“A belt of something beautiful.There was a power in the playing that comes from a deliberate desire to celebrate the tunes, a deep love in the musicians for the music that makes them want to communicate with listeners, cracking the music open like a water melon for others to enjoy. The energy levels on display in those very physical efforts were magnificent. Closely connected to that a will to let the music speak: they all maintained a heightened sense of enjoying themselves that poured off the stage both in the playing, the communication among themselves and in the banter with the audience between tunes.” (Trad Review)
Above is a description of New Road’s memorable first performance in Whelan’s of Dublin in 2014.
New Road were formed on the back of the success of Leonard Barry’s 2013 release of the same name, which was released to critical acclaim “music as it should be” (fRoots) .
With plenty of common ground already underfoot, barriers there are none, and a whole new musical journey began.
Featuring a unique blend of uilleann pipes, whistles, fiddle, harmonica, concertina, five string banjo, mandolin guitar, New Road draws on traditional material from both sides of the Atlantic to provide a unique and powerful sound. To date they have performed to critical acclaim throughout Europe, Ireland and the UK, including Doolin Folk Festival, Killarney Folk Fest and Celtic Connections in Glasgow with their performances being described as “high octane… virtuoso playing” (Celtic Radio).
The line up comprises of Kerry-born and Sligo-based Leonard Barry, one of our finest uilleann pipers. He has played and taught in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and collaborated with the likes of Luka Bloom and John Spillane.
Sligo based Rick Epping is a legend of music on both sides of the Atlantic. Bred in the folk scene of California, in Ireland Rick was a founder member of Pumpkinhead, recorded a CD with Frankie Gavin and Tim Edey, and played with Arcady.
Andy Morrow is from a Co. Leitrim family steeped in traditional music. His brother Tom plays fiddle with Dervish. Andy’s 2005 album with Tony O’Connell and Arty McGlynn was quickly acclaimed by many as a classic in the tradition (an “absolute snorter of a debut album” – Geoff Wallis).
Multi-instrumentalist Sligo legend Seamie O’Dowd is one of the most sought-after musicians in Ireland today. Equally proficient on guitar, fiddle, mandolin or singing, Seamie was a member of Dervish for a few years and plays with Martin O’Connor and Cathal Hayden. He regularly plays with Christy Moore, and a host of others. Seamie also plays with Rick in The Unwanted.
Joining especially for the night in the Hawkswell are Cathy Jordan of Dervish and The Unwanted and one of Ireland leading Vocalists. Shane McGowan of Sligo on Guitar, Shane has played with many of the greats including a recent performance with the internationally renowned Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain. Also joining will be Bill Whelan, five-string banjo guru of The Rough Deal String Band and last, but not least, bodhran legend Ringo McDonagh, ex De Dannan.
A high octane, virtuosic performance awaits!