Great Bouzouki Players

Great Bouzouki Players

One great way to get better is to listen to great players do what they do best. When you talk about bouzouki players, Donal Lunny and Andy Irvine nearly always seem to come up. My question is, who else is out there? And can you give an example of a song where they really show off their talents? I’ll start.

Les Wilson of the Tannahill Weavers. Listen to "The Trooper and the Maid" on the cd "Tannahill Weavers IV" for an example.

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In the states we have Pat Broder in Chicago.

Tannahill Weavers are a hard act to follow though. One of Herself’s absolute favorites.

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I’m a big fan of Aaron Jones ,check out his ablum with Claire Mann called Secret Orders .
Plus he is a good bloke too.

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Johnny Hoban.

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Without a doubt Fintan McManus plus he’s equally handy on the guitar and whistle.

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Good to see Fintan get some well deserved recognition, no one deserves it more. Now, if we can delve into the music scene in Fermanagh a bit more, we can show what a talented bunch of individuals we have, Jim McGrath and Gaby McArdle, to name but two.

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You should have a listen to some great bouzouki player from Asturias, Spain. They play great music, very high level and technique…Ruben Bada made some recordings of irish stuff, but the big name in Asturias is Elias Garcia, who you can listen in Llan de Cubel or Tuenda albums.

It really worths a look.

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I like Aaron too. And check out his record with Leo McCann, "If anyone can"

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I would have to include De Danann’s Alec Finn. You might want check out tunes like "The Broken pledge/Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie". With his very distinct style he helped create that uniquely tight sound with Frankie Gavin’s fiddle in front of and Ringo Mcdonagh’s bodhran behind him. IMO, unmatched to date.
Oisin’s "The Flogging Reel/The Glass of Beer " feature Tom McDonagh on bouzouki. Worth listening to.
Lastly, "The Maid behind the Bar" by Stockton’s Wing has Kieran Hanrahan on bouzouki. While the banjo is certainly his first choice, the man is very easy on the ears in this one.

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I’d just like to add
Jamie McMenemy(Kornog), Mick Broderick(Slide)
VOKEPASA is Ruben Bada playing with At First Light?
Elias, and Llan de Cubel started new style of playing in Asturias meny of young musician followed them.

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Nobody going to mention Eoin O’Neill ? Manus Lunny ? Eamonn Doorley ?

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And was it Davy Graham from Belfast who played on Harry Bradley’s 1st CD. Very tasteful player.

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seanie mcgrath
mick broderick
eoin o neill
eamonn doorley
manus lunny
and the young colm o brien from dublin

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Eoin O’Neils backing has unfortunately ruined some otherwise really nice recordings for me.
In session I’m sure he’s very different….

But…
I also love Irvine , ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP-UX6GGlGc )and rate him way, way above Lunny ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMBjaif1b3Q )

on the bouzouki

***

Either way, for me, Finn is better than both of em for tunes.
‘a flowing, contrapuntal background’ an all that….

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‘Lastly, "The Maid behind the Bar" by Stockton’s Wing has Kieran Hanrahan on bouzouki. While the banjo is certainly his first choice, the man is very easy on the ears in this one.’

Stockton’s Wing’s Maid Behind the Bar has always struck me as one of the great crimes against music. Sorry.

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Astonished these two names haven’t come up:

Roger Landes
Gerald Trimble

Hugely influential albums they’ve done are in the recordings section.

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I didn’t mention Gerry Trimble because the instrument he is best known for playing is a cittern - a fine distinction, I know, but the question was about bouzouki players.

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Ciaran Curran of Altan, although he tends to be way back in the mix.

Can I be the first to suggest Johnny Moynihan?

Not only did he introduce the instrument to the music, he is a master of it. His playing with Andy Irvine on Planxty’s ‘Cold Blow the Rainy Night’ is as good as anything ever recorded before or since in my opinion.

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They don’t all have to be Irish.
How about Benji Kirkpatrick ?
And no-one’s mentioned me yet…………I’ll get my coat.

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Paddy Kerr and Frank Tate are great players

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I had given up hope that anyone would mention Benjy K.
what a legend!

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Alec Finn is certainly one of my favourite bouzouki players too, and fiddler Mick Conneely, who plays like Finn is great too. I also like Niall O’Callanain and I remember the first bouzouki player I ever heard was Gerry McKee (on a madfortrad tutorial). At the time, I really like him but can’t really remember that much and was very naive at the time, regardless of how good McKee might be.

Eamon Doorley of Danu is also class and I’ve heard Brendan O’Regan was good but haven’t heard much from him.

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Oh, and good examples -

Alec Finn: De Danann, Tommy Peoples, Mary Bergin

Mick Conneely: He plays bouzouki on one track on his album Selkie.

Niall O’Callanain: Selkie

Brendan O’Regan: Gerry O’Connor’s "No Place Like Home"

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Pat Broaders
Zan McCleod

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I’ll second the motion for Roger Landes - founder and director of Zoukfest in Santa Fe. Having backed the likes of Frankie Gavin, Tommy Peoples, Mary Bergin, and John Carty, he’s not just "that bouzouki player from Scartaglen" any more ;-)

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And let us not forget North Carolina’s own Bob Vasile of the Pratie Heads. He switches between guitar and bouzouki and does a fine job with both

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Joe Ferguson from Aussie Irish Trad band "Trouble in the Kitchen"….Very,very tasteful ‘zouk playing from him..
They have two excellent CD’s …."Down the Broom"..an Ep..and "When the World was Wide"….a full length CD….one of my Very favourite bands….

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Gary O’Briain

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"Stockton’s Wing’s Maid Behind the Bar has always struck me as one of the great crimes against music. Sorry."

Rubbish.
Sorry.

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Sean Ó Loinnsigh (sp?) from Clare, along with Alec Finn is one of the few in Ireland who play the 3-course Greek bouzouki.

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Yeah, Sean O’Loinsigh is a great player indeed.

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Terry Woods from pogues

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What about Eamonn Doorley of Danú? His playing on Julie Fowliss’ recordings is superb.

It’s hard to better the original masters though: Irvine, Lunny and Finn. I find that there’s a sameness of sound with many players today. It would be nice to hear more melody playing on bouzouki as well. Dónal Lunny had a tantalising taster on ‘The Navvy on the Line’ on the first Bothy album but there was never any solo playing after that.

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Finn is the finest bouzouki player in the world, he has what it takes and plays with the best of musicians where Eoin O Neill seems to dominate every session he s in and only plays with musicians he can brainwash!

What a bizarre comment Tara regarding a fellow muscian .
and your evidence is……………..
I always have found Zouk and cittern players a friendly lot without exception even not so good ones like myself.

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My evidence is experience.

would you care to enlighten us all further? Your details dont give us much to go on
I have heard both live and think they are both good players. What instrument do you play?

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I am simply just giving my opinion, like all of us here, Dave.

Thats fine , Tara but you gave yours with such vitriol it sounded really personal .There are lots of poeple about who I would say are fine players but I wouldn’t be inviting round to my house for a cup of tea or something stronger anytime soon.
In my experiance if you make personal comments and I think that you did above ,others may feel free to make personal comments about you so take care.

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well, as they say… You just cant make everyone happy!!! Ive obviously offended you Dave, which was’nt intended. I guess we all see things in a different light. Chow

I am not offended at all merely trying to understand where you are coming from in your comments. I just found claiming a player was brainwashing other players strange. Sounds a good trick and I wonder how it is done as you obviously felt it had been done to you or someone close to you

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Well you obviously read too much into things. Best of luck to you.

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then you write stuff like that without any reason ?

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"without any reason?" Who said?
You re the one being nosey. Im not asking you a load of questions, am I. Maybe you should go have a pint for yourself.

I give up trying to understand :-)

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Nobody mentioned Micheal Holmes of Dervish yet? Fantastic player and a really great and guy!

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I agree with Tara Hayes. That guy is a dreadful player and a namedropper. So There

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Sadly, the above-mentioned bouzouki player (and whistle player and journalist) Seán Ó Loingsigh of Ballyvourney, Co.Cork, passed away last week.