Raelach Records are delighted to announce the release of Solid Ground (RR015), the début solo recording from Mayo banjo player, Shane Mulchrone. Shane hails from near Ballina, in county Mayo. He has been playing the banjo for over 20 years and he cites John Carty and Tommy Finn as early influences on his music. In addition, Shane’s music has also been shaped by local musicians in Mayo and Sligo. Shane has taught at numerous summer schools and workshops nationally, and internationally, and he plays regularly at sessions and festivals around the country.
This excerpt from the album notes outlines some of Mulchrone’s influences and sources of material:
“The music on this album has been gathered over the years from many different sources, and is mostly associated with the west of Ireland. The landscape around this area inspires me; the mountains, the boglands, the rivers, the sea. This is my attempt to honour all the teachers, musicians, singers, dancers, and listeners I have met along the way”.
Solid Ground is produced by Jack Talty and Mulchrone, and features Noel O’Grady on bouzouki, Talty on piano, with melodeon player Heather Cole-Mullen guesting on one track. The album will be officially launched at a series of launch concerts in Dublin, Mayo, Clare and Galway throughout April and May.
“one of the best banjo records in recent memory…a must-have…’Solid Ground’ is an excellent album that I think every banjo player should own. Mulchrone’s playing is tasteful and inventive, and his sound is brilliant. But Mulchrone also shows great appreciation for the tradition in the way he’s struck a fine balance between contemporary oral sources and smartly curated historical ones. This is something that I think recommends this album to the traditional music community more broadly. Definitely recommended!
Daniel Neely, The Irish Echo
Full article available at: https://www.irishecho.com/…/mulchrone-albums-must-banjoists/
“I can hear many saying; “An album of banjo music?” No need for the question. The answer is: “Yes it is.” And it’s also damn good! Probably one of the world’s most unjustly maligned instruments in the hands of a master the banjo takes on new life and without doubt Shane Mulchrone is just hat – a man who not only knows his way around the instrument but able to give it multiple shades of both light and dark.
The album is called ‘Solid Ground’ and the origination and interpretation of jig and reel sets coupled to a soulful air and lively barn dances reflects that image. The foundations are solid, mostly grounded in the seat of traditional music from the west of Ireland, however Mulchrone adds his own imaginative expression and creation to build an album that’s aching to be heard.
‘Solid Ground’ is an album that will not only change the minds of many about banjo music but will ensure Mulchrone’s name remains among the ranks of ‘masters of their art’”.
Charlie Elland, FolkWords
“In an age when commercial Irish banjo music has drifted towards Celt-Grass this collection from Mulchrone reminds us of the joy that the banjo has been bringing to traditional music for nearly a century.”
Sean Laffey, Irish Music Magazine