This is a 15 track CD over an hour long, released in 2004. It was recorded over a period of eight years as I toured with the Riverdance show, and afterwards. The length of time it took means that some tracks have parts recorded from different years and several different countries. But I took a lot of care to make sure it all hangs together.
The aim behind the project was to make an album of traditional folk-inspired tunes that were composed from the harmonica itself. The harmonica is a young instrument, and has a short history in Irish, Bulgarian and other folk music. So if you want to play convincingly in those styles, you end up playing tunes that were composed on the fiddle, pipes, whistle, flute etc. That's a very worthwhile and enjoyable exercise in itself, and I'd already taken steps down that road with my earlier album New Irish Harmonica.
However, as a result of getting to know some traditional styles pretty closely (in particular Irish and Bulgarian), I found I was naturally composing lots of my own tunes that were inspired by them, but originated on the harmonica. To me, this seems a natural continuation of the traditions - though some flavours that seem natural to me (eg. playing a jig with a blues scale) might make purists blanch.
Some of my favourite musicians helped me realise this concept, including:
GERRY O'CONNOR: banjo; STEVE COONEY, GARY VERBERNE, CHRIS NEWMAN and IAN CARR: guitar; ANDY IRVINE: mandolin; CHRIS HAIGH: fiddle;
GEOFF CASTLE: piano; DECLAN MASTERSON: Pipes; MICK KINSELLA: harmonica; GREG SHEEHAN: percussion