A STÓR MO CHROÍ is a supergroup of 8 Irish traditional singers and musicians who have carved out massive reputations on the international folk music scene. It's a great honour for me to be part of this team; Karan Casey, Donal O'Connor, John McSherry, Pauline Scanlon, Éilís Kennedy, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Donogh Hennessy, John Spillane (me).

It's like I've entered Folk Heaven for me when I play with A STÓR MO CHROÍ. Four of the most beautiful women's voices in Ireland, there is a nobility in the singing. A brilliant piper, fiddler, guitarist, me; when Pauline sings 'Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies' she soars and when Muireann sings 'Cois Abha na Séad' we enter a vast Gaelic territory. McSherry's pipes thrill and scream and when Éilís, from Baile an Mhúraigh, west of Dingle, sings, she sings with an entitlement which is her birthright. They all sing on the chorus of my 'Passage West' and I am in a dream. Here's a quick lowdown on the lads;

No. 1. Karan Casey; originally from Ballyduff in Waterford, a highly respected singer, Karan achieved stardom as the lead singer in New York based Irish traditional supergroup SOLAS. A multi-platinum artist in the U.S. Karan is presently Traditional Musician in Residence in UCC. No. 2. Donal O'Connor from County Louth is a superb musician on fiddle and piano, composer, son of the much loved singer Eithne Ní Uallacháin and fiddler Gerry O'Connor. Donal was of LÁ LUGH, AT FIRST LIGHT, and is one part of the group ULAID along with...

No. 3. John McSherry, one of Ireland's greatest uilleann pipers. John's wild pipering has been the cornerstone of great bands like TAMALIN, LÚNASA, COOLFIN, THE OLLAM, AT FIRST LIGHT. John has performed with CLANNAD, SINÉAD O'CONNOR, NANCI GRIFFITH and many more international superstars.

From West Kerry we have the crystal clear, angelic, addictive voice of.... No. 4. Pauline Scanlon. Pauline was the singer in Sharon Shannon's band before launching her solo career and eventually teaming up with..... 

No. 5. Éilís Kennedy to form the sublime duo LUMIERE. Éilís brings with her a rich, deep, Irish language tradition from the Dingle peninsula. Her first album 'Time To Sail' is a classic. And then another incredibly brilliant female vocalist in A STÓR MO CHROÍ is....

No. 6. Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. Described by the Irish Times as "One of the earthiest and most distinctive voices, not just in traditional circles, but anywhere." Muireann sang with Danú for many years and is a brilliant, rich voiced, thrilling singer.

No. 7. Donogh Hennessy has played his powerhouse acoustic guitar with such legends as CHANTING HOUSE, SHARON SHANNON and LÚNASA, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest exponents of Irish trad guitar style, as well as having composed some really gorgeous new tunes.

No. 8. John Spillane, myself like, I've been singing away and writing songs for years and am proud to report that my songs have been covered widely by Christy Moore, Seán Keane and many more, and by bands like Solas, Nomos, Danú, The Battlefield Band, Project West.

I hope you can join us on the night. You will not regret it! Or else spread the word. Thanks very much, John.

Published on 21st December 2016

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