Michael McGoldrick

Feature: Precious Musos

Here's some info on the great line-up of musicians who helps make "Precious Heroes" such a great album.

 
Name Andy Irvine
Instrument Bouzouki, mandola, octave mandola, harmonica & vocal
About Andy Irvine is one of the great Irish singers, his voice one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as “a tradition in himself”.
Site www.andyirvine.com
 
Name Luke Plumb
Instrument Mandolin, guitar, programming, bouzouki, guitar & vocal
About Through his work with Shooglenifty, Peter Daffy and as a Solo performer, Luke Plumb has established a reputation as a driving force in acoustic music on the global stage.
Site https://www.lukeplumb.com
 
Name Mike McGoldrick
Instrument Flute & Whistle
About Andy’s Ushers Island bandmate, Michael McGoldrick (born 26 November 1971, Manchester, England) is an English Low whistle, Irish flute, Uillean pipes, tin whistle and bodhran player. He also plays other instruments such as guitar and mandolin in some of his tracks.
Site https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_McGoldrick
 
Name John McCusker
Instrument Fiddle
About John McCusker (born 15 May 1973) is a Scottish folk musician, record producer and composer. An accomplished fiddle player, he had a long association as a member of the Battlefield Band beginning in the 1990s and was later a band member and producer for folk singer Kate Rusby. He has served as producer and arranger for artists in a range of genres and also has several solo albums to his credit.
Site http://www.johnmccusker.co.uk
 
Name Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton
Instrument Vocals
About Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton are two of Australia’s most respected and renowned folk musicians.  Their vocal harmonies, exceptional musicianship and unique interpretations of traditional song have won them national and international acclaim over the years.
Site http://www.kateandruth.com
 
Name Rens Van Der Zalm
Instrument Guitar & Fiddle
About Andy’s Mozaik bandmate, right-hand man. The Netherlands has few celebrities in the field of folk. But the Rotterdammer Rens van der Zalm definitely belongs in this select company. For three decades he has been giving colour – and more than that – to all sorts of different music groups with his violin, mandolin, guitar, accordion, bagpipe, whistles, harmonica and so on.
Site https://www.facebook.com/rens.vanderzalm
 
Name James Mackintosh
Instrument Percussion
About Hailing from the Scottish Highlands, James’s first forays into percussion were distinctly hand knitted. Fearing for the integrity of her pots and pans, his mother eventually bought him a drumkit for his 15th birthday. Some 30 years later James is widely recognised as one of Scotland’s most innovative drummers, and he is responsible for the deliriously danceable grooves underpinning Shooglenifty’s sound. The Shoogle drummer is much in demand elsewhere: with Capercaillie, Grit Orchestra, String Sisters and Michael McGoldrick to name a few.
Site http://www.shooglenifty.com
Name Kumiko
Instrument Glass harp
About Andy’s dear wife Kumiko!
Site www.andyirvine.com
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The Australian: Album Review – Ushers Island

FOLK
Usher’s Island – Usher’s Island [Vertical/Planet]
4 stars
Making Waves – Luke Daniels [Wren Records]
3.5 stars

Go-to flute/whistle man Mike McGoldrick and acoustic guitarist John Doyle link new albums from opposite flanks of the Celtic spectrum. Whereas British button accordionist, composer and producer Luke Daniels takes an experimental approach with Making Waves, the self-titled debut release from Usher’s Island — veteran multi-instrumentalist and singer Andy Irvine’s latest Irish supergroup — is fairly conventional. While Daniels follows the footprints of the Canadian-Scottish sound sculpting visionary Martyn Bennett, who married jigs, reels and airs with archival sound bites and electronic elements, Usher’s Island follows the pathway paved by previous Irvine projects such as Planxty and Patrick Street.

Recorded in a rural cottage, Usher’s Island is as well delivered as Irish traditional folk music can be, even if it’s a tad lacking in invention. Not that Doyle’s recasting of Irish pub staple The Wild Rover isn’t infinitely more mellifluous and sophisticated than the versions rendered with drunken gusto on St Patrick’s Day. Two excellent Doyle originals draw on fascinating historical narratives. Heart in Hand centres on a Galway man captured in the late 1600s by Algerian pirates; Cairndaisy concerns an Irish immigrant fighting for the US during 1898 Spanish-American War. Irvine also dips into the military archives for Felix the Soldier, a song from the mid-18th-century French-Indian War. The relatively insipid As Good as It Gets alludes to Irvine’s unfulfilled romantic aspirations during the 1960s. Bean Phaidin benefits from Donal Lunny’s bottom register singing and the appending of slip jigs. A converted Munster pipes tune (The Half Century Set), in which Paddy Glackin’s fiddle and McGoldrick’s flute combine symbiotically, sets the bar high for the medleys that follow.

Daniels’s modus operandi, which involved processing, layering and looping hundreds of audio samples before getting his guest players to independently record their acoustic parts live, means Making Waves lacks the intimacy and fluency of Usher’s Island. The first half, in particular, features a cornucopia of strange sounds that compete with acoustic instruments for ascendancy.

In The Larks and The Jolly Tinker, the overall effect is discombobulating, with Daniels’s traditionally inspired melodies taking too long to emerge. In Retro Reel, button accordion struggles to cope with extraneous clatter, bleeps and burps. When the producer adopts a more judicious approach, as on McCrone Jigs and Wester Kittochside, Daniels’s accordion — as well as his vintage Polyphon music box — and Aidan O’Rourke’s dancing fiddle sparkle in harness with Doyle’s guitar and bouzouki.

Tony Hillier

source: theaustralian.com.au

Usher’s Island (Album Review) | Folk Radio UK