Co-director and co-producer of the whole project, Paddy Egan comes from a small townsland called "Parkbridge", in the south-west of county Wicklow. Paddy met Vincey in San Francisco in 2003 when he was on a summer work visa during the early years of college. He has been travelling over and back to the Bay Area ever since.
When he was growing up, he used to play concertina in sessions at his parents pub in Wicklow. The music was always part of a Saturday night scene involving songs, stories, "the crack" and dancing. It was no wonder he would start getting involved in this scene in San Francisco. Later, he would carry this on back home in Ireland when Vincey would make it over on his visits home to Galway.
Work on this album started after Paddy had finished at the University of Limerick, where he had been studying for a masters degree in Ethnomusicology. His interest in the bigger picture of the sense of community in sessions led him to start work on this project. Years later, there is an album, the vinyl has been cut, the filming produced, and the session that Paddy and Vincey dreamed up has been captured for all to experience.
He notes Joe Kearney being a massive inspiration. "Joe has such great yarn stories. he never tells the same one twice, they could be about anything. Then, you know, he is always standing right in the middle of the pub. Everyone listens and gets involved with these stories, it adds a great magic to the session." Paddy wrote a research essay about this on his own website, Outreach Ethnomusicology, located here.
On the CD, you can hear him play reels, waltzes, backing songs and there is also a bit of dancing.
Paddy performs on the following CD tracks: The Castlebar Traveller / The Caucus Reel, Rodney's Glory, The Mexican Waltz, The Reels Take 2, Sean Nós Dancing, The Coal Miner / Gan Ainm, Going Down the Road, The Blue River Waltz, and Cooley's Set.
On the vinyl and digital downloads, he performs on: Cailleach an Airgid, Oklahoma Hills, The Earl's Chair / The Bucks of Oranmore, Working on the Railroad, Cooley's.
He also plays an air "An Droimeann Donn Dílis" on the vinyl record. One evening in Gort unknown to himself, after playing the air, Vincey's sister Mary Noonan started to sing the words. Turns out, the song was a favourite of her mother's and one that she used to sing when about the house at home in Beagh.
There is a time of magic. There are still places of magic, where an enchantment holds which defies twenty first century logic, the cut and thrust of cities, the hurly burly of the mundane, the everyday that stops up the human spirit and masks other worlds and other realities.. Read more