Welcome to Tale of the Gael homepage and site.
Tale of the Gael started as a group of three musicians from County Sligo, Ireland, who got together to play the music of the Irish Harp in 1999. Since then, the group members have changed, and continue to change, the music changes, the ideas change, and the idea of a simple trio of musicians has nowdeveloped into a project with a distinct work- in- progress feel.
The current Tale of the Gael concert profile is very much centered on a mix of Carolan, other 18th century Irish harp music and a very earthy traditional dance music repertoire, with the odd step or two of sean nos, or old style dance, and a sprinkling of more recent melodies composed by the tuneful Charlie Lennon and Phil Cunningham, among others.
An evening with Tale of the Gael is always more than an evening of music. The repertoire is sprinkled with interesting facts and anecdotes drawn from the living tradition of Irish music and the ancient, often fascinating world of the Irish harp.
This entertaining mix of information and music is always intriguing to audiences generally, many of whom appreciate this backward glimpse into the life and times of the Irish harper and his long gone way of life.
The original group comprised of Eileen Carr, silver flute, Catherine Rhatigan, Irish Harp and Margaret Rhatigan, Irish Harp, Whistle and Fiddle.
Over the years, we have been priviliged to share a stage at different times with musicians like Martin Byrne Fiddle, Emer O Hara Irish Harp, Ray Cohen Fiddle, Joe McHugh Uilleann Pipes, Paddy Ryan Fiddle, Veronika Stalder Fiddle/ Voice, Colette McDevitt Voice, Dave Aebli Bass/Bouzouki, Prannie Rhatigan Percussion, Vincent O Donnell Warpipes, Brendan Wade Voice/Whistle /Flute, Christian Fotsch, Bass/Bouzouki, Paul Dooley Wirestrung Harp/Fiddle, and most recently Mickey Dunne, Pipes/Fiddle. Many of these musicians still join us from time to time, adding distinctive contributions and textures, all of which keeps a musical sparkle to the very varied repertoire.
Like the itinerant harpers of the 17th century, Tale of the Gael are also well travelled. The timeless appeal of Irish music, old and new, and the predominantly harp focus of the band, has ensured a welcome for these musicians throughout Ireland and the U.S. and across Europe.
The band is especially popular for weddings, concerts, corporate functions and events where Irish music is required in an elegant, harmonious way, yet without compromise to its authenticity.
Since forming, Tale of the Gael has entertained audiences in most of Ireland`s great castles, has featured on radio and television many times, played several events and festivals in Ireland and abroad, has been invited to perform for Meryl Streep, the Irish–American Kennedy Family, and for various diplomatic events in France and Switzerland.