubhrie. Come and join the craic as we hear great songs and tunes from some of the finest Galway players.
Johnny Connolly was born on the small island of Inis Bearachain located in Galway Bay of the coast of Connemara, an island sadly no longer inhabited. Johnny plays the single-row melodeon, an instrument long associated with Connemara, and he is an absolute master.
He is possibly the greatest Irish melodeon player ever, certainly the best of his generation and the cause of renewed interest in the Irish melodeon style in Connemara and beyond.
The melodeon is an ideal instrument for dance music and Johnny’s style has a bounce and a lift and a very strong rhythm which comes from both hands. He plays annually for dancers at the premier sean-nós dance competitions in Ireland, An t-Oireachtas.
Johnny Óg Connolly - Like many families of the era the Connollys emigrated to the UK where Johnny’s son, Johnny Óg was born in exile. However they returned to Ireland when he was at a young age. Johnny Óg plays the two row button accordion and is renowned for the sweetness of his tone and style.
He learned his music from his father and from local accordion player Micheal Ó’ Coistealbha. Other early influences were recordings of Joe Burke and legendary Irish American fiddler Andy McGann.
At the age of fourteen he joined na h-Ancairí, fronted by well known Connemara singer John Beag Ó’Flatharta. He spent eight years in this band playing in pubs nad clubs around Connemara including trips to England and the US. In 1994 Johnny Óg joined the Sean Keane Band and toured worldwide.
He also spent time on the road with Michael Flately’s ‘Lord of the Dance’ touring Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
His latest album ‘ Aisling Yoshua’ features a selection of his compositions, airs, waltzes and dance tunes and was awarded the best trad album of the year in 2011 in the Irish Times annual Review.
Meaití Jó Shéamuis Ó Fátharta - Sean-nós, or old style singing, is without doubt the jewel in the crown of the Irish traditional arts. It's practitioners are rightly regarded as representing the pinnacle of artistic achievement in a world that is becoming increasingly commercialised and compartmentalised. While the art form exists in a natural setting along the west coast of Ireland it is in Connemara, West Galway and South West Mayo, that it has reached a level of sophistication that sets it apart. The reasons why sean-nós has survived and developed in these regions are many and complicated but primarily it is to do with the retention of the Irish language as the vernacular; by far the majority of songs are sung in Gaelic.
Breanainn and Cormac Ó’Beaglaoich - Breanainn is the eldest son of the Begley family from Corca Dhuibhne in the Kerry Gaeltacht. He is a guitarist and plays both nylon stringed and steel stringed guitars. He performs regularly both nationally and internationally with various singers and musicians and as a solo performer. Bréanainn is influenced by a varied of music genres/styles such as rock, jazz, Gypsy, Mediterranean, Balkan, flamenco, blues and traditional Irish music. His main influence within the tradition on guitar are Steve Cooney,Tim Edey and Gavin Ralston and Arty McGlynn.
Cormac is a concertina player and is the second eldest in the family. Growing up in Dublin, he was exposed to many musicians from around Ireland, both at parties at his home in Lucan and at sessions in Hughes pub. He is influenced by music from East Clare, specifically from musicians such as Mary and Andrew Mac Namara, Martin Hayes and Paddy Canny.
Many more exciting acts will take to the stage throughout the week, culminating on Saturday night with the 'Galway Sessions' Ceilidh in Kinlochard. This traditional dancing extravaganza will showcase many of the week’s performers as well as featuring the Kinlochard Ceilidh Band. What a way to get all the revellers’ toes tapping!
PLUS - Stirling/Galway Sessions Festival Club will be in the Golden Lion Hotel between 5 - 8 June, 10.30 – Midnight
Check out the flyer for venues and times.Tickets available from each venue.