Dave Sheridan & Company: Sheridan's Guest House
Dave Sheridan: flute/ button accordion/ low whistle/keyboards
Seamie O'Dowd: fiddle/guitar
Brian Rooney: fiddle
Damian O'Brien: fiddle
Brian McDonagh: mandola
Oliver Loughlin: piano accordion
Junior Davey: bodhran
and many more, in fact a cast of 1,000's!
"It is indeed an honour for me to write these cúpla focal as a short introduction to this very vibrant, exciting and delightful recording.
Showing huge promise and a natural flair for traditional music as a young teenager, Dave Sheridan has truly come of age with this, his début album. This young music and religious education teacher spared little or no detail in his preparation for this recording. He rallied sixteen of his friends to keep him company in this endeavour, including Seamie O' Dowd, Brian Rooney (The Godfather), Brian Mc Donagh, Junior Davey, Neil Lyons, Oliver Loughlin, Damien O' Brien, Padraig O' Neill, Sean Gilrane, Padraig Mc Govern, Mick Mc Cague plus many more. The end result being fifteen tracks of carefully planned and beautifully rendered selections of rich, top class Irish traditional music with the spotlight tightly focused throughout on David's own masterful performance, mainly on concert flute but also proving his prowess on accordion and other instruments, not forgetting his wonderful compositions on track 8 and 15. Dave is joined by different musicians throughout the album, giving a remarkable, energetic, systematic structure not yet heard on a solo album. Charlie Mc Gettigan said that he 'could not recommend this album highly enough' and I would have to agree.
Ceann eile fós de na seoda breátha sin ó oidhreacht Mhic Cionnaith, Uí Dhuigeannáin agus mháistrí móra Liatroma fágtha le húmhacht ag an gceoltóir ioldánach cumasach seo ó Lios Gormáin agus Chill Earga an cheoil. Bain barr shásamh as ceol aoibhinn an tSioradánaigh agus a chairde mar a bhaineasa agus mar a mhairim ag baint as chuile uair da gcasaim é. Seoda an Aigéin go deimhin agus go dearfa! Nár laga Dia thú a Dháithí". Meaití Jóe Seamus
Dave Sheridan hails from County Leitrim, now teaching music and religion in Dublin. This young flutist (and button accordionist on one track) gathered sixteen of his friends, including Seamie O'Dowd and Brian McDonagh of Dervish, fiddler Brian Rooney, and many more. The album presents a wide spectrum, from duets and triplets to a full session sound. Jigs and reels almost exclusively. Imagine a friendly hostelry somewhere in the Irish countryside with the proprietor able to play a tune or two. It is a guesthouse that is sometimes confusing, and not too cleansed. Actually it's a caravan, and if you can imagine the number of musicians who have stayed in it, it's kind of reminiscent of the amount of musicians on the album. Dave's cousin Conor Sheridan delivers the one and only song "Our Beautiful Tradition" about older musicians wondering if traditional music is going to last or going to die. We know the answer, don't we? A class album..
Kiss the Maid Behind the Barrel:
The Humours of Ballyloughlin:
Mulhaires / Kiss the Maid Behind the Barrel (Reels)
Christy Barry's /King of the Pipers / Michael Dywers (Jigs)
The Maids of Castlebar/Boy in the Gap/The Old Maids of Galway (Reels)
Maid on the Green / Humours of Drinagh (Jigs)
Johnny Allen's /Paddy Galvin's/The Easy Club (Reels)
The Big House / Fred Finns (Reels)
Hag with the Money/The Maid of the Spinning Wheel (Jigs)
Our Beautiful Tradition/The Wind that Shakes the Barley (Song-Reel)
The Jewels of the Ocean / House on the Hill (Waltz - Reel)
Enya's Fancy / Captain Kelly's / The Salamanca (Reels)
The Humours of Ballyloughlin / Helvic Head (Jigs)
Fr Kelly's / Muineira de Ourence (Jigs)
Farewell to Ireland / The Road to Cashel / Tommy Peoples (Reels)
The Providence / The Limerick Lasses (Reels)
Enjoy your stay /In Sheridan's Guesthouse / Safe Home (Polka - Reel)
"Every musician playing on this album. It was an absolute privilege to play with you. I would like to thank all of the local musicians who I learned tunes from over the years. Thanks also to the John Me Kenna Society, Nancy Woods, John Regan, Meaiti Jo Sheamuis, Tom Mulligan, Fiachra 0 Torna, Liam Kelly, Damien Stenson, Sean Me Cague, all the lads in Monaghan, Galway, Leitrim, Sligo and Dublin for their musical friendship over the years, Jimmy Mc Kee, Gaye Mc Donagh, Sister Anne, Donal and Eithne in the Mater Dei Music Department and all the staff in St Michael's College,
I would like to thank Mam, Paddy, Gerard, Marian and of course Miriam, as well as my extended family for the support they have given me over the years. A special thanks to Brian Mc Donagh who recorded the album. Even though he is one of the most laid back men I ever had the pleasure of meeting, the amount of work he did on this recording was phenomenal.
I would sincerely like to thank two men who, without their influence, I may have never played music. They are Sean Gilrane and My Father Joe. Sean is playing the Flute on track 10 and was a huge encouragement to me down the years. He also composed Enya's Fancy, the first tune on this track. Dad would always bring me to local sessions, classes and Fleadh Ceoil's
and wait, sometimes into the early hours until the session was over. I could have played music until my 'heart was content*......thanks lads"!
Although this fine recording is over 2 years old, we at Copperplate believe it too good to have fallen throught the cracks of the torrent of good recording of traditional music coming out of Ireland in recent years. We will be undertaking a full scale mail out to retail and media, in the hope of helping this brilliant recording to achieve it's full potential. We are delighted to add this title to our roster.
Press ReviewsThe Folk Diary
Dave is a very talented young flute player from County Leitrim and he plays in that breathy straight-ahead fashion that is quite reminiscent of Matt Malloy. In fact a lot of the ensemble playing here - Dave surrounds himself a total of fifteen musicians at various places on the album - sounds like an updated Bothy Band, particularly when the flute is heard in tandem with fiddle or pipes and a bouzouki is providing accompaniment.
He is probably at his best playing reels and though there is that exhilarating flat-out feeling to them, it is clear that he is always playing within himself and allowing a feeling of space in the music. Strangely enough, the most interesting track is probably the one where Dave plays different instruments; he doubles on low whistle and button accordion on Johnny Allen's and Paddy Gavin's before bursting into one of Scotland's most popular session tunes and it is fascinating to hear the slightly different emphasis that the Irish put on The Easy Club Reel.
ALTHOUGH predominantly an Irish flute album with many opportunities to hear solo flute, Dave Sheridan's feast of jigs and reels are considerably augmented by a large group of friends. Pipes, low whistle, fiddle, piano accordion, guitars, mandola, bouzouki, keyboards, electric bass, percussion and bodhran help to keep the music varied by playing in different combinations.
It's driving, lively and upbeat The arrangements keep the music ever changing. It defiantly doesn't sound 'all the same1 as some uninitiated sceptics may sometimes accuse Irish music of being. The sound is often very full and padded out, setting it apart from other more typical trad CDs.
The one song is surprising, because it sounds more like a Broadway production than a traditional song. It's very polished, nonetheless!
There's a lot going on here, but it's not overwhelming and in-your-face, but full of treasures to be unearthed as you return to it time and time again. Imogen O'Rourke
The Living Tradition
Co. Leitrim people never seem to shout about their musicians. OK, we know about Joe McKenna, Ben and Charlie Lennon, the MacNamara family, but 1 don't understand why so much talent isn't boasted about. Maybe it's because Leitrim's overshadowed by its next-door neighbours, Donegal and Sligo?
Dave Sheridan is a young Leitrim flute player, now teaching in Dublin, who deserves to be more widely known and appreciated. He has a fine drive about his playing with discreet ornamentation that still allows the basic tune to shine through. He's laid down fifteen tracks, most of them around 3' 30", of 'standard' jigs and reels with a few less well-known tunes. Sixteen musicians, plus a singer, are on just about everything from accordion to uillean pipes. Not all of them play at the same time, so there's a great variety between tracks. A special round of applause for track 3; Brian Rooney's outstanding fiddle sets fire to The Maid on the Green and the Humours of Drinagh. He reminds me of the older fiddle style of players like James Morrison. One of Sheridan's old mentors, Sean Gilrane, plays flute on his own composition, Eania's Fancy, on track 10 then follows on with Captain Kelly's and The Salamanca.
There are discreet and sensitive bodhran players, in spite of the base lies you've been told. The secret is playing so that musicians are aware of it without noticing it. Neil Lyons plays bodhran on most of the tracks, with Liam Cryan, Junior Davey and Hugh Sullivan picking up the rest. Track 2 (Christy Barry's, King of the Pipers/Michael Dwyer's) gives a valid answer to the spoilsports who insist that no more than one bodhran should be played in a session. Lyons and Cryan both play but don't overpower the set.
Sheridan's cousin, Conor, sings Sheridan's own composition Our Beautiful Tradition, a song about older musicians wondering if the younger ones will carry on the well-loved old traditions. I liked the song immediately because it's the first one I ever heard on this thorny subject. The answer is the latest crop of musicians; the tradition's safer now than it's been for decades. As well as the song, Sheridan's own polka and reel, Enjoy Your Stay/In Sheridan's Guest House start the final track. The last reel, Safe Home, makes a logical ending to the whole CD. I only wish that all sixteen had gone out in a blaze of glory on this track.
Copperplate Distribution believe this CD is 'too good to fall through the cracks', so they're publicising this two-year old recording. I'm glad they have; it's a real treat. For all it's a studio recording, this has an impromptu feel because of the different line-ups on each track; I don't think any two sets have the same musicians playing together. Copperplate's blurb says, 'Imagine a friendly hostelry somewhere in the Irish countryside...' I don't want to do that, because this isn't a bit like a pub session; that would be full of the usual distractions. This feels more like a spontaneous gathering of musicians in someone's house and you've been honoured by being invited. Welcome to Sheridan's Guest House. Mick Furey
Sheridan's Guest House by Dave Sheridan from Ireland is a joy of a thing. He has about 16 guest musicians on the album. He is a wonderful flute player out of Leitrim, we believe. A massive talent, and there is such a sense of joy in this album as he generously shares the spotlight with his musical friends. This is just flat-out wonderful. Rating: Four Harps
Here's another great recording that but for the kind auspices of Copperplate Distribution would have fallen through the cracks and remained largely unheard in the UK. It was made over 2 years ago, but has all the timeless appeal of the best of Irish traditional music.
Co. Leitrim-born Dave is a fine flute player who gathered together an assortment of his musician friends to partake of a session in that metaphorical guest-house-cum-caravan somewhere in the Irish countryside. The 15 tracks, mostly jigs and reels, may be carefully planned as far as arrangements are concerned, but they're played with all the spirit of the convivial session and the varieties of texture Dave and his accomplices conjure up is quite miraculous. Dervish's Brian McDonagh, who's recorded the album, has given the sound a unified bloom that's full and attractive, yet lets the individual contributions breathe within the total sound-picture. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a flute-centred record quite as much, in fact, for the spirit of the music-making is so infectious; even though the whole affair's obviously a studio production rather than a live recording, there's a great feel of different musicians dropping in for each set and being accommodated and allowed free rein.
This accentuates, but in a thoroughly nice way, the degree of contrast between individual tracks, and makes for some imaginative touches — as on the Johnny Allen's set (track 5), an isolated instance of Dave forsaking the flute for the button accordion and bringing in Seamie O'Dowd on dobro alongside Padraig McGovern's uilleann pipes and some excellent rhythmic underpinning from Neil Lyons and Keith Kelly. This set forms a real contrast with that preceding, a more strict-tempo approach to a pair of jigs (Maid On The Green and Humours Of Drinagh) where Brian Rooney's spirited fiddle steps it out with Dave to Kevin Brehoney's lively piano vamping. That sort of points up the glory of this album — that it's emphatically not just another series of 'more jigs and reels' in 'OK, so what?' performances, but a pleasing and often intriguing sequence of inventively varied renditions. And when you glance down the list of musicians (apart from those mentioned, there's Oliver Loughlin, Damien O'Brien, Michael McCague and Padraig O'Neill to name but four), you just know you're in for some scintillating musicianship.
After all this positive commentary, however, I feel obliged to voice my one reservation regarding the disc: the inclusion of a song, a composition of Dave's own (Our Beautiful Tradition), the admirable sentiment of which rather fails to light my candle on account of the smooth yet overwrought manner in which it's sung by Dave's cousin Conor. No such problem besets Dave's self-penned polka and reel on the final track — the only other exception to the exclusively traditional source material used throughout this classy record. David Kidman
The Irish Democrat
GIVEN THE ongoing popularity of all forms of traditional Irish music and a seemingly never-ending stream of high quality recordings from both new and established musicians and groups it's not surprising that the odd album falls through the cracks of critical recognition.
Sheridan's Guesthouse would appear to be one such album. Originally released in 2006, this collection of traditional tunes has been put together, arranged and produced by Leitrim flautist and Dublin-based teacher Dave Sheridan.
Assisted by sixteen musician 'friends' of the highest calibre, including Dervish's Seamie O'Dowd (guitars) and Brian McDonagh (mandola), they combine to deliver a delightful and varied set of traditional music with a distinctly upbeat, though not frenzied, feel.
The album ably showcases Sheridan and co,'s musical talents and passion for the tradition. On Johnny Allen's and Paddy Galvin's, Sheridan demonstrates that, in addition to being a fine flautist, he's no slouch on the button accordion, while O'Dowd's splendid rhythmic guitar playing is a particular joy, providing the drive behind many of the tunes.
The one song on the album, Our Beautiful Tradition, is sung by Dave's cousin Conor Sheridan. A celebration of traditional Irish music, it is written from the standpoint of an older musician and questions whether it will survive and flourish amongst the younger generations. Given the opening paragraph of this review, I would say that the answer is fairly obvious.
However, while I approved of the song's sentiments, the arrangement and slightly breathless vocal delivery leaned a bit too far in the direction of MoR for my taste - a bit too Daniel O'Donnell and not enough Christy Moore, if you like.
That minor criticism aside, this is an excellent album, which deserves a wider audience. So, take a break and check in to Sheridan's Guesthouse. You'll be sure to have a pleasant stay. David Granville
Hot Press Magazine
In the liner notes for his debut CD young Leitrim flute player Dave Sheridan thanks his Dad profusely for all the hours he spent waiting to drive the fledgling musician home from trad music sessions that continued late into the night. Listening to the aptly named Sheridan's Guesthouse, you get the feeling that you've happened upon such a session-and a damn fine one it is too. An ever changing cast of players join in for a tune or two, anchored by the crack string team of Brian Mc Donagh (mandola) Seamie O Dowd (guitars) and Michael Mc Cague (bouzouki); but always at the centre of things is Sheridan, with his fluid, unflashy style, sound technique and solid ryhthm. A beautiful album throughout! Sarah Mc Quaid
It's easy to have a soft spot for Leitrim, that gentle-paced Irish country whose traditional music seems to match the rises and rolls of the landscape and the tone of the flute players is as clear as the glassy waters of Lough Allen. Dave Sheridan is one such instrumentalist and comes from the tiny village of Killargue, halfway between Manorhamilton and Drumkeeran, but he's not just a dab hand on the flute, but the button accordion and low whistle too, as Sheridan's Guesthouse amply illustrates.
For any recording debutant it's always a boon to be surrounded by inspirational companions, so Dave has corralled the doyen of local accompanists, Sligo's Séamie O'Dowd, into the studio as well as the ex-Dervish man's string-plucker in arms, mandola-player Brian McDonagh, and a host of other musicians from his musical stomping ground.
While Dave's flute takes on lark-like qualities, not least on the effervescent opener Mulhaire's/Kiss the Maid Séamie proves a bedrock throughout this utterly enjoyable album. However, the sparks truly fly when Dave hooks up with with long-time London-based fiddler Brian Rooney for Maid on the Green/Humours of Drinagh, while the thoroughly foot-stomping set of reels kicked off by Johnny Allen's sees his accordeon trading notes in remarkable rapidity with the uilleann pipes of Patrick McGovern.
Elsewhere, there's a flute duet to die for, Enya's Fancy, featuring Dave's cousin Seán Gilrane, and two tracks revealing the talents of fiddler Pádraig O'Neill from Dublin (clearly revealing himself as one of Ireland's greatest wasted talents — as for why, the story's too long to tell).
So book yourself a room in Sheridan's Guesthouse, the rooms might need refurbishing, but the house band is a killer. James O Donnell
Hailing from County Leitrim, this impressive debut album features a large number of guest musicians (hence the title), with the flute playing being the central thread running through it all.
The flute playing is highly accomplished, dynamic and in a modern flowing style rather than the rhythmic style traditionally associated with Leitrim (such as Packie Duignan). The guests are too numerous to mention in detail here, but notably include Brian Rooney (fiddle) on one track, Junior Davey (bodhran) on several others and Brian McDonagh and Seamie O'Dowd from Dervish providing backing on all but two tracks. Some of the arrangements are inventive and forward-looking, but still very much within the tradition.
This is a delightful and exhuberent recording that reminds me of Jimmy Noonan's The Maple Leaf in the sheer joy of playing that comes over to the listener.