Catch The Air Review
Tony Lawless, TradConnect
Catch the Air is Gavin Whelan's fifth album and follows very much in the footsteps of Homelands, released in 2011. It also features some of the tunes from that album in new settings. While Homelands featured 8 slow airs among its 15 tracks, this album goes...
[READ MORE]

Catch The Air Review
By Padraig Conlon in Tallaght

Gavin Whelan, a thirty five year old musician from Belgard who is widely renowned as one of the most accomplished tin whistle players in the whole country has just released his Fifth studio album Catch the air. Since releasing his self titled critically acclaimed debut album in 2001 Gavin has worked...
 [READ MORE]

 

GAVIN WHELAN - Catch the Air Review
By Derek Copley, Irish music Magazine
I had the pleasure of sitting in on a session with Gavin Whelan in the back garden of Cleary’s bar in Miltown Malbay toward the end of the Willie Clancy Summer School this year. He was driving the session...
 [READ MORE]

GAVIN WHELAN - Catch the Air
By Alex Monaghan, Living Tradition Magazine

This Dublin whstle player extraordinaire has done what few have dared to attempt since Eugene O'Donnell's 1978 album: an entire recording of slow airs. Not even Whelan would try this on the humble whistle alone: he also plays the uilleann pipes which he has mastered in recent years...
[READ MORE]

Review by Siobhan Long, The Irish Times
Creative flowering can take many forms, and Gavin Whelan’s latest collection trains a laser on his development as a piper. Whelan is widely known for his clean and crisp whistle playing, and his latest collection seeks out the quieter, darker corners of the tradition...
[READ MORE]

Local Trad musician releases fifth solo album
Tallaght musician Gavin Whelan is bucking the trend in terms of what musical genres modern musicians tend to veer towards with the established tin whistle and uilleann pipe player flying the flag for traditional music and releasing his fifth solo album this month...
[READ MORE]

Gavin Whelan: Homelands [Review]
Derek Copley, Irish music Magazine
For such an energetic musician Gavin Whelan’s latest offering Homelands, gets off to a teasingly laid –back start, with the slow air Hector the Hero. Although he has not forsaken his trademark pacy style, the album does dedicate a lot of time to the art of the slow air indicating Gavin’s personal preference too...
[READ MORE]

Homelands Review
Tony Lawless, TradConnect
Gavin Whelan is quite prolific as an artist with this being his fourth studio album. It's called Homelands and on it he features some of his long time playing partners in the form of Deirdre Smith on fiddle, Paul Doyle on guitar and bouzouki, as well as Daire Bracken,..  [READ MORE]

Gavin Whelan's latest production is entitled,
and focused around, his Homelands

"I'm looking forward to the New Year and doing some gigs abroad as well as at home in Ireland" he said over a cup coffee in Dublin's Temple bar in fact, he is very eager in bring his latest offering to the international stage, during which he hopes homelands, his fourth studio album, will expand his ever growing fan base good news for them as he told me ... [READ MORE]

Book Reveiw by Folkworld
Gavin Whelan got hooked on the tin whistle when hearing Micho Russell. He also incorporated the Co. Clare fiddle style in his playing, and the tonguing technique of Mary Bergin. To date Gavin has released three CDs. His "120 Irish Traditional Tunes" kicks off with a short but concise introduction for beginners, including style and technique, basic scales and....
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WHELAN UNDERCOVERED
IMM's Derek Copley opens up the new book by whistle player Gavin Whelan. It was while on family holidays to Doolin in Co Clare that Gavin Whelan got hooked on the whistle. In particular, he says in the opening chapter of hisnnew book, 120 Irish traditional tunes, the whistling of Micho Rusell stood out for me'...
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Bringing Trad To The Masses
A Tallaght musician is getting ready to launch his new book 120 Irish traditional tunes, In the Belgard Inn this Sunday. Belgard resident Gavin Whelan 31 has being playing and performing traditional music since he was young- with his instruments of choice being the tin whistle...
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GAVIN WHELAN: In Full Flight
PETE FYFE, folking.com
Gavin is without doubt one of the finest exponents I have heard of the traditional tin whistle and from the moment you play the first track Charlie Lennon’s “The Leitrim Lilter/Captain Kelly’s/The Reel with the Birl” you know you are in safe hands or, perhaps more correctly, that should read ‘fingers’. His controlled breathing and triplet perfect notation...
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GAVIN WHELAN: In Full Flight
Jem Hammond, Taplas Magazine

LITTLE can be said that differs from my reviews of Gavin Whelan's previous albums. It's fine; 13 tracks of traditional Irish material, plus a few modern tunes within the traditional idiom. There's nothing revolutionary here, nor even evolutionary; straight forward, unfussy arrangements superbly backed by...

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REVIEW: Gavin Whelan 'In Full flight' ****
Micheal Quinn, Songlines Magazine
Having taking a five year gap between his first two albums and forced us to endure a three year -wait noone could accuse Gavin Whelan of exploiting his fast -rising profile as the finest tin whistle player of his generation. Happily In full flight finds him back in the Mill studios of his native Dublin...

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Review: Gavin Whelan "In full flight"
FolkWorld
Many Irish trad afficionados make a start on the aul' penny whistle, and if not giving it up already, moving on to another instrument. But there’s a lot more to this tiny instrument than...
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Gavin Whelan In full flight album Launch
Derek Copley, Irish Music Magazine
Although they share the same name, there is no family connection between whistle supreme Gavin Whelan and the famous Whelan’s of Wexford st. the only relationship they share is a love of music, and no better place for Gavin to launch his third solo album In full flight....  [READ MORE]

In Full Flight Review
Shelly Hayes, Tinehely Courthouse
Rising tradstar Gavin Whelan braught his tin whistle and Uillean pipe skills to the courthouse in 0ctober 2009, and his live performance was every bit as exciting as and accomplished as his recent album led us all to expect with able backing from Deirdre Smyth (fiddle) Dan Carollo (guitar) and Domnick Keogh (bodhran)

REVIEW: Gavin Whelan 'In Full flight'
allcelticmusic.com
First you should do some finger exercises, loosen those joints up and, when you feel ready, go out and buy yourself a whistle or two. Sit for the next five years or so practicing (you will know yourself just when you are ready!) and, at last, you can make your whistle CD. And you still won't be anywhere near this!!! A MUST for whistle players and fans of folk music.

REVIEW: Gavin Whelan 'In Full flight'
Siophan Long, The Irish Times
Gavin Whelan is a tin whistle player who elevated his chosen instrument to rare heights on his 2002 eponymous debut and his 2006 recording Another Time....
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Review: Gavin Whelan 'In Full flight'
John Brophy, Irish Music Magazine.
An aptly named CD here. Gavin has pursuing as a solo whistle player for about a decade, and if there was an apprenticeship involved in that, this is the job of journeywork, the proof that he’s more than fit to be let out
[READ MORE]

Whistle player in Full Flight
Tallaght Echo
For most school children learning to belt out a few tunes on the tin whistle is a rite of passage that must be endured before jacking it I as a bad job but for whistle maestro Gavin Whelan it was a turning point which set him on the road to musical success.
[READ MORE]

Gavin Whelan Is In Full Flight
John Brophy, Irish Music Magazine
Its been a couple a couple of years since we met, but no matter. Thee are new places built since and Im of to explore the new side of Tallaght. Okay its only six mile fro Dublin as the crow flies, or an hour as the tram travels, but bit’s a different...
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Passion, power and flair combined
Tim Carroll, FolkWords
Traditional music endures while other fashions may come and go, Gavin Whelan proves without a doubt why the music of tradition persists. He also proves that in the hands of a...
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Another Time CD Review
P Cousins, French Trad Magazine
Often Considerd like a minor instrmunt, the tin whistle is at the base of Irish Music, an Instrument Univerasly recognise thanks to millions of musicians, Even if the fiddle, the...
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STRIKING UP A TUNE
Kathy Masterson, Tallaght Voice
Tin Whistle player Gavin Whelan speaks to Kathy Masterson about his music, his
forthcoming third album and his love for traditional Irish Music...
[READ MORE]

Another Time CD Review
Vic Smith, The Folk Diary
Most uillean pipers seem to make the pipes their main instrument though they may play a bit of tin whistle on the side; with Gavin it seems to be the reverse...
[READ MORE]

Live Review
The ARENA - IL GIORNALE DI VERONA
Classic Irish folk has the energy of Whelan, a long series of jigs, reels, polkas, and slow airs meet in a set that conquers the public...
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Another Time CD Review
David Burke, ROCKnREEL

Lets be candid here the tin whistle a bit like the recorder. just isn't sexy. its one of those rudimentary instruments, the sensible jumper compared to the fiddle's skinny-fit T shirt. But Gavin Whelan might change all that...

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Another Time CD Review
Sing Out Magazine

In the age were the whistle has become less popular in the Irish traditional spectrum, Dubliner Gavin Whelan continues to fly the flag in his own quiet way...
[READ MORE]

Another Time CD Review
Alex Gallagher, Folk Radio UK

Another Time’ is the second album from Gavin Whelan. Gavin is a magician when it comes to playing tin whistle and uilleann pipes. He is certainly one of the finest young...
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Traditional Tallaght tunes
Michael Storey, The ECHO
Who said trad music isn’t Cool? With the second Temple Bar Trad festival kicking off on January 25th Tallaght musician, Gavin Whelan is rearing to go. Gavin from Belgard Heights in Tallaght...
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Another Time CD Review
Folkworld

Heading on to the east coast of Ireland. Gavin Whelan is a young whistler and piper from Tallaght, Dublin, and "Another Time" is his second album. He already is regarded widely...
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Another Time CD Review
Mike Wilson, Rambles.NET

The tin whistle (or pennywhistle) is such a simple instrument, but in the right hands it can be used to stunning effect. Dublin native Gavin Whelan possesses such a pair of hands...
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Another Time CD Review
JET Fm Nantes, Brittany - Nolween. LE DISSEZ
What we enjoy most in a traditional music album is no showing off but simple tunes, well played with steady rhythm, and Another Time is one of those! Listening to the two albums we realized we had forgotten how exciting the tin whistle can be...

Another Time CD Review
Steve Dieterich - Celtic Airs radio Programme, CT USA
I've just previewed Gavin Whelan's latest CD "Another Time" for airplay on my radio program "Celtic Airs". It's an excellent whistle album...
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Another Time CD Review
David Kidman, NethRhythms

It's been a while since this young south-Dublin (Tallaght) born tin-whistle virtuoso's scintillating eponymous debut CD, which when I finally got round to hearing and reviewing...
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Another Time CD Review
William Ramoutar, Irish Ways WFCF 88.5fm Florida

No meanderings through quiet Country roads on the whistle here! This is taking the Country by storm! He is superb at taking the tunes from great masters of Irish music...
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Another Time CD Review
Sarah McQuaid, Hotpress

Another Time is the second solo album for whistle player Gavin Whelan, a Tallaght native who released his self- titled debut in 2002. Whelan has a lovely style that combines...
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Another Time CD Review
Conor Smyth, Connected

We’re not exactly renowned for our coverage of Irish music here at connected, but that’s not to say were averse to it, and to give credit were its due, this is a very good record...
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Gavin Whelan – CD Launch ‘Another Time’
Brian O’ Gaibhin, Irish Music Magazine
A packed Whelan’s of Wexford Street were treated to a soul lifting evening of one of the finest traditional music nights witnessed in Dublin in a long time...
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Another Time CD Review
Siobhan Long, The Irish Times

Tin Whistle player and piper Gavin Whelan launches headlong into his second solo album with a pair of tunes sets that rattle and hum towards a heady crescendo that’s hints a...
[READ MORE]

Tallaght whistle player launches second album
Tallaght Echo
A young Tallaght man, who is making waves in the world of traditional Irish music, took his biggest step yet when he launched his second album last week. Another time which follows his self...
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A TALENT FROM TALLAGHT
Irish Music Magazine
John Brophy meets up with Gavin Whelan on the release of his new album. The summons came from high? Or maybe it was left field, Gavin Whelan has a new CD for launch...
[READ MORE]

Gavin Whelan launches his long awaited new album at…Whelan’s
Clondalkin Gazette
Whelan’s of Wexford was packed to the rafters on Monday night for the launch of Another Time, the haunting new album from one of the leading exponents of the tin whistle, Gavin Whelan...
[READ MORE]

Another Time CD Review
Sean Laffey - Irish Music Magazine

Firstly the selection of tunes is admirably wide, only 5 sets of reels from the thirteen on offer. We get hornpipes, jigs, a hornpipe a highland and two slow airs...
[READ MORE]

Another Time CD Review
Mich Gulbrand Nielsen, www.michn.dk Denmark
It’s is simply amazing how such an insignificant looking little thing can be turned into a powerful musical instrument in the hands of the right person. I know I have said this before...
[READ MORE]

Another Time CD Review
Custy's Music Shop

August 2006 saw the releasea of the second album from young Dublin whistle player, Gavin Whelan. He adds a breath of fresh air and excitement to Irish whistle playing and this album is a joy to listen to.

Another Time CD Review
Claddagh Records

This is the 2nd and superb album by Tallaght born Tin Whistle player. Gavin Whelan is widely regarded as one of the finest exponents of the tin whistle...
[READ MORE]

 

 


Catch The Air Review
Tony Lawless, TradConnect

Catch the Air is Gavin Whelan's fifth album and follows very much in the footsteps of Homelands, released in 2011. It also features some of the tunes from that album in new settings. While Homelands featured 8 slow airs among its 15 tracks, this album goes a step further with the entire album devoted to airs and hence the album’s name. Gavin is regarded as one of Ireland's finest whistle players and uilleann pipers.

From his debut release back in 2001 he has continued to excel with each release. Paul Doyle (Guitar), Peter Eades (keyboards, guitar) Gavin Ralston (guitar), Deirdre Smyth (fiddle) and Daire Bracken (fiddle) provide accompaniment throughout. It’s a mellow album with the inclusion of piano, guitar and bass giving some of the tracks an easy listening feel. It shines when Gavin's pipes weave a lonesome melody through some of the more traditional material with keyboards or guitar alone providing the accompaniment.

Tracks like Easter Snow and Geaftaí Bhaile Buí display Gavin's crystal clear style, and a major reworking of Limerick's Lamentation make it a standout track. For lovers of slow airs you can't go too far wrong.

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Catch The Air Review
By Padraig Conlon in Tallaght

Gavin Whelan, a thirty five year old musician from Belgard who is widely renowned as one of the most accomplished tin whistle players in the whole country has just released his Fifth studio album Catch the air.

Since releasing his self titled critically acclaimed debut album in 2001 Gavin has worked unbelievably hard to hone his craft. When not playing live gigs at festivals or venues he teaches at schools passing on the knowledge he has acquired in hid fine career so far.

As well as being a master of the tin whistle he has also become a virtuoso on the uillean pipes since taking then up when he was 18 and on his latest album he demonstrates his proficiency on both instruments.

Now I’m no expert when it comes to Traditional Irish music and won’t try and bluff my way through this review. Having grown up in West Donegal however I have been exposed to this genre from a very young age and even today its fairly rare to not encounter a Trad session in my local home town over the weekend in my local home town at some stage over a weekend in one of the local pubs.

Having got my own musical upbringing out of the way what did I think of Catch The Air

The album is made up entirely of slow airs, a very quiet and sullen record that I would class as easy listing as far as traditional music goes. There’s no manic fiddle, bodhran bashing here, the album is the type you could play from start to finish if you were in the mood to sit back and chill out.

It’s strange in every day Ireland our own tradition music doesn’t seem to get the recognition it deserves. You’d be fairly stunned to hear any of it on the commercial radio or television Stations outside og tg4/Radio Na Gaeltachta. Yet in the rest of the world there is a growing interest in and appreciation if the musician and craft involved.

With this in mind I highly recommend Catch the Air to anyone as an introduction to trad music. I enjoyed its beautiful melodies and haunting pipe playing as much as I enjoyed a lot of rock albums.

I’ve heard recently. For any young readers who are interested in learning to play the tin whistle they should listen to how Gavin can play as an example of what can be achieved with the humble of all musical instruments.

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GAVIN WHELAN - Catch the Air Review
By Derek Copley, Irish music Magazine

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a session with Gavin Whelan in the back garden of Cleary’s bar in Miltown Malbay toward the end of the Willie Clancy Summer School this year. He was driving the session with his characteristic break–neck speed of whistling, finding energy in places where most were worn out from their week of tuition.

To begin that week, where Gavin was also hosting his regular tutorial classes, he launched his latest offering to the world of traditional music, Catch the Air – Traditional Slow Airs, a little more mellow in approach than as I found him amid the horde of musicians in the sun–drenched beer garden.
Catch the Air does follow on nicely from his last studio album, Homelands, which also saw Gavin take a more relaxed attitude in his playing. However, instead of mixing various tune signatures, he sticks strictly to slow airs, displaying equally as much emotion in his gentle treatment of these pieces of music as he does when in full flight.

From the opening Iain Ghlinn Cuaich, the melody to the Scots Gaelic love song, some familiar names and sounds can be heard in accompaniment of Gavin’s whistling and piping, including Paul Doyle and Gavin Ralston on guitars, Deirdre Smyth and Daire Bracken on fiddles, along with Peter Eades on keyboards and percussion, all of whom have worked with Gavin Whelan in the past.
Hector the Hero will be known to fans of Gavin’s recordings, as it is the link between this and his Homelands album.

In just over 42 minutes, he has managed to pack in another 12 tracks alongside Hector the Hero, and this is perhaps the one criticism, as some airs, like the opening track, feel as though they are not given enough time to breathe in such a short space. This is not the case with Easter Snow, however, with the beautifully sustained, long notes, filling the air with all the magic the tune deserves.
Produced in conjunction with Cló Iar–Chonnacht, Catch the Air – Traditional Slow Airs adds to the versatility and array of expression in Whelan’s music.

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GAVIN WHELAN - Catch the Air Review
Cló Iar-Chonnacht CICD194
13 tracks, 42 minutes
By Alex Monaghan, Living Tradition Magazine

This Dublin whstle player extraordinaire has done what few have dared to attempt since Eugene O'Donnell's 1978 album: an entire recording of slow airs. Not even Whelan would try this on the humble whistle alone: he also plays the uilleann pipes which he has mastered in recent years, and duets with himself on these two instruments, as well as enlisting the aid of Daire Bracken and Deirdre Smyth on fiddles, plus a small handful of accompanists. Each of the thirteen tracks here focuses on a single air, from Carolan classics to well known songs. There's a surprising number of Scottish melodies - Hector the Hero from Tommy Peoples' playing, two Gaelic songs from the repertoire of Capercaillie singer Karen Matheson, and the Burns lovesong Ae Fond Kiss - all great tunes and well worth recording, Of the nine Irish airs, most are well known: the only two which were not very familiar to me were Aodh Ó Domhnaill's composition A Hiúdaí Phádaí Éamoinn and the final Neither a High Place nor a Low Place. Both were pleasant surprises.

Gavin's interpretations of these airs are less elaborate than some, concentrating on the beauty of the melody, with few variations and embellishments. His versions are also relatively short, under four minutes as a rule, and some may feel that he has not done full justice to the songs behind the tunes. But these are not songs: they are slow airs, and I think there is room for a purely instrumental interpretation. Certainly the airs stand up for themselves without the words, and in the case of Bean Dubh an Ghleanna Gavin Whelan has taken a very fresh and free approach to the phrasing which moves the air away from the song. Not all the melodies here come from songs: Lord Mayo and Hector the Hero were not written to be sung, and I don't believe I've ever heard original words to Limerick's Lamentation. But there's no denying the power and passion in their renditions here: the sobbing of the pipes through Marbhna Liumnigh, the beat of the drones under that great Carolan composition, and the aching loss expressed in Skinner's tribute to Hector MacDonald. It's also a considerable achievement to bring something new to The Emigrant's Farewell or An Páistín Fionn with a simple whistle solo. Anyone with a taste for the slow air treasures of Scotland and Ireland should give this CD serious consideration, and any whistle player could learn a thing or two from Gavin Whelan's playing here. Check out www.cic.ie and www.gavinwhelan.ie for more details.

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Review by Siobhan Long, The Irish Times

Creative flowering can take many forms, and Gavin Whelan’s latest collection trains a laser on his development as a piper. Whelan is widely known for his clean and crisp whistle playing, and his latest collection seeks out the quieter, darker corners of the tradition through its rich repertoire of slow airs. His tune choices are eclectic and inventive, drawing on the singing of Capercaille’s Karen Matheson, the late Eithne Ní Uallachain and Neilí Ní Dhomhnaill, and the playing of Seamus Ennis, and includes an expansive interpretation of Limerick’s Lamentation/Marbhna Luimní.

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Local Trad musician releases fifth solo album

Tallaght musician Gavin Whelan is bucking the trend in terms of what musical genres modern musicians tend to veer towards with the established tin whistle and uilleann pipe player flying the flag for traditional music and releasing his fifth solo album this month.

Hailed as one of Ireland's finest tin whistle player, Gavin grew up in Belgard and was a student in St Marks Primary and secondary school - were he first picked up the tin whistle as a child.

I got my love for traditional music from my parents. Gavin said
I was going to sessions from a young age with my parents and over the years I really got into it. I was listing to all sorts of music growing up, and if it wasn't for my parents I don't know if I would have connected growing up

I never take it for granted that my life would veered towards this type of music .
Along side having four solo albums under his belt , Gavin was also a member of the band Dál Riada, a lead instrumentalist on a number of TV shows such as Open House and the high reel, a performer at a wide selection of Irish and European festivals and a highly regarded traditional music teacher in Dublin schools and a number of music schools like the Willie Clancy Summer school in Miltown.

This month Gavin adds another string to his bow, The the release of his fifth solo album Catch the Air. He told the Echo. The album s a compilation of airs that I have done in the past with some new material from new singers.
I'm into singing in a big way. I cant sing at all but I have connected with a number of female singers.

he Added. All of the songs are old tunes that haven't been playing in a while, and hopefully iv put my own slant on them.

I hope that anybody looking for a chilled out album, something they can relax to, will pick up copy of my album, Its also good for musicians who want to hear new tunes.
Gavin plays a regular session in the Kestrel pup, Walkinstown every Sunday from 6pm - with all local musicians welcome to join in. There are a lot of musician from Tallaght and the surrounding areas and some are doing really well he said. I think staging session sessions is very important for both younger musicians and established as it gives people a place to go, and play new tube and a place to socialise.

Its also important in terns of keeping the songs alive and making sure they get played. Catching the Air is available across most music shops and also from Claddagh Record and Clo lar Chonnachta

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Gavin Whelan: Homelands [Review]
Derek Copley, Irish music Magazine

For such an energetic musician Gavin Whelan’s latest offering Homelands, gets off to a teasingly laid –back start, with the slow air Hector the Hero.

Although he has not forsaken his trademark pacy style, the album does dedicate a lot of time to the art of the slow air indicating Gavin’s personal preference too with every second track being given to such tune, including AE Fond kiss played on low whistle, Lord Mayo played as a piping tune, the timely and poignant Emigrants Farewell and Rosin Dubh which is a must for any compilation of Irish airs, particularly after how Gavin tackles it her with such sensitivity and understanding. For hector the hero her is joined on fiddle by Deirdre Smyth and on Keyboards by Peter Eades it is the combination of the piping and the drone of the keyboards in the background which heighten the emotion of the air.

One of the quicker sets is Follow me down/the Colliers, which showcase what may prove to be a lasting musical partnership between Gavin and Deirdre Smith, with Pail Doyle coming in on guitar to join the well –suited and executed combination of pipes and fiddle.

Homelands, the cover of which is designed with some wonderful evening panoramic shots of suburban Dublin by photographer Colm Keating, also includes in the liner notes the origins of the tunes and how Gavin came to hear and play most of them, Like young Tom Ennis which he heard from the playing of Paddy Glackin and Robbie Hannon, some of the notes are sparing on detail, however like Terry Bingham’s, though to be fair he does follow up by informing us that Bingham s is a Doolin concertina player.

Accompanied art different times by Gavin Gaston (guitar) Paul Doyle (guitar/bouzouki) Derdrie Smith (fiddle) Peter Eades (Keyboards) and Daire Bracken (fiddle) Gavin has put together some fine collaborations for yet another fine released in his musical journey.

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Homelands Review
Tony Lawless, TradConnect

Gavin Whelan is quite prolific as an artist with this being his fourth studio album. It's called Homelands and on it he features some of his long time playing partners in the form of Deirdre Smith on fiddle, Paul Doyle on guitar and bouzouki, as well as Daire Bracken, Peter Eades and Gavin Ralston on fiddle, keyboards and guitar respectively. Homelands represents his home place and his musical journey, which he feels audiences and musicians will be able to connect with. On that we have to agree.

The album opens with a glorious slow air called Hector The Hero, which Gavin picked up from the playing of Tommy Peoples and the Bothy Band on their 1975 album. A great opening with Deirdre Smith on fiddle and Peter Eades on keyboards. As the album unravels you have a great guitar and whistle duet on the reels Kevin Griffiths/The Green Gowned Lass/Terry Bingham's. The homelands theme then continues with an air Ian Ghlinn Cuaich which was learned from Karen Matheson of Capercaillie with Gavin providing uilleann pipes and whistle. These opening tunes in particular fit very well with the theme and are very apt for our present time as people reflect once again on the times we live in.

The album is balanced between a mixture of slow airs, jigs and reels as well as a single set dance, The Downfall of Paris featuring Gavin on Uilleann pipes and Deirdre Smith on fiddle. This tune comes from a song called Ca Ira which was popular among the revolutionaries in Paris during the French Revolution.

Overall a very satisfying exploration of themes that capture the inner feelings about your place in time, or your journey to new lands, giving you a grounding in an aspect of your life that may have been taken for granted. From the iridescent skyline depicted on the album Gavin captures a mood with his music. For our new wave of emigrants, that skyline could as well be the Sydney Bridge or Toronto's CN Tower and this music should anchor them to their homeland and remind them of what they have left behind. Gavin's music should find a wider international audience such is the scope of the recording and his ability to paint a musical soundscape. His intention may not have been to appeal to the wider diasporas but, as someone who has himself emigrated and returned, his music has that quality of longing for a time that used to be. This is a joyous thing because while airs have the ability to stir up emotion they can also form a very important backdrop to a present life. They don't always need to be rooted in the past. Should albums have a grounding in stronger themes as displayed here? On the strength of this, I think so.

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Gavin Whelan's latest production is entitled, and focused around, his Homelands, he tells Derek Copley that he is not closing his borders just yet.
Irish Music Magazine, December 2011

"I'm looking forward to the New Year and doing some gigs abroad as well as at home in Ireland" he said over a cup coffee in Dublin's Temple bar in fact, he is very eager in bring his latest offering to the international stage, during which he hopes homelands, his fourth studio album, will expand his ever growing fan base good news for them as he told me I'm going to concentrate on more live gigs with the CD. and with the growing presence of of live venue's around Ireland at the moment , Its also a perfect time, he feels to concentrate in Ireland two. He said if the burgeoning folk club scene.

Its giving musicians a chance to do more live gigs, The audience has increased with more venues that have popped up. That's spurred it on more. I went to see Tim O Brien at the liffey Banks sessions at the Grand social and it was packed and Eliza Carthy in Whelan's and it was jammed there too.

This is in part, Gavin feels, due to people's need for an escape from the constant doom and gloom of current affairs. Especially the way things are at the moment, people like to having live music to go and listen to. And this is something he has been particularly conscious of while gigging around the country. I mean playing sessions as well as concerts, around town its always at the back of your mind to keep it up beat, your always aware to keep it up beat all the time. Its what people want when there out so we give it to them.

And its been at these sessions and concerts, over the past few years, were the concept of Homeland came about. I wanted to feature the pipes because I was playing the pipes more over the past few years. And I had the tunes there that I wanted to feature on the pipes too. Not just a solo account of Gavin's piping, he was delighted to have feature frequently on the album Derdrie Smyth on fiddle, among others including Daire Bracken, Paul Doyle and Gavin Ralstan who each do there part in the accompaniment.

Id been playing a lot with Derdrie Smyth. I got such a buzz with the sound of pipes and fiddle. There's a good connection there. This musical partnership was formed after the launch of Gavin's last album In Full flight. In Full Flight. We just struck up a chord playing together, We've only been playing together a year and half. from the launch of the last album.
By focusing on his pipes more over the last few years, Gavin had built up a number tunes, which he said, found there way into album format when he started playing with Derdrie, I wanted to play the tunes I'd been collecting for a while on the pipes.

With the fiddle combo, it gave us an idea to come up with arrangements, citing tunes including Statia Donnelly, which he leaned from Mick O'Brien, as part of the inspiration for homelands.
So What gave a rise to the title, Homelands? Well for Gavin it was a case if representation of his home place and that of his musical journey, something he feels audiences and musicians will be able to connect with. Peoples homelands came to mind when when I was looking up ideas. its about were id been living and the music I was brought up with, like going down to Co Clare and getting tunes. and its nice to feature places around your area. Its nice to come back to the idea of the session on the Sunday morning and things were your from.''

The artwork features on the album features a panoramic shot of his parents hometown, that sometimes forgotten musical hub of Ballyfermot which has been home to the likes of Liam Weldon, as well as the Furey and Kennan dynasties of Irish music and song, to name just a few.

In fact Ballyfermot has more of a connection for Gavin than just his parents. The pipes were made by a Ballyfermot man, Donnacha Keegan. But, Being a Tallaght- born man, Its no wonder the record label that he founded in 2001 is Tallaght Records, Its this label, which he used to produce and promote his music since his first album back than in 2001.
HomeLands he proudly admits , is actually his fifth production through his Tallaght Records Label four albums and also a boo of 129 Traditional Irish tunes. Its going well he said of the label, This is the fifth release on it, i started in 2001 with the first CD, with that there's been Another Time, In full flight, and the book of 120 tunes. There going well in England and in Europe generally, were he plans on performing at various festival in the coming year. Added to that , he hopes, will be a successful launch of HomeLands, which he will unveil at his regular Sunday session in the Belgard pub in Tallaght. Going strong for a number of years now the Belgard is a firm favourite of Gavin's for the diversity of playing styles and levels it brings to his doorstep. Its great to see musicians from Tallaght arriving and playing musicians that you wouldn't have known were there.

He is undoubtedly a staunch of the local session its great for people to have an open session like that, for people to get there tunes out. from beginners to advanced, people can get there tunes during the week and than play them on a Sunday and there always talking about the tunes which is great!

As for Homelands, Gavin was eager to keep a session vibe during the recording the recording process there are quite a lot of duets. Paul Doyle who is busy there days running Monastery Music in Clondalkin, not far from Gavin's home town) is joining him on a lot of tracks on guitar. the fourth track features Gavin on whistle mad by John Sindt of New York, with Paul in accompaniment on a set of jigs in Bb the Homours of Lisheen, Jim Nearys and the Girl in the big house. For Ae Fon Kiss, the Robbie Burns song which Gavin heard from the singing of Karen Matheson he performs it as a slow air on both pipes and low whistle , which he reckoned could be interesting when he has the task of replicating it live on stage. Yes maybe I'll do a double track or something, he laughed. Fittingly enough, the tune which begins Homelands is a must at every Belgard session, constantly requested by musicians and punters alike. And Hector The Hero. Gavin admits how Hector The Hero stuck out for him the first time he heard Tommy People's playing it on the Bothy Band 1975 album.

Along with conceiving the ideas for his projects, Gavin feels most comfortable seeing the entire project through in a very hands -on way, from the initial conception through to the whole promotion of launch gigs and sales through hid Tallaght Records label and his website www.gavinwhelan.ie

Added to this, he regularly hosts a number of workshops during the year, teaching whistle, coincide nicely with his touring schedule They complement each other , hr said of his concerts and teaching. Its great to pass on the music to someone else.
And it also gives his great satisfaction - and challenges him somewhat also -when people ask him about his own particular style. Its an honour for people to ask about a particular style that they like and than Iv got to brake it down for myself and I'm finding new things in the tune. because that puts me into my own playing as well, it puts me back to basics. I find stuff than in tunes for myself.

So with all of this - the albums the book, the touring, the promoting, the workshops, it would be fair to think that Gavin Whelan would be planning on taken a brake pretty soon , I'm hoping to keep the gigs going regularly, both here in Ireland an abroad. That's the main thing thing now, with the new album out, which will ebb just after Christmas.

Ok so, but he'll surely have a brake at some stage after all that? well not according to him. I have other arrangements for future releases. I always have something there to be working on. Id say there be another album worth of material there at least. And he also hinted at the possibility of bringing a vocalist into the mix at some stage in the future, I'm always looking out for it. I love singing That's why I have a lot of songs (slow airs on the album. I haven't a note in my head but I always loved singing. Watch out world because Gavin has no plans at stopping at his Homeland!

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Book Review
By Thomas Keller, Folkworld

Gavin Whelan got hooked on the tin whistle when hearing Micho Russell. He also incorporated the Co. Clare fiddle style in his playing, and the tonguing technique of Mary Bergin. To date Gavin has released three CDs. His "120 Irish Traditional Tunes" kicks off with a short but concise introduction for beginners, including style and technique, basic scales and ornamentation. Then you're thrown into the cold water, mind you, this is no tutorial but a collection - especially for tunes that sit well on the D tin whistle. 42 jigs, 37 reels, 17 hornpipes, 8 slow airs, polkas and more as an encore. There is trad from the "Abbey Reel" to the "Wren Polka", but also Scott Skinner's "Hector the Hero" , Junior Creehan's "Mist Covered Mountain" and Michael McGoldrick's "Jig for Grace", plus some notes on sources, composers, recordings (the discography is not limited to the whistle) and more useful information (and I don't mention it because this website here is cited). The tunes are featured on altogether 3 CD's, played slow and at normal speed, the latter accompanied by Gavin Ralston on guitar.

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February 2011
WHELAN UNDERCOVERED

IMM's Derek Copley opens up the new book by whistle player Gavin Whelan.

It was while on family holidays to Doolin in Co Clare that Gavin Whelan got hooked on the whistle. In particular, he says in the opening chapter of hisnnew book, 120 Irish traditional tunes, the whistling of Micho Rusell stood out for me'.

He was exposed to a vast array of musicians during does trips, and also their styles. he eventually picked up on the Clare fiddle playing incorporating it into his sound.

Holding certain notes using cuts and rolls. The Dublin native also tried to emulate the style of Mary Bergin when he was starting out his own journey with traditional music. It was her tonguing technique which caught his ear when he was evolving his own sound. Whelan emphasises the importance of listing to such virtuoso whistle players as a learning curve to whistle students, In order to help them understand what is accepted authentically traditional , a former student himself , Gavin Whelan has cemented his place as a solid whistle and teacher, ever since his debut album in 2001. He has now laid bare his years in the world of trad on his pages of 120 traditional tunes, with tips on posture, breathing and how hold the whistle for players of all levels.

For does new to the music he starts of with a basic lesson on what type of tunes are most popular with the Irish tradition, explaining the accents if different tune types, just like his fast - paced no nonsense whistling, Gavin than jumps straight into the lessons, with the preferred D major scale to introduce readers to the whistle. he than uses Mary had a little lamb to familiarise students with whistle playing. After that were into 120 tunes 50 pages of notation, the selection is made up of popular session tunes, including Paidin O raifearthaigh, Banish Misfortune, swinging on the gate and the abbey reel.

Whelan included in the appendix some notes on each of these to how he came across some of the tunes and from who he learned them, like the peacock's Feather which he got from banjo player Tom Moran. Others highlight the influence those holidays in Co Clare gad on Gavins repertoire, A number of tunes in the collection were learned from the playing of Micheal Queally and Noel o Donoghue. His time spent studying under Paul Mcgrattan at the Ceoltoir traditional music course also influenced a number of additions to 120 Irish traditional tunes.
He also notes in the case of the Blackbird that the notation is a particular version of the tune, as played by piper Paddy Kennan. A lot of the tunes are referenced from the tune-book of all tune-books, O'neills Dance Music of Ireland, and alternative names are given, did you know The Galway Rambler is also Known as Lord Wellinghton's.

Whelan included a list of references for the traditional music student, including publications, websites, music shops in Ireland. organisations, radio stations and summer schools. the book is backed up by three CDs of the tunes collected in the book, with Gavin on whistle ably accompanied by Gavin Ralston on guitar. It is obvious that Whelan put a lot of personal effort into the book and this makes it enjoyable to peruse, both for the tutelage and for personal insight into what influences one of Irelands finest whistle players.

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November 2010
Bringing Trad To The Masses

A Tallaght musician is getting ready to launch his new book 120 Irish traditional tunes, In the Belgard Inn this Sunday.

Belgard resident Gavin Whelan 31 has being playing and performing traditional music since he was young- with his instruments of choice being the tin whistle and uillean pipes.

Over the past ten years, while traveling around Ireland and further a field, Gavin noticed the need for a book which served both tin whistle beginners and those wishing to enhance their catalogue of tunes.

So after 12 months of hard work he produced 120 Irish traditional tunes' which is accompanied by three CDs. The musician explained. There is something in this book for everyone- for beginner trying to learn tin whistle or those simply wanting to brush up on their repertoire of tunes. It is also the only CD that I know of that plays their tunes at both slow and an at normal speed, which is great for people learning.

In 2001 this innovative resident who also teaches music at festivals and in schools-established his own record label, Tallaght Records.

Since than, he has released three CDs under the label now his music/book combo.
Gavin continued. I've been working on the third book for so long it's great to see the finished product. It really is a great guidebook and I hope people will come along to the launch and session on Sunday.

Gavin takes part in a weekly Sunday session that takes place in the Belgard Inn which kicks off at 1pm.

A host of musicians from the Tallaght area get together to take part in the sessions, which coincide with the launch of Gavin's book.

Gavins bok can be purchased in Claddagh Records, Monastry music, Clondalkin, McNeils on Capel St, Eason Bookshops and from www.gavinwhelan.ie

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GAVIN WHELAN: In Full Flight
PETE FYFE, folking.com

Gavin is without doubt one of the finest exponents I have heard of the traditional tin whistle and from the moment you play the first track Charlie Lennon’s “The Leitrim Lilter/Captain Kelly’s/The Reel with the Birl” you know you are in safe hands or, perhaps more correctly, that should read ‘fingers’. His controlled breathing and triplet perfect notation should have him ranked alongside the talents of those that have gone before such as Michael McGoldrick and, when accompanied by Donnacha Moynihan (guitar), Colm Murphy (bodhran), Dave McNevin (banjo), Aogan Lynch (concertina) and the genuinely subtle keyboards of Peter Eades the album drives along at a cracking pace only really pausing for the more contemplative slow airs “An Paistin Fionn/The Fair Haired Child” and “Dark Lochnagar”. This is the kind of recording I could quite easily listen to the whole way through without getting bored and in fact I’ve done just that while writing this review.

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GAVIN WHELAN: In Full Flight
Tallaght Records TACD03
Jem Hammond, Taplas Magazine

LITTLE can be said that differs from my reviews of Gavin Whelan's previous albums. It's fine; 13 tracks of traditional Irish material, plus a few modern tunes within the traditional idiom. There's nothing revolutionary here, nor even evolutionary; straight forward, unfussy arrangements superbly backed by Colm Murphy (bodhrán) and Donnacha Moynihan (guitar), the best tracks being duets with Aogán Lynch (concertina) and Dave McNevin (banjo).
We get two tunes on uilleann pipes – tasty, especially the airs Dark Lochnagar and An Paístín Fionn on a Grinter low F whistle – fabulous sound and technique, with an exemplary distinction between deliberate (finger) vibrato and rock steady vibrato-less tone. Whelan's playing is assured and complex without being flashy, though he's still fond of his trademark staccato triple tongued ornament – not overused. Highly recommended.

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REVIEW: Gavin Whelan 'In Full flight' ****
Micheal Quinn, Songlines Magazine

Having taking a five year gap between his first two albums and forced us to endure a three year -wait noone could accuse Gavin Whelan of exploiting his fast -rising profile as the finest tin whistle player of his generation. Happily In full flight finds him back in the Mill studios of his native Dublin and reunited with a crack team who include the magisterial Colm Murphy on bodhran, guitarist Donnacha Moynihan, Aogan Lynch concertina peter Eades on Keyboard and contributing a new and vivid colour this time around. Dave McNevin on banjo.

There is a seemless blend of traditional largely west Clare-accented, tunes and new(eesh) material on offer, clearly more musically mature and technically assured, all nimbly held together by a nuanced feel for the past and an incisively intelligent approach to the tempernament of the present.

Opening with a set of reels kicked off by charlie Lennon's infectious The letrim lilter Whelan sets his srall out with a winning brio. moving through hornpipes jigs, reels and the sublimely melancholic air An Paistin Fionn with empeccable ease.

He's no less adept on the uillean pipes with the slow Scottish air Dark lochhnagar making a haunting solo companion to a lively brace of guitar-and bodhran jigs pushing the whistle to extremes of high drama and pulling back into his whispered intimacy. Whelan makes a strong case here for being regarded as the most eloquent, and certainly the the most exlhilarating, whistle player in Ireland at the moment.

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Review: Gavin Whelan "In full flight"
FolkWorld

Many Irish trad afficionados make a start on the aul' penny whistle, and if not giving it up already, moving on to another instrument. But there’s a lot more to this tiny instrument than the basics. Gavin Whelan from Tallaght just outside of Dublin stuck to it (to be honest, two tracks here feature his uilleann piping), and even made a career as one of only a few solo tin whistle players. Gavin's third album of tin whistle music is a display that there are lots of different techniques you can learn to play beyond the basics . The music featured is from Dublin to Donegal, West Clare to Bull Run and Britanny. However, the latter are exceptions, it's mostly jigs and reels with the odd hornpipe, fling and strathspey thrown in for good measure. Furthermore, two slow airs, "An Páistín Fionn" and "Dark Lochnagar". The tunes are trad. arr. except some compositions by Charlie Lennon (#34) and James Keane (). Accompaniment is from concertina, banjo, guitar (Donnacha Moynihan, keyboards and bodhran. Gavin himself is in full flight (the album cover shows his hand reaching towards the whistle in mid air), this is one of the best you can get considering the penny whistle. If anything is cheap it's not his performance. Phrasing and tone display a virtuoso on his instrument.

P.S.: Gavin has a book of traditional Irish tunes in the pipeline, soon to be released.

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Gavin Whelan In full flight album Launch
Derek Copley, Irish Music Magazine

Although they share the same name, there is no family connection between whistle supreme Gavin Whelan and the famous Whelan’s of Wexford st. the only relationship they share is a love of music, and no better place for Gavin to launch his third solo album In full flight.

Arranged on a day when a lot of people needed to let of steam, Friday, October 2nd, the day the nation voted one again on the Lisbon Treaty, the Tallaght- born musician had the task of distracting everyone present away from the diverse Treaty, and also kick start a typical weekend of madness in Irelands capital.

And indeed he did, starting of with a rip-roaring set of tunes, The letrim lilter , Captain Kellys and the reel with the birl- his freestyle approach breaking through does launch night nerves, settling into what he does best . An attentive crowd slowly took up all the seats available in the arena just after the beginning, to cheer on and marvel at a style Gavin has crafted over the years as a stalwart of both the touring and session scenes, both on whistles and uillean pipes. His partners in crime on the night were Dominic Keogh on bodhran from the band Morga, James Ryan on guitar from Na Bac, though he would be joined at various stages by a host of musicians - and dancer too!

Half way during the night Gavin started out what was supposed to be a solo slow air on the F whistle. However for any one standing at the bar, it was evident that he was not playing on his own, as the dish washer was humming along in the same key - maybe this type of Whelan’s duet is on the cards for the future!

Along with his family present for support, were fellow musicians and fans alike, who were treated to collaborators. First up was Deirdre Smyth on fiddle, playing Follow me down and the colliers reel. After that they tackled a set of jigs - The Battering ram, Paidin O Raferty and scattering the mud. Next up to the plate was banjo wizard Dave McNiven, whose relaxed demeanour is completely at odds with the energetic, furious style of his banjo playing as witnessed on the set from his album, The Yellow Tinker, Mary McMahons and Ah! Surly.
As each musician joined Gavin they all stayed on the stage to create a wonderful ensemble of music, which than formed a back drop for one Emma O Sullivan, Sean Os dancer extraordinaire, who literally put in a dazzling performance, her top glittering like a disco ball as she moved about the stage with a mesmerising flair under the stage lights.

Niamh Parsons, who had then arrived, made her way to the stage, singing sgt William Bailey and were are you tonight I wonder, to a hushed audience. As Niamh finished up to a round of applause, The band decided to give it another whirl, with a couple more sets, accompanied by the dazzling dancer, Emma, whose moves on the night were undoubtedly the best to be had any were in Dublin city that Fri night.

As the evening officially drew to a close, a clearly elated Gavin wandered around still buzzing from the performance, shaking hands, kissing cheeks and sharing jokes with friends and family, all in agreement of a job well done and his third solo album well produced.
And from listing to the album it’s clear that he doesn't hold back any of his onstage personality when in the recording studio, as the album carries over that free-flowing, fast paced, eccentric wonderment of his playing on both the whistles and uillean pipes.

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In Full Flight Review
Shelly Hayes, Tinehely Courthouse

Rising tradstar Gavin Whelan braught his tin whistle and Uillean pipe skills to the courthouse in 0ctober 2009, and his live performance was every bit as exciting as and accomplished as his recent album led us all to expect with able backing from Deirdre Smyth (fiddle) Dan Carollo (guitar) and Domnick Keogh (bodhran)

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REVIEW: Gavin Whelan 'In Full flight'
Siophan Long, The Irish Times

Gavin Whelan is a tin whistle player who elevated his chosen instrument to rare heights on his 2002 eponymous debut and his 2006 recording Another Time. This time out, he emerges from the traps with Charlie Lennon's sublime The leitrim Lilter like an attention deficit firefly. Whelans rush continue's

through the jig Grainne's welcome, his pace tempered by Colm Murphy's subtle percussion . Gradually though, his cache of whistle tunes nestle finds purchese in earnest. Whelan's best moments are during his slow airs, and in his two piping tunes were he flexis his musicial muscle with style. His pairing of Connie O' Connells, The Torn Jacket With O connels trip to parlliment is a masterclass in free - spirited ensemble playing with Donnach Moynihan guitar and Peter Eades in Keybords


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Review: Gavin Whelan 'In Full flight'
John Brophy, Irish Music Magazine.

An aptly named CD here. Gavin has pursuing as a solo whistle player for about a decade, and if there was an apprenticeship involved in that, this is the job of journeywork, the proof that he’s more than fit to be let out. More than that it’s a very Irish production, it goes beyond anything you can learn in a book. Its hard to pin down . But at base it means that trad is about people ad there shared love of making music and seeing the world in a special way. Its not conditioned by time or fashion, here we have old tunes like O’ Connell’s trip to parliament, (The yellow thinker and Ah! Surely-(This last was surely a song - but were a are the words?) and they are mixed in with tunes like Charlie lennon’s The Flying Wheelchair.

Gavin’s two slow airs deserve tpo be singled out. An Paistin Fionn and the Scottish Dark Lochnagar, they are both examples of musicial intelligence and good taste.

Special mention two the guest musicians, especially Aogan Lynch on concertina and Donnacha Moynihan on guitar, If anyone doubts that the whistle is a fully paid member of the community Of trad instruments, this collection will soon have you on the right road.

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Whistle player in Full Flight
Tallaght Echo

For most school children learning to belt out a few tunes on the tin whistle is a rite of passage that must be endured before jacking it I as a bad job but for whistle maestro Gavin Whelan it was a turning point which set him on the road to musical success.
From Belgard Heights, Gavin has just released his third album of traditional whistle music, In Full Flight and will launch if officially in Whelan’s of Wexford Street on October 2.
Featuring 13 toe -taping high energy tunes, mainly jigs and reels, Gavin makes the tin whistle sing as he barely pauses for breath delivering a beautifully honed production which is a delight to listen to and will even appeal to does who don’t normally find trad on their radar.

Since graduating with a higher Natonal Diploma in Irish music performance fro Ballyfermot College of further Education Gavin -aside from releaing his albums- has been actively involved in teaching Irish music in primary schools and is also and is also much sought after in music schools, festivals, workshops and classes.
Ahead of the official launch of his album, we had a chat with Gavin to find out more.

Tell us a bit about the making of the new album

Yeah well I recorded in different stages over a period of about a year. I did a few trecks one week and and than a few tracks the next. It was mainly due to other commitments and funding it it to be honest. I had a listed tback to the master copy and I was really happy with it, with the sound and the production and that.

Tell us about how you got started on the tin whistle

Well my parents would have always gone to sessions in and around town and I would have gone to some with them, so I had that connection. But than I did tin whistle in primary school and I got really into it then. At first it was hard butr than I just got this big interest in it, We all had tin whistles in the class but I had the connection of my parents keep going at it, I did lessons in Aras Chronain in Clondalkin and went to
Summer schools.

Do you remember when you relalised that you could make a living out of this?

Yeah I kept going through secondary school, entering Slogadh and different competitions and than when I left school I did a diploma in Irish music and I met people my own age who were interested in the music and were the same as myself so that spurred me on and it grew from there, This is my full time job and my third album now.

Why did you decide to start making albums?
The irst album was part of then course, at the of it you had to to ;ut out a CD. And that I was in a band for a while and when that was finished there was a lot of material there that I wanted to put on a CD as a solo player material I I had been collecting for a while. This album than again there was just a lot of material there and keep the music going. There all traditional arrangements, some that havent been played in a while, but I like to put a modern sor of take on them while keeping the traditional

Have you ever written any of your own music yet?

No, not yet, Im just concentrating on the traditional tunes, there’s so much more that I want to do

Why do you think that traditonal music continues to be so popular?

Well I think Its because trends in music come and
again but trad music never changes. There’s always people who love to go in and listen to a session. When you do a live gig
There’s always a crowd, that hasn’t changed even with the recession, I think that fostets it and keeps it going. Also when your teaching it, that brings in a new generation of kids to love it and keep it going.

Listing to In full Flight it sound like you hardly take a breath/ Do you do any breathing exercises or training to be able to play that long?

That just gets built up over time to be honest, practice make perfect!

Is the tin whistle a difficult instrument to play?

A lot of people start on the tin whistle and learn a few tunes and than go on to something else the whistle used to be a basic instrument you know, something you’d only start on, but there’s a lot more to it than that, there lots of different techniques you can learn to play.

Whats your Dream?

Just to continue to play music fulltime and to release the Cds. I’ve had a good ten years so far and I just want to keep it going. Id love to get busier and do more teaching.

You set up your own Tallaght Records Label why was that?

I just felt it gave me more options, I'm not restricted and can do my own thing. I have more control. Of course Its hard at the start because your funding everything yourself, but its working out, Its going quite well at the moment.

What's next for you?

I have a book of tradition tunes coming out, It’s just about completed and It’ll be ready early next year hopefully. Its has the background to all the tunes and a Cd of the tunes on them. It was a lot of research. Yes there’s the notations of the tunes and making sure im writing it down exactly as I p0laying them and them the history of the tunes as well. I love that though when you set yourself a goal or a project and you see it finished, Its very important to know the back round to a tune definitely, I always like to have the information on a tune where they came from, what’s it about. Its nice to be able to tell the crowd at a gig too, all about the tune and Its story.

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GAVIN WHELAN IS IN FULL FLIGHT
John Brophy meets the whistle maestro Gavin Whelan to discuss the new album.
Irish Music Magazine

Its been a couple a couple of years since we met, but no matter. Thee are new places built since and Im of to explore the new side of Tallaght. Okay its only six mile fro Dublin as the crow flies, or an hour as the tram travels, but bit’s a different
Its up the foothills, colder most of the time and it gets first pick of any train that comes over the mountain.

If you look in the church yard, you can still the baptismal front dating fro around 700 AD. The local saints are are st Aengus founder of the Culdees (ceile De) and st Mael Ruan whose feast day was July 7th. This persisted in folklore well into the 19th century as moll Rooney’ Day - and ironically it was the clergy that who helped stopit because of of the surfeit of drink. Of course the name Tamhlacht means a plague Memorial Stone. Some time round 300 BC there was a lad parthlon (motern version bertie who lived with his followers around these here parts, but they were wiped out ny a plague. (even than the health service wasen’t great).

So, armed with all the seanachas I arrange to meet Gavin Whelan at a café called the Interval. A lovely place, linked to the foyer of the new civic theatre, but its not a pub and your not going to hear stories of how we had a hard night on the lattes, even though we avoided the hard stuff (cappuccinos). But a nice place to talk to Gavin about new CD In full Flight.
The title was given to him by his father and indeed is an accurate description of were he is at the moment.

For the album though, the idea of a hand reaching towards a whistle in mid air seemed a great idea, but it took a full day in the photographic studio of Hugo Morris to realise it to everyone’s satisfaction, an along the way Gavin found out a few of the tricks, Like invisible fishing line, that real photographers use. No they don’t keep chucking a whistle in the air-Its much more scientific than that, and dont bother to see the fishing line - it really was invisible.

SO what have you been doing with yourself since last we met!

Well the Cd has being out and finished since May, but its getting the official launch treatment on October 2nd in Whelans of wexford street in Dublin, and the day after that its getting a repeat in Tinahealy, Co Wicklow, which is now an Arts centre. He’ also slotted in for the Feile Frank Mcgann in Strokestown, From October 8th to 11th ( its my job to supply the meanderings. The big house in strokes town once had an owner who hated dancing but the spouse nagged him into supplying a ballroom.

Which he did, but had the floor planks laid crosswise so that people preferred to sit and listin rather than battle with a bad floor. Truly woman are from Venus and some woman are fierce crafty hoors)But back to Gavin A little later on, on October 24th hes having a workshop followed by a concert in Aras Chronain the Irish language cultural cenre in Clondalkin Village, just down the road from his own patch . The diary is starting to fill up hes confident enough to know that it will.

The last thing big thing though was teaching at at a summer school in Tubbercurry, Co Sligo- theres a lovely sculpture of three musicians ion the fair green, just in case you dident notice what the prevailing wind(instrument was)

Normally, says Gavin his pupils/instructees are adults, but this time, he had a class of children aged eight and upwards, his face breaks out to a happy grin as he savours the memories. Weather it’s the air or the water , or just the strength of the tradition, the kids were better than the adults. They could almost give you it straight back, as soon as you played one for them.’’ True for you wasent it the famed Dr Suzuki who proved to his own satisfaction that young babies can recognise tunes they heard before they were born? Anyhow, Gavin’s teaching experience was rewarding very rewarding and three hours per morning everyone paid excellent attention. Well done!

For the current CD he has Aogan Lynch on concertina, Dave McNevin on Banjo and Colm Murphy on bodhran. Peter Eades plays keyboards and also helped with the production. Gavin comes back several times with praise of Peter It takes a special kind of person to listen to what you do to have the technical expertise to give you what you want and than to actually do it, Peter is that person.

Gavin is someone who knows what he wants to say. Sometimes it comes easier on a whistle than with words and, and being a paid member of the chattering classes, I have to be careful not to put words in his mouth. So when I ask him about his own record label Tallaght Records, you don’t get an instant answer. But he does agree that it would probably be impossible to get the level of artistic freedom that he needs, If he were to work inside a big organisation. it’s the same story as well with many musicians and is very understandable.

Gavin, though is a musician of strong mind and great tendency of tenacity of purpose. Its now ten years and more since he decided tp launch a career as a solo whistle player , and not to join a group. Of his generation he knows of nobody else doing it. Obviously there are wonderfull players like Mary Bergin and Sean Ryan, and the instrument id taken more seriously as any other implement, especially Stateside. The airport shops and souvenir outlets are selling the packaged deal- how many of them are ever played? But serious players will look for Quality. Most of the time he uses whistles by John Sindt of New York, but for the slow airs - An Paistin Fionn on the album- he has a low F whistle made by Mike Grinter. Mike is due in Strokestown for the festival

So the two pillars of his work for Gavin are recording and festivals. I love the whole process of recording. He says. This goes all the way from identifying the tunes two showing of the CDs in concert. And at the end of it, theres normally a bunch of tunes that havent been used and are still there, fermenting in the bottom of the barrell . So, like any good brewer, what do you do but fill it again?

The choice of tunes is leaning towards the established side. There are tunes like the yellow thinker and Ah surly! Which are out of McNeills- he had the 1,850 but he far prefers learning from other players. And that’s were festivals come in, they help keep the humanity in the music . If you are gigging with a group on tour you can meet someone for say five minutes after a show . it’s a lotbetter than noting but at festivals you get to relax, get to kow people and there tunes. He’s very instant that the provenance of a a tune, and any related folklore are supplied for the listener.

So how many tunes has he got? Never enough,’’ He’s been asked that one before).
And theres one other thing hes got going on the pipes. There’s a warning for all whistle players. Get yourself a concert flute or he pipes . Will get you and your in for the 21- year learning curve. Gavin has succumbed- he playes the Scottish song Lochnagar on a set made by Donnacha Keegan… I wonder were his next album will fly to?.

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Passion, power and flair combined
By Tim Carroll, FolkWords

Traditional music endures while other fashions may come and go – Gavin Whelan proves without a doubt why the music of tradition persists. He also proves that in the hands of a master the whistle can take the lead with flair. There's no unearthly longing for the past or worship of the 'old ways' in his playing it's just bloody good traditional music, bang up-to-date and played from the heart.

If you can't get along to a gig, then the CD 'Another Time' gives you get a classic opportunity to hear Gavin at his best. The album also features a fine group of musicians that lend their skills to Gavin's playing. They include Donnacha Moynihan (guitars) Colm Murphy (bodhran) Zoe Conway (fiddle) Eoin O'Neil (bouzouki) Finbar Naughton (mandolin, fiddle) Aogan Lynch (concertina) Gavin Ralston (guitar) and Peter Eades (keyboards). And just to prove the breadth of his talent Gavin plays uilleann pipes too.

Backed by the strings, skins and keys of his fellow musicians, Gavin weaves the whistle around a selection of jigs, reels, hornpipes and airs with such dexterity you just know the whistle is in his blood as well as his fingers. That Gavin can extract such power and expression from the instrument is statement enough of his skill, the fact that he adds an untapped sparkle to traditional tunes shows his talent. From slow airs that drag tears from your eyes to jigs and reels that won't allow you to sit still, Gavin enables the smallest of instruments take on the largest of mantles.

In some circles the whistle is thought of as a 'toy' - not true any more. Listen to Gavin and you'll realise the whistle is become far more than a plaything. It's also supposed to be easy to play – not true either. Just try to match his abilities and you'll never think like that again. This man ranks among the great whistle players of his own or any other generation – and that my friend is undoubtedly true!

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'Another Time' Review
Vic Smith, The folk Diary

Most uillean pipers seem to make the pipes their main instrument though they may play a bit of tin whistle on the side; with Gavin it seems to be the reverse. On the evidence of this album he is mainly a whistle player - and a remarkable one at that. It is clear that a great deal of thought has gone into every aspect of this project. The tunes are well chosen for their interest and variety - everything from reels played flat-out but with great control to an exquisite interpretation of the song tune "An Bonnan Bui" - and he is given great support from his two main accompanists, Donnacha Moynihan in guitar and Colm Murphy on bodhrán. Amongst the other musicians that he pairs the whistle with, there are notable contributions from Zoë Conway on fiddle and Aogán Lynch on concertina.

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'Another Time' Review
P Cousins, French Trad Magazine

Often considered like a minor instrument, the tin whistle is at the base of Irish Music, an instrument universally recognised thanks to millions of musicians, Even if the fiddle, the accordion or the Uillean pipes seem to be the instrument some musicians have voluntarily chosen to devote themselves to the tin whistles, Among them Gavin Whelan from Tallaght in the Dublin suburbs, he is offering us a second album Another Time on which he proves to have potential and Talent, almost incredible for such a young man, Thirteen traditional reels, Jigs hornpipes Highlands, A lot stand out but performed with such coolness that gives them another lease on life, for the whistle to appear at its best.

Gavin has surrounded himself with musicians Zoe Conway, fiddle Colm Murphy bodhran and Aogan Lynch concertina, These are some amongst so many Gavin has a great repertoire from musicians like Willie Clancy, Joe Derrane or Phil Cunnigham, Donnach Moynihan and Gavin Ralston's guitars guarantee the rhythm while Colm Murphy's bodhran carries out fierce tempo beside the whistle. Not a well known musician at this side of the Atlantic but of whom you will hear of one day or another.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008
STRIKING UP A TUNE
Cover Article in the Tallaght Voice

Tin Whistle player Gavin Whelan speaks to Kathy Masterson about his music, his
forthcoming third album and his love for traditional Irish Music

Like many children in primary school, Tallaght native Gavin Whelan began learning the however unlike most, who struggle with it for a couple of months before relegating the instrument to the back of the cupboard. Gavin has turned it into his occupation. The talented musician has played in festival all aver Ireland, and has two highly praised solo albums on his own record label. He is now working on material for his third CD, and on a live DVD, both of witch he hopes to release next year.

Gavin explains how it all began, I started playing the tin whistle in primary school, the whole class got tin whistles and learned how to played them. I was lucky that my parents were mad into music and they always brought us to sessions around the Dublin music scene to singing session and Irish music session and thing like that. So when I started playing the tin whistle, I got into it in a big way I was lucky i had my parents behind me, I kept going through it in secondary school, than when I left school I continued on with it.

Gavin’s parents were instrumental in fostering his love of traditional music and the family’s frequent trips to the west of Ireland had a huge influence on his music.

Traditional music was always there in my house, my dad plays a bit of banjo and mandolin, so he’d always be playing tunes around the house. I was lucky that my pa4ent always took us down to Doolin Co Clare as well. I was playing ballads for a while just songs and tunes, but my Dad brought me down to there one time and it just opened me up to all these traditional music down there on the west coast, And for me it was great, I didn't know what was going on, I taught this is completely different. So than I got loads of tapes and started recording tunes from around that area I brought them back to Dublin and started to learn them off. That’s when I got into it in a big way, reveals Gavin.

As well as musicians from the west coast of Ireland, Gavin al0so took inspiration from well known tin whistle players like Mary Bergin and Sean Ryan, two great whistle players. Mary Bergin’s album came out in 1979 when I was born but its still one of does albums that you can listen to over and over again and it still sound like it was only played yesterday, it still sound fresh, So I listened two that and started getting bits and pieces and I taught that that was the type of recording that I wanted to do. I just wanted to keep it simple good tunes that were played well I went for that sort of style.

Gavin also finds ideas music in his daily life, Its just a day - to-day stuff really. Every time I wake up there's something new there, like a new tune that iv taught of. It just comes from every were like other musicians in general, people out there that playing, listing to old recordings, new recordings and new artists that are around. You could just be out some night and something hits you there's always something to take inspiration from. After finishing school, Gavin enrolled in the Ceoltoir music course in Temple Bar to hone his skills, while doing the course, he played in bands for some time before deciding to go it alone. He says I decided to do a solo album because I had a lot of material that Id’ been collecting over the years going to festivals and stuff. So than I released my first CD in 2001

It was while he was gearing up to released his debut album that Gavin decided to set up his own record label Tallaght Records. I set up my own record label first because I was recording a solo album, but than as it progressed I used it promote my other solo stuff, and over the distribution and that kind of thing, especially now that I want to bring out further releases this year. That it works out well.

Iv just finished an album that's going to be released next year and I'm hoping to expand it in the next couple of years and have more releases coming out. he explains. However at the moment, Gavin has no plans to enlist any other upcoming artists on his own label, Its an agent as well for myself. But you never know in the next couple of years when I get myself established as a record label I might star taking on other local artists.

Gavin is currently taking a break from live performances to concentrate on the recording rather than the live performance side. I love working on tunes, I might be walking on the street and an idea might come into my head, or at 2 o clock in the morning I might get an idea and write it down, than ill put it on my computer and think of arrangements- that way you build up a repertoire and it keeps your music fresh instead of doing the sessions all the time.

Its nice when you can get in the studio with people that you like playing with and putting down your own music. It keeps the tunes fresh and keeps me busy. I just started doing a bit more recording with the pipes. Gavin is modest about the success of his previous two solo albums, the self titled Gavin Whelan released in 2001 and Another Time released in 2006, iv got a good response from the albums, there Doing quite well. I’ve been doing a fair amount of gigs since the second album came out they got good reviews in the Irish Times and stuff like that’’

The albums received rave received rave reviews across Ireland the UK and the States. The Irish times said of his first album Debuts seldom come as fresh and as vibrant as this you whistle player Whelan is a formidable talent. Bare- boned and embellished in all the right places . fingers crossed he can hang on to his free form delivery after word gets out of his remarkable debut.

His second album also hit number 4 in folk radio U.K's top 20, the radio station described Gavin as a magician when it comes to playing the tin whistle and uillean pipes. Gavin’s relatively recent foray into playing the uillean pipes began as a hobby but it is now something he has successfully integrated into his performances. He reveals The tin whistle is my main instrument but in the past couple of years iv been playing the pipes more and started into it. now I play them just as much as the whistle. I’ve done a couple of sets on the pipes on the new CD. After I've been playing the whistle for quite a while. I heard the likes of Paddy Keenan and fell in love with the instrument straightaway. I pestered my parents for ages and lucky enough there was a pipes maker who lived in Ballyfermot were my parents are from and they put an order for the set of pipes. I started playing them as a bit if a hobby but now I'm playing the two instruments. It varies it up a bit.

Especially when your doing live gigs and stuff like that its nice to be able to change.

There are does that believe that Irish culture and music are swiftly becoming extinct, however sees a bright future in store for traditional music I think there's certainly a revival in Irish traditional music scene at the moment, you only have to go into town and you can see the amount of people in pubs listening to Irish music. Thank there are all the festivals and workshops around the country at the moment. There is still a big market for Irish traditional music. The Temple Bar Music Festival was just on in January and that was packed out, so I think its packed as ever.’’

In his experience, the genre is gaining recognition among you people. It is becoming more popular among you people, There's a new age of people coming up there playing all over the place. The Ceoltor course that I did in Temple Bar is very popular, there's a new age of young musicians coming up that are mad for tunes and get out there and play, which is great. Gavin certainly has a busy year in store a she is currently working on his third album as well as a DVD out on my own Record label. That's the biggest thing I want to do at the moment, just to release some of my own music on my own label and to hopefully be able to tour with that in the future and to expand that. After that I hope to start getting into touring.

While Gavin feels he is very fortunate to devote all his time to his passion for music, he admits that he is passion for music, he admits that at times it can be difficult. There are times that I think’’ Why am I doing this? Do I really want to be doing this in the next 30 years? but than you do a good gig and come home and you think yeah that's what I want to do. It keeps me going. Im lucky to be able to do that, after 12 years to be able to play full - time on a professional basis, because I never taught that at this age, Im 29 this year and iv been doing this since I was 17. Its starting to go well but you have to put in a bit of work at the beginning.’’

There are times that I think ’why am I doing this? do I really want to do this for the next 30 years? But then you do a good gig and come home and you think yeah, that's what I want to do’.

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Live Review
The ARENA, IL GIORNALE DI VERONA (VERONA PAPER)

Classic Irish folk has the energy of Whelan, a long series of jigs, reels, polkas, and slow airs meet in a set that conquers the public. Ireland rich musical heritage I particular the one that finds its root in the danceable tunes, between the stamping of feet and a pint of beer, can consider itself safe as long as the Green island continues to churn out virtuoso and passionate young musicians like Gavin Whelan who played in Costa Grande ( a picturesque village on the hills above Avesa, the birth place of foundation of Exodus of Don Mazzi, the organizer of an appreciable summer festival) they also played in San Giovanni Lupatoto for the closing night of the traditional manifestation of San Giovanni Respira' (''saint john breathes')
In the poetic nature of Gavin who has twp albums of his own and one in production, and his companions amongst whom the fiddle player Daire Braken with his outstanding presence and his instrumental techniques, there might be noting innovative. Still within the bounds of a well established tradition there is space for a certain creativity which is clearly expressed . Thanks to his profound technical knowledge, by Gavin the group leader through his tiny modest whistle by Braken the fiddle player.

The long series of jigs reels polkas and slow airs is well able to capture the attention of the audience in particular the fast tunes with there strong rhythmic component and a clear component and a clear connotation from different styled of the Green Island
To join the band was the singer and guitarist Danny Moran from Scotland who, in the delicate tones of Nick Drake sang two Irish love songs Searching and the famous and beautiful Sweet thing from Astral Weeks of Van Morrison

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Gavin Whelan: Another Time  ****
David Burke, ROCKnREEL

Lets be candid here the tin whistle a bit like the recorder. just isn't sexy. its one of those rudimentary instruments, the sensible jumper compared to the fiddle's skinny-fit T shirt. But Gavin Whelan might change all that. he's got a bit of soul. has Gavin, And he plays the considerably sexier Uilleann pipes as well.

Another time is his second album and the tunes a lively mix of jigs, reels and hornpipes a couple of slow airs to bring respite to the proceedings -are giving pelter buy some solid backing from the likes of Donnacha Moynihan, (guitar) Colm Murphy, (bodhran), Eoin O Neill, (bouzouki) and Aogan Lynch, (concertina) unfair to single any of the tunes out nevertheless Joe Derrane's and the Trip to Cullenstown fair set the pulse racing. while the 'chilling Anach Cuain - composed by blind Mayo poet Antoin O Raiftearai about a drowning tragedy on lough Corrib in 1829 - is profoundly sorrowful.

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Gavin Whelan Another Time
JB - Sing Out Magazine

In the age were the whistle has become less popular in the Irish traditional spectrum, Dubliner Gavin Whelan continues to fly the flag in his own quiet way. This his second release, the first, Gavin Whelan , dating all the way back to 2001. Whelan has been busy in the interim however running his own label, touring internationally, being heavily involved on the Irish teaching circuit and earning the prestige of performing on Irelands Music Networks Next Generation tour with other leading young trad musicians. Some of those young artists appear on this album, among them Zoe Conway, Aogan Lynch and Donnacha Moynihan.

This is Irish music the way it should be natural and impulsive,. Whelan is a gifted musician surrounded here by equally capable peers, all combining to create a record that is not quite perfect but all the more enchanting for not being as processed or 'clever' as many trad recordings have become. Whelan's music is not staged in any away. And one can picture him playing at a session in his local pub as he does on this album. In my opinion, that is a quality not to be undervalued, particularly with so many Irish traditional 'super groups' dominating the international markets. Take the set of jigs '' Joe Derrane's/ The Stolen Purse/The Home coming'' there is an energy here that just leaps out of the CD player and depicts a genuine joy and enjoyment for the act of playing. Whelan turns his hand to the pipes on the following track, where he meets fiddler Zoe Conway in a sturdy and surprisingly dexterous display of ability. The Hunt is an altogether more delicate affair, the mandolin lending a delicate sweetness to this well known hornpipe.

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Another Time Review
Alex Gallagher, Folk Radio UK

Another Time’ is the second album from Gavin Whelan. Gavin is a magician when it comes to playing tin whistle and uilleann pipes. He is certainly one of the finest young musicians I have heard for some time. I came across him on MySpace. When I received his album and listened to it, I couldn't believe I'd never heard of him before. He has already made an impact in the short time he has been playing on the station by reaching number 4 in Folk Radio UK's Top 20!

The album is a great mix of both dance tunes and slow airs. It has been well crafted and well put together. It is clear when you hear Gavin play that it's not just his great technical ability that make him stand out but also the enthusiasm and emotion that he puts into every tune. He certainly is a great young Irish talent that the world is going to hear a lot more about.

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Traditional Tallaght tunes
Michael Storey, The ECHO

Who said trad music isn’t Cool?

With the second Temple Bar Trad festival kicking off on January 25th Tallaght musician, Gavin Whelan is rearing to go. Gavin from Belgard Heights in Tallaght has been playing traditional music from an early age and is well regarded as one of the finest exponents of the tin whistle around.

Gavin will be playing three dates as part of the Temple Bar Trad festival and says he is looking forward to turning the young generation into trad music. Gavin told the Echo. I spent some time teaching tradition music in schools around Ireland and I really enjoyed it, its great seeing the kids getting into it. There’s great enthusiasm from the younger people towards traditional music’’.

It’s not just the young people Gavin is spreading the trad message to, he recently returned from a Europe where he played gigs in Italy and in Germany. Gavin said ‘’ I played gigs in Verona and Hamburg and the reception was brilliant, they are still mad into it. We’ll be going back there in the summer’’ Gavin’s love of trad music stemmed from his regular trips to County Clare as a child. He learned to play the tin whistle at school, quickly surpassing his schoolmates. As he visited Clare more frequently Gavin learned tunes from Micho Russell, the renowned whistle player from Doolin. Gavin released his self-titled debut album in 2002 on his own label Tallaght Records label and his latest album; “Another Time” came out last year.
Gavin told the Echo “I didn’t get music time to tour last year because I was trying to get the album out but now that its out its going very well’’

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Another Time Review
Folkworld

Heading on to the east coast of Ireland. Gavin Whelan is a young whistler and piper from Tallaght, Dublin, and "Another Time" is his second album. He already is regarded widely as an outstanding performer on the tin whistle. His playing is straightforward and eloquent. This is a band album and Gavin is assisted by fiddler Zoe Conway, guitarist Donnacha Moynihan (Calico, and bodhrán player Colm Murphy (De Dannan) amongst others.

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Another Time Review
by Mike Wilson, Rambles.NET
13 January 2007

The tin whistle (or pennywhistle) is such a simple instrument, but in the right hands it can be used to stunning effect. Dublin native Gavin Whelan possesses such a pair of hands, and on Another Time -- his second album -- he deploys his skills across a breadth of traditional tunes.
The opening set of reels, "The Stone in the Field/Ambrose Maloney's/The Small Hills of Offaly," demonstrates a tour de force of whistle-playing, with Whelan skipping effortlessly from note to note and the enchanting sound of the whistle cascading from your speakers. On this track and the set of jigs that follow, Whelan is backed up by Donnacha Moynihan's simple but rhythmic guitar accompaniment, and Colm Murphy's outstanding bodhran provides a phenomenal heartbeat to the tunes. The bodhran often gets a fair bit of flack from traditional music aficionados, but when played with the flair and talent demonstrated here, it makes a mesmerizing contribution.

There is just one occasion on Another Time where Whelan chooses to ditch the whistle in favour of his uilleann pipes -- the set of reels "Paddy Mills/The Connacht Heifers." This track benefits from a particularly sparse arrangement, with Whelan's pipes accompanied solely by Zoe Conway's fine fiddle playing -- indeed it isn't even until the second of the tunes in this set that Whelan deploys the drones of his pipes. However, Whelan and Conway both do a fine job filling all the gaps on these tunes, producing a satisfyingly full sound from their combined instruments.

Another Time isn't just a collection of jigs, reels and hornpipes -- there are also a couple of winsome slow airs that demonstrate the expressive nature of the whistle when a relatively restrained technique is employed. I found "Anach Cuain" to be the most engaging of the slow airs -- a mournful tune that tells the story of a fatal boating tragedy on Lough Corrib, perfectly evoking the emotions of loss and longing that such an incident would stir up.
The sleeve-notes are informative, with a brief description of the history of each tune, which always adds considerably to my enjoyment of this type of music. Whelan is more than just an accomplished exponent of the whistle, displaying also an impressive knowledge of the tradition. There are no tricks here or technical wizardry, just plain and simple traditional music, played exceptionally well -- exactly as it should be!

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Another Time Review
Steve Dieterich - Celtic Airs radio Programme, CT USA

I've just previewed Gavin Whelan's latest CD "Another Time" for airplay on my radio program "Celtic Airs". It's an excellent whistle album, with just enough sympathetic support from a group of talented 'side men' to flesh it out and make it appealing for repeated auditions! There's something for everyone from beautiful slow airs (Anach Cuain) to rousing sets of reels. Gavin even steps out for fine set of reels on uilleann pipes (Paddy Mills'/The Connacht Heifers) just to prove his versatility! Add it to your play list as I've added it to mine!!

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Gavin Whelan - ANOTHER TIME (Tallaght)
David Kidman, NethRhythms

It's been a while since this young south-Dublin (Tallaght) born tin-whistle virtuoso's scintillating eponymous debut CD, which when I finally got round to hearing (and reviewing) it earlier this year I somehow got confused and erroneously labeled his second (for which I must now make an apology). But it was probably an easy mistake to make, for such, no doubt, was the level of expertise and maturity in his playing even then - and Gavin's still only 27! Anyway, there's cause for celebration now, for here's Gavin's "true" second CD, which is at one and the same time a continuation of the first and a major leap forward. In the first sense, Another Time delivers another excellently-chosen and well-presented sequence of not just reels but jigs, hornpipes, highlands and slow airs too: a truly rounded selection that demonstrates both the enormous breadth of the "bottomless pit" of available material and Gavin's expertise in arranging and playing in a healthy variety of moods and tempos (something which many listeners persist in believing the humble tin-whistle incapable of!).

And in the second sense, Another Time takes Gavin's skills into another dimension of expertise as not only does he play even more breathtakingly than before and is showcased in ever more ambitious settings (which, however, proudly retain the traditional session feel that marked the first album) but also he gets to play the uilleann pipes (hurrah!). Now the sprightly opening set of reels certainly has the "more of the same but even better" feel about it, as it's very similar in style and execution to comparable tracks on Gavin's first album. Nothing at all wrong with that of course. But it's one of the many delights of Gavin's playing, that he can make "just another set of reels" sound completely fresh, as he proves with his unhurried yet still joyous tempo for the Mountain Lark/Paddy Killoran's/Hut On Statten Island reel-set (track 3).

Once again, as the album progresses, I'm marveling afresh on each track at Gavin's supreme dexterity, his exemplary breath control, his clean and precise intonation that never sacrifices musicality at any cost, and that delicious sense of joy in his playing that bounces back and forth between Gavin and his fellow musicians. A good example of the latter trait is the hornpipe The Hunt (track 9), where the interplay with fiddler Finbarr and bouzoukist Eoín is a constant delight. For once again Gavin's surrounded himself with a tight little pool of brilliant young players, all but one of whom (keyboardist Peter Eades) had already lent such a distinctive sound to Gavin's first album: the roster comprises Donnchadh Moynihan and Gavin Ralston (guitars), Eoín O'Neil (bouzouki), Colm Murphy (bodhrán), Zoë Conway (fiddle), Finbarr Naughton (mandolin, fiddle) and Aoghàn Lynch (concertina). Zoë's wonderfully spirited duet with Gavin's pipes on the Paddy Mills/Connacht Heifers set (track 8) is tremendous, and a definite highlight of the whole album. But I also really liked Gavin's way with the slow airs, particularly his heartfelt rendition of The Yellow Bittern (definitely not a case of "twice shy" there!). Gavin also rings the changes from his largely traditional approach to the tunes with a couple of unexpectedly syncopated arrangements which work very well - like the hornpipe set at track 12.

This is another really exhilarating, enjoyable and repeatable release from Gavin, one that restores the good name of traditional Irish instrumental music to those who may have given it up after years of flashy sessioner-products. I've only one complaint (and that a very minor one) - the text of Gavin's excellent booklet notes (where he's admirably meticulous in crediting his sources) is virtually unreadable in the middle panel of the three (insufficient contrast with the white print on beige background!).
Otherwise, this finely-presented package is a real credit to Gavin - as is his superb website...
www.gavinwhelan.ie

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Gavin Whelan “Another Time”
William Ramoutar - Irish Ways Radio Programme (WFCF 88.5fm Florida)

No meanderings through quiet Country roads on the whistle here! This is taking the Country by storm! He is superb at taking the tunes from great masters of Irish music, such as Tommy Reck, Paddy Taylor, Séan Ryan, Willie Clancy, Joe Derrane, Christy Barry and even newer generation ones as Kevin Crawford, Frankie Gavin etc. Turning the tunes on their head and giving them a new full head of steam to appeal to new audiences and maybe the young, who will go on to become disciples and musicians of this music we call traditional.
And yet there are such tender treatments of some tunes that their time seems to have expired, as not so many people look to record, or play them anymore.
Listen to his version of Anach Cuain. It would bring tears to the hardest of hearts. I have to thank him for this one, as I can look at this marvelous old tune as if I had never heard it before. The sadness of the incident that inspired it’s composition is there for all to behold. Sheer history in the making this is.

I cannot imagine anything better than the way he is playing now and yet, I know I thought similarly, when I heard his first self titled release in 2001.

Another added advantage of CDs is that now, unlike in the old days, when you listened to music on your vinyl albums, being able to hear where the Artists paused for a breath and from this, you can learn much more from the technology. Many question it’s authenticity as a vehicle for the true sound of the music, but if you learn more from it, what more can you ask.
Gavin is a true interpreter of absolute gems of traditional tunes, as you can tell from his respectful treatment of these tunes and his ornamentation, where, if he wanted to show where really his extraordinary musical talent has reached, he could head off into the stratosphere. However, through the intricate weaving of notes and flowing from one tune into another, he shows the true beauty of so many of the tunes. His sheer restraint in not overplaying, yet displaying the tunes in the manner you know their authors must surely have meant.
Did I mention he plays the Pipes? No, well yes, he does. He has a great set with one of the new ingénues of “The Music”, Zöe Conway. In fact, his choice of accompanists on this cd is second to none.

If there is something amiss with this new effort, I dare someone to point it out to us. People buy music for many reasons nowadays. To drive with, to relax by, to even work with. There is no excuse for you not to buy this. The music presented here will stay with me for a long time. There is something here to listen to every day.

Another Time may be the title of the album, but, Forever in Time, might be the true extent of it’s longevity.

I live in Florida now and have done so for over 20 years, but this fellow's music would make me want to move back to Tallaght. Good Man Gavin! You’re a Star!

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Another Time Review
Eight/Ten, Sarah McQuaid, Hotpress

Another Time is the second solo album for whistle player Gavin Whelan, a Tallaght native who released his self- titled debut in 2002. Whelan has a lovely style that combines smoothness and fluidity with solid rhythm, and it’s well served by the spare arrangements here. Particularly nice are the two tracks with Aogán Lynch on concertina and Calico’s Donnacha Moynihan on guitar, there’s also a terrific unaccompanied duet with fiddler Zoe Conway (who used to play with Whelan in the band Dál Riada) that’s also the track on which Whelan plays uilleann pipes instead of whistle. He’s no slouch on the pipes, and it’s a pity he doesn’t make more use of them. Guitarist Gavin Ralston provides a beautiful chordal counterpoint to an instrumental version of the old song ‘The Yellow Bittern’ while Keybords courtesy of Peter Eades on the slow air ‘Anach Cuain’ are spine –tinglingly effective (which coming from this confirmed synth-hater is high praise indeed).

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Another Time Review [4/5]
Conor Smyth - Connected

We’re not exactly renowned for our coverage of Irish music here at connected, but that’s not to say were averse to it, and to give credit were its due, this is a very good record. Out on Tallaght Records, Another Time’ sees Gavin Whelan arrange no less that 29 jigs and reels into 13 single tunes. Gavin’s a fairly well known whistle player and uillean piper on the Dublin scene and he’s ably assisted here by Donnacha Moynihan (guitar) and Colm Murphy(bodhran), among others. The arrangement and mastering cant be knocked, providing a pacy and entertaining slice of traditional Irish music, with each song accompanied by a footnote explaning its orgins. Gavin posses a great appreciation of the workings of traditional music and is highly recommended live.

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Gavin Whelan – CD Launch ‘Another Time’ WHELANS
Brian O’ Gaibhin - Irish Music Magazine
21st August, 2006

A packed Whelan’s of Wexford Street were treated to a soul lifting evening of one of the finest traditional music nights witnessed in Dublin in a long time. Gavin Whelan (Whistle), Donnacha Moynihan(guitar) and Tristean Rosenstock, (bodhrán) enthralled the audience with a fantastic evening of what can only be described as honest to God pure traditional music. The evening began with some fine singing from Phil Callery with backing from the audience who were fortunate to get onto Whelan’s that evening. As everyone waited for one of the finest young exponents of the tin whistle to take the stage there was an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement that was not to be disappointed.

One could not have better scripted rhythm filled the room with Tristean on the bodhrán and Donnacha Moynihan on guitar and than it all just happened. Gavin Whelan filled his lungs and began what only can be described as probably one of the finest set of pulsating set of reels to grace any stage. I have heard Gavin’s playing being described as ‘simple and unpretentious and his fluent approach to jigs. Reels, hornpipes, highlands and slow airs is expressive, tasteful and beautiful ,placing him in the ranks of great whistle players such as Mary Bergin, Sean Ryan and Micho himself. Never has a truer word been spoken. And it just got better another set of up-tempo reels, followed by a wonderful selection of jigs. With an eager audience shouting for more, Gavin once again changed the dynamics of the evening bringing a mystic calm to the full Whelan’s with hypnotic rendition of ‘An Bonnán Buí. Just when we taught it was all over Gavin returned to the stage with Tony Quinn on bodhrán, Barra Mcillester on flute, Danny Moran on guitar/singing, and Andy Leighton on fiddle for an impromptu, rhythmic set of reels and jigs which was accompanied by a yelping, toe-taping exited audience in Whelan’s. It was one of those nights that you just didn’t want to end.
To some it all up…. If you haven’t heard…listen..

If You haven’t seen…go enjoy now ….pick up a copy of his new album entitled ‘Another time’
And treat yourself to a rare wonderful talent of traditional Irish Whistle playing a breath of fresh air. Go fada buan thú Gavin agus chuid ceoil...

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Homegrown talent
Tallaght whistle player launches second album
The Tallaght Echo

A young Tallaght man, who is making waves in the world of traditional Irish music, took his biggest step yet when he launched his second album last week.

Another time which follows his self –titled debut album Gavin Whelan’. Was launched at a big hooley in Whelans last Monday night (August 21)

Gavin, who is just 27, and was born and raised in Tallaghts Belgard Heights, has established himself as one of Irelands most prominent traditional musicians,
Gavin’s instrument of choice is one of the easiest on the ear and probably has the most history and tradition – the tin whistle.

But while a traditional band is not complete without a tin whistle player, Gavin has greater ambitions – he wants to get the whistle established as a solo instrument and travelling the world wooing crowds with his talent.

He said ‘’I have been working really hard recently, pushing the album. I hope it will be a success and help me establish myself as a solo artist. If I am solo, I can choose who I want to work with and will give me so much freedom.’’

Musical freedom is clearly very important to Gavin, as he set up his own record label- Tallaght Records. He said I taught setting up my own label would give me a lot more scope and freedom in the type of music I could record and the people I could work with.

Considering the fact I am from Tallaght and lived here all my life. I wanted to get that into the name. So I went with Tallaght records it says it all really,’’

Bu t despite the fact the album is not out on a major record label, it will not be hard to get your hands on copy, An other time will be distributed by the well known Irish music company Claddagh Records, and will be available in all the major record shops.

Gavin started working on the album three years ago and it has taken up so much of his time that now he cannot wait to get back playing again.

He said I’m doing so music work on the album that playing comes last. So I can’t wait to get back into it and start touring Ireland again. And break into Europe and America too.

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A TALENT FROM TALLAGHT
John Brophy meets up with Gavin Whelan on the release of his new album.

Irish Music Magazine - September 2006

The summons came from high? Or maybe it was left field, Gavin Whelan has a new CD for launch, and we’d better have a chat a chat with him about it. Sir. So I duly
Phoned Gavin in the damp month of July, and the voice at the other end said; ‘I'm
Teaching a class at the Willie Clancy week, call back in a half an hour.’’ Which I did. Feeling very silly that I should have known that in the sacred week of the summer the only possible place for a whistle player to be was in Miltown Malbay. Now one thing we all know is that the music happens best in its own good time, and those who play it are of like temperament . So it’s about a week later that we managed to get a quiet place in Tallaght, with a view a view over the hills. there is the Hellfire Club, now surrounded by pine trees it was once the venue for some pretty good parties, you can see the big TV mast on Kippure, this is near to heather and the boggy hills, its were the old poems say Fionn Mac Cumhail and his mates used to hunt wild boar, and its were Gavin calls home.

Its also a new town, just 35 minutes from city centre on the new light rail system, and the ambient music is far more likely to be the heaviest of metal rather than sean-nos. and from this paradoxical environment, enters Gavin who is determined to make the whistle acknowledged as a solo instrument in its own right and determined to make a career of playing and teaching it. Even after a few minutes talking and a quick look at the track list are enough to convince anyone that Gavin is in great shape to do it. On first listing, you can feel the sinewy strength of the playing, and the understanding that comes from years of listing to and playing with musicians for whom the tunes are as natural as breathing, It also proves the point that you can listen to recording and learn from them, but basically traditional music is about meeting people. Learning from them and the sharing the experience of playing together. And it’s a mark of the real player that he is always meticulous about giving the provenance of a tune.

Gavin has two tunes from Paddy O Brian, The Small hills of Offaly and the Trip to Bantry. From Phil Cunningham, he has the Hut from Staten Island and Hogties. He Also has the Swan composed by Sean Ryan and The Homecoming by Eoin O'Neil Paddy Mills composed by Paddy Mills, Whilst Pip Murphy is author of The Trip to Cullenstown. Gavin sees the second CD as a logical follow – on from the first there were plenty of tunes which he had played once, but which kept forcing themselves back through the memory barrier and by their persistence they demand to be recorded.

In an analogous way, the musicians guesting on this collection are people whom he has come to know over the years, and who share the happy security of a common vibe. There’s Zoë Conway on fiddle, Finbarr Naughton on mandolin and fiddle, Donach Moynihan and and Gavin Ralston on guitars Eoin O'Neill on bouzouki, Colm Murphy in bodhran, Aogán Lynch on concertina and Peter Eades on Keyboards. Gavin himself was producer, and he also is his own manager . For Gavin, the freedom of choosing the tunes to be played and who will play and when, are essential ingredients of his own vision. So is having is own label, Tallaght records, But there’s also the work of managing the website (www.gavinwhelan,ie) When we spoke he was looking into getting it organised to include details of the new arrivial. A new CD is a bit like a baby? It needs undivided care and attention.

And how did you survive the Willie Clancy week? I asked him. Well, he loves giving classes and workshops, and there are still pupils coming all over the world to learn about our music . He has definite views about concentrating on tone and technique? it’s more important two find out how two do things right. Otherwise a player will arrive able two play say ten tunes and leave with another ten but all played badly as the first lot. It’a far more valuable to learn by a simple correction you can stop making all does unpleasant sounds and provide a rhymitic and convincing performance, even on such small repertoire.

Nowadays he is playing whistles made by John Sindt in New York. For a long while he stuck with the Generation, Did you ever try the susatos? I ask. (from my own experience the curved fipple gives extra volume needed for a session).they need a lot of control not to sound shrill at the top end, In a session its not necessary to be actually to be heard but for the whistle tone to blend in with the overall sound and make its own contribution. On this CD it comes through especially on the tracks with concertina. But now a trade secret, he uses C whistles on the two slow airs, but a lot of the fast tunes are up in Eb, He loves the bit of extra shine and brightness that comes from going up the semi tone (string players please bring a capo). Was he tempted to move on to the concert flute? No not really. He does play pipes occasionally, his set is from Donnacha Keegan from Leixlip, and he has one track on this album, a duet with Zoë Conway, which sounded fine so he chose to include it. But his whole inner wear revolves around the sound of the whistle, Gavin played with Micho Russell and it was in Co. Clare that his ear was opened to feel the pace of the music that comes through on the album, He acknowledges a debt to Paul McGrattan for many tunes, and also to the Irish Traditional Music Archive, which he describes as Dublin's best kept secret. If ever there was a place to get side tracked the ITMA is, and he’s really looking forward to its move down the street to bigger premises, For inspiration he’s grateful for the lead given by players like Mary Bergin and Sean Ryan in proving that the whistle isn't just a toy or tourist souvenir. Now he’s determined to that it can be a principal solo instrument.

It’s only four years since we here in Irish Music nominated him as best traditional newcomer, in 2004 he was invited by Music Network to headline the Best of Irish, the New Generation tour. With him were Zoë Conway, Donnacha Moynihan and Aogán Lynch and now there back on this album. By now he gas a fair few festivals under his belt, all the way from Finland to Tel Aviv. Yes folks Irish music is big in Israel (like every were else). He also has great memories of the 2003 music of the Northlands tour, that went across Scandinavia in a large bus. They performed in Finland, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, England, and finished at the Glor centre in Ennis. It was an international tour with Chris Wood on fiddle and vocals from England, Angelika Neilson, fiddle from the Faroe Islands and Synnoves Bjorset on Hardanger fiddle? Yes, she’s from Norway. There are two other people to thank, Gavin’s parents, Tell me, 'did they ever tell you to forget the music and get a proper job' No, says Gavin, "they were also enthusiastic and believed in what I was doing." And this CD proof that there faith is being amply repaid.

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Gavin Whelan - Another Time - Tallaght Records
Siobhan Long - The Irish Times.

Tin Whistle player and piper Gavin Whelan launches headlong into his second solo album with a pair of tunes sets that rattle and hum towards a heady crescendo that’s hints a frantic pirouetting towards oblivion. Thankfully, wisdom prevails, and Whelan lowers the temperature palpably with a throaty fiddle introduction from Zoë Conway on the reel set, The Mountain Lark. A textured backdrop of bouzouki a and mandolin alongside Whelan’s feisty piping on Paddy Milla are proof positive that he has more on his mind than a mere flexing musical muscles, The jig set bookended by Joe Derane’s and the Homecoming (the latter composed by bouzouki player Eoin O Neill) captures the agile flightiness of the whistle, amid a repertoire bursting at the seams with originality, vim and no small amount of vigor.

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Another Time Review
Sean Laffey - Irish Music Magazine.

Firstly the selection of tunes is admirably wide, only 5 sets of reels from the thirteen on offer. We get hornpipes, jigs, a hornpipe a highland and two slow airs, the wider the remit the better, it is for the musical community and of course extends its appeal to those hunting for new tunes. Secondly the production, this is cut glass, shining crystal, full. Reflecting all the colours of the instruments, each track sings out from the CD player. Whelan surrounds himself with some if the best players around and they bring there won unmistakable energy to the project. Consider that he has Zoë Conway(fiddle) Eoin O Neill (Bouzouki) Colm Murphy(bodharn), Aogán Lynch (concertina), Gavin Ralstan (Guitar), Finbarr Naughton (mandolin/fiddle), Peter Eades(Keybords), and Donnacha Moynihan on (guitar), and you see how success all over it.

Whelan restricts his palette to mainly duo and trio combinations what we get are little cameo pieces, Where all the instruments in the ensembles are allowed to shine out. On “The Buck from the tree” hornpipe Eoin O Neill can build an intricate bouzouki back line, whilst Whelan delivers up front on the whistle melody . The ability for the whistle to blend and contrast with other instruments, whish is often lost in pub sessions, is addressed here, his”McConnell’s Highland” pairs beautifully in the unison introduction with Aogán Lynch’s concertina and is given extra weight in the bass my Moynihan’s guitar on the “Laccaro Reel” which kicks this selection into a stronger and more menacing gear. The slow air”Anach Cuain”, works against the cloth of a sensitive Keyboard accompaniment from Peter Eades, you may mock electric technology in trad music, but such a combination would not have been as effective with a regular piano( you’d need pipes or a cello).

I particularly enjoyed the whistle and bodhrán accompaniment on “Paddy Taylor’s”, Colm Murphy following each twist and triplet of the tune and not a hint of top end tipper pyrotechnics which are now becoming all two frequently applied without thought to many trad albums. I’m a big fan of Eoin O’ Neill’s bouzouki playing and he plays a master class on “The Mountain Lark” which builds to a full band sound as the selection closes with the “Hut on Staten Island”, ‘tis my favourite track OK?

This is Whelan’s second album and the whistle player from Tallaght continues to impress!

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Another Time Review
Mich Gulbrand Nielsen
www.michn.dk Denmark

When I heard Gavin Whelan’s debut CD I was taken aback by the wonderful music he makes on his tin whistle. It’s is simply amazing how such an insignificant looking little thing can be turned into a powerful musical instrument in the hands of the right person. I know I have said this before, but it is still true on Whelan’s second CD Another Time.

Although most tunes on the CD are jigs and reels, Whelan proves that he also masters slow airs on the very evocative Anach Cuain. Peter Eades plays wonderfully subdued keyboards on that track. He is just one of many great musicians who have joined Whelan to make this CD. Most of the musicians backing Whelan were also on his first CD. It’s a recipe that worked so well, so why change it? The only thing different from his first CD (apart from the tunes, of course) is the inclusion of the pipes. Whelan is a fine piper and I wish he had included just a couple of more tracks where he plays the pipes. I love listening to his duet with Zoë Conway on Paddy Mill’s/ The Connacht Heifers.

There are not many “solo” tin whistle CD’s out, so when one comes out and it is of such high standards as Another Time, there’s no excuse for not buying it.
Tallaght Records TACD 02

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Another Time Review
Claddagh Records

This is the 2nd and superb album by Tallaght born Tin Whistle player. Gavin Whelan is widely regarded as one of the finest exponents of the tin whistle. In 2002 Gavin released his solo album, to rave reviews on his own label, simply titled 'Gavin Whelan'. This time around he revisits the same excellent formula by using similar musicians. It features Zoë Conway, Donnacha Moynihan, Finbarr Naughton, Aogan Lynch, and Gavin Ralston amongst others. These musicians are like himself, in that they are in the first rank of the new wave of younger Irish traditional musicians.

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Gavin Whelan launches his long awaited new album at…Whelan’s
Clondalkin Gazette

Whelan’s of Wexford was packed to the rafters on Monday night for the launch of Another Time, the haunting new album from one of the leading exponents of the tin whistle, Gavin Whelan, The Tallaght man has fast been making a name for himself with his chosen instrument and his simple unpretentious approach to jigs, reels, hornpipes, highlands and slow airs.

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