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The Truckley Howl

by The Truckley Howl

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An album of cordial delight, the Truckley Howl displays the lovely nuances of traditional Irish music. Boston's current pearl, Nathan Gourley on fiddle, creates a well­tempered balance with the distinctive concertina playing of Mairead Hurley from Sligo. Seasoned accompanist John Blake from London offers insightful narration of each tune on piano and guitar in addition to his thoughtful flute playing. Combining some well­known classics with rare gems, this album is sure to be a reference for players and listeners alike.
-Brian Holleran

‘First you must learn the talk. And then you must learn the grip. And after that, you must learn the Truckley Howl.’ – Seamus Ennis

The tunes on this recording come from a variety of sources reflecting our formative influences, collective interest in the older collections of Irish music, and our shared experiences of music making over the last number of years. While the three of us were living on three different continents (Mairead: Australia, Nathan: USA, John: Ireland) we were attracted by the idea that Ennis seemed to be alluding to an elusive part of the music that cannot be taught but must be absorbed. We started to share tune settings, and when Mairead moved back to Ireland, and Nathan made one of his frequent visits across the Atlantic, we tried them out together, and the seeds for this recording were sown.

“You know, there’s an awful lot to be said about this Irish traditional folk music and folklore. Because first of all, you have to learn it. And first you must learn the talk. And then you must learn the grip. And after that, you must learn the Truckley Howl. And then you have the whole lot, only just to keep on practicing it.” -Seamus Ennis

Mairéad grew up in Ballymote, Co. Sligo, Ireland in a musical family, and began playing at a young age, starting with the whistle and flute, and later taking up the concertina. She was the winner of the All-Ireland senior concertina title at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, cementing her status as one of the up and coming talents in Irish concertina playing. She has performed on stages and taught concertina master classes across Europe, North America and in Australia and New Zealand.

John Blake is a traditional Irish flute player, guitarist, and pianist. An ex-member of traditional group Téada, John has performed and recorded with the cream of Irish musicians including John Carty, Paddy Glackin, Noel Hill, Liam O’Flynn, Jesse Smith, Harry Bradley, Colm Gannon, The Kane Sisters and James Kelly. Brought up in London, John moved to Ireland in 1998 and developed a reputation as an accompanist of note, racking up several album credits. He joined traditional band ‘Téada‘ in 2001 and toured with them for 3 years, at which point he got off the road and settled into a job in Na Píobairí Uilleann (The Pipers Club) in Dublin. In 2003 John was runner-up in the Irish Echo’s ‘Irish Traditional Musician Of The Year’ and in 2013 released his debut solo album ‘The Narrow Edge’.

A former member of Chulrua, the Doon Ceili Band, the Two Tap Trio, and the Máirtín de Cógáin Project, Nathan Gourley started playing music at age five. While living in Minnesota he had the opportunity to collaborate with such renowned players as Paddy O’Brien of Chulrua, Daithi Sproule of Altan, Brian Miller of Bua, and Norah Rendell of The Outside Track. Now a resident of Boston, Nathan has recently released "Life Is All Checkered" with Laura Feddersen and "Copley Street" with Joey Abarta.


released November 11, 2016


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The Truckley Howl Dublin, Ireland

The Truckley Howl are a three-piece collective from Ireland and the USA, performing the best of traditional music on fiddle, concertina and guitar

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