Dervish

Dervish

BandFolkAcoustic

Dervish are Ireland's leading Traditional Irish Music ensemble, a six piece band from Sligo on the west coast of Ireland playing Irish Traditional music and song with a contemporary edge. They are tremendously popular with festival audiences all over the world.

Biography

The story so far:

From the Great Wall of China to packed auditoriums in the Holy Land and more recently being the first Irish band to perform at the greatest music festival in the world, "Rock in Rio" on front of an estimate audience of two hundred and forty thousand people, Dervish have come a long way in seventeen years. Formed in 1989 by a group of five musicians, Liam Kelly, Shane Mitchell, Martin Mc Ginley, Brian Mc Donagh and Michael Holmes who came together to record an album of local music which was released as The Boys of Sligo.Inspired by the project they decided to develop this informal gathering (which gathered weekly to play sessions in local pubs) into a working band under the name Dervish which was chosen as it related to any group of spiritual people who become enraptured by music.

Over the following two years Dervish honed their craft as a formative band. In 1991, Roscommon born singer Cathy Jordan and all Ireland champion fiddle player Shane Mc Aleer joined the band giving them the right balance to produce the first Dervish album Harmony Hill which was released in 1992. It wasn¹t long before the impact of that album became apparent, winning widespread critical acclaim and the album was described by many as “a landmark Irish traditional album”.The impact of the recording was immediate. Its artistry, musicianship and maturity won outstanding praise from the media placing Dervish to the forefront of the bands working on traditional Irish music. Substantial TV and radio exposure for the band and the album began to open all kind of doors. Dervish soon became one of the most sought after acts on the live music circuit worldwide and have continued to remain so over the years.

This demand led to the band touring continuously throughout 1993 and performing at all the major folk festivals. The enormous work load and the constant touring made it difficult for the band to work in the studio, but the following year their keenly awaited second album was released. “Playing with Fire” was released in 1994, and so again, began the band¹s worldwide travels to satisfy the demand created by both albums.The high expectations for the recording were not only met, but also surpassed. Reviewers and critics alike lauded praise for “Playing with Fire” confirming Dervish status as the pre-eminent Irish traditional band. The album reached number 1 in the Irish Folk Music Charts and World/Roots music charts internationally and stayed on top for several months.

With their reputation firmly established, Dervish now set their sights on the American market, signing a deal with the New York-based Company Kells Music. The release of their two albums in the USA saw the demand for the band take off in dramatic terms. Performances at highly regarded festivals such as Wolf Trap and the Milwaukee Irish festival projected Dervish into a new sphere of operation on a worldwide scale. Appearances at festivals such as City Stages in Birmingham Alabama seen Dervish bring Irish music far beyond the Irish/American music circuit in the US Recognition for the band¹s achievements followed with nominations and awards in a variety of traditional/Folk music polls including two in the IRMAs in Ireland.

In 1996 Dervish released “At the End of the Day", which firmly established the band as a major force in world music, winning them the Hot Press Folk Album of the Year Award. In the same year the band performed a series of shows in Hong Kong and Malaysia which opened the door to the Far Eastern market. Since then Dervish have been a ground breaking force within Irish music bringing the Roots of Irish music to almost all continents.

Dervish concert performances are a myriad of tones and moods ranging from high energy tunes, played with fluidity and intuitiveness, to beautifully measured songs, from charming lyrics of life and love, to inspiring melodies that lift audiences from their seats. All the elements are drawn together by Cathy Jordan¹s masterful stage-presence. Her stories to the songs and her interaction with the audience draws people into the music in a way very few performers can achieve. All this can be found in their fourth album “Live in Palma¹. As the name implies, it¹s a live recording of a scintillating performance in front of a captivated audience at Palma de Majorca¹s “Theatre Principal” in April 1997. This double album has been hailed by critics as one of the best live traditional recordings of our time. It furnishes the listener with an opportunity to savour the atmosphere (music, melodies and witty banter) which only a live recording can provide and Dervish have done it both masterfully and effortlessly: the decision to record just made a few hours before going on stage and a performance such that a minimal amount of studio time was required to put the finishing touches to a virtually flawless concert. It worked a dream; the power of Dervish in concert was captured and “Live in Palma¹ was released to rave rev

Discography

* Traveling Show 2007 WHRL 009,
* Healing Heart (Compilation )2006 WHRL 008
* Spirit Whirling Discs 2004 WHRL 007
* Decade Whirling Discs 2001 WHRL006
* Midsummer¹s Night Whirling Discs 1999 WHRL005
* Live in Palma Whirling Discs 1997 WHRL004
* At the End of the Day Whirling Discs 1996 WHRL003
* Playing with Fire Whirling Discs 1995 WHRL002
* Harmony Hill Whirling Discs 1993 WHRL001

Set List

Dervish do a set of between 45 mins and 2 hours of Material drawn from the Irish tradition and some newly composed material