CELTIC MUSIC REVIEWS JUNE 2010
By CATHOLINE BUTLER
Michael McGoldrick has been regarded as one of the greatest flute players of all time. Aurora is the long-awaited follow-up to his groundbreaking 2005 album Wired.
Flautist and piper Michael McGoldrick is one of the founders of best-selling Irish instrumental group Lunasa and current member of Celtic favourite Capercaillie. He has played a great part in expanding the audience for British Isles instrumental music with his expert technique and visionary sensibilities.
His genius for wedding traditional styles with contemporary textures has made him a welcome contributor to albums and performances by such acclaimed contemporary roots artists as Kate Rusby, Sharon Shannon, the Afro-Celt Sound System and Youssou N’Dour.
Born in Manchester to Irish parents, McGoldrick was encouraged by the thriving traditional Irish music scene in the city. By the age of 15 he had already won numerous All-Ireland Championships after swapping bodhran to play flute and whistles. He also plays the uilleann pipes.
He made a name for himself while still at school, as a founding member of Toss The Feathers, Manchester’s influential Celtic rock band. He became the first piper/flautist to win the acclaimed BBC Radio Two Young Tradition Award.
Aurora is a collection of tunes with the majority written by McGoldrick. Heidi Talbot provides special guest vocals on Waterbound, written by Louisiana’s finest old-time master, Dirk Powell.
There are 12 tracks on Aurora and the liner notes give an interesting explanation of where and when they were written.
Some of the guest musicians on the album read like a who’s who of traditional Celtic music – Manus Lunny, Donal Lunny and John McCusker to name a few. You know this is going to be a great album, before you even hear the first track.
McGoldrick seems to have no trouble moving from traditional Celtic back to his earlier influence of Celtic rock and then to the Afro-Celt Sound System... all this, and he writes music as well!
Aurora is recorded on the Compass Label. For more information visit: www.compassrecords.com.