The Clancy Legacy
Robbie O'Connell was born in Waterford, Ireland and grew up in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, where his parents had a small hotel. He began to play guitar and sing at age thirteen and soon became a regular performer at the hotel's weekly folk concerts. He spent a year touring the folk clubs in England before enrolling at University College Dublin where he studied Literature and Philosophy. During school vacations Robbie worked as an Irish entertainer in the U.S.A. A nephew of the Clancy Brothers, he began touring with his uncles in 1977 and recorded 3 albums with them. In 1979 he moved to Franklin, Massachusetts.
With the release, in 1982, of his first solo album, "Close to the Bone," Robbie emerged as an artist of major stature. Soon after, he began touring extensively with Mick Moloney and Jimmy Keane, and also with Eileen Ivers and Seamus Egan in the Green Fields of America. In 1985, the trio's first album, "There were Roses," was released. Robbie also participated in The Festival of Mountain Music and Dance on a five-nation tour of Latin America. In 1987, the trio followed up their very successful first release with the album, "Kilkelly," the title track of which was voted "Best Album Track of the Year" in Ireland. 1989 saw the release of a live concert recording of the Green Fields of America.
Robbie has taught songwriting at the Augusta Heritage Arts Workshop in Elkins, West Virginia, Gaelic Roots Week at Boston College and at the Summer Acoustic Music Week in Boston. His album of original compositions, Love of the Land, was voted the #1 acoustic album of 1989 by WUMB in Boston. In 1991, he won a prestigious Boston Music Award as Outstanding Celtic Act and was also featured in the highly acclaimed TV series "Bringing It All Back Home." In 1992 he performed at Carnegie Hall with the Clancy Brothers and was also seen by an estimated 500 million people worldwide on the telecast of a live tribute to Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden, a performance that Rolling Stone magazine described as "breathtaking.
"Never Learned to Dance," his 1993 album of original songs, was critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1994 he headlined a celebration of Boston based Irish Music at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. "Older But No Wiser," his last CD with the Clancy Brothers was released on Vanguard in 1995, followed in 1997 by the "Clancy, O'Connell & Clancy CD and in 1998 by "The Wild and Wasteful Ocean" CD with Liam and Dónal Clancy. "Robbie O'Connell, Live, Humorous Songs" and "All on a Christmas Morning" with the group Aengus, were released in 1998. "Recollections," a twenty-year retrospective collection album was released in 2001. He is currently working on a new CD of original material.
Aoife Clancy (pronounced "Eefa") brings a refreshing new voice to folk music, one that ranges from traditional Irish songs to ballads and contemporary folk. Aoife comes from the small town of Carrick-on-Suir, in Co Tipperary, Ireland, where her musical career began at an early age. Her father Bobby Clancy of the legendary Clancy Brothers, placed a guitar in her hands at age ten, and by age fourteen was playing with her father in nearby pubs.
She later moved to Dublin, where she studied drama at the Gaiety School of Acting. After a season at the Gaiety, Aoife was invited to do a tour of Australia. There she performed at festivals and concerts sharing the stage with some of Ireland's greatest performers, including Christy Moore and the Furey Brothers. Her performances also include a Caribbean cruises with the Clancy Brothers, the Milwaukee Irish Festival and a seven week tour of the United States with the renowned Paddy Noonan Show.
In 1995 Aoife was asked to join the acclaimed group "Cherish the Ladies", which is one of the most sought-after Irish American groups in history. For the past four years Aoife has toured extensively doing no less than two hundred dates a year throughout the United States and Europe. She has been a featured soloist with orchestras such as the Boston Pops and Cincinnati Pops and, while performing with Cherish the Ladies, collaborated with the Boston Pops on their Grammy nominated Celtic album.
Now with seven recordings under her belt in the last decade, Aoife has clearly established herself as one of the Divas of Irish and contemporary Folk Music. She has recorded two solo projects "Its about Time" and "Soldiers and Dreams" on Rego Records. On her debut CD " It's About Time," Aoife presents some traditional favorites, such as "Factory Girl" and "Mrs. McGrath," but she also presents a sassy rendition of Leon Rosselson's "Don't Get Married Girls."
As one reviewer remarked, "she has a breadth of styles that make her concerts fascinating. Her singing would melt packed ice with it's warmth and richness" - Mike Jackson, Canberra Times. On Aoife's second Rego solo album, "Soldiers and Dreams," Al Riess, from Dirty Linen magazine, wrote: "Solders and Dreams has a contemporary-meets-traditional-music feel and Clancy's smooth, expressive singing works both ways- ensuring a successful merger of the two approaches and an enjoyable listening pleasure".
Currently, Aoife is touring with her own band in support of her two Rego solo releases and her latest Appleseed release "Silvery Moon". She is planning to record another solo CD in 2008.
Dónal Clancy grew up in the Ring Gaeltacht of Co. Waterford, a place steeped in traditional music and song. Being born into a musical family (his father Liam, being one of the legendary Clancy Brothers) he was exposed to Irish music from an early age. Dónal began his musical career at age 14 performing in venues around his native Waterford.
Since then he has recorded two albums with his father Liam and cousin Robbie O'Connell and also has appeared on many other recordings by artists such as Kevin Crawford, Danú, Martin Murray, Mike & Mary Rafferty, Aoife Clancy, Cherish The Ladies, The Clancy Brothers, Eileen Ivers Band and Solas.
His highly acclaimed first solo album, Close to Home was released on Compass Records in 2006. He is currently living in Yonkers, New York and is in great demand as a studio musician. He still tours with his original group Danu, in addition to several other bands.
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