Dónal Murphy (b. 1970, Birmingham, West Midlands, England), Matt Cranitch (b. 1948, Cork, Eire) and Tommy O’Sullivan (b. 1961, London, England) came together to form the cannily-titled Sliabh Notes (pronounced ‘Shlee-av Notes’) in 1994, following a particularly memorable session in Dingle, Co. Kerry. Sliabh Luachra (meaning ‘rushy glen’), a geographical area spanning east Kerry, north-west Cork and south Limerick, is well-known for its unique style of Irish traditional music, particularly its distinctive repertoire of slides and polkas. The pairing of Murphy’s unique box style with Cranitch’s fiddle has resulted in one of the leading Sliabh Luachra-style box and fiddle duos. The guitar-playing of O’Sullivan, as well as his very personalized singing style, adds the final ingredient to this feisty triumvirate. Defined by a dynamic playing style with its dance roots clearly showing, Sliabh Notes have tapped into the appetite for gutsy traditional music among listeners and dancers alike. The essence of Sliabh Notes’ style is its distinctively regional flavour, and yet it manages to retain an international appeal. Cranitch has established a high reputation as a fiddle-player and teacher. As a founder member of Na Filí, he featured on all their records, and more recently he has played in the group Any Old Time. He is author of The Irish Fiddle Book which explains and shows the various techniques used in creating a traditional style of playing. Cranitch has a special interest in the music of Sliabh Luachra, and is engaged in on-going research on this fiddle-playing style at the Irish World Music Centre, University of Limerick. Murphy learned his distinctive powered accordion in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick where he moved with his parents at the age of six. A founder member of Four Men And A Dog, he was invited by Michael Flatley to feature in a special Lord Of The Dance show in London in July 1998. O’Sullivan, a resident of West Kerry, developed his playing and singing style while living in London and Copenhagen, where he was a member of Ashplant, with whom he played Danish as well as Irish Traditional Music. He has appeared at various festivals throughout Ireland, and has made numerous recordings for the Irish National T.V. channel, RTÉ, for the Irish Language radio station, Radio na Gaeltachta, Clare FM and Radio Kerry. He continues to play extensively in Europe where he has featured frequently as a soloist at the Copenhagen Irish Festival.
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