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Two of the most well-known musicians on the Irish music circuit, flute player, Kevin Crawford and uilleann piper, Cillian Vallely, announced the release of their new album, On Common Ground. A couple of years of researching tunes in between a heavy schedule of band commitments has directly led to this recording from Lúnasa’s powerhouse melody makers.

Born in Birmingham, England, Kevin Crawford’s early life was one long journey into Irish music and Co. Clare, where he eventually moved while in his 20’s. He quickly became one of the most sought-after and respected traditional musicians in Ireland and played in various groups including Moving Cloud, Grianan and Raise the Rafters.

Starting at age 7, Cillian Vallely learned the whistle and pipes from his parents, Brian and Eithne, at the Armagh Pipers Club. A childhood of travelling and playing with his family led to a career as a full-time musician which he has pursued for the last 15 years, recording on more than 40 albums and touring worldwide with such names as Riverdance, Tim O’Brien and Mary Chapin-Carpenter.

Joining Lúnasa in 1997 and 1999 respectively, Crawford and Vallely have become key components of a group which has become one of the most acclaimed and influential bands in the recent history of Irish music. Having released seven band albums and worked on numerous solo projects, the duo decided to combine their individual talents and create something different. An album with the distinctive sound of “flat-pitched” flute and pipes duets has emerged.

The combination of uilleann pipes and flute is rare in duet recordings of traditional music and the duo have utilised the unique tonal qualities of these flat-pitched ‘C’ instruments to record their music. The tunes have been sourced from various manuscripts, archives and field recordings but there are also a number of new, self-composed pieces. In addition, Kevin and Cillian play a variety of low whistles and are accompanied on guitar by two of Ireland’s most recognised and respected guitarists; Donal Clancy and Paul Meehan.

On Common Ground is available directly at and Tel: + 353 (0) 86 852 0975 or email:

Permalink - Posted: March 30, 2009 at 9:46 am