Dave Munnelly Band
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Dave Munnelly Band

Belmullet, Connaught, Ireland | SELF

Belmullet, Connaught, Ireland | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


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"Tight Squeeze Review by Siobhan long"

It’s tempting to imagine that the excitement propelling this deliriously eclectic compendium might bear some kinship to the finest recordings of the great Sligo fiddler Michael Coleman back in the 1920s and 1930s. Mayo accordionist David Munnelly has been the driving force behind what could be called the E Street Band of traditional music. Mixing a raft of newly composed tunes by Munnelly and mandolinist/ fiddler/ tenor banjo player Paul Kelly with borrowings from Karine Polwart, John Martyn and La Bottine Souriante, Tight Squeeze captures the electricity of live performance with a gamey eye and mischievous ear. Munnelly thrives on rhythmic peculiarities that cross over into jazz-tinged celebrations with surprising ease. An apt companion piece for a band renowned for its spellbinding live sets. - Irish Times

"Tight Squeeze Review by Bill Margeson"

The David Munnelly Band is out with a brand new album, Tight Squeeze. This marks the fourth outing for the group featuring Dave Munnelly on button box, Paul Kelly on fiddle and mandolin, Kieran Munnelly on flute and percussion and Shauna Mullin doing the vocals. The band usually travels with Ferghal Scahill on guitar and fiddle, and/or the superb Ryan Molloy on piano, who also did the arrangements for this album. Making an appearance on the album are four cuts of tunes including brass arranged by Molloy.

There are 13 selections on the album, including five songs. The band has been touring as a unit for some time now, so the resultant sound is tight and highly polished. It also, simultaneously, loses none of the immediate urgency and abandon on the faster tunes, for which the band is so famous. The David Munnelly Band has been touring extensively in America for five years, despite the current dollar/Euro imbalance. David remains closely committed to the American market, but has also had appearances at several major festivals in Europe to add to the scene. An extraordinarily popular concert and festival band, the group is aided by the addition of Shauna Mullin on vocals. The Donegal native showcases a deep, resonant and lovely alto on her numbers, which range from the traditional Lochaber No More to the more modern What Are You Waiting For? by Scotland’s Karine Polwart.

Munnelly has built a massive following in the States, operating from the Belmullet, Mayo headquarters. This album will surely enhance the group’s reputation as one of the premier acts in the music. There are few Awards the band has not won, including several for Tight Squeeze, already in the hopper. A band to be watched, and a band not to be missed. They have played another blinder! - Irish American News


Tight Squeeze
By Heck



The year 2010 is an important year in the life of Munnelly (formerly The David Munnelly Band). Why? Because it’s the band’s 10th anniversary - no mean feat given the amount of start up traditional Irish bands which have come and gone in the last decade.
The year is 2000, and on the back of stints with two of Irish music s best known ambassadors, The Chieftains and De Danann, David Munnelly, a youthful, energetic and dexterous
button box player from the sticks of West Mayo, decides the time is right to branch out and start his own ensemble. Whether David had garnered enough experience batting with the big boys to tackle the daunting prospect of running his own band is hard to say, but ten years of sustained and successful touring and recording speaks for itself.

Fast-forward to the present and Munnelly are on a roll, having just released their fourth CD, Tight
Squeeze, a recording that in Davids opinion has surpassed anything that has gone before. Recorded in
Cuan Studios in Spiddal, Co.
Galway, Tight Squeeze is a snapshot of a band at the peak of its powers; a product of just four consecutive
days recording, but fuelled with an energy and understanding that only steady touring and a musical
intimacy can generate. The protagonists in this adventure are a disparate but paradoxically cohesive crew
of tuneful troubadours, who all bring something special to the Munnelly table of musical delights.

David’s brother Kieran is a naturally gifted flute, bodhrán and percussion player, whose sweet vocal
harmonies blend seamlessly with the band's main singer, Shauna Mullin. Shauna, from Ballyshannon, Co.
Donegal, has traditional singing literally running through her veins, coming as she does from a musical
family which includes one of Ireland's foremost singers, the great Paddy Tunney. Paul
Kelly, playing fiddle, mandolin and occasionally tenor banjo, hails from Tallaght, in the foothills of the
Dublin Mountains, and has had a musically varied career at the highest level which stretches back to the
early 80s. Pianist Ryan Molloy duly occupies the left-field section of the band, from where he seeks to push
the harmonic boundaries of Irish music while marrying it to the more audacious
contemporary approach for which he is highly regarded.

On tour, Munnelly supplements this line-up with one of a number of choice guitarists; this position in the
band requires all the sensibilities of a top-notch traditional accompanist while being able to swing the
rhythm as Munnelly kicks into overdrive and leaves the standard arrangements behind in a blaze of
energetic exuberance.

Munnelly’s influences stem from the great musicians of the early age of cylinder recordings, such as
Michael Coleman and The Flanagan Brothers, to the jazz and klezmer traditions to which those great
players were exposed in the melting pot of culture that was New York in the 1920s. Augment this with a
present day approach to repertoire, a desire to entertain, and the charisma to weave
infectious fun in the process, and a forceful, musical identikit emerges.