Tulla accordionist, Andrew Mac Namara and London fiddler, Karen Ryan first met and played music together at the Feakle Traditional Music Festival in 1991. Over the 25 years since then, they’ve played together on and off in Feakle, Galway and London. During the last few years, Andrew and Karen have been joined by Karen’s husband, Liverpool pianist Pete Quinn, and the trio has played some high-powered sessions as part of the Feakle Festival
at Pepper’s Bar each August. There seems to be a spontaneity and spark to the music when the three get together, which many have commented on.
This prompted their decision to record an album in Andrew’s house over two days in February 2017, engineered, mixed and mastered by Matt Purcell. The album was launched at this year’s Willie Clancy Summer School, with further performances at the Feakle Festival, the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis, and Tunes in the Church in Galway. The CD will also be launched at this year’s Return to Camden Town and Ennis Trad Festivals. The trio’s collective musical CVs include both solo and group albums.
Reviews of From Camden to Tulla received to date include:
“A beautiful and energetic album with wonderful bounce. Two thumbs way up.”
Daniel Neely, The Irish Echo (US)
“Masterly renditions of some grand old tunes with that lift and vivacity born of a deep love and understanding of the music.” Alex Monaghan, Irish Music Magazine (Ireland)
Primarily a harpist, multi-instrumentalist Janet Harbison was born in Dublin in 1955. By 1981, she had won every Irish national harp competition and a number of international prizes, including the Isle of Man Millennium Competition and Festival International de l’Harpe Celtique (Awen Trophy). She studied at Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin College of Music and Cork University.
In 1984, she moved to Belfast to pursue doctoral research and was awarded a two-year Research Fellowship at the Institute of Irish Studies at Queens University, together with an honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster, a Flax Trust award for her work with Irish music and Education toward Mutual Understanding (Peace and Reconciliation) in the North of Ireland and a number of awards for her work with the Belfast Harp Orchestra. She is currently Visiting Professor of (Irish) Music at the University of Ulster, Derry.
Brian Hughes is widely considered to be one of the finest tin whistle players of his generation. From Athy in Co. Kildare, his earliest introduction to music was through his grandfather, Christy Bracken, a noted bagpipe player, In addition to the tin whistle, Brian has a great interest in the flute and the uilleann pipes and was a regular visitor to the famous Pipers’ Club on Henrietta Street, Dublin, in his youth.
He has released three solo albums – Whistle Stop, Whirlwind and The Beat of the Breath. Reviewing The Beat of the Breath, the Irish Times drew particular attention to the “unfussy clarity, clean tone and keen rhythmic sensibility” of his playing.
Album Launch – Andrew MacNamara, Karen Ryan and Pete Quinn/ Janet Harbison/ Brian Hughes
London Irish Centre (Kennedy)
Sun 29th Oct – 5pm