Brian O’Connor – Come West Along the Road

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Brian O’Connor – Come West Along the RoadA flowing creation from start to finish.
Come West Along the Road features Brian O'Connor with some fantastic Irish flute playing. He keeps the rhythm lively and quick. Moving from whistles to flute to low whistles, the CD keeps your toes tapping. This shows a vibrant side of O'Connor that, accompanied by Christ Jones on guitar, makes the air sing. I really think they've got a good thing going here. And there are some accents from Michael Witzel on drums who has also played with Chris de Burg, Johannes Eichenauer on keyboard and Frieder Gottwald on bass. Roman Knocker the well known Jazz guitarist plays on one of the tracks. With a feverish tempo for some tracks, O'Connor rolls around between traditional tunes with out any hesitation. He puts a fresh sound to many of them. This is his only solo album but O'Connor also plays with Geraldine McGowan, was a member of the band Oisin and was a guest musician on two Midnight Court albums.

I couldn't find anything wrong or missing here. It's a wide arrangement of tunes, a flowing creation from start to finish and not a boring moment or off-putting note. Some of the tunes included were "The Golden Eagle," "The Iron Man," "Did You Wash Your Father's Shirt," "The Derry Hornpipe" -- and I was really taken with the funky, deep beat of "The Blackbird." You can't go wrong with this one.
Buy CD Here …

Folk Michel 01/97

A milestone in Irish instrumental music on flute and whistle.

With Brian O'Connors we are most certainly not dealing with a Hardliner. The virtuoso flautist from Dublin was not shy about surrounding himself with Friends from America,  Germany or Poland, with guitars, basses, all kinds of percussion instruments and even keyboards, the latter which he also played himself. Even keyboard hating critics break out in joy, seriously.! The pieces were arranged imaginatively and very creatively to fit his choice of material. The musicians gave their all, but never crowded or exaggerated.

And for the entertainment of the listener he added some special surprises. Anyone who would like to hear Geraldine MacGowans musical partner without the voice, is more than well served here and all others as well !!.

Michael Flatley

It really has become one of my favourite discs.

.."This is just a quick note to say thank you ever so much for your CD "Come West Along The Road" It really has become one of my favourite discs. "... …" As soon you record the next one let me know as I'd really hate to miss it"… 

Magnetic Music Records

Virtuoso melody player on flutes and whistles.

Brian has been one of the most important artists in our company for almost 20 years now. First he toured with the legendary band Oisin. Since the start of Geraldine MacGowan's solo career, he has been at her side, and can be heard on all five of her albums. Brian is equally at home providing sensitive keyboard accompaniment or virtuoso melody playing on flutes and whistles.

His solo album "Come West along the Road" shows him to be one of the great Irish whistle and flute players. His breakneck, staccato style, his expressive over blowing, dropping overtones into a tune like spots of colour, and his great talent for improvisation are Brian's trademarks. He was a guest musician on the last two Bachelors Walk albums and collaborated with Midnight Court on the soundtrack for the modern ballet "Irish Soul"

Geraldine MacGowan - Through the Years (2007)

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Brian O’Connor – Through the YearsGeraldine MacGowan is one of the "Grand Dames" of Irish music. From her albums with the band Oisín up to the status she enjoys today, she has come a long way. After her time in Hannover, where she ran one of the most successful Irish pubs in Germany, she moved back to Ireland, but not to Dublin where I got to know her, but to Doolin, Co. Clare, an appropriate place for many Pan-European Irish folk followers. 

Geraldine has motivated and aroused enthusiasm for Ireland and made many friends along the way. This present album appears as a reminiscence of her previous work and as a document of her current status in music. In addition to her present band, Brian O'Connor: Flutes, Whistles and percussion; Shane McGowan: guitar and Eámonn de Barra: piano, as well as various companions through the years: accordionist Anne Conroy, Mick O'Brien Uilleann Pipes and the late Chris Jones. Geraldine concentrates here on her better known tracks, "Jeannie C" to "Johnny Miner", they are all there and all remastered. Geraldine's singing meets all nuances impressively. Vocally matured she is at the zenith of her singing art. I never heard her sing more beautifully as on this album!

A big recommendation, especially for all those of us who till now don't possess any of her work

Geraldine MacGowan - Somewhere Along the Road (2004)

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Brian O’Connor – Somewhere Along the RoadAlone for the breathtaking self composed Reels on track three, this album is worthwhile. The first album from the full Band, with and around the Geraldine. Brian plays flutes and Whistles and composed all the Instrumentals on this album. Brian, ex Oisín member and son of the well known flautist Dessie O'Connor, this firework in ornamentation and stylistic individualism flows beautifully into the traditional ballad "Go From my Window", where MacGowans voice shines, like the fur of a black cat. Tasteful chords are provided by Sligo guitarist Shane McGowan and Dublin young blood Eámonn de Barra on piano, winner of the "Young Musician of the Year Award in 2002". 

Time and calmness left a stamp of elegance on this asterisk album, on which MacGowan not only sings traditional songs, but as on her last three albums also contemporary Songs. The climax in this respect is her sunny interpretation of Kieran Halpins song "Back Smiling Again".

Geraldine MacGowan - Timeless (1999)

Hot Press - Jackie Hayden

Brian O’Connor – TimelessHer third release, sees her apply her intimate vocal style to an exemplary mix of trad. songs and contemporary works by Kieran Halpin and Sandy Denny. Timeless is a particularly effective collection since it looks to the past but does not live there. It shows MacGowan staking an incontrovertible claim for an overdue place of honour among the elite of Irish singers. Her interpretations of even the oldest songs makes them relevant to today and tomorrow.

Geraldine MacGowan - Till the Morning Comes (1996)

Nominated as one of the 10 best folk albums of 1996.

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Brian O’Connor – Till the Morning ComesThe golden voice of Dublin. This, her second solo album, sees her balancing the tradition with more contemporary material. Her honeyed vocals shine with some stellar accompaniment from Mike McGoldrick & Brian O'Connor. ”The good news is that on “…till the morning comes” Geraldine MacGowan comes into her own as one of our finest singers. This woman can move mountains. Lend her your ears.”

Geraldine MacGowan - Reconciliation (1994)

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Hot Press

Brian O’Connor – ReconciliationThe one-time singer in the band Oisin touches you with ballads and folk songs of feeling, traditional consciousness without schmaltz or pathos. With a heart warming voice, she sings poetic traditional and contemporary songs including two compositions by her guitarist and previous Oisin colleague, Chris Jones. Swinging instrumentals in which Brian O’Connor proves his talent on flute and tin whistle, beautifully supplement the softest vocal pieces of Geraldine MacGowan. ”A moving and fine album, oozing with substance and style.”

Oisín - Winds of Change (1987)

Brian O’Connor – Winds of ChangeJohnny Miner / Reels: Summer in Ireland - Mungo Kelly's - Capel Street / Streets of Derry / Jig: Out and About / Inishfree / Reels: Dwyers - Miss Johnson - The chattering Magpie /Rosemary Lane / Jigs: Apples in Winter - Ardaigh Do Mheanma / Dunlavin Green / Slow set: "Galway Bay" - Johnnys Wedding -Galway Bay - Farwell to Milltown Malbay

Oisín - Celtic Dream Compilation (1995)

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Brian O’Connor – Celtic Dream CompilationA compilation CD, originally produced as 'Winds of Change' and 'The Jeannie C'.  A mixture of songs and tunes, words of songs are included in the booklet.

  Track Listing 1. Reels: Summer in Ireland / Mungo Kelly's / Capel Street 2. Streets of Derry 3. Jig: Out and About 4. Inishfree 5. Reels: Dwyers / Miss Johnson / The Chattering Magpie 6. Jigs: Apples in Winter / Ardaigh do Mheanma 7. Dunlavin Green 8. Slow Set: Johnny's Wedding / Galway Bay / Farewell to Miltown Malbay 9. The Peeler and the Goat 10. Reels: Salamanca Sister / High Reel 11. Rosemary Lane 12. Hornpipes: The Echo / Walsh's 13. Faoileán 14. Jigs: The Battering Ram / The Kinnegad Slashers / Leg of the Duck 15. Love and Freedom 16. Reels: Lady Anne's / Jacky Coleman's 17. Ellen Vanin 18. Reels: Hand me Down the Tackle / The Drunken Tinker / Chicago

Bachelors Walk - Rain Check (1996)


Brian O’Connor – Rain CheckSometimes a song will burrow in deep on first hearing, carving out little tunnels in the shape of its words and shelves custom fitted to its tune, forcing me to hear that song at least daily until those shelves and hollows are full and my brain loses that hollow ache. I've been known to buy box sets to get one such song. Bachelor's Walk has tricked me into hearing an album full of them on Rain Check.

Like all addictive substances, Rain Check hid its seductive nature until far too late. My first play used it to fill an idle moment, a pleasant musical interlude before work. George Lonergan's vocals were clear and acrobatically limber, especially shared with Peter Cole; Mick Davis's fiddle both carried the spotlight and graciously shared it the many reels and jigs; Tommy Venxion threw in a surprising variety of instruments in just the right places. I actually thought it was an innocently nice album that could be played at will. And then I caught myself humming "Tunnel Tigers" at work and realised I hadn't heard a word my client had said for the last two verses. I knew I was hooked.

All the songs can't possess me at once, so I've been trapped by the album in stages. At first it was the work chant rhythm and evocative imagery of "Tunnel Tigers," a claustrophobic ode to miners and diggers through London's history. I then promptly grew addicted to "Rites of Passage," a haunting, elusively poetic song of transition. The lyrics snagged me first, and the liquid smoke of the tune, and just when that was starting to wear off, the strange, out-of-place saxophone interlude caught my ear again. Lately it's the brisk country-style ballad of "Billy Gray" with its bright melody and dark story line delivered in vocals pained and aching in sympathy with the song.

Bachelor's Walk might not be so endlessly addictive if they stuck to one style of music, or even two. But as soon as one gets old, there are seven others waiting to clear the palate. There's the bright country of "Billy Gray," the soft traditional folk of "My Cavan Girl," the lonesome ballad of "The Dusty Diamantina," the opening Celtic flavour of "Airdi Cuan." And, never to be forgotten, there are the reels and jigs, mad and fast-paced, dancing between pure tradition and touched-up modern flourish. "Shaskeen Set," coming in to a rather dark pint on the album, is a champagne bubble of music, giving off a merry buzz. The speed that scatters the "Flowers Of Redhill" is a wonder to hear, and hides subtler pleasures of the tune that only come to ear on repeated hearings.

Every time I try to take Rain Check out of the CD player another tune insists on my attention. I can already sense "Tobin's Jigs," a solid collection of traditional tunes, getting ready to flash their new percussion and surprising guitar. The gentle, unobtrusive love story of "The Roseville Fair" has been humming through my mind at odd times, inviting me to give it another listen. It's an enduring addiction, and gets more enjoyable as I surrender. If Rain Check isn't available at your music counter, it can be found at magnetic music.com. If you've got room for a new habit in your life, it's a great choice.


“Rain Check" their third album is a welcome sight. Featuring ex Oisin fiddler Mick Davis, singer/guitarist George Lonergan from Co. Limerick, Peter Cole from Warwickshire in England and the solitary German member Tommy Venxion, Bachelors Walk are one fine outfit combining instrumental dexterity with a sharp eye for evocative material. "Airdi Cuan" is subject to an ambient treatment both effective and mercifully short of ethereal sonambulance while George Longergan's vocals on "Rites of Passage" and "My Cavan Girl" displays a heartfelt unaffected delivery and Peter Cole's "Rocking Horse Days" is a little gem of observation. "Rain Check" proves Bachelors Walk a tremendously worthwhile discovery."

Bachelors Walk - Live (2004)

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Brian O’Connor – Bachelors Walk Live!Bachelors Walk have recently released a new CD recorded live in Germany. The album features a great mix of songs and instrumentals featuring the band line-up of Mick Davis, myself, Tommy Venxion and Peter Cole with guest appearances by flute & whistle virtuoso Brian O'Connor who is featured throughout, and Bachelors' previous singer George Lonergan, with his fine rendition of Hugh McDonald's Diamantina Drover. There's also a faster version of Paul Brady's wonderful arrangement of The Jolly Soldier, which was firstly included on the 1976 folk classic, 'Andy Irvine & Paul Brady'. Bachelors Walk Live has been released on the Riteroad Music label, August 2004.

Midnight Court - Ear to the Ground (1997)


Brian O’Connor – Ear to the Ground"This CD is a treat for the ears and Celtic soul food of the finest order."

Folk Roots

Tight arrangements, reflective vocals, and plentiful accordion/fiddle fills with a pleasant sense of reconstruction and devilment. An album of competent finesse and dexterity.

Midnight Court - Ring The Bell- Run Like Hell (2000)

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Irish Music Magazine 

Brian O’Connor – Ring The Bell- Run Like HellThe third CD from Midnight Court - 11 tracks, including wonderful songs (again one of Aaron’s) and some of the band favourite instrumentals; real Midnight Court songs and tunes to listen and dance to !

"Midnight Courts third album captures both their on stage exuberance and their imaginative yet subtle musical creativity in one dynamic package. Their collective recipe is based on tight traditional music played on accordion, fiddle and bouzouki, laced with original compositions and song from Irish and American sources."

Sarah K. - Hell or High Water (2005)

Brian O’Connor – Hell or High WaterSara K. is in a class all of her own. This singer is gifted with the rare ability of having an emotional grasp of the listener by virtue of her spontaneous and intensive aura that casts a spell on the listener. All her records have received several high-calibre awards, including a number of jazz awards. Hell or High water, Sara K.'s second album produced outside of the US is not only a brilliant poetic and musical achievement. It is a great sounding recording as well. This SACD/CD yields 10 previously unreleased songs, featuring the late Chris Jones on guitar and dobro.

Ewen Carruthers - When Time Turns Around (2005)

Brian O’Connor – When Time Turns AroundThere is a phrase used in English that has no exact equivalent in German. An artist may be called a „musicians’ musician“, and by that be described as a musician, whose genius is admired by his colleagues in the highest degree; maybe his art has formed the style of a whole musical genre, but due to whatever reasons has never found mass appeal and popularity.Ewen Carruthers is of this calibre. His new album „when time turns around“ s the latest release of the Stockfish label. And this fine CD could and should relieve Carruthers from his status as being the all-time secret of the Inner Circle of folk music.

Anne Wylie Band - Silver Apples of the Moon (2003)

Brian O’Connor – Silver Apples of the MoonAnne Wylie's trio transfers the ancient heritage of Irish bards and druids into new independent forms. Mystical, archaic characters from sagas appear in the old Gaelic texts which Anne Wylie has unearthed at the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin. But Anne, who is Irish but has lived for years in Bietigheim in Swabia, also writes her own songs in English expressing her deep commitment to nature and womanhood (»Woven Wonders«, »Woman«). Her vocal expression oscillates according to the lyrical content between airily aspirating, clear as a bell, and throaty and tough. Brian O'Connor, a fellow Irishman who also lives in Germany, provided subtler notes but with equal expertise. There are not many musicians with such a broad comprehensive command of the great art of the typical Irish whistle.

Irish Folk Festival - A Blast From the Past (2002)

Brian O’Connor – A Blast From the PastThe motto "a blast from the past" says it all. The past is very much alive! And how!. All tracks on this compilation are previously unreleased and were recorded exclusively as a tangible memory of the Irish Folk Festival Tour 2002.With Geraldine MacGowan & Friends, Jake Walton and Eric Liorzou, Alan Kelly Band and Slide

Jamie Clarks Perfect (ex Pouges) - Sickly Men of 30 or so (1999)

Brian O’Connor – Sickly Men of 30 or so Jamie Clark, guitarist, singer and the soul of perfect was born in 1964 in the middle of nowhere and destined to go places. Moved to Camden, the heart of London and the centre of the music world in 1987. He started his career with 80's poptastic "Innocence Lost" and ended up touring the world with famous Irish folk punk band "The Pogues", playing on their "Pogue Mahone" Album. In 1997 he formed "Perfect", the band he's been playing with in different line ups ever since.

Celtic Waves Compilation - Surfing the Ocean of Tradition (1998)

Brian O’Connor – Surfing the Ocean of TraditionNot just a great collection of Irish Music, but an audible catalogue of our label with an impressive 28 page booklet in full colour.Celtic Waves features a full range of Irish Trad, Irish Folk, pure instrumental music and great voices. One disk is dedicated to songs, the other to instrumental music only.

Sisters Celtic Voices - Compilation Sisters Folk song (1995)

Brian O’Connor – Sisters Folk songThe "Celtic Voices", on Narada's Celtic music collection, Frances Black, Geraldine McGowan, Eileen McGann, Marian Bradfield and Fiona Joyce, all with good songs. The tracks are taken from the performers' various previously released recordings and includes contemporary and traditional material. "You Saw His Eyes","The Goodnight Song", "She Moved Through the Fair","Little Bird", "Waly Waly" and "Siuil a Ruin" are among the songs, all fourteen are performed and recorded with due style and grace. "Sisters 1", is from a new Irish record label, "devoted to releasing material recorded or written by women". This selection of material has been well chosen and compiled, every track worthy of a hearing, and if a particular item takes your fancy, many of the original recordings should still be available. Established and newer singers are included.

7th St. Patricks Day Celebration Festival - Green Sounds (1995)

Brian O’Connor – Green SoundsA great collection of the best green sounds all around the field of Irish folk and folk-rock.Sampler with GERALDINE MacGOWAN BAND, SKIDOO, SKIRM & DEZI DONNELLY, RECKLESS PEDESTRIANS, ANAM and TOMMY O'SULLIVAN & CATHEL HAYDEN

Mary O’Regan (ex Draoicht) - Every Punch Needs a Kiss (1994)

(Q Magazine, London)

Brian O’Connor – Every Punch Needs a KissIreland's neo-folk-lady!"vocalist Mary O'Regan could almost be a celtic soul sister of Edie Brickell"

(Hot Press Magazine)

"Mary O'Regan's precious voice (not unlike Tanita Tikaram) positively sparkles."

(Irish Times)

"O'Regan's performance and voice has a pure quality, which sadly, is all too rare these days, and which reminds you what real singing is all about"

Bumble - West in Motion (1992)

Brian O’Connor – West in MotionMother Records, Label founded by the band U2. Distributed by Island Records. LC 0309 Mixed by Andy Weatherall 1992

The Dadas Skyscrapers - (Don't go jumpin´ from) (1992)

Brian O’Connor – SkyscrapersIndiepop memorably described as falling "somewhere between Fallover 24, The Ginger Bottles and Machine Gun Feedback". So now you know. Mickey Rourkes Fridge - MRF 06 - IRL - 1992

Lenny Napier - Life Sketches (2018)

Brian O’Connor - Life Sketches