Cormac Breatnach and Steve Cooney

Australian-born guitarist Steve Cooney, a long time Irish resident, won three awards in the 2020 RTÉ Folk Music Awards: The Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the Best Traditional Folk Track prize for his version of Eleanor Plunkett, and Best Folk Album for “Ceol Ársa Cláirsí: Tunes of the Irish Harpers for Solo Guitar”, his solo album debut after four decades collaborating with the finest traditional musicians in the field. He is also recording  fusion music with his band ”Éiníní”. ‘His influence on Irish trad guitar is akin to Hendrix’s on rock: he raised the bar and the rest of the world is still catching up. Since Cooney, and in his image, guitar accompanists have driven Irish music with momentum and visceral energy, though none has yet matched Cooney’s genius.’ - Mike Scott, The Waterboys.

Cormac Breatnach’s whistle playing can be heard on over 30 albums. In recent times, he received Arts Council Funding for two unrelated Projects: “The Whistle Blower Project” (with Daire Bracken and Martin Tourish dealing with a family trauma) and “Loco Por Lorca” (with Irish poets Theo Dorgan and Keith Payne and musicians Cormac de Barra and from Spain, Jaime Munoz and Carlos Beceiro) which celebrated Spain’s National Poet, Federico G. Lorca. Cormac also plays with the Wicklow-based baroque-music group, Sonamus. and


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