It’s hard to believe that three kids, aged just 16, 14 and 11, can already have clocked up 25 years of musical development between them. Throw into the mix the fact that these young trad musicians are also classically trained and your interest is piqued.
Finally, add a flair for composition and arrangement, two and a half years’ work, and the result is LITTLE GIANTS AND OTHER OXYMORONS, the debut album from THE MAGUIRES. The band made the trek from their native Wicklow to Killarney to record the album with Tony O’Flaherty in Sonas Recording, following in the footsteps of Frankie Gavin & De Dannan, We Banjo 3, FullSet, Breaking Trad, John Spillane, and Seamus Begley among others to have recorded there.
Tony has captured perfectly the energy of The Maguires’ music, tastefully blending the melodies with harmonies and counter-melodies which define the overall style of the album.
The high energy of the jigs and reels is complemented by a selection of slower tunes composed in the traditional idiom and arranged with a classical feel.
Six of the eleven tracks on the album were composed by the band themselves.
The Maguires have been playing together as a band for three years and are regular performers at festivals and concerts throughout Ireland. In May 2016, they played live on The Ray D’Arcy Show to a primetime Saturday night audience of c. half a million viewers.
The band’s line-up is Emma (fiddle, flute, piano), Aoife (concertina, uilleannpipes), Seán (bodhrán) and Dad, Philip (guitar). Emma and Aoife are the main composers, with occasional help from Philip. Most of the arrangements are done by Emma (16), assisted by Aoife (14) and Philip, and Seán (11) adds a little sprinkle of fairy dust with his driving rhythm on the bodhrán. The band has already built up a substantial fan base with over 20,000 followers on Facebook from all over the world. The Maguires plan to tour extensively in 2017 with the new album, starting off with 3 gigs in the iconic Mulligan’s Bar in Amsterdam in early January, with further tour dates to be added after the album launch.
The old saying “You can’t put an old head on young shoulders” will come under serious scrutiny as you listen to this album. The standard of musicianship, the maturity of the arrangements, the quality of the compositions, and the overall sound of this debut offering from The Maguires will quickly draw you in and you’ll find your foot tapping and your head bopping.