ABOUT TOMMY O’SULLIVAN
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Tommy also took a keen interest in the English folk club scene and became friendly with amongst others Barry Dransfield and Martin Simpson.These influences can be heard in his rendition of ‘The Grey Funnel Line’ which he recorded on the Sliabh Notes album ‘Along Blackwater’s Banks’in 2003.All in all,Tommy kept his base in London for 10 years.There were however a few notable side trips:In the spring of ’86 he travelled to the U.S. with fiddle player Tommy McCarthy.They performed as ‘in flight entertainers’ for Virgin Atlantic airlines a feat that prompted a headline in the evening press proclaiming “The first ceili at 5000ft”!(Tommy McCarthy went on to open ‘The Burren’in Boston which has become one of the most famous Irish American music venues in the States).Tommy also embarked on the first of many trips to Denmark.Eventually he joined ‘Ashplant’a Copenhagen based band with Danish and Irish members.Ashplant regularly toured and played at festivals all over Scandinavia.Tommy continued to tour with Ashplant until he eventually returned to Ireland in 1992.Within a year he released his acclaimed debut album ‘Legacy’.Among the musicians featured were Matt Cranitch and Steve Cooney . ]
Shortly after the release of ‘Legacy’,Matt,Tommy and ‘4 Men and a Dog’ box player Donal Murphy formed ‘Sliabh Notes’.To date they have recorded three albums:Sliabh Notes,Gleanntan,and Along Blackwater’s Banks.They have built an enviable reputation and have performed at many international festivals.One of the bands many highlights was on the streets of Cork city in Sep.2005 when along with Michael Flatley,The Kilfenora Ceili band and nearly 7000 dancers they entered ‘The Guinness Book Of Records’ for the largest gathering of people to play and dance the siege of Ennis!
In 1997 Tommy also began touring regularly with ex-Bothy Band virtuoso piper Paddy Keenan.Having featured on Paddy’s solo album ‘Na Keen Affair’,Tommy booked a sellout tour of Ireland for the duo.They later went on to record the much acclaimed album ‘The Long Grazing Acre’which was released on the compass label in 2003.The pair continue to tour and appear at festivals worldwide.
Tommy’s long overdue second solo album was recorded in 2006.Entitled ‘Song Ablaze’it is an ambitious project with songs that range from traditional Irish and traditional American to the works of contemporary writers again from both sides of the Atlantic.The album includes an international cast of such stellar musicians as 2006 grammy award winner Tim O’Brien(USA),Shetland fiddle master Chris Stout,champion harp player Catriona McKay(Sco),David Robertson(Sco,Capercaillie),James Blennerhassett(Irl,Mary Black/Brian Kennedy)Eilis Kennedy(Irl)and Pete Grant(USA)