‘Ulaid’ – self titled album of sparkling Irish music(November 04, 2015)
Established musicians John McSherry, Dónal O’Connor and Seán Óg Graham have finally (about time many would say) pooled their talents to form the trio Ulaid, and released a self-titled album ‘Ulaid’ that couples self-penned with traditional, invention with convention and creates an outstanding amalgamation of antique and contemporary. The sparkle and crispness of their approach gives every tune a fresh and exciting vivacity and that’s what really makes this album, the crispness and inventiveness that breathes life into every track. It’s often said, but in this case it’s absolutely true, you could be sat in the room with them, the music is that intimate.
The roots of tradition given a refreshing feel are represented by a softly delivered Swedish tune ‘Polska Polka’, the Breton tune ‘The Return to Madagascar’ and a collection titled ‘The Ramblers’, while inventive composition shines through the soothing waltz-polka combination ‘Top Up For Seamus’ and the imposing ‘Roll It There Roisín’. To further your enjoyment the liner booklet gives a small introduction to each tune with a little bit of history and detail on origins.
When three musicians of this calibre come together the result cannot be other than good - McSherry, O’Connor and Graham have gone further than that because ‘Ulaid’ is nothing short of impressive.
Ulaid is John McSherry (uilleann pipes, low whistles) Dónal O’Connor (fiddle, keyboards) and Seán Óg Graham (guitars, electric guitar, bass, button accordion) with guest musician Ruben Bada (bouzouki). Find them here: http://www.ulaidmusic.com/
Review: Tim Carroll