I have finally finished my new album, “Cold In April”. Sixteen tracks’ worth of original and traditional tunes and songs with me on flute, whistle, harmonica, low whistle, vocal and uilleann pipes along with Matt Fahey (guitar, vocal), Paul Cowham (guitar), Pat O’Reilly (bouzouki), Faul Bradley (guitar), Andy Dinan (fiddle), Ben Walker (bass flute, uilleann pipes, cittern), Tony Trundle (fiddle), Vinnie Short (bodhran) and Steafan Hannigan (percussion).
The album has taken about a year to complete and was engineered and produced by Tony Trundle at Cuckoo Studios.
You can listen to samples from the album on this page and on the home page for this site. If you’d like to purchase a copy simply click on the Paypal button and follow the instructions.
The painting on the album cover is by Howard Bedford of Whitby, North Yorkshire. You can find out more about Howard and his work at www.mpybusfinearts.co.uk
The layout and sleeve design was designed by Gibsonpixel www.gibsonpixel.com
I’ll be touring off the album with various combinations of the musicians mentioned above, from duo up to a five-piece band.
John McAllister - Lancashire Wakes
"Mat has an amazing range of musical skills." "..this CD is a very rich dish, from which you could take new things each time it is played." "..finely performed."
David Kidman - http://www.netrhythms.com/reviews.html
"The tracks which feature a harmonica amongst the texture are particularly imaginatively managed." "..a very likeable record.." "sparkling (and refreshingly non-frenetic) playing.."
Kathy & Bob Drage - Around Kent Folk
"There's a wonderful, delicate feel for the time of the music - no galloping speeds, which allows the beauty to emerge. He has a good singing voice on 'Come By The Hills'. ..a warm, fulsome sound."
The Living Tradition
"Mat plays with grace and confidence...a full,warm sound. Mat's own compositions are strewn among the trad tunes and are among the best on the album. This is 63 minutes of delicious quality."
Tony Hendry - The Living Tradition
"This is 63 minutes of delicious quality. Mat plays a range of flutes, whistles and harmonicas with grace and confidence and happily uses double-tracking in pursuit of a full, warm sound with a few surprises.
Mat's own compositions are strewn among the trad tunes and are among the best on the album.
Tom Nelligan - Dirty Linen
"..a set of smart, mostly uptempo reels, jigs and polkas (and a couple of songs), simply arranged but with enough embellishment to keep things interesting. The harmonica tracks...of particular interest."
Ali O'Brien - Folk North West.
"The sheer exuberance of this album left me totally breathless and wanting to hear more!" "The musicianship is just superb." "I enjoyed Mat's first album, but this one is outstanding."
Flos Headford - Shreds & Patches.
"...a recording anyone could be proud of." "None of the tunes on the album are rushed, so the shapes of tunes emerge,..." "On Come by the Hills, Mat shows he has an honest, open way of singing which is refreshing..." "Most tracks have the fresh sound of one-time takes, and the general impression is of a desire to entertain." "Capital!"
Susan Gedutis Lindsay - Boston Irish Reporter.
"..the album remains interesting from start to finish." "..there's very little anyone can fault in his harmonica playing; that is one of the great strengths of this album." "The sound on this recording is live and fresh.." "..an excellent singer.."
Irish Traditional Reviews
Geoff Wallis - Musical Traditions
..a very effective album." "..tracks provide substantial evidence of his instrumental skills on the wooden flute ( plus occasional whistle) and a wide variety of chromatic, diatonic and tremolo harmonicas. His playing is predominantly easy on the ear and rarely succumbs to over-elaboration.." "..streets ahead of many home-made recordings.." "..well worth investigating."
Jacques Proulx - Radio Canada Cote-Nord, Quebec
" The harmonica & flute of Mat Walklate have a very good folk sound is a amazing mix of old Irish and modern influence." "..we are 'joyful listening'."
" Lovely stuff. The combination of the bid breathy flute sound and the small tight harp tone works really well."
Ray Funk - Funk Roots, KUAC-FM, Alaska
Colin Andrews- What's Afoot
"..the CD succeeds in demonstrating the breadth of Mat's talent as a performer and composer." "..the 'Up and Away' set and the haunting slow air 'Stan' are particularly good." "..conjures up images of rural Ireland rather than Mat's Manchester home.
Al Eichler- American Harmonica News
" I found this music authentically striking.."
Dave Tuxford - The Living Tradition
"..the whole production vibrates with an excitement and vitality.." "The result is a sound of rare and delicate beauty." "Worth seeking out? Definitely."
Rod Harrington - Folk & Roots-BBC Somerset Sound
"I enjoyed the quality of the playing very much."
Rod HarriFrank Hennessy - Celtic Heartbeat, BBC Radio Walesngton - Folk & Roots-BBC Somerset Sound
Folker! - Germany
" Walklate is a virtuoso who give the instruments a warm and natural sound."
Fabrizio Poggi - Folk Bulletin, Italy
"..the essence of Celtic Melody in its best form." "This is a CD for refined palates, distilled and to be savoured note by note." ".. full of vigour, strength and feeling."
"..Walklate plays divinely on a tremolo harmonica."
Thorbjorn Sjorgen - Folk & Musik, Denmark
"..absolutely nice and pleasant listening.." "..the flute passages and tunes are full of life and artistic playing."