To quote Siobhan Long in the Irish Times “Traditional Musician of the Year, Dermot Byrne is a musician who has long skirted the limelight: revered for his virtuosity on the accordion and melodeon (and the reason, it has been said, for Steve Cooney’s immigration here from Australia in the 1970s), he has enjoyed two decades at the beating heart of Altan. In-between he has found time to collaborate with Parisian harpist Floriane Blancke with Brendan O’Regan, Brid Harper and Steve Cooney, Dezi Donnelly and Jim Murray.
Clearly not a man to be tethered by musical boundaries, Byrne has had what he calls “great fun learning some rock’n’roll and salsa while guesting on tours with two great bands, the Stunning and Salsa Celtica”.
This year’s awards was presented at the Gradam Ceoil Concert in the UL Concert Hall, Limerick on Saturday 30th March
Irish Times article
Gradam Ceoil Awards
The album was recorded in Brendan O’Regan’s studio in Ballinderreen, and produced by Dermot, Flo & Brendan. As well as accordion, Dermot plays melodeon on one track, and as well as playing harp throughout, Floalso plays piano, and her voice features on a haunting French song. The album is quite varied, with a mixture of mostly Irish and French pieces. It includes some lovely contributions on guitar from Tim Edey, cellist Eimear O’Grady, percussion maestro Tommy Hayes, Mary Shannon on mandolin, swing guitarist Frank Kilkelly, and of course Brendan O’Regan himself on mandolin, guitar, keyboards and bass. They aim to launch the album officially at this years Cuckoo Fleadh (4th – 7th May) in Kinvara, but will have itavailable for purchase by the beginning of March. A treat for the ears!
“Bare-boned, spare arrangements that leave nowhere to hide…….Byrne and Blancke manage to cleanse palates long jaded by the overdrive of ensembles on full throttle.” - Siobhan Long – The Irish Times
“ This is an album that is refreshingly different in the moods it creates and the afterglow it leaves once heard.” - TradConnect
“At their concerts in the Catskills…there was an unusual hush, and you can hear why. Simply gorgeous.”- Gwen Orel – Irish Music Magazine
“Donegal-rooted mastery in a scintillating mix” Celtic Connections
“Unbelieveably beautiful music” Custy’s Music Shop, Ennis