Niall and Cillian’s album, Callan Bridge, was released by the Nashville-based company Compass Records in early October 2002 and is now being re-released by Crow Valley Music.
It was recorded over several months on two continents during those intervals when the brothers’ tour itineraries made it possible for them to get to the studio. Practice time was limited, but years of playing together have given Niall and Cillian a near-telepathic musical understanding, as demonstrated by the extraordinary note-for-note synchronicity achieved in their duet selections. They were also helped out by some of their friends, who happen to be among the best and most innovative in the business: for the Philadelphia recordings U.S.-based guitarists Donal Clancy and John Doyle; and for the sessions in Ireland younger brother Caoimhín Vallely on the piano and Armagh guitarist Paul Meehan. Six original tunes by Niall are balanced by a number of pieces unearthed from old manuscript collections. The boys from Armagh play these melodies, which for decades existed only as fading dots on forgotten pages, not as antiquarian curiosities but with a vigorous virtuosity that brings them fully to life and affirms the unbroken continuity of the Irish musical tradition.
“Magnificent tune titles (Malfunction Junction) collide with spirit-shocking original pieces such as The Singing Stream; they lift and separate and then merge as though pleats and regulators had emerged from the one gestation. Glorious.”
The Irish Times
“…..one of the freshest traditional albums of the year. Cillian is best known as a member of Lunasa, and like Lunasa's albums Callan Bridge has the same clean, modern production, which thankfully does not hinder the communication of the brothers' pure feeling for their music. It's a joy from start to finish.”
The Galway Advertiser
“Callan Bridge is an album packed full of choice highlights –it’s an exhilarating ride in other words.”
Irish Music Magazine
“Hardly the likeliest prospective matching of sounds, you might think, and yet their first joint recording is of such joyous quality it'll bring tears of gratitude from traditional music fans this Christmas. The brothers' telepathically close attunement goes beyond making their playing sound as one: it frequently makes it sound as though three or four musicians are at work”
The Sunday Herald (Glasgow)