Irish session and Bay Area Unitarian Universalist
Church are pleased to present a concert by the Irish
traditional group Chulrua.
Their name (pronounced cool-ROO-ah), translates from the
Irish as "red back," and was the name and
distinguishing feature of the favorite wolfhound
belonging to ancient Irish hero Fionn MacCumhaill. It is
now also the name of an internationally acclaimed trio
featuring some of the most respected and unique exponents
of Irish traditional music.
Button accordion icon Paddy
O'Brien has accumulated a veritable
hoard of rare versions of tunes and stories gleaned from
more than forty years of patiently seeking out and
spending time with older musicians throughout Ireland. A
native of County Offaly in the Midlands of Ireland, he is
the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant
to record and annotate 500
dance tunes (a small fraction of his repertoire), and
is revered by aficionados worldwide.
Also an avid student of the old masters, Timmy
Britton is a virtuoso on the rare
uilleann (pronounced ILL-an) pipes, wooden flute, and tin
whistle, appearing on more than two dozen recordings. His
profound insight into the tradition is tempered by the
many influences he grew up with in Philadelphia.
For twenty years, Tipperary man Pat
Egan has developed his own powerfully
emotive style of guitar accompaniment and vocal delivery.
He has chosen to feather his nest with some wonderful but
little-known songs, old and new, that fit into both
traditional and contemporary contexts.
Chulrua's 71-minute CD, entitled "Barefoot
on the Altar," captures the trio's driving
rhythms, as well as their delicately artful interaction,
live on stereo microphone, just as it filled a small
church in southeast Iowa during their recording sessions.