Aidan Connolly is a fiddle player and primary school teacher from Rathfarnham in Dublin, long associated with the Craobh Naithí Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. His playing is influenced by a wide variety of fiddle players, including Paddy Cronin, Paddy Canny and Denis Murphy.
Connolly's debut recording, Be Off (2016) features duets with Liam McGonigle on accordion, Deirdre Winrow on fiddle, Pádraic Keane on pipes, Oisín Morrison on flute, Con Moynihan on fiddle, and Andrea Palandri on fiddle. Pauric Bannonjoins in on flute, with Liam and Andrea, on the last track. Ruairí McGorman accompanies on bouzouki on many sets, with Jack Talty playing piano on a few others.
Across sixteen tracks, the album features tunes from an impressive variety of sources. “I’ve always been an avid listener to the old music,” says Aidan, “with a huge interest in learning rare tunes. Primarily, I would learn by ear from recordings of older players. The album features quite a few rare versions of common tunes too. I enjoy playing these for the fresh twist they put on familiar melodies.”
Connolly’s rakish reading of An Seanduine Dóite is a particular delight, as is his solo take on the reel set, Miss Johnson’s. The richly textured and witty sleeve notes add immeasurably to this jaw-droppingly mature debut”
Siobhan Long, The Irish Times
“Aidan Connolly’s debut recording, Be Off (RR009, 2016), is a model album in many ways, a sort of archetype of the contemporary tradition; Connolly knows his music, but more than that, knows how to carefully piece together a collection of sets to demonstrate this knowledge, and to appeal to the connoisseur”
The Journal of Music
“I think “Be Off” is just brilliant. There is tremendous drive and swing in Connolly’s music and he’s showcased it well with a great selection of tunes, fabulous tempos, and superb variations. Each of the cast of nine musicians who join him here distinguish themselves individually but they also do an excellent job either complementing Connolly in the spotlight, or supporting him as backer. Trad music lovers won’t be disappointed here, definitely recommended!”
Daniel Neely, The Irish Echo
Aidan Connolly: Fiddle, Banjo
Pádraic Keane: Uilleann pipes
Liam McGonigle: Accordion
Deirdre Winrow: Fiddle
Oisín Morrison: Flute
Con Moynihan: Fiddle
Andrea Palandri: Fiddle
Pauric Bannon: Flute
Ruairí McGorman: Greek Bouzouki
Jack Talty: Piano
Engineered by Jack Talty
Artwork & Photography by Maurice Gunning.