Spotlight on Flute!

We recently have been visited by a new member who plays the flute. She’s pretty much only played the silver concert flute so far, but has bought a simple system, 6-hole flute as well. This got me thinking about how beginners/new converts to Irish music don’t always know what their new instrument is capable of, given that they put in the hours for practice, of course! (Hint, hint, Ms. McA!) So today, for our newest member, I present a number of fine players of the flute in the Irish tradition:

First up, Katherine Mcevoy. I fell in love with her playing because of her collaboration with Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh on the album Comb Your Hair and Curl It.

Of course, no flute player list is complete without Matt Malloy, former member of the The Bothy Band, Planxty, and The Chieftains. He is widely considered the man at the apex of Irish flute playing. Here is just one of I am sure many hundreds of examples of his playing to be found on YouTube. He’s playing at a fairly moderate tempo here, and you can really see what all his digits are up to:

Here’s Harry Bradley, who I first heard on an album with fiddler Paul O’shaughnessy called …Born For Sport. Looove his easy style and his variations.

Tara Diamond. From Northern Ireland, here playing a couple Flings with her husband, Dermot. Lovely stuff.

Patsy Hanley. Playing one of my favorite jigs. I’ll let you guess which one.

And there are SOOOO many more amazing flute players out there. This list is a little random, but a good discussion of fine fluters can be found at

You can look forward to spotlights on other Irish trad instruments as well, so keep coming back!




Strike the Gay Harp

I was listening to an album by Kevin Crawford called In Good Company today, and this one jig stood out to me, and it turns out it’s because my musician friends play it at sessions. It’s called Strike the Gay Harp, and I love it. It has three parts, in the key of D. Here a link to a recording of my friends playing it, and a few videos from YouTube for your viewing and listening pleasure. Tell me what you think of it! I’ll post a vid of me playing it soon! But first–

My friends playing Strike the Gay Harp.