Friday 20th January, 8.00pm
Formed in the Chicago area in 1975, The Special Consensus is a four-person acoustic bluegrass band with a repertoire that features traditional bluegrass standards, original compositions by band members and professional songwriters, and songs from other musical genres performed in the bluegrass format. The band has released 18 recordings and has appeared on numerous National Public Radio programs and cable television shows, including The Nashville Network and the Grand Ole Opry at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. International tours have brought the band to Australia, Canada, Europe, South America, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The Special C has appeared in concert with many symphony orchestras nationwide and has brought an informative in-school presentation to schools nationally and internationally since 1984. Band leader/banjo player Greg Cahill is the former President/Board Chair of the Nashville-based International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the former Board Chair of the Nashville-based Foundation for Bluegrass Music and a recipient of the prestigious IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award (in 2011). Other band members include guitar player Rick Faris, bass player Dan Eubanks and mandolin player Nick Dumas. The 2012 band release Scratch Gravel Road (Compass Records) was GRAMMY nominated for Best Bluegrass Album and two songs from the 2014 band release Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute To John Denver (Compass Records) won IBMA awards for Recorded Event of the Year and Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year. The brand new Special C recording Long I Ride is available for download at www.compassrecords.com and will be available in hard copy CD format on June 10, 2016.
Sunday 22nd January, 8.00pm
Kris Drever, voice, guitar
Julie Fowlis, voice, whistle
Aoife Ní Bhriain, fiddle
Padraig Rynne, concertina
Embark on an odyssey of love, loss and wonder as four incredibly talented and creative folk musicians shape songs from ages past into something fresh, dynamic – and irresistible.
When it comes to moulding traditional sounds into contemporary songs, few match the inventiveness and heart-rending emotion of Orkney-born singer Kris Drever. Freewheeling guitarist with award-winning avant-folk trio Lau, Drever has been described by Q magazine as ‘the standard bearer’ of the folk music revival.
Drever’s no-holds barred approach is shared by Julie Fowlis, a silver-toned singer whose voice – ‘pure and elemental as a Hebridean seashore’ – has seen her become Gaelic music’s most celebrated global ambassador.
Completing this outstanding line-up are multi-award winning fiddler Aoife Ní Bhriain, renowned for her technical virtuosity across both traditional and classical music and concertina player Padraig Rynne whose ensembles Guidewires, Dán and Triad have re-defined the boundaries of the traditional music world.
“Kris Drever is a serious talent”– MOJO
“A sublime voice” – The Observer (on Fowlis)
“An incredibly forward looking and musically supple outfit that makes music which plays at the boundaries of style and genre.” – The Irish Echo, New York (on Rynne’s Notify)
“Each tune celebrated in glorious technicolour thanks to the jagged-edged beauty of the musicianship” – The Irish Times [on Ní Bhriain’s Tunes from the Goodman Manuscripts]
Friday 27th January, 8.00pm
SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES
A brilliant Letterkenny Trad Week double bill of leading folk sister acts NaMooneys from Ireland and the Rheingan Sisters from England. Na Mooneys was formed in 2014 by Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (Altan) and her siblings Anna Ní Mhaonaigh and Gearóid Ó Maonaigh along with Ciarán Ó Maonaigh (Gearóid’s son). They recorded their debut album Na Mooneys in 2016. According to Mairéad “We took a few tunes that my father played a lot. It was very important to show the repertoire that we played regularly as a family in session. Some are well known, but we played them to honour the family sessions so we decided not to overproduce the album and most of the tunes are played live”. The Na Mooneys line up fot the concert at the RCC will also feature Manus Lunny (guitar & bouzouki), Caitlín Nic Gabhann (concertina) and Nia Byrne (Mairéad’s daughter on fiddle).
2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners for Best Original Track, fiddle-singers Rowan and Anna Rheingan grew up in the Peak District. Rowan is well known on the English folk music scene as part of hugely popular BBC Folk Award nominated trio Lady Maisery as well as for her work with Nancy Kerr & The Sweet Visitor Band. Anna lives in Toulouse, in southern France, where she is a much sought after fiddle player and teacher of french music traditions. The Rheingans Sisters’ debut album ‘Glad Gold Hearts’ was released in June 2013 to wide critical acclaim. Songlines described them as “a duo of considerable abilities and imaginations to match” and nominated them for Best Group and Best Newcomer in the Songlines Music Awards. fRoots called it “a subtle gem” and ran a feature on the Rheingans Sisters which described “vocal harmonies to die for on an album performed with compelling conviction and disarming warmth”. Amongst a flurry of fantastic reviews for their second album ‘Already Home’ released in November 2015 The Independent called Already Home “superb”and fRoots described it as “quite simply extraordinary”. It was one of 10 albums nominated in ‘2015 fRoots Critics Poll Album of the Year’ and was awarded a Songlines ‘Top of the World’ album.
Friday 24th February, 8.00pm
The Regional Cultural Centre is delighted to present a concert by Dinosaur, described by All About Jazz as “A new British jazz supergroup”, on Friday February 24th as part of a Music Network national tour. The band, led by the “sophisticated and technically awesome” trumpet player and composer Laura Jurd, has been performing together for over six years. The result: utterly compelling live performances and a wonderfully cohesive group sound – a playful fusion of sparse, epigrammatic trumpet lines, catchy riffs, shifting dance grooves and pulsing bass lines.
A recent 5 star review of their new album ‘Together, As One ‘ in The Guardian says “Imagine the impressionistic electric-jazz moodiness and glistening keyboard textures of Miles Davis’s ‘In A Silent Way’ seamlessly wrapped around Celtic folk melodies, Django Batesian idiom-swaps, and interwoven with American, Scottish and north African drumming – and you might have a feel for this superb set from Laura Jurd, the young trumpeter who has made such an impact on UK jazz over four packed years.” The glowing review goes on to say “She’s joined by regular sidekicks Elliot Galvin (keys), Conor Chaplin (bass guitar) and Corrie Dick (drums) on this beautifully played and effortlessly confident collage of contemporary styles…. The album title gets this special band’s essence just right.”
Thursday 9th March, 8.00pm
The Regional Cultural Centre is delighted to present the multi-talented Grammy nominated American singer-songwriter Darrell Scott on Thursday March 9th. In a career spanning 40 years Darrell Scott has penned hit songs for mainstream artists from the Dixie Chicks to Travis Tritt and has had songs covered by over 70 others spanning from Keb Mo’ to Mary Gauthier. Awards have included AMA Song of the Year, ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year and a host of other accolades. He is probably best known for recording and touring as part of Robert Plant’s brilliant Band Of Joy.
His tenth studio album ‘Couchville Sessions’ was released to great acclaim in May 2016. The material on the album is comprised of mostly Darrell Scott originals, mixed with a few carefully chosen nods to “the masters” including Hank Williams,
Johnny Cash, and Townes Van Zandt. Scott tackles profound issues – demise of
relationships in “Time To Go Away”, mortality “It’s Another Day To Live And Die”
and depression in “Another Grey Morning” (James Taylor), but delivers them in
such a way that there’s a sense and light and comfort in this collection. The musicians gathered together for this recording are a hand-picked group of
virtuosos including acclaimed English musician Danny Thompson on bass,
percussionist Kenny Malone, steel guitar wiz Dan Dugmore, and Bill Payne (Little
Feat/The Doobie Brothers) on piano and organ. Special guest appearances
include vocals by Peter Rowan, John Cowan, and a rare narration by Guy Clark.
The result is a collection of stunning and fearlessly played tracks, mostly
recorded live in Scott’s rural living room out on Couchville Pike, which offer the perfect backdrop for Scott’s mesmerizing vocals.