Two of the most well-known musicians on the Celtic music circuit, flute player Kevin Crawford and uilleann piper Cillian Vallely have just released this exciting new album, “On Common Ground”. A couple of years of researching tunes in between a heavy schedule of band commitments has directly led to this recording from Lúnasa’s powerhouse melody makers.
Born in Birmingham, England, Kevin Crawford’s early life was one long journey into Irish music and Co. Clare, where he eventually moved while in his 20’s. He quickly became one of the most sought-after traditional musicians in Ireland and played in various groups including Moving Cloud, Grianan and Raise the Rafters.
Starting at age 7, Cillian Vallely learned the whistle and pipes from his parents, Brian and Eithne, at the Pipers Club in Armagh. A childhood of travelling and playing with his family led to a career as a full-time musician which he has pursued for the last 15 years, recording on more than 40 albums and touring worldwide with such names as Riverdance, Tim O’Brien and Mary Chapin-Carpenter.
Joining Lúnasa in 1997 and 1999 respectively, Crawford and Vallely have become key components of a group which has become one of the most acclaimed and influential bands in the recent history of Irish music. Having released seven band albums and worked on numerous solo projects though, the duo have decided to combine their individual talents and create something different. An album with the distinctive sound of “flat-pitched” flute and pipes duets has emerged.
The combination of uilleann pipes and flute is rare in duet recordings of traditional music and the duo have utilised the unique tonal qualities of these flat-pitched ‘C’ instruments to record their music. The tunes have been sourced from various manuscripts, archives and field recordings but there are also a number of new, self-composed pieces. In addition, Kevin and Cillian play a variety of low whistles and are accompanied on guitar by two of Ireland's most recognised and respected guitarists, Donal Clancy and Paul Meehan.
“Tasty tunes and terrific playing make "On Common Ground" one of the recording triumphs of this still young year” Irish Echo
“This is an album that features two guys at the top of their game offering up a stunner, slowly aged to perfection after years together. We love it.” Chicago Irish-American News
1. The Millhouse (reels)
2. Dominic’s Farewell (Jigs)
3. Man From Moyasta (slow reels)
4. The Periwig (reels)
5. The Leading Role (reels)
6. Visit To Ireland (jigs)
7. The Birds (hornpipe/fling)
8. Legend of Lisalway (jigs/reel)
9. Úlrchill a’ Chreagáin (slow air/reels)
10. The Ivory Bowl (single jigs)
11. Nuala’s Bonnet (reels)
12. Helvic Head (jigs)