Ciaran Algar

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is a multi-instrumentalist (Fiddle, Guitar, Banjo, and Percussion) who is quickly becoming one of the most highly-regarded young musicians on the Folk circuit today. His playing has been described by fRoots as “engagingly empathetic and honest with a lovely tone” whilst Living Tradition magazine said he “exudes a life experience of a skill finely-honed from a myriad music sessions in a million bars”.

Ciaran’s musical influences come from deep within the Irish tradition. This Irish connection led to Ciaran taking part in the Fleadhs run by Comhaltas, in which he was extremely successful. Over 8 years of competing, he won 20 regional titles, 12 British titles and 1 All Ireland title across various categories (Fiddle, Fiddle Slow Airs, Bodhran) all by the time he was 16 years old!

In late 2011, Ciaran met young singer and guitarist Greg Russell for the first time, and played a few songs with him. Four years later, the duo have won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (and a third nomination), two albums and a live DVD to their name, and are fast becoming one of the hottest acts on the folk circuit. With plans for a new album in 2016, the duo are very much still on rise.

In 2015, Ciaran began working on a solo project, which resulted in this his debut solo album, The Final Waltz. This album is influenced by many different artists over many different genres of music, which produces a fairly unique style. Three of the four songs on the album are self-penned. The main vocalist in the band is up and coming singer, Sam Kelly, runner up in Britain’s Got Talent and now a serious Folk musician. The majority of the album, however, is instrumental, and the tunes that are used in the sets are a selection of Ciaran’s favourites that he has learnt over the last 11 years of playing Irish fiddle. Rather than recording every tune set with fiddle and guitar and producing a really traditional-sounding album, Ciaran wanted to combine traditional tunes with a contemporary-style of accompaniment. The Ciaran Algar band will be touring in 2016.

SAM KELLY – GUITAR⁄VOCALS
Sam Kelly is one of the hottest properties on the UK folk scene at the moment, and I’m absolutely delighted to have him on board with this project! After being runner-up in Britain’s Got Talent (the dog that won wasn’t available to be in the band), Sam switched his attention to folk music. Having had a session on the Radio 2 Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe with The Sam Kelly Trio, and an album on its way, Sam is definitely becoming a must-see performer in his own right. And now with me. Hopefully.

TOBY SHAER – WHISTLES⁄FLUTE⁄GUITAR⁄FIDDLE⁄VOCALS

I first met Toby at the Hoy-at-Anchor Folk Club in Leigh-on-Sea, where he turned us as the support act with a full band and made Greg and I not want to go on stage. He is a phenomenally talented multi-instrumentalist who can play absolutely anything (seriously, you name it, he plays it) and he helped me with a lot of the arrangements on the new album. With his flute and whistle playing drawing comparisons with Mike McGoldrick, I’m thrilled to have the fantastic Mr Shaer in my line-up!

GILES DEACON – KEYBOARD
Giles Deacon is, hands down, one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. We first met at our school’s orchestra, in which Giles was the “Lionel Messi” figure. Put any music in front of him and he can play it. He worked with Greg and I on our Live concert DVD, and after a taste of folk music, he was craving more. And being paid, I suppose.

Giles and I have a team on the FIFA video game called “Fiddling Asians”. It is as fantastic as it sounds.

EDEN LONGSON – DRUMS

Eden also went to the same high school and college as Giles and I, and is one of the most energetic percussionists I’ve ever met. It’s quite astonishing how his hands can be so dexterous but the rest of his body is incredibly clumsy. Eden has experience drumming for all sorts of music, whether it be heavy rock or Les Mis, and I’m hoping to incorporate both of those styles into my live set. Eden’s day job is being a farmer.

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