Ask anyone who has worked in or with the folk music world for a long period of time and they’ll all agree it’s a small one. There’s always plenty of collaborations going on between musicians and unlike the profit driven world of pop you’ll find a lot of musicians are in more than one band.
A case in point is one of Ireland’s great percussionists Robbie Harris. I first came across him through the band Bully’s Acre whose debut album ‘Twelve Pins’ we reviewed back in January (read it here). I was admiring some of his other work last night, he’s clearly a man in demand and I saw a photo of him playing with tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain.
Anyhow, one thing led to another and I saw him performing with another band called Jiggy which included fiddler Daire Bracken. Daire has also recently featured on Folk Radio UK alongside Irish Sean-nós singer Lorcán Mac Mathúna in the ground-breaking Preab Meadar (review here).
None of this would have been that surprising if it were not for them mixing Irish dance tunes with hip hop beats from the 1990s. Yep, you read that correctly. Whilst this isn’t a new concept they do it all with style and panache. The band, is made up of: Daire Bracken (fiddle) Éamonn Galldubh (pipes), Niwel Tsumbu (guitar), Anttoin Bracken (guitar), Robbie Harris (percussion) and DJayzus on decks. Whilst Daire was near stationary in videos for Preab Meadar, except for his fingers and bow-arm, he’s flying around all over the place on this new project. Check this Harbour Session, in which Daire is seated and restrained, they are joined by Beatboxer MIC Bandit for a slightly different fireside pub session, the smiles all around say it all:
Live at Whelan’s
They are recording their debut album now. You can keep up with their antics here: http://www.jiggy.ie/