Irish Traditional Music
I have finally finished my new album, “Cold In April”. Sixteen tracks’ worth of original and traditional tunes and songs with me on flute, whistle, harmonica, low whistle, vocal and uilleann pipes along with Matt Fahey (guitar, vocal), Paul Cowham (guitar), Pat O’Reilly (bouzouki), Faul Bradley (guitar), Andy Dinan (fiddle), Ben Walker (bass flute, uilleann pipes, cittern), Tony Trundle (fiddle), Vinnie Short (bodhran) and Steafan Hannigan (percussion).
The album has taken about a year to complete and was engineered and produced by Tony Trundle at Cuckoo Studios.
You can listen to samples from the album on this page and on the home page for this site.
The painting on the album cover is by Howard Bedford of Whitby, North Yorkshire. You can find out more about Howard and his work at www.mpybusfinearts.co.uk
The layout and sleeve design was designed by Gibsonpixel www.gibsonpixel.com
I’ll be touring off the album with various combinations of the musicians mentioned above, from duo up to a five-piece band.
Irish Traditional Reviews
"..excellent vocals...harmonica playing is outstanding.." "If Irish music is your passion, you will not be disappointed.."
"The tracks which feature a harmonica amongst the texture are particularly imaginatively managed." "..a very likeable record.." "sparkling (and refreshingly non-frenetic) playing.."
"There's a wonderful, delicate feel for the time of the music - no galloping speeds, which allows the beauty to emerge. He has a good singing voice on 'Come By The Hills'. ..a warm, fulsome sound."
"Mat plays with grace and confidence...a full,warm sound. Mat's own compositions are strewn among the trad tunes and are among the best on the album. This is 63 minutes of delicious quality."
"This is 63 minutes of delicious quality. Mat plays a range of flutes, whistles and harmonicas with grace and confidence and happily uses double-tracking in pursuit of a full, warm sound with a few surprises. Mat's own compositions are strewn among the trad tunes and are among the best on the album.
"..a set of smart, mostly uptempo reels, jigs and polkas (and a couple of songs), simply arranged but with enough embellishment to keep things interesting. The harmonica tracks...of particular interest."
"The sheer exuberance of this album left me totally breathless and wanting to hear more!" "The musicianship is just superb." "I enjoyed Mat's first album, but this one is outstanding."
"...a recording anyone could be proud of." "None of the tunes on the album are rushed, so the shapes of tunes emerge,..." "On Come by the Hills, Mat shows he has an honest, open way of singing which is refreshing..." "Most tracks have the fresh sound of one-time takes, and the general impression is of a desire to entertain." "Capital!"
"..the album remains interesting from start to finish." "..there's very little anyone can fault in his harmonica playing; that is one of the great strengths of this album." "The sound on this recording is live and fresh.." "..an excellent singer.."
..a very effective album." "..tracks provide substantial evidence of his instrumental skills on the wooden flute ( plus occasional whistle) and a wide variety of chromatic, diatonic and tremolo harmonicas. His playing is predominantly easy on the ear and rarely succumbs to over-elaboration.." "..streets ahead of many home-made recordings.." "..well worth investigating."
" The harmonica & flute of Mat Walklate have a very good folk sound is a amazing mix of old Irish and modern influence." "..we are 'joyful listening'."
" Lovely stuff. The combination of the bid breathy flute sound and the small tight harp tone works really well."
"..the CD succeeds in demonstrating the breadth of Mat's talent as a performer and composer." "..the 'Up and Away' set and the haunting slow air 'Stan' are particularly good." "..conjures up images of rural Ireland rather than Mat's Manchester home.
" I found this music authentically striking.."
"..the whole production vibrates with an excitement and vitality.." "The result is a sound of rare and delicate beauty." "Worth seeking out? Definitely."
"I enjoyed the quality of the playing very much."
" Walklate is a virtuoso who give the instruments a warm and natural sound."
"..the essence of Celtic Melody in its best form." "This is a CD for refined palates, distilled and to be savoured note by note." ".. full of vigour, strength and feeling."
"..Walklate plays divinely on a tremolo harmonica."
"..absolutely nice and pleasant listening.." "..the flute passages and tunes are full of life and artistic playing."
" You're a real tasty player on all instruments!