Guitarist Daithi Sproule has long been at the forefront of the Celtic traditional music scene, performing in his teens with the Ni Dhomnaill family, in the influential Skara Brae band. He went on to work with numerous top-flight artists, finally finding his berth with the Altan band. A master of DADGAD and other open guitar tunings, Sproule has been an influential stylist and a valued collaborator for groups on both sides of the Atlantic... Here's a quick look at his work...
Skara Brae "Skara Brae" (Gael-Linn, 1971)
The lone album by this charming (and high-powered!) Irish folk group, which featured three musical siblings -- Maighread Ni Dhomhnaill, Micheal O Domhnaill and Triona -- along with guitarist Daithi Sproule. All four musicians went on to become pillars of the Celtic music scene: Michael and Triona co-founded the Bothy Band (and several later groups as well), Maighread sang with Triona and on several solo albums, and Daithi Sproule helped anchor the Altan band in the 1980s and '90s. On this early album, the college-age group sang all in Gaelic, performing with gusto and youthfulness -- the performances are a little uneven and rough-hewn, but the raw power of the artists is clear, and the repertoire is a delight. An important early touchstone for the Gaelic trad scene, and a lovely album still... Definitely worth a spin!
Daithi Sproule, James Kelly & Paddy O'Brien "Is it Yourself?" (Shanachie, 1979)
Re-released on the Traditional Music Of Ireland CD below, along with the 1981 Spring in the Air album...
Daithi Sproule, James Kelly & Paddy O'Brien "Spring In The Air" (Shanachie, 1991)
Re-released on the Traditional Music Of Ireland CD below...
Daithi Sproule & Tommy Peoples "The Iron Man" (Shanachie, 1984)
Daithi Sproule & Paddy O'Brien "Stranger At The Gate" (Green Linnet, 1988)
Trian "Trian" (Green Linnet, 1992)
Trian "Trian II" (Green Linnet, 1995)
A pretty sedate set, featuring fiddler Liz Carroll, accordionist Billy McComiskey and Daithi Sproule on guitar and vocals... Everything about this album is "just so": the musicianship is flawless, but it just lies there all pretty and perfect... At least I didn't find it terribly moving.
Daithi Sproule "A Heart Made Of Glass" (Green Linnet, 1995)
Daithi Sproule, Christine & Martin Dowling "A Thousand Regrets" (Cotta, 1998)
Daithi Sproule "The Crow In The Sun" (1234 Go!, 2007)
Daithi Sproule, James Kelly & Paddy O'Brien "Traditional Music Of Ireland" (Shanachie, 1998)
Lively and varied instrumental music... This CD is a re-release of of two albums made by this trio: Is it Yourself? (from 1979) and Spring in the Air (1981)
Daithi Sproule, Jamie Gans & Paddy O'Brien "Snug In The Blanket" (Black Tea Tunes, 2004)
Daithi Sproule & Randal Bays "Overland" (Foxglove, 2004)
Fingal "Fingal" (New Folk, 2008)
A collaboration with Randal Bays and James Keane...
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