Seamus Begley & Jim Murray
Accordion player and singer Séamus Begley is one of the most popular Irish traditional musicians, coming as he does from one of the most musically acclaimed Irish families.
Seamus is the quintessential Irish musician, an eager storyteller known for his sharp wit and famous for pumping out tune after tune at all night sessions. He plays with an energy that is alarming, bringing a frisky spontaneity to his box-playing, belting out jigs, slides and polkas with rapid sprays of reckless ornamentation before making a sudden key change into a bitter-sweet air, sung or played on the accordion. His repertoire reflects his own place and his style of playing is much influenced by a now gone generation of accordion and fiddle players who came to céilí in his family home.
Seamus’s style is unique and he is considered by many to be one of the finest players of the dance music of West Kerry and is never happier than when people are dancing to his music. Séamus divides his time between his small holding in the West Kerry Gaeltacht and travelling Ireland and the world playing music. He has toured extensively with Jim Murray, Altan, Steve Cooney and Mary Black to name but a few.
Jim Murray is one of Ireland’s finest guitarists and his formidable reputation has been established as a player of traditional music - both as a melody player and as an accompanist.
Jim hails from Macroom in West Cork and began playing music at the tender age of three on the family piano. By the age of four he had began to play his fathers accordion which was his main instrument until he discovered the guitar at the age of ten. Throughout his childhood, Jim performed with various groups including his father’s celidh band. In his late teens he formed a group with fellow local musicians which quickly lead him to be invited to play professionally with many of Ireland’s renowned artists. Over the last decade, Jim has combined a wide range of music and influences to create a unique and exciting modern sound in guitar accompaniment bringing it to the ‘now’. Jim plays regularly as a member of Sharon Shannon’s band and has also recorded with Frankie Gavin, Mike McGoldrick, Altan, Mary Black and many other traditional musicians.
In 2001 Séamus and Jim released their first album, the highly acclaimed Ragairne which was winner of the 2001 Hot Press Magazine ‘Folk and Trad Album of the Year’ and The Irish Times ‘Traditional Album Of The Year’