In association with Gulbenkian, Folk in the Barn present McGolderick, McCusker and Doyle

John Doyle, John McCusker and Mike McGoldrick first crossed paths as teenagers. Quarter of a century later, the fired-up folk live-wires are set to celebrate their friendship, and musical kinship, with their first studio album, The Wishing Tree.

A thrilling trip through traditional, contemporary and original jigs, reels, ballads and more. “We all left school early, at 16, or 17, to join different bands,” recalls McCusker of their early days. “ we’ve grown up together, really.”

All three have gone on to global acclaim: John Doyle is an Irish music linchpin and a founder member of acclaimed group Solas, who has worked with Joan Baez, Linda Thompson and Mary Chapin Carpenter. BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winner John McCusker has played with The Battlefield Band, Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan, recorded with Paul Weller, and recently produced albums for Eddi Reader, Heidi Talbot and Kris Drever. Mike is a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner, founding member of Lúnasa, and current member of Capercaillie, who has worked with Mark Knopfler, Eddi Reader, John Cale. And that’s just for starters.

All three really hit it off when they started playing as part of the BBC’s annual Transatlantic Sessions in 2007. “Afterwards we didn’t want the fun and the music to stop. So we said, ‘Well, why don’t we just keep going?’”

And so they did. Doyle, McCusker and McGoldrick have performed as a trio since 2009. “We try and keep it as fresh and exciting as we can,” McCusker says. “Live, we’ll often go onstage with no set-list, just to try and keep that energy up, that freshness. It’s about flying by the seat of your pants, about playing from the heart, about not over-thinking things.

“Their third visit to Folk in the Barn at the Gulbenkian with their thrilling, heartstoppingly beautiful music. This is the reason we do this.” Debs

McGoldrick, McCusker and Doyle

2 Mar 2018

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