Renowned Trad trio headline Folk Club gig

March 11, 2013

Three of Ireland’s best-known and popular musicians will come together on the Saturday night (16th) of St. Patrick’s Weekend at Folk Club An Bonnán Buí for what promises to be a truly spectacular performance.

Donal Murphy and Gino Lupari – both founding members of the Irish super-group “Four Men and a Dog”

– have enlisted the trad guitar master Steve Cooney, to perform a series of gigs around Ulster, one of which Folk Club An Bonnán Buí are very proud to be hosting.

This is not the first ‘Super-group’ An Bonnán Buí have hosted. Since its formation in April last year, the very cream of Irish traditional music has come to play in Crossmaglen.  Groups like Reálta, Reel It In, Síoda, members of Guidewires and more recently Beoga have come to Crossmaglen and have found it a wonderful place to be and have remarked on the warm welcome they receive here.

Donal Murphy

Dónal Murphy was born in Birmingham, England, and moved with his family to Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, Ireland, in 1975. He began playing music at the age of eight years, starting first on the tin whistle.  He soon realized that he was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps, and so took up the accordion. He progressed rapidly, and before long won several All-Ireland titles.

Dónal has toured Ireland, England, America, Sardinia, Seville and Japan with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.  On one trip, he became acquainted with Cathal Hayden (fiddle) and Brian McGrath (banjo) and in August 1990, they formed the now renowned ‘Four Men & a Dog.’

Their album, ‘Barking Mad,’ which was released in 1990, was voted Best Folk Album of the year by Hot Press Magazine.  Dónal left ‘The Dogs’ in 1993 because of family and other commitments and subsequently teamed up with Matt Cranitch (fiddle) and Tommy O’Sullivan (guitarist/vocalist).  They recorded ‘Sliabh Notes’ in 1995, and soon the album title became the band name. ‘Sliabh Notes’ have played most of the biggest Irish festivals in the world, namely Milwaukee, North Texas Irish Festival, Copenhagen, Torino Italy and many more around Ireland.

The band went on to record two more albums, ‘Gleanntán’ (1999) and ‘Along Blackwater’s Banks’ (2002). One of the highlights of Dónal’s musical career came in the summer of 1998 when Michael Flatley invited him to play in the Premiere of “Feet of Flames” in Hyde Park, London. Dónal has also recorded a solo Album ‘Happy Hour’, which he launched in April 2009.

Gino Lupari

Many have called Gino Lupari (bodhrán, vocals) “king of the bodhrán.” Gino comes from Magherafelt in Derry. While he is renowned for his exploits on the bodhran, he is also a fantastic singer. His rhythm and pop is an integral part of the ‘Four Men and a Dog sound and is the reason why he is so sought after by the plethora of recording artists with whom he has shared a studio.  These include Gerry Diver, Liz Doherty, Ron Kavana, John McCusker, Pat Kilbride, Sinead O’Connor , Shane MacGowan and The Popes and the group Lúnasa.

His gifts are not confined solely to music, however. Gino has appeared in the BBC drama ‘The Passion’.

Steve Cooney

Steve Cooney  was born in Melbourne, Australia. He started his professional musical career at the age of 17, playing for a while in the US before returning home, where he was in a number of rock bands, (Bushwackers, Fruitcake) and the successful folk/rock band, Red Gum.

He bought a one-way ticket to Ireland, where his ancestors originated, busked and worked odd jobs for a few months, before joining “Stockton’s Wing” as bassist.  Since then he has been associated with many projects, with a major contribution to Sharon Shannon’s first album, and performances and recordings with Dermot Byrne, Altan, Martin Hayes and others.

While the guitar and rock guitarists have raised eyebrows in trad Irish music in the past, Cooney is no noise machine.  His technique is excellent, and his understanding of traditional music and accompaniment has been proven by the number of contributions he has made to traditional groups and albums.

So these three great musicians playing together really will make for a fantastic evening of music. This un-missable concert will take place in the comfortable surroundings of the function room at the Cross Square Hotel in Crossmaglen.  Doors will open at 8:30pm and the gig will be well underway at 9pm. All are welcome to attend and musicians are advised to bring their instruments as there promises to be a great session after the gig finishes.

For more information on what’s happening at Folk Club An Bonnán Buí, log on to Facebook and find T.E.A.C.H. An Bonnán Buí.  For information on tickets, call 0035387- 3931119.