Brendan Hendry: fiddle
Brendan Mulholland: flute
Paul McSherry: Guitar
Froots: "This is an album so damned good that its essence should be bottled and force-fed to all Irish infants". Geoff Wallis
www.folkradio.co.uk: "Tuned Up! A stunning album"
"These gentlemen are top of their class and this album is up there with the best of them in the Irish Tradition.
This is a classic that will breathe new life into Irish traditional music. Fantastic"!
The Belfast Traveller:
The Bell Harbour Hornpipe:
Cuil Aodh Jig:
- Reels: Fox in the Town / In The Tap Room / The Belfast Traveller.
- Jigs: Tatter Jack Walsh / Happy to Meet, Sorry to Part / Trip to Athlone
- Jigs: The Kilavil / The Lost Ring / Malcolm's New Fiddle
- Reels: Shovel Tongue / The Swallow's Tail / Gladstone's.
- Jigs: In The Glibe Road / The Bar Mouth / Hendry's on the Hill
- Reels: High Road to Linton / Humours of Newcastle
- Air/Hornpipe: Magh Seola / The Bell Harbour HP
- Waltz/Reels: Catriona Morrison's / The Dregs of Birch / The Raod to Taynuilt
- Polka/Reel: Johnny O'Leary's / The Boys of Malin
- Jigs: The Mug of Brown Ale / Scatter the Mud / Cul Aodh Jig
Music in Black & White
This album came about of an inherant love of music and great support from family and friends. We had lots of great nights putting this together and the odd late night drink wasn't unheard of.
Having grown up immersed in music, and fortunate to be surrounded by people who had a great understanding of it, we set out on a voyage that
would respect this, and also create a style of music that reflected us.
So from the streets of West Belfast, to the hills of Tullyrusk and the lowlands of South Derry, Paul McSherry, Brendan Mulholland and Brendan Hendry say thanks for taking the time and we hope you enjoy our music. Brendan Mulholland / Brendan Hendry / Paul McSherry
Brendan Mulholland / Brendan Hendry / Paul McSherry
'Fiddle and flute, fiddle and flute, fiddle and flute' this was the mantra expressed to me time and time again by PJ Crotty, the wonderful flute player from Moyasta in West Clare.
The unifying sound created when these two instruments come together for me is second to none and my album In Good Company made up of duets with 9 different fiddle players is testimony to this.
On this recording Brendan Hendry (fiddle) from Bellaghy Co. Derry and Brendan Mulholland (flute) from Glenavy, Co. Antrim have added more weight
to my theory by producing an album full of great playing, lovely tunes (including 4 of their own) and tasty arrangements with the perfect guitar accompaniment provided by Paul McSherry.
This is one of those rare recordings that just keeps getting better and better with lots of hidden gems lurking beneath the surface. On each listen something new is revealed, resulting in a tightly knit unified performance that allows their individual virtuosity to shine through.
Their playing demonstrates a deep understanding and knowledge of the music's subtle details and meaning with three musical minds creating something far greater than the sum of the parts. I love the sense of space created within the tunes, letting the music breath and pulse naturally and
effortlessly, carrying the listener along on a musical journey which starts out and ends up at the heart of the tradition.
The expert guitar playing of Paul McSherry from Belfast, Co. Antrim can not be overlooked on this recording, his skilled and sensitive touch combined with his drive and rhythm provides the right grounding upon which the music can flourish ....... and flourish it has. Brendan Hendry and
Brendan Mulholland are making music on a par with that of Matt Molloy and Tommy Peoples. Fred Finn and Peter Horan, Frankie Kennedy and Mairead NiMhaonaigh etc.
I am sure by now you'll agree with PJ Crotty and myself that this combination of instruments takes some beating!
Repeat after me - "fiddle and flute, fiddle and flute, fiddle and flute". Kevin Crawford February 2008
from Bellaghy in Co Derry is one of the great fiddle player's in Ireland today. Brendan a member of the White Hare Band were the first Irish act to be awarded a prestigious Danny Kyle Award at the legendary Celtic Connection's Festival.
Brendan is a widely respected musician in traditional music and has entertained many audiences and if the conditions are right he will deliver a rendition of many a fine song.
lives in Glenavy, Co Antrim and is regarded as one of the finest young flute exponents in Ireland.
From Belfast, Co. Antrim, Paul began was self-taught on the guitar from the age of 14. Considered one of the top guitar players in Irish Traditional Music, he has worked and recorded with artists such as Michael McGoldrick, Kevin Crawford, Gerry O'Connor, Cormac Breatnach, John McSherry as well as bands Commonalty, Tamalin and more recently Guidewires.
A gifted player, he continues to be a highly influential and respected guitarist in Irish Traditional Music.
Press Reviewswww.liveireland.com The Livie AWards 2012
Concert of the Year - Brendan Hendry / Brendan Mulholland / Jim Rainey
This trio came in from Northern Ireland for Irish Fest in Milwaukee. As you have read above, Brendan Hendry is this year's Male Musician of the Year. Next year's is probably the flute player, Brendan Mulholland. Jim Rainey did a lovely job of accompaniment on guitar. The lads offered a weekend-long tutorial of music and concerts of perfection. We have known for a long time what an incredible musician of soul and substance Brendan Hendry is. Brendan Mulholland on wooden flute came as a stunning surprise of an introduction. Brendan has a new album coming out in 2012 and he is the early favorite for next year's Musician of the Year. We can tell you that Mulholland equals any flute player in the music today. He is magic. Their albums show masters at the top of their form. This is the way Irish music is supposed to sound and it has never sounded better than in those concerts.
The Living Tradition May/June 09
Now this is something special. A couple of handy Ulster lads on flute and fiddle may not be unusual, but the fierce energy and passion, which pours out of Brendan Mulholland and Brendan Hendry is rare indeed. Add to that their uncanny synchrony, plus their taste for good tunes, and it's tempting to see Tuned Up as an instant classic.
Certainly this recording is proof enough that the tradition of flute and fiddle duets is alive and well in Derry and Antrim. Listen to the change out of Tatter Jack Walsh, the lead into Mug of Brown Ale. And it's not just jigs: The Boys of Malin is rattled out in impeccable unison, and the opening Fox on the Town set is pretty spot-on too. There's a strong Scots influence on the material here, with Gladstone's Reel maintaining its popularity in Ulster and The High Road to Linton treated as a two-part swagger. Ian "Tonkan" MacDonald's charming waltz opens a set containing Tania "Duhks" Elizabeth's slow reel The Dregs of Birch and a spirited rendition of The Road to Taynuilt - a definite highlight. I should also mention the trio of jigs by Brendan Hendry, eccentric and familiar by turns, great old-style tunes.
Some might take issue with the phrase "perfect guitar accompaniment" applied to Irish music, but if you have to have a guitarist you'd be wise to look in County Antrim and you couldn't get much better than Paul McSherry. His strumming drives the jigs and reels, and his rippling runs and arpeggios provide the ideal backdrop for Gerald Fahy's air Magh Seola. There's interesting little bits and pieces going on behind Johnny O'Leary's Polka, and Paul takes the lead on a silky slow version of The Kilavil Jig. Brendan Mulholland's composition The Lost Ring follows seamlessly as a flute and guitar duet, and Brendan Hendry finally takes his bow on the Jerry Holland tune Malcolm's New Fiddle. That's Jerry with a J, from Boston. Neither Jerry nor anyone else joins the trio here:
Tuned Up is all their own work, and very proud of it they should be too. Alex Monaghan
Tuned Up! A stunning album
These gentlemen are top of their class and this album is up there with the best of them in the Irish Tradition. This is a classic that will breathe new life into Irish traditional music. Fantastic!
It's not often I start a review by explaining what an album isn't rather than what it is. In the case of Brendan Hendry (fiddle), Brendan Mulholland (flute) and Paul McSherry (guitar) it seems very appropriate as it is so far removed from what you often hear today. You will find no fancy arrangements although there are of course flourishes, no guest stars (you don't need them to sell this album) and no percussion (the guitar and rythm of flute and fiddle more than makes up for that). This is pure traditional Irish music: fiddle, flute and guitar.
The album I am referring to is 'Tuned Up'; it has a sincerity and well rooted respect for Irish traditional music which comes across throughout the album. In this day and age making an album so unvarnished is often seen as a daring move. This may sound strange but a lot of music is underpinned by big production values and attempts to do things differently. The result is often over use of fancy play, many instruments competing for attention and a raft of guest stars with a big budget on tow. It was refreshing to hear this album it makes you realise how great a good traditional act can sound where their playing is sincerely based on an inherent love of traditional music.
The fiddle and flute combine to create a beautiful sound that, with the accompaniment of Paul McSherry on guitar, make every track on this album a virtuoso performance. They work so closely together with the flute and fiddle matching note for note in places followed by subtle interplay and flourishes. There is a bond between these musicians that you will struggle to hear in others. That bond has allowed them to master a fine traditional art of play. Their instruments don't shout for attention and they play incredibly well. Forget your spotlight solos, this is clever musicianship that sounds effortless and is as natural as can be.
SONGLINES Apr/May 09
Making the fiendishly difficult sound easy peasy ****
Simplicity is the watchword for this accomplished first album from the combined talents of fiddler Brendan Hendry, Brendan Mulholland on flute and guitarist Paul McSherry. Bringing a fresh, heartfelt and occasionally feisty musicality to bear on an effortlessly engaging collection of traditional and new material, the trio adopts a back-to-basics approach that emphasises substance over surface gloss.
The White Hare Band frontman Hendry acquits himself with a direct and understated dexterity that summons up flattering memories of Sligo legend MichaeI Coleman. Home to the no-less-deft Mulholland is the village of Glenavy in Antrim, a county with a teeming but hidden heritage of traditional music, while the West Belfast-born and self taught McSherry is part of one of the most respected musical families.
The well-chosen blend of fast and slow reels and jigs, subtly peppered with contrasting waltzes, polkas, hornpipes and airs, is executed with enviable ease, the playing unfailingly alive and alert. Immediately apparent is the straight forward, unornamented honesty of the playing and the vividly reciprocal sense ensemble.
Where Mulholland carries himself with the skilful delicacy of Paddy Carty and the poetic brio of Matt Molloy.
Hendry is simply one of the finest and most nuanced fiddle players in Ireland today. The much-in-demand McSherry offers supple and sensitive support throughout.
All in all, an impressive first outing for a fine partnership that leaves you eager to hear more. Michael Quinn
"This is an album so damned good that its essence should be bottled and force-fed to all Irish infants". Geoff Wallis
FolkWorld Alex Monaghan's Best Loved Albums of 008
Now this is something special. A couple of handy Ulster lads on flute and fiddle may not be unusual, but the fierce energy and passion which pours out of Brendan Mulholland and Brendan Hendry is rare indeed. Add to that their uncanny synchrony, plus their taste for good tunes, and it's tempting to see Tuned Up as an instant classic. Certainly this recording is proof enough that the tradition of flute and fiddle duets is alive and well in Derry and Antrim. Listen to the change out of Tatter Jack Walsh, the lead into Mug of Brown Ale. And it's not just jigs: The Boys of Malin is rattled out in impeccable unison, and the opening Fox on the Town set is pretty spot-on too. There's a strong Scots influence on the material here, with Gladstone's Reel maintaining its popularity in Ulster and The High Road to Linton treated as a two-part swagger. Ian "Tonkan" MacDonald's charming waltz opens a set containing Tania "Duhks" Elizabeth's slow reel The Dregs of Birch and a spirited rendition of The Road to Taynuilt - a definite highlight. I should also mention the trio of jigs by Brendan Hendry, eccentric and familiar by turns, great old-style tunes.
Some might take issue with the phrase "perfect guitar accompaniment" applied to Irish music, but if you have to have a guitarist you'd be wise to look in County Antrim and you couldn't get much better than Paul McSherry. His strumming drives the jigs and reels, and his rippling runs and arpeggios provide the ideal backdrop for Gerald Fahy's air Magh Seola. There's interesting little bits and pieces going on behind Johnny O'Leary's Polka, and Paul takes the lead on a silky slow version of The Kilavil Jig. Brendan Mulholland's composition The Lost Ring follows seamlessly as a flute and guitar duet, and Brendan Hendry finally takes his bow on the Jerry Holland tune Malcolm's New Fiddle. That's Jerry with a J, from Boston. Neither Jerry nor anyone else joins the trio here: Tuned Up is all their own work, and very proud of it they should be too.
THE LIVIES 2009
Instrumental Album of the Year: Tuned Up: Hendry, Mulholland, McSherry
Brendan Hendry, Brendan Mulholland and Paul McSherry are from Derry and Antrim, and have produced the virtually perfect traditional, instrumental album. Master musicians all. We have played the first cut on the album about 125 times. It is a set of three reels, Fox in the Town/In the Tap Room/The Belfast Traveller. Hendry is on fiddle, Mulholland on flute and McSherry on guitar. This is straight ahead, no frills, no gimmick trad played by wonderful musicians. This is what it is all about. Or should be. Incredible. Again, when dealing with this level of musicianship, words fail us. Get up, 'ya boyos!! Bill Margeson
THIS album is well ensconced in the field of the neo-traditional.The melodies, played on flute and fiddle, and sometimes guitar, are unadulterated trad Irish through and through. The guitar accompaniment has a slightly more modern twist, but nothing particularly out of the ordinary.
The style of the fiddle and flute playing leans more towards emotion and precision and further away from the more rhythmically diverse and bouncier playing of many of their contemporaries.They're not in your face.The music of the Brendans has, therefore, married in well with the driving and diverse playing of Paul McSherry.
It's quite an interesting album: lots of interesting little musical titbits popping up. There's a fair bit of overdubbing, intros, interludes, harmonies, changes of pace etc. The solo guitar melodies and sparser tracks highlighting one or two players contrast with the other more full-bodied pieces. Imogen O'Rourke
The more music I listen to, the more I am convinced that where music is concerned, three is a magic number -- a trio of musicians always seem to achieve a certain balance. With Tuned Up there is balance in abundance, in fact there is plenty in abundance here: pace, poise and elegance immediately spring to mind. This is an album of the most beautifully pure music. There is no unnecessarily fussy production, no wanton rhythm section muscling in on the action, just the gorgeously intoxicating sound of guitar, flute and fiddle working together in heavenly harmony.
In this case the trio consists of two Antrim men, Brendan Mulholland on flute and Paul McSherry on guitar, alongside Derry's Brendan Hendry on fiddle. Comprising mainly jigs and reels -- with a polka, waltz, hornpipe and slow air thrown in for good measure -- Tuned Up provides ten sets of tunes that demonstrate relentlessly excellent musicianship, taking the listener from one exhilarating high point to another, with a masterfully engaging immediacy.
A set of reels gets things off to a lively start as the guys come racing off the starting line. McSherry's pacey guitar lends a fierce and fiery rhythm as the duelling fiddle and flute of Hendry and Mulholland entwine in an inseparable embrace. The trio's versatility shines through on "The Killavil" with McSherry employing a more measured, intricate guitar technique, alongside the wallowing flute of Mulholland and Hendry's reticent fiddle, before the set turns to some more up-tempo jigs, allowing all the musicians to once again stretch their legs.
This isn't music that you can listen to in a detached manner. This is music with a passion that carries you along for the ride. It's not really like listening to an album, it's more like sitting in on a seamlessly flowing session. It's almost a surprise when you look up after the end of the album to find there are no musicians alongside you, no crowd egging them on to further fast and furious delights.Tuned Up is a refreshing blast of an album that basks in uncompromising candour, and is certain not to disappoint. Mike Wilson
The Irish World
Three Northern musicians cook up a real treat...
Tuned Up' (Copperplate) sees three fine musicians from the North of Ireland join forces to create a fine classic fiddle and flute album. They are great West Belfast guitar player Paul McSherry, brilliant young flute player Brendan Mulholland from Glenavy, Co Antrim and the wonderful fiddler Brendan Hendry from Belaghy in Derrv.
The music speaks for itself here - there's no showing off with arrangement, no huge names or unusual instruments - just traditional music with the instruments in duet, flute and fiddle
that form its very foundation. McSherry, one of the most in demand guitarists on the traditional scene, provides unobtrusive support like a true pro.
These three musicians have come up with an album whose beauty lies in its simplicitv. With a mix of self-penned and traditional numbers, it not only pays its respects to tradition,
but is full of flair and a love of Irish music. And with each polka, jig and reel, rarely have three musicians sounded like they were singing to such a degree from the same hymn sheet.
There are 10 cuts on this album, and it is an early qualifier for Instrumental Album of the Year. Derry musicians Mulholland on flute, Hendry on fiddle and McSherry on guitar have produced the virtually perfect instrumental album. These lads can play! No fuss. No frills. No production gimmicks. Just straight ahead trad played perfectly. There is always, always more than
enough room for musicians of this caliber using this approach. Welcome, lads! You have played a blinder! Fab! Rating: Four Harps Bill Margeson
The Irish Post
Ulster musicians release CD
A TRIO of traditional Irish musicians from Ulster have released their fantastic new album. Tuned Up is the new record from Brendan Hendry, Brendan Mulholland and Paul McSherry.
There are no flashy arrangements, no exotic instruments, no guest stars, no percussion, no Celtic misty washes - just good honest Irish traditional music played by masters of the art.
Brendan Hendry hails from Bellaghy in Co. Derry. Over the years he has played on many stages and is one of the great fiddle players in Ireland today.
Brendan Mulholland lives in Glenavy, Co. Antrim and is regarded as one of the finest young flute exponents in Ireland.
Paul McSherry was a founder member of the family group Tamalin. From there he moved on to work with At First Light and Lunasa among others. He is one of the most sought after guitarists in Irish traditional music.
This trio of brilliant musicians has produced an album that respects the tradition and also produces music from the bottom of their hearts, full of flair, colour and soul.
The Clare People Newspaper
When you put three of the best musicians in the country together on three of the most popular instruments in Irish music you are bound to hear something that will blow you away.
Their playing demonstrates a real sound of effection towards their music and this is shown with great taste in the selction of tunes and versions they play.
The album starts with a great set of reels played so tight that you would think its one instrument at times. The second track straight away throws you in a different direction with just
flute and fiddle.
My favourite track has to be the third. It starts with a great slow groove from the guitar into the Killavel jig, followed by one of the nicest tunes I have heard written by Mullholland entgitled 'The lost ring' and finishes powerfully with 'Malcolms new fiddle'.
There are so many great tunes on this recording but some that stand out are 'Magh Seola' written by Ger Fahy and 'The Bar Mouth' written by Brendan Hendry.
Overall a top class album with great production and thought gone into it. Padraig Rynne 9/10
A new CD from Copperplate Distribution arrived a few days ago. Called 'Tuned Up' from Brendan Hendry, Brendan Mulholland and Paul McSherry, it's a reflection of three men and their collective love of the music of Ireland. Although the names may sound like a firm of solicitors, Hendry, Mulholland and McSherry are musicians - and damn fine musicians too, ranked among the best in timeless Irish traditional music.
If you consider the classic combination of fiddle and flute to be the essence of Irish music then 'Tuned Up' is for you. If adding supremely sensitive guitar rounds out your mood, then you're in for a treat.
The two Brendans - Hendry and Mulholland, play fiddle and flute respectively, while Paul McSherry plays guitar. With 'Tuned Up' these three have created a simple unadorned album that works on so many levels. Straight out the box it's a lovingly crafted selection of tunes - traditional, self-penned and borrowed. On subsequent listens it grows into a musical book with new, half-remembered and untold tales woven into its fabric. The more you listen the more you hear. And they've included some of my favourites: 'High Road to Linton/ The Humours of Newcastle' plus 'Johnny O'Leary'/ Boys of Malin'.
There's a well-worn expression about musicians being so tight you can't force a cigarette paper between them — well these guys are so tight they must be joined at the hip. Brendan Hendry is rightfully recognised among the great and good of Irish fiddlers - easy to see why. Brendan Mulholland makes the flute his own instrument, so much so that few can match him. Too often when bands use guitar or bouzouki with fiddle and flute, it's with the finesse of a road drill. Not so here, Paul McSherry wraps his style around the fiddle and flute with the balance of a true master.
These great musicians touch the beating heart of their music and clearly soak up its changing moods with the air they breathe. Released on 27 October, 'Tuned Up' should be in your
collection.- No doubt. Tim Carroll