Son of the famous Clare fiddler PJ Hayes, Martin Hayes is both a tradition bearer of the Clare fiddle style and a great innovator and artist in his own right. Hayes is known for his dreamy style in the studio and a more frenetic aproach to live performance. Hayes cites Kevin Burke as a major influence.
Thin Lizzy was an Irish hard rock band formed in 1969. Originally they were a trio with Phil Lynott on bass, Eric Bell on guitar, and Brian Downey on drums, although, Thin Lizzy's most famous lineup was that of singer and bassist Phil Lynott, Brian Downey on drums and Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson on lead guitars. Later line-ups featured guitar heroes like Gary Moore (Black Rose), John Sykes (Thunder and Lightning) and Snowy White (Renegade, Chinatown). The band finally split in 1983, largely as a consequence of financial trouble and drug excesses.
CRAN, an Irish folk 3-piece, are unique in Irish folkmusic in that their repertory is divided equally between music and song. Each member of the trio already had international reputations in their own fields before the band was formed: Desi Wilkinson, in the field of Irish flute-playing both at home and abroad; Sean Corcoran, as one of the leading singers in the Hiberno-English and Gaelic traditions and also as a researcher and teacher; Ronan Browne, as one of the leading lights among the younger generation of uilleann pipers, was already giving master-classes worldwide.
Blackmore's Night is an English Renaissance-inspired medieval folk rock band led by UK guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (electric and acoustic guitars) and Candice Night (lyricist and lead vocals). The origins of the band lie in 1990 when Candice was working at a local New York rock music radio station, and as part of her work first encountered Ritchie (now ex-Deep Purple/Rainbow guitarist), then with Deep Purple, at a soccer game he was playing in. The two became romantically entwined and discovered that they shared a passionate interest in the Renaissance.
www.myspace.com/butterflyexplosion (The) Butterfly Explosion came together in 2005 with the release of the demo EP 'Vision'. Within a year the EP earned them showcases at the SXSW festival in Austin. The 2nd EP 'Turn The Sky' was released in October 2006. Two of the tracks, 'Sophia' and 'Next Year', featured in the Top 100 Songs of 2006 on Dublin's Phantom FM. Another track 'Carpark' featured in the monthly Top 10 playlist of UK's MOJO magazine.
To find a unique voice on so ubiquitous an instrument as the acoustic guitar is quite an achievement: to do so within a centuries old idiom where the instrument has no real history is truly remarkable. In little over ten years as a professional musician Tony McManus has come to be recognised throughout the world as the leading guitarist in Celtic Music. From early childhood his twin obsessions of traditional music and acoustic guitar have worked together to produce a startlingly original approach to this ancient art.