Also in this edition: The Bombadils, Ewan McClennan and Hot Releases.
Between Cara and Manran, between countries, Ryan Murphy takes time to share his musical news and the love of piping.
Our next guest isn’t new to this place. He’s been here before contributing his ideas about piping. Ryan Murphy is a musician with skill of the high order and musical commitments form both ends. But these don’t hinder his generosity to share his time with music enthusiasts. He lives in Limerick Ireland, a place famous for boasting talents like The Cranberries, Aphex twin and TV presenter Terry Wogan. If you are a film enthusiast then you might have seen Alan Parker’s Hollywood adaptation of Angela’s Ashes starring Robert Carlyle and Emily Watson, set in the same city.
Ryan Murphy is part of the Irish groups Cara and Ealu. I got myself a copy of Cara’s album “Long Distance Love’ which is now part of my recommended albums to have. They won the Irish Music Award for Top Group and Best New Irish Artist. There is a track in Long Distance Love called “Rain.” The song is originally by Patty Griffin but Cara added freshness to the track. Jeana Leslie heard the song from the TV series Bones. It inspired her and the band to cover the song in their own amazing style. Ryan Murphy played the uilleann pipes in the song. I was surprised how he managed to make it sound like a saxophone. It also proves that this instrument has a lot of expressive potential.
Ealu are a band that try to bridge the gap between Jazz and Traditional Irish music. “Escape” is an album of fresh approach to playing traditional instruments and melodies. The album stays with you because of its unique sound and. Here is a link to an album review I did when Escape came out: http://celticmusicfan.com/2012/02/19/escape-by-ealu/
The review has four sample tracks for you to listen.
As of this writing Ryan Murphy is now part of Manran. Manran made a great impression to Celtic music fans late last year when they released they Latha Math which shot into the UK top 40.
Apart from his piping skills he has this great sense of humor. He is any Celtic music fan’s best pal.
How is Ryan Murphy doing these days in terms of piping?
I am playing a lot between university and the gigs with the bands, lots of new challenges consistently presenting themselves which is great. Long story short the piping is going very well at the moment.
How’s touring with the bands for you this holiday?
Well I just got home from a tour with my new band ‘Mànran’ and I’m flying out to Germany later on today to link up with ‘Cara’. Touring over the holiday season can be stressful in the airports and not getting to have a proper ‘holiday season’ but the gigs have been and will be super. The audiences seem really loose this time of year which makes the gigs absolutely magic.
What can we expect from Cara next year?
Well we’re currently putting together a new album which will be released later this year. Some of the new material is very exciting, so I’m looking forward to getting into the studio and testing some of sets and songs live.
I love ” Rain” from Long Distance Love and you play the uilleann pipes like no other…you even make it sound like a saxophone. How did you achieve this technique?
Well… I’m not sure actually. I’ve been playing and listening to saxophone and jazz music a lot since I was about sixteen, so I imagine that over the last number of years some of the techniques and styles crept into my piping.
Do you have solo projects on the side?
At the moment I have no solo project on the side. The bands just keep me too busy at the moment to even think about it. It will happen someday but right now it’s just not the time.
Please complete this sentence: If I am not playing music ..
I am studying to finish my degree in the University of Limerick. Right now there is very little time for anything else.
Let’s say the show is about to start and you are about to play, what is the this thing that you do to yourself to keep you balanced and give your best performance all throughout the show?
A good game of fruit ninja on the iPhone will sort the nerves out in no time.
More info about Ryan Murphy:
Cara, live at Ebertbad, Oberhausen 2012. Cara is Gudrun Walther – vocals,fiddle, accordeon, Jeana Leslie – vocals, fiddle, piano, Ryan Murphy – uilleann pipes, flutes, whistles, Jürgen Treyz – guitar, Rolf Wagels – bodhrán.
A song by Patty Griffin, played by Cara.
Fresh tune: The Bombadils – Peter’s Lament for the Death of the Duck
About the video: Original song written by the Bombadils. Copyright 2012. Filmed and recorded by Denis Martin at Stewart Hall – Point Claire, Montreal, Canada.
Following Sarah Frank’s Interview from last week is this nice tune from The Bombadils.
The Captivating Tunes of Ewan McLennan
I was chatting with Jacob McCauley about an article he wrote for The Living Tradition magazine. On cover is Ewan McLennan whom I have read about before but never heard fully. I searched for a link to his website and I found it gives you the opportunity to hear his recordings. I was impressed. He has a deep but smooth sounding voice. His guitar playing is also delicate as if he is holding a little bird on his palms afraid to hurt it.
According to his bio:
Winner of the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award and named FATEA Music Award’s ‘Best Male Vocalist of the Year’, Ewan McLennan is an emerging folk artist that has been making headlines. His music combines traditional folk, with an inevitable focus on the music of Scotland, as well as his own self-penned songs that are receiving critical acclaim in their own right. BBC Radio 2’s Mike Harding has said of Ewan, ‘he sings beautifully, with great sincerity and great empathy, he’s terrific!’. His guitar playing, described as ‘stunning’ , is influenced by the rigour and technique from his years of studying classical guitar, while retaining a unique and compelling sound in which his immersion in folk music is evident.
Meanwhile his debut album, Rags & Robes, has been receiving glowing reviews. Described as ‘a collection of truly captivating songs’, it was chosen as a ‘Top Ten Album of 2010’ by MOJO and has won numerous accolades in radio and print media.
According to The Root and Branch Review ‘he may well be the best singer you’ll hear all year’ while Maverick have said he is ‘quite possibly destined to become the UK’s finest folk singer!’.
More here: http://www.ewanmclennan.co.uk/
Hot releases. Yes they are fresh from the oven ready to be served to sooth your hunger for Celtic music! Click each image to buy: