We are delighted to bring you The Portland Bow, the debut solo album by Dublin fiddler Aidan Connolly. The material featured on the album combines an eclectic mix of both popular and lesser-heard traditional repertoire as well as a number of tunes that Aidan learned while living in Spain. Traditional repertoire from Scotland and Cape Breton also makes an appearance, and fans of Aidan’s music will be pleased to hear that the Sliabh Luachra tradition, with which he is closely associated, remains a prominent focus throughout the album.
Developed during lockdown, this album materialised unexpectedly as a consequence of having an unprecedented amount of time and space to explore new repertoire and fiddle technique, and to reach out to musical friends in Ireland and abroad through online video calls.
The title of the album refers to a fiddle bow that was generously gifted to Aidan in Portland, Maine, on the east coast of the United States.
The album was recorded live at Raelach Studios in Lissycasey, county Clare, over the course of a day, and Aidan’s flair for spontaneity, individualistic ornamentation, intonation, and harmonic awareness, is displayed in abundance across all 12 tracks, which include reels, jigs, airs, mazurkas, polkas, slides, a Spanish jota, and a Scottish waltz.
Aidan is joined on The Portland Bow by Ruairí McGorman on Greek bouzouki and Jack Talty on piano.
Produced by Aidan Connolly & Jack Talty. Design by Maurice Gunning.