Donal Lunny

By Donal Lunny

Thirteen comments

I feel truly honoured to be able to post this. Surely this is the best live recording of Irish traditional music in existence. Recorded on the final night of "The Se

All time fave

Thanks for posting this one. It’s one of my all-time favourite recordings.

It’s a shame it isn’t longer but they sure squeeze in some fantastic music into the allotted time.

The fact that it’s live gives it that extra edge.



este Donal é o demo do inferno

This album was an eye-opener to me

This album introduced me to Irish traditional music when I was 17 IIRC. I love it!
When I listen to Coast River it feels like it’s telling a story. One of my all time faves.

One point to note concerns the last set of reels (Tommy Peoples’, The Maids Of Mullach, Major Harrison’s Fedora). The Tommy People’s tune on the album is actually “The green hills of Glentown”
( rather than the other Tommy Peoples reel given (


There isn’t actually that much traditional Irish music on this recording.

I guess you’re right!

@Kenny: Would you prefer me to have used something like :
“music inspired by traditional irish music” or
“music inspired by irish folk music” or…?
I agree it’s not really trad Irish music in itself. But it did make me interested in discoving trad irish music and music inspired by it.

Anyway, whatever it is, it has jigs, reels and polkas and lots of musical content!

Whatever it takes…..

Just an observation, “GoPlayer”. If that’s what got you in to the music, great. There were some TV programmes of the Donal Lunny Band in I guess the late 80s / early 90s, one memorably featuring Matt Molloy as a guest, which I still have on video tape. One day I must figure out how to post some of those programmes on “YouTube”. All the best with your music.

Re: Donal Lunny

Just looked for the musicians list here (would have been easier than looking for the LP), but nobody had posted it, so it’s here now. The music is still a very impressive and enjoyable listen. I bought my copy of the LP from one of the stalls at Sidmouth Folk Festival (Devon, England), around 1990. The liner notes on the cover are pretty sparse; this is more or less it:

“From The Ó’Riada Retrospective. This digital recording of Donal Lunny and his band was made in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, on the 25 April 1987 during the second of the Ó’Riada Retrospective concerts presented by Noel Pearson.

Nollaig Ní Chathasaigh: Fidil, Viola
Cormac Breathnach: Fluít
Arty McGlynn: Giotár
Manus Lunny: Bouzouki
Seá n Óg Potts: Píb uilleann, Méarchláir
Damien Quinn: Bodhrán
Steve White: Congas, Cnaguirlisí
Donal Lunny: Bouzouki, Méarchláir

A tribute to Declan McNelis who died tragically 13 April 1987.”

Gael-Linn CEF 133

Ref Declan McNelis (1953-87), see

Re: Donal Lunny

Thanks for these Kenny, I hadn’t noticed you posted those videos years ago, I guess the drums n bass aren’t everyone’s cuppa, but I still like it!

Re: Donal Lunny

I still like those videos too - appreciating music from bands like that and the likes of Micho Russell, just on his own with a tin whistle, are not mutually exclusive. Happily we can do both. “The Session” was a very good series of programmes, by no means strictly traditional - Elvis Costello was a guest on one programme. Donal Lunny hosted a later series of programmes called “Sult” which was more traditionally orientated. I have posted several clips from that series too, if you look for them through my channel.

Re: Donal Lunny

Great, thanks - will do!