Young Dublin fiddler player, Aidan Connolly, has been busy in Jack Talty’s studio for the last while, recording both solo, duets and ensemble tracks for his debut album, Be Off.
Among fiddle players, Aidan cites the Sliabh Luachra players, in particular Paddy Cronin, as an important influence on his fiddle playing, while also mentioning Paddy Canny, Máirtín Byrnes, Bobby Casey, Michael Coleman, James Morrison, Paddy Killoran and James ‘Lad’ O’Beirne.
Range of Sources
Across sixteen tracks, this remarkably accomplished album features music from a breathtaking range of sources. “I’ve always been an avid listener to the old music,” explains Aidan, “with a huge interest in learning rare tunes. Primarily, I would learn by ear from recordings of older players. The album features quite a few rare versions of common tunes too. I enjoy playing these for the fresh twist they put on familiar melodies.”
“I wasn’t interested in making a purely solo album. It wouldn’t represent me fairly as a musician at the moment as most of my playing is with others,” Aidan says.
And indeed, there are duets with Liam McGonigle on accordion, Deirdre Winrow on fiddle, Pádraic Keane on pipes, Oisín Morrison on flute, Con Moynihan on fiddle, and Andrea Palandri on fiddle. Pauric Bannon joins in on flute, with Liam and Andrea, on the last track. Ruairí McGorman accompanies on bouzouki on many sets, with Jack playing piano on a few others.
Aidan is playing a series of launch gigs in the coming weeks: Thursday, 27 October in the Cobblestone; Friday 28 October in O’Donnell’s in Gort; and Saturday, October 29th in Browne’s, Castleisland at 5pm during the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival.
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