Still basking in the afterglow of the release last year at the Catskills Irish Arts Week of their new CD The Living Stream, the veteran Cork musicians Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly are back in the U.S. giving a proper tour around the North East and Midwest over the next few weeks.
Both were steeped in the Sliabh Luachra tradition around the Northwest borders of Co. Cork and East Kerry, where the music predominated by polkas and slides percolated for decades and gave rise to many a great set dance as well.
Each has had a distinguished career playing with others in groups and also in their solo efforts as musicians and teacher/performers like at the Catskills event. For a number of years they led the Sliabh Luachra Admiration Society that formed every summer in East Durham, and it led them to consider making an album together. Thankfully the Arts Council of Ireland agreed and provided funding last year to help with the recording.
The pairing for the album was well-matched, with Cranitch on fiddle and Daly on accordion with accompaniment very spare so you can hear the two artists having their musical conversation.
You will have ample opportunity to hear that discourse in a number of venues beginning this Thursday, March 24 at the Music by the Bay Concert Series in Assonet, Massachusetts hosted by Gary Martin.
On Friday, March 25, they will be in Fairfield, Connecticut for a house concert with details at www.shamrockirishmusic.org (Phone 203-256-8453) followed by Saturday, March 26 at 8 p.m. in Rockaway, New Jersey at the Irish American Association of Northwest Jersey (www.iaanj.com).
For full details visit www.rubyhoy.com and clink on tour details for Cranitch and Daly.
Also starting up a tour from West Virginia up to Vermont under the auspices of Imagine Ireland is the Belfast-based quintet known as Craobh Rua featuring Brian Connolly, Michael Cassidy, Desy McCabe, Jim Rainey and Conor Lamb.
There are two shows in the greater New York area, with Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Folk Project Concert Series at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship being the first. They appear at the Newtown Meeting House, in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, April 8 hosted by the Shamrock Irish Traditional Music Society.