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Inspirational and Talented Trio to Tour Ireland

A national tour, scheduled for this May & June, 2011, will harvest the talents of three of the most highly respected musicians within the Irish traditional/folk scene.

The CD:

Seán, Kevin and Ronan have been playing together socially and for tours and shows since the 1980s but are only now (after major hounding by their fans) releasing a CD of songs and tunes. The CD is nicely balanced between gentle and wild, without suffering from that dreadful modern ailment, over-production – just warm, friendly music and singing. ‘and so the story goes…’ will be released by Cló Iar Chonnacht ( in May 2011 and the three artists are looking forward to bringing it around Ireland in May and June.

The Tour:
Sean Tyrrell, renowned for his unique singer/songwriter talents, legendary fiddle player Kevin Glackin and creative uilleann piper Ronan Browne will fuse their talents on stage, for what promises to be an inspiring tour. Gigs have been scheduled across Ireland, from Dublin to Clifden and from Monaghan to An Daingean.

Commenting on the forthcoming tour, Sean Tyrrell said, “Although the three of us are old hands in the business, we are very much looking forward to this tour. We respect one another’s talents and know that, as always, we will each benefit from this collaboration. We are also confident that our audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy an honest performance.”

The Artists:

Seán Tyrrell was born in Galway town and has lived in County Clare for many years.  He was the first on either side of his family to take up music although his father was a fairly good singer in the Irish tenor style.  Musical help with his first stumbling steps was given to him by his good friend Jack Geary and from then on he has been self-taught.  The people who have influenced Seán most are Dónal Standún, Joe Cooley, Kevin Keegan, Seán Chóilín Ó Conaire, Liam Weldon and Martin Rockford.

Seán emigrated to New York in 1968 and slotted into the folk club scene in Greenwich Village.  The early seventies took him west to San Francisco and a diet of Irish music sessions.  It was here Seán’s reputation as a singer of songs took root.  Traversing New Hampshire in the mid-seventies, he co-founded ‘Apples in Winter’, a band which was short lived but well recognized.

He returned to Ireland in the late seventies, where he continued to compose, but seldom played in public.  In 1978 he accepted employment with the University of Galway, based in the heart of the Burren in County Clare.  It was hard to avoid music in this part of Ireland and Seán was soon lured back into the music scene.  Swapping the Burren for the shelter of Bell Harbour, close to the border of his native county, Sean divided his time juggling the demands of mussel farming and a re-energised attention to his music.

The early 1990s saw the release Seán’s first CD “Cry of a Dreamer”, his winning of IMRO’s “Best Overall Folk Act” and his first musical adaptation of “The Midnight Court”, staged by the Galway Arts Festival in 1992, was immediately regarded by many as the hit of that year’s festival.  The Midnight Court has been an on-going success in various forms and has toured most of Ireland’s big theatres and was staged at the Edinburgh Festival in 2008.  It has now entered yet another new phase/dimension with a collaboration which sees the artist Dara McGee and FÍBÍN doing live animation in tandem with the Midnight Court.

Since “Cry of a Dreamer”, Seán has gone on to release “The Orchard”, “Belladonna”, “Rising Tide” and “Message of Peace” while he had previously collaborated on two of Davy Spillane’s CDs and was featured on “Songs of Peace” Passendale Concert series.

As well as the on-going relationship with Ronan and Kevin, Seán has been involved in many other combinations with Paddy Keenan, Tommy Peoples, Little John Nee and poet Mary O’Malley.

Kevin Glackin comes from a musical family in Dublin.  He started playing the fiddle at the age of six under the guidance of his late father Tom who came from the Rosses in Donegal and it is indeed the Donegal style of fiddle playing that is most evident in Kevin’s playing.  Growing up in Dublin players such as Frank O Higgins, Leo Rowsome, John Joe Gardiner, John Kelly were regular visitors to the Glackin household and as a result Kevin was exposed at an early age to a wide range of different styles.

During the eighties Kevin embarked on his own musical journey traveling the length and breath of the country playing with a variety on musicians.  He recorded an album with a number of other Dublin traditional musicians under the title ‘Bakerswell’ which included musicians such as Sean Potts, Mick Hand and John Kelly.  During this time he also recorded a duet album with his brother Seamus called “Northern Lights”.  This album received critical acclaim and was voted traditional album of the year by Belfast Telegraph.

During the nineties he collaborated and toured with other musicians as well as Ronan and Seán.  He also made a duet album with piper Davy Spillane called “Forgotten Days” which was voted traditional album of the year by the readers of Irish Music Magazine.

Kevin has toured extensively in Europe, U.S.A. and Asia.  He currently lives in Dublin and teaches fiddle on the traditional music course in the Conservatory of Music and Drama at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Born and bred in Dublin, Ronan Browne left the city in 1990, spending ten years in the Glen of Imaal in Wicklow before crossing the Shannon in the year 2000, to live in Spiddal.

Musicians Peter O’Loughlin, Willie Clancy, Séamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome, Tommy Reck, Denis Murphy and Tommy Potts were family friends so it is no wonder that they all had a huge effect on Ronan’s musical development.  It was only in later years that his maternal grandmother Delia Murphy’s singing became important to him, the young Ronan seeing her more as grandmother than influential singer in his early years.

Ronan’s first lessons were in the newly formed Na Píobairí Uilleann from Dan O’Dowd in the early 1970s and as he grew older, John Kelly’s Capel Street shop “The Horse Shoe” and the “Four Seasons” pub next door, became his place of learning – if you waited long enough it seemed that all the good musicians passed through at some time.  Kevin Glackin has been a lifelong friend and they have played together since their youth.  The friendship with Seán Tyrrell built up in the 1980s over many late nights in Ollie Conway’s pub in Mullach in County Clare.

Having spent his whole life as a professional musician, Ronan straddles that difficult divide between pure traditional music and the modern electronic world, his work ranging from solo projects, playing with Glackin and Tyrrell, his celebrated duet with veteran musician Peter O’Loughlin, his trio CRAN, his acclaimed collaboration with poet Louis de Paor and trio performances with sean nós singer Róisín Elsafty and harpist Siobhan Armstrong, on to writing and performing music for film & television and as the original piper with both the Afro Celt Sound System and Riverdance.

Ronan has been involved in over 100 album recordings since his first venture into the studio in 1982 and has collaborated with many of the top artists playing traditional Irish music, classical, pop, jazz and country.

Among Ronan’s recent ventures have included a highly critically acclaimed listening/music appreciation class which opens peoples ears to the depths of Irish music and a series of in-depth historical and critical articles on the piper and pipe-maker R. L. O’Mealy (1873-1947) for the Seán Reid Society.  Ronan has been a member of the house band for three series of the hugely successful cult music programme “The Transatlantic Sessions”.  His music has been used in many films including “The Secret of Roan Inis”, “Circle of Friends”, “Rob Roy” and “Gangs of New York” while possibly the strangest place his music has been placed was in the Playboy video of Farrah Fawcett, “All of Me”!

Since 2007, Ronan has been playing pipes, flutes and whistles for wedding ceremonies and was awarded “Wedding Musician of the Year, 2011” at the “Weddings Online” awards.

Permalink - Posted: May 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm