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Winter Music Projects

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. As a colleague when I worked in the then Clare Vocational Education Committee said once, ‘life got in the way’. An expression I instantly committed to memory as being useful in a multitude of situations, requiring no further explanation whilst being easily relatable!

We have had strong winds, snow (yesterday!), various large moons and many dramatic skies. Meanwhile music continues at Burren Fiddle Holidays, with the repertoire for regular classes ranging from various reels (obscure and not so obscure) and jigs to Ed Sheeran and Harry Potter themes for the younger fiddle-playing fans.


Sessions in Corofin village are well established on Friday nights with the usual good mix of tunes and songs.

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Whistle duet – photo by John Lambe

Mick Nestor has a lovely low F whistle –  and a whole bunch of other whistles –  while I play fiddle and improve my whistle playing skills. Liam Jones backs on guitar and sings beautiful songs and his wife Ellen is a powerful fiddle player. Tony Trundle often joins on fiddle and sings  songs, many are his own compositions. Lots of musicians from the locality come in and help keep the session going.


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Crowley’s Session, Corofin – photo by Orla McGuinness




In December Frank Kilkelly invited me to take part in his ‘Cabin Session’ series – a series of music videos showcasing many different musical genres and styles recorded from one of his Eco-cabins. Frank is a great musician, who kindly played with me on some demo recordings and he has a guitar tutor out, see  And if you are ever in Kinvara, Co. Galway, you can book a stay in one or two of his cabins also! Based on a German house boat design, they are bright, energy efficient and have everything you need. We had fun playing these tunes and hope you enjoy the videos, I have pasted them in below:

The second musical project of late is collaboration with my friend Rachel Conlan. We were in college together and recently she moved to Clare with her partner, Alan. Rachel plays fiddle and bouzouki (she can play whistle, concertina, bodhran and banjo too if you ask her!) and Alan plays banjo, whistle, oud and bodhran (apologies both of you if you are reading this – I’m sure there are a few instruments I’ve omitted from the list! Anyway, it’s great that we are now neighbours. While Alan was away touring with the band Goitse, myself, Rachel and Frank played a few tunes on Clare FM. Link is below, we are on for the last 35 minutes or so:


If you get a chance to listen to Rachel and Alan’s CD I can recommend it. A relaxed yet spirited selection of unusual tunes which would be great to have in wider circulation again, it’s aptly titled ‘A Quare Yield’. You can find it here: