Concertina player Cormac Begley releases his self-titled solo debut album on April 1st. He shared the following about the album:
All of the pieces of music that feature on this album instantly struck a chord with me the first time I heard them. My approach here has been simply to connect as honestly as possible with them. I wanted to produce a solo concertina album using the full range of concertinas from bass, baritone, treble to piccolo, and to highlight some of the instrument’s possibilities spanning across seven octaves. Each track is one take, featuring one concertina and are all free from studio manipulation. I have sourced previously unrecorded music, new compositions and other tunes within the tradition that have been my companions and my internal soundtrack during my life to date.
Anyone who knows their Traditional Irish music will know of the West-Kerry Begley family. Besides his family, Cormac’s influences can also be traced to other musicians from West-Kerry, East-Clare and Sliabh Luachra. While it’s no surprise that he performs in other projects, the list is long with names that include Clíodhna Ní Bheaglaoich (fiddle, viola and sean nós dancer), Jack Talty (concertina), Caoimhín O Raghallaigh (Hardanger d’amore) and Liam Ó Maonlaí (singer and multi-instrumentalist). He also performs in ‘Concertina’, a trio featuring Noel Hill and Jack Talty; and with the band Ré, featuring Liam Ó Maonlaí, Maitiu O Casaide, Eithne Ní Chatháin and Peter O Toole.
He appears regularly on RTE, most recently in concert with Caoimhín O Raghallaigh (Other Voices) who also plays with his father, Brendan. Needless to say, he keeps himself busy, in February, along with his father, Aoife Ní Bhriain, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Seosaimh Ó Neachtain and Gay McKeown he played in Cuba for a week. I guess we’re lucky he found time to record this album, but it’s been worth the wait.
The album Cormac Begley is available to order now via Bandcamp along with 30 limited concertina shaped album designs which unfold-out to reveal the inner workings of the concertina and details about the album.
Mary Mac Namara will be launching his debut album in Minogue’s Bar in Tulla, Co. Clare, on April 1st. According to his Facebook page, there’ll be plenty of special guests too.