Tuned Up, Cobblestone Sam, DÁN,Brenda Wootton and Dom Duff

Album review:Brendan Mulholland/ Brendan Hendry/Paul McSherry with Tuned Up!

Tuned Up is a project which lovers of traditional Irish music will love to collect. Energy, solid harmonies and top notch players in the trad scene are things that you will find here. From the start of track 1 (Reels: Fox in the town/In the tap room/The Belfast traveler) one can already say ‘ ah this is a trad album I have been looking for’. Big nod to Paul McSherry for kicking the tunes with his punchy guitar strumming that paves the way for all the wonderful tunes to come.

Plus points:

Liner notes. There is a comprehensive written by Kevin Crawford to introduce the trio. Kevin is known as the flute player and chatty man with Lúnasa. It is great to have his presence in this wonderful CD.


There are traditional and traditional sounding original compositions. There are ten tracks but there are divided into the following: reels, jigs, slow reels, air/hornpipe, waltz and polka. This is a great introduction to people who are trying to study traditional Irish music because of the description of the musical style in each track. Brendan’s flute playing really shines in track 7 with Air/hornpipe. Here you will really appreciate the round tunes produced by this wind instrument.

Sound quality:

I like spaces in between songs. They make the tracks breath and give you the time to get acquainted with the soul of the music. The sonic production is excellent. There is a balance of a really clean recording that reaches to the surface of the sound in each instrument. To cite an example, the warm fiddle sound of Brendan Hendry is captured really well in track 4(Slow reels/reels). There is that brightness in the instrument that calls to mind wood sprites dancing. There is also a good use of reverb in the midrange and it gives all tracks their natural warm sound.


They need to come up with another project like this one. There’s the undeniable chemistry between these three musicians and personally it was one of those satisfying and educational listening experience for me. Tune Up is the life of a party. Just crank it up and listeners will clap their hands and tap their feet.

Sound samples:


Debut: Cobblestone Sam the musical

Cobblestone Sam the musical promotional poster



New musical written by award winning singer/songwriter Dave Rooney and writer actor bill monks.
based on the life of a homeless temple bar character

Here is one musical even about an Irish unsung hero. This is a must see both for the music and for the story. I got to ask Dave about his involvement in the project and other important info:

“This musical started when I used to meet a homeless guy on the

street during my breaks on gigs in Temple Bar. He was homeless and we

got chatting. I only met him 4 or 5 times and we chat for about 15

minutes. He was in his eighties and he liked to reminisce. He told me

little bits about his life and and I listened with intrigue.


I didn’t see him for a few months and I asked some of the

homeless people where he was, and they said he passed away.

I was saddened by this and I decided to write a song about him.

and so was the birth of millionaire. This was to be the catalyst

for the whole project.”

About the production:  

“I hooked up with Bill Monks who is a writer/actor and we set

about putting his life in a story, an adaptation, based on limited

info about him, and how his life unfurled from our perspective.

I’d like to tour this musical in the states because it has an

Immigrant side to it. I feel it would be a draw for any of the diaspora.

I’ve written all the songs for the play. I did some re-recording and a bunch

of new songs all woven into the story line.


It’ll be held at the merchants arch in Temple Bar starting next

Monday September 10th,  and hopefully will be ongoing.

People are always asking (tourists) where they can meet real

Irish people and learn about real Irish life. I think this will

bring something real. It’s refreshing to be involved in something

new. I’ll be reaching a new audience and I think it’s a really good

angle to have the music exposed”.

Promotional videos:

Featured band: DÁN – making fine Irish music

I got a beautiful treat when I stumbled upon the tunes these musicians make. They are a trio called DÁN. The spare piano lines amidst the

DÁN – fine Irish music

traditional fiddling make them sound like no other. Groovy bass lines make that driving motion in the overall tranquility. I think I listened to them again and again because one time isn’t enough. And oh, they are from Germany. This isn’t the first time I featured German bands that make amazing Irish music. Check them out: http://www.myspace.com/fineirishmusic


Flashback: Crowdy Crawn (Brenda Wootton) – No Song To Sing(1974)


Here is one relaxing track uploaded via a vinyl recording(You can hear the nostalgic scratches) by the late Cornish folk singer Brenda Wooten. This is a duet performance with Rob Bartlett.


Dom Duff: From Brittany to Manchester

Singer/songwriter Dom Duff has traveled a lot lately. There is a warm reception towards Breton music these days and It is because of musicians like him who continue to inspire the awareness of Breton music and culture.


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