Top traditional and folk musicians from Ireland and Scotland will be taking to the stage for this gala concert celebrating 25 years of radio programme Sruth na Maoile, broadcast on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta in Ireland and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal in Scotland. On the Irish side, the lineup will include Moya Brennan and Cormac de Barra; Séamus Begley with his daughter Méabh and guitarist Donogh Hennessy; Zoë Conway and John McIntyre; Clare musicians Pádraig Rynne, Tara Breen and Elaine Hogan; and sean-nós singer Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin. The Scottish side will be represented by Karen Matheson, the voice of Capercaillie, and band; up-and-coming folk group Eabhal; and young box player and singer Ruairidh Gray. The evening will be presented by Seán Ó hÉanaigh and Mairi Anna Nic Ualraig, who have been co-hosts on the show for 25 years. Tá oíche cheoil den scoth geallta, le togha na gceoltóirí as Éirinn agus Albain.
Moya Brennan is a grammy award winning singer, and the voice of Clannad. She has sung on most of the world’s great stages, and has collaborated with many notable artists including The Chieftains, Paul Brady and Bono. Cormac de Barra is a harp virtuoso and has worked with a wide array of artists, including Hazel O’Connor, Julie Feeney and Ashley Davis. Moya and Cormac’s musical partnership goes back some fifteen years, and they have just released their third album together, Timeless.
Séamus Begley is a renowned singer and accordion player, a member of the famous musical family from Baile na bPoc in Kerry. He has toured all over the world with different musicians, and is particularly known for his collaboration with legendary Australian guitarist Steve Cooney. Méabh Ní Bheaglaoich joins her father on stage, showcasing a family steeped in the musical tradition. Méabh is a gifted singer and accordionist, and has taught and performed at festivals around the world. Donogh Hennesy is a Dublin-born guitarist, music producer and recording engineer. He has performed and recorded with many leading Irish bands and artists, including Lúnasa, Sharon Shannon, Lumiere, John Spillane, and has recorded music for films and plays.
Zoë Conway and John McIntyre have been described as “simply one of the best folk duos on the planet” (BBC). As a solo artist, Zoë has performed with an impressive list of artists including Riverdance, Damien Rice, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, and Rodrigo y Gabriella, as well as appearing with The Irish Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and German WDR Symphony Orchestra. John began his career as electric guitarist with the successful indie band The Revs, with whom he performed on many famous stages and festivals. Together, they create an exciting blend of eclectic fiddle and guitar music, with sympathetic arrangements of traditional Irish music, compositions and songs, old and new.
Clare natives Pádraig Rynne and Tara Breen have been performing regularly both as a duo, and within different line-ups, over the past number of years. Both have multiple All-Ireland titles to their names and have toured as members of world-famous acts such as The Chieftains, Atlantic Arc Orchestra, NOTIFY and Heartbeat of Home. Completing the trio is Ennis harpist Elaine Hogan, who is well known throughout the music world for her unique approach to both melody and accompaniment in traditional Irish Music.
Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin is from An Aird Thoir in Carna in Connemara, a stronghold of sean-nós singing, and Bríd was born into the tradition, learning songs from her mother Bairbre Éinniú from a young age. The singing of her great uncle, Joe Heaney, had a big influence on her. Bríd won Corn Uí Riada, the most prestigious sean-nós prize, in 2002 and again in 2015.
Karen Matheson is widely recognised as the compelling vocalist of Celtic super-group Capercaillie, and is truly one of Scotland’s most respected singers with an career spanning more than 30 years. She was awarded an OBE, and named Best Gaelic Singer at the inaugural Scottish folk awards. She has produced four acclaimed solo albums, and has worked with artists including James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, The McGarrigle Sisters, Nanci Griffith and Paul Brady.
Eabhal band members are Jamie MacDonald, Nicky Kirk, Kaitlin Ross, Megan MacDonald and Hamish Hepburn, and they came together while based in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. Alongside traditional songs, contemporary and self-penned tunes, the band draws influence from other musical cultures and integrates them into their music. They were Battle of the Folk Bands 2018 winners and nominees for “Up and Coming Artist” at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2018, and released their first studio album, This is How the Ladies Dance, in 2019.
Ruairidh Gray, at 17, is a talented young singer and accordionist from South Uist, and the youngest performer for this special gala concert.