A multiple All-Ireland champion born in Athlone, County Westmeath, and now residing in Ennis, County Clare, Paul pursued a solo career through the 60’s and 70’s by mastering the single-row, two-row, three-row, and five-row button accordions. His collaborations with fiddle player Frankie Gavin during the 70’s and 80’s culminated in their 1986 Gael-Linn classic recording, “A Tribute to Joe Cooley,” regarded by critics and fellow musicians as one of the outstanding traditional albums of the modern era.
Paul’s solo album, “Mo Chairdin” (Gael-Linn ), was described in the Rough Guide to Irish Music as “a modern masterpiece of accordion music”. In May 1989, Paul co-founded the group Moving Cloud with Manus McGuire. This Clare-based band produced two albums for Green Linnet Records, including their 1994 self-titled release that was selected by well-known U.S. music critic Earle Hitchner as the best Irish traditional album of that year. Paul’s CD collaboration “Humdinger” (Compass Records, COM 4455) with Enda Scahill was voted “Irish Music Album of the Year” by the Irish Times and “Instrumental Album of the Year” by the Irish American News. Paul has appeared as a special guest of the Chieftains on various occasions.
Paul’s illustrated lecture “Irish Traditional Music in America – The Golden Era” has been widely acclaimed. Paul F. Wells, Director, Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University said “Paul Brock’s lecture, ‘Irish Traditional Music in America: The Golden Era,’ was a terrific adjunct to the performance by the Brock McGuire Band. Concise, authoritative, and engagingly-presented, it was a wonderful survey of a vastly important period in the history of Irish music.”
With captivating rhythm, melodic grace, depth and precision, Manus McGuire’s fiddle technique demonstrates both his versatility and legacy, showcasing his mastery of Irish and other North Atlantic fiddle traditions.
As a child growing up in Sligo Town, Manus was raised on the music of legendary Sligo fiddlers such as Michael Coleman, James Morrison, Paddy Killoran, and James “Lad” O’Beirne. His musical aptitude soon became apparent when he won Sligo’s prestigious Fiddler of Dooney competition at the age of fourteen.
In the years that followed, he has recorded eleven albums, including two solo albums—Saffron and Blue(Green Linnet) and Fiddlewings (Shelly River Music)—as well as recorded and toured extensively with the bands Buttons and Bows, Moving Cloud, and Brock McGuire Band.
Among Manus’ recognitions and awards is the title of “Male Musician of the Year” from Irish American News, and Trad Magazine’s “Bravo Award”. In addition to teaching regularly at American universities, Manus has taught at a number of music camps, including Gaelic Roots at Boston College, the Swanannoa Gathering in Asheville, NC, and O’Flaherty Retreat in Mithlothian, TX.
A native of Newport, Co. Tipperary, Denis is a musician/composer/arranger with a diverse musical background from Irish traditional to classical, jazz and pop. He has performed and recorded with leading international artists.
His compositions have been performed by various international groups and orchestras, including Symphony Nova Scotia and the Scottish National Orchestra.
Denis runs his own Academy of Music based in Limerick. His album of his own compositions “Moving On” (FL08-013) features some of Ireland’s leading musicians. A book of his compositions is available from Five Line Music.
As a versatile and dynamic multi-instrumentalist, dancer, singer, and songwriter, Galway-native Dave Curley stands out among professional Irish traditional musicians of his generation. His youthful energy on stage is enriched with a musical maturity and depth beyond his years.
Since graduating from the University of Limerick’s BA in Irish Music and Dance, Dave has been touring across the US and Europe with the award winning Irish bands Slide, Runa, and Brock McGuire Band. He regularly performs with Grammy Award winner Moya Brennan of Clannad, and has recorded with eminent producer Donal Lunny, as well as Grammy Award winners Ron Block, Jeff Taylor and Buddy Greene.
His most recent solo album, A Brand New Day (2014) marks a new beginning in his musical career. It showcases his voice and song writing, skilfully melding contemporary sensibility with traditional values.