Our Newest CD: Two Tone
In the summer of 2002, the two of us sat down for a few tunes in McKenna’s, a welcoming little bar in the town of East Durham, in the Catskill Mountains of New York. We really enjoyed ourselves that night, talking, joking, and trading tune. Two flutes together can create a musical spontaneity and a rhythmic back-and-forth that is about as wild as it gets in Irish music. It was the first time we had ever played together, and we discovered that we shared a similar taste in tunes, and a similar approach to playing the flute.
To capture and recreate the energy of that session, in 2003 we made a recording called Double-Barrelled. We wanted the music to sound and feel as much like the way we played that night as possible, so we recorded the flutes and whistles over a couple of afternoons at Dennis Cahill’s studio in Chicago, with no edits and no overdubs. We kept the backing to a minimum as well, with Dennis playing guitar on a few tracks, and Jackie Moran adding some bodhrán here and there.
Now, we are delighted to have completed a second recording, which we call Two Tone. It’s very much in the spirit of our last one. Once again, we have tried to give the music the feel of sitting in a kitchen or in a quiet pub, both in how we played, and in how we recorded it. The simple goal was to preserve the raw wildness of the sound of two flutes playing together. We were joined on a few tracks by our friends John Blake on guitar and piano, and by Joey Abarta on bodhrán.
The search for good tunes is a part of our lives in the music. On John’s farm in the hills of Kentucky, and in Kieran’s house on the coast of Maine, there is always an old music book or two sitting on the table, and an old recording playing. For Two Tone, we have found inspiration in the playing of friends and musicians who have influenced us personally, like Michael Hynes, Frank Martin, Michael Tubridy, Seán Potts, and Kevin Henry. In addition, we’ve picked up tunes and learned a lot about playing music from recordings of Joe Bane and Thomas Power of Clare; the McDonaghs, Dan Healy, and John Egan of Sligo; and John Doonan of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Two Tone is, simply, a musical snapshot of how we sound when we sit down to play together the music we most like to play: flutes going, feet pounding, and air flowing. We hope you enjoy listening!