Réalta:The Brevity and Grace of the Irish Spirit.

Realta:Aaron O'Hagan (Uilleann pipes, Flute, Whistles, Bodhran)Conor Lamb (Uilleann pipes, Whistles)Deirdre Galway ( Guitar, Bouzouki, Concertina)

Style: Irish traditional

Members: Aaron O’Hagan (Uilleann pipes, Flute, Whistles, Bodhran)
Conor Lamb (Uilleann pipes, Whistles)
Deirdre Galway ( Guitar, Bouzouki, Concertina)

Golden melodies and shimmering sounds: these are the things that make Réalta a joy to listen to. No frills or effects. Just straight ahead traditional tunes but with undeniable freshness. Picture the sight of  flowers blooming in spring. They play tunes that’s moving yet also capable of being unobtrusive. This is exactly the main ingredient in recordings that stand the test of time. Which calls to mind the term: less is more.

This trio from Belfast are made up of Aaron O’Hagan (Uilleann pipes, Flute, Whistles, Bodhran), Conor Lamb (Uilleann pipes, Whistles) and Deirdre Galway( Guitar, Bouzouki, Concertina). Dierdre sings in that Janis Ian meets Judy Collins style. That’s the closest comparison I can give you because it is hard to categorize her voice. It sounds soft to fit folk but there’s also something kind of hippie to it. You be the judge but that’s my observation.

Fact: Celtic music is mood enhancer.  Something in  Patsy Tohey’s-The Exile’s Jig, reminds me of riding long distance, and that is the soundtrack. I love the bouzouki. It sounds like honey dipped with sunlight. The guitar strums are wispy. It is balanced by the round sound of the wooden flute. The uilleann pipes have this silver metallic crispness. If you are into instrumental music then Réalta should be in your priority list.

I like the way Sliabh Gael gCua (air) creates that floating sensation. We live  in a generation dominated by fast tracks. It gets too much sometimes. Slow tunes are awesome. I like an album that not only shows off acrobatic sounds but also lifts one’s soul with its slow airs.

Réalta creates impeccable arrangements. The Galtee has the kind of  tightness that’s comparable to a thread going through the needle. Réalta celebrates the ecstatic spirit of Irish music in its brevity and grace.


This Belfast based musical trio bring with them the intricate melodies and driving rhythms that make Irish music so loved throughout the world. While Conor and Aaron pursue the melody on dual uilleann pipes, whistles and flute, Deirdre explores the harmony and rhythms within the tunes through a dynamic accompaniment on guitar.

These three young musicians take a lively yet respectful approach to traditional music and have already established themselves on the Irish music scene. Between them, they have performed with a variety of established bands including Craobh Rua and Killultagh. Their experience includes venues and festivals such as The Smithsonian Folklife Festival (Washington), Festival Interceltico Accidente (Asturias), Alkmaar Irish Music Festival and Mulligan’s (The Netherlands), Randers Ugen (Denmark), Le Bono Folk Festival (Brittany), Tok Trad Festival (France), Girvan Folk Festival and Moniaive Folk Festival (Scotland), The Open House Festival (Belfast) and The William Kennedy Piping Festival (Armagh).





How are you? I am just enjoying the peaceful Easter Saturday tuning in to CRC FM  based in Castlebar, Ireland. My big thank you to Denis Charlton for playing my request. The song is called In a Lifetime by Bono and Clannad. Life is beautiful when there are sweet tunes around. Music makes the world go round. And where there is music, magic happens. My big thanks to my friend Damien McCarron for recommending the station to me. You know he has recommended a LOT to me and they contribute to my ideas.


I wrote an essay about Lunasa in Expats Post earlier today. It’s one of the online magazine where I act as a music contributor. Here’s a little excerpt: My first introduction to the fabulous music of Lúnasa was through their second album Otherworld. The marriage of deep, tempestuous colors to the  serene patterns of water in the album artwork conveys the deep connection of Irish music to the spiritual world. In the tradition that spans thousands of years, the passion and love for immortality is embodied in the melodies that explains the visual symmetry of the Celtic artwork. READ MORE.

Kevin O'Donnell
Kevin O’Donnell

Here’s the fourth teaser for the Kevin O’ Donnell album:

Making of

Kevin returned to the studio in 2012 when Maurice Lennon, of Stockton’s Wing, agreed to produce an album of Kevin’s material. Kevin and Maurice eventually settled on ten original songs for the project. Some were pulled from the drawer; while others – previously recorded by Kevin in the ‘80s and ‘90s – were retooled, rearranged, and in some cases, completely rewritten. The project inspired Maurice to write an original tune (A Letter Home) that serves as a prelude to the album.

More at: www.deepisthewell.com.

John Breen
John Breen

Easter Lily -by John Breen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjwR88_So7I is a perfect track today. The song has that warmness and down to Earth appeal that becomes a great tune to sing along with. Here’s the background:

Easter Lily recorded by John Breen and written by Brendan Phelan whose credits also include the hit Ballad’ Dublin in my Tears. This song is written about James Connolly’s wife Lillie Connolly who was originally from County Wicklow Ireland the same county as John Breen himself. James Connolly was a leader during the 1916 rising, having joined his workers army (the Citizen army) with the IRA to strike a blow for Irish independence and Socialism. James was murdered by the Brittish army for his part in the Easter Rising. He is an Iconic figure in Irish republicanism and indeed socialism globally. Lillie was from the Beautiful village in the east of County called Rathnew. James Connolly and Lillie nee Reynolds had seven children together, one of whom died tragically in a House fire. John Breen performs this with Steven Collins backing him on mandolin, banjo, vocals and bass guitar in what is their first recording together. The beginning of many more recordings to come…watch this space.


Been a while since I last heard about Cornish band Dalla. A new video has been uploaded. This is part of the Scilly Folk Festival and I thought you might want to get a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvXvpw_MrVg&feature=youtu.be

And some interesting pages….


2 Replies to “Réalta:The Brevity and Grace of the Irish Spirit.”

    1. Thanks Eve! That makes the two of us. I only discovered them yesterday. Because you know, in Celtic music it’s always the case of ‘ a friend of a friend who plays in this or that band’….And my big thanks to Conor Lamb who introduced himself. And I was like ” Hey I know you! Hahahaha small world.


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