The Shannonside Winter Music Festival has been going from strength to strength over the last few years and next January's event marks another step forward for this eclectic festival of the best in acoustic music. Between Thursday and Monday almost 80 concerts, pub gigs, sessions, and shows will keep the villages of Sixmilebridge and Bunratty buzzing and bouncing with acts from far and wide, as well as the cream of local talent.
Frankie Gavin, Noel Hill & Brian McGrath
Internationally acclaimed fiddle player Frankie Gavin and master of the concertina Noel Hill will be accompanied by Brian McGrath on piano and banjo. The combination of these three master musicians is sure to be a delight to behold. Frankie Gavin’s reputation as a fiddle player is unequalled he co-founded De Danann, one of the greatest Irish bands of its era, and has played with some of the greatest living musicians worldwide. From West Clare, Noel Hill has been a reference point for Irish traditional concertina players for many years. He has toured the world, and we are delighted to welcome this legend to the festival. Brian McGrath started playing piano at the age of five and progressed to accordion, banjo and mandolin. As well as extensive TV and media work, he has played on over 120 albums to date.
With 22 albums under his belt, Luka Bloom has forged a songwriting career with few parallels. He has made Co Clare his home and the landscape has inspired many songs on his albums Frugalisto and Refuge. Bloom’s shows are intimate and powerful, whatever the scale.
Tim O'Shea & Friends
Tim O’Shea has been a friend and great supporter of Sixmilebridge folk club for years. We are delighted that he is bringing a few friends this year to launch their brand new CD. "another skin too few". This concept CD, celebrates "25 years on the road". Tim's "friends" on this CD feature Kerry Musicians: Rosie Healy - Headford, (Flute, Whistle & Harmony Vocal) and Michael D.Kelliher - Fossa (Accordian, Melodeon & Harmonica).Tim is Producer and provides a musical thread on (Guitar - Lead & rhythm, Vocal - Lead & spoken & Bodhran).
Billow Wood (formerly Flat Out)
This pop/folk group from Mayo formed in 2013 almost accidentally, when the four jetted to Klangenfurt, Austria to perform together for the first time. With great musicianship and stylish folk covers of pop and rock hits, they have made a name for themselves on the folk and festival circuits.
Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA)
Audiences will remember the powerful singing and guitar playing of Greg Blake with the Jeff Scroggins & Colorado Band. Greg is back with a band that played on his solo album" Songs of Heart and Home". They are some of the most highly regarded Bluegrass musicians in America today. John Reischman: Mandolin /vocals - a Grammy Award Winner. Mark Schatz: Bass - a 2 time International Bluegrass Music Association, bass player of the year. Sally Van Meter: Dobro- Also a Grammy Winner. Blaine Sprouse: Fiddle: previously a member of Bill Monroes Bluegrass Boys and the Osborne Brothers.Keith Reid: Banjo /vocals - an excellent banjo player in the style of Earl Scruggs.
From a small start in Offaly to the world stage in only a few short years, Ruaile Buaile are set to become a household name with their energetic trad-inspired folk, delivered with charm and flair. These four young award-winning musicians have recorded two albums, and are destined for great things.
Two Time Polka
Award winning Irish group Two Time Polka play a fiery mixture of Cajun, Bluegrass and rock ’n roll music. They are not unknown to spice up their live performances with flavours such as tangos, east European tunes and a handful of politically insightful original songs. With five albums to their credit, Two Time Polka has proven popular with radio stations receiving both national and international airplay.
Sarah Savoy and the Francadians (France/USA)
From Eunice, Louisiana, via Paris, Sarah Savoy and her band bring a feisty blend of cajun, country and rockabilly back to Clare. A big hit in 2012 “an imposing presence with a strong sassy contralto voice” according to Cathy Desmond. And don’t miss those stories between songs, either!
Photo Credits: (1) The Shannonside Winter Music Festival (2) Frankie Gavin (3) Tim O'Shea & Friends, (4) Two Time Polka (unknown/website).