Five years after their critically-acclaimed debut Tripswitch, John McSherry (uilliean pipes), Dónal O’Connor (fiddle, keys), Francis McIlduff (bodhran, whistles)—three of Celtic music’s most virtuosic instrumentalists—reunite again as At First Light and deliver one of the year’s most exciting neo-traditional albums. Through masterful musicianship, the trio explores fresh perspectives on the living tradition in Irish music. Their album is aptly titled IDIR—Gaelic for between and among—and reflects the trio’s growing status as leading luminaries on the international stage. Featuring special guests: Tony Byrne, Ruben Bada, Michael McCague and Ciara McCrickard.
These ten tracks include delicious slow airs without vocals, namely the traditional “Máire an Chúil Ór Bhuí” and Finbar Furey’s piping tour de force “Roy’s Hands” with other tunes ranging from the eerily melodic “Song of the Chanter,” to the album opening triple-time “The Magnificent Six”—tunes that are a testament the band’s dynamic presence in the traditional Irish music scene.
“Five years after their spine-tingling debut, At First Light have released a thoughtful collection. McSherry’s piping is a glorious mix of hauteur and melancholy, and his own composition, the high-stepping, devil-may-care The Pipers of Roguery celebrates the stately grandeur of the pipes magnificently.” —The Irish Times
“The combined talents of John McSherry, Donal O’Connor, and Francis McIlduff are a force to be reckoned with, and this new CD is ample evidence of that. Their energy, virtuosity, and imagination has won them a worldwide reputation, and a fistful of international awards to back it up.” —RTE Lyric FM