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Davy Spillane Band

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A founding member of progressive Celtic folk-rock band, Moving Hearts, Davy Spillane helped bring the music of the Emerald Isle up to modern standards. Since the band's breakup in 1986, Spillane has continued to forge a new musical direction while firmly grasping the traditions of the past.

Spillane launched his musical career while still in his early teens. Learning to play the tin whistle, as a youngster, Spillane switched to the Uilleann pipes at the age of thirteen or fourteen and began frequenting weekly sessions (Irish music jam sessions) at local pubs. Spillane had a lead role as a piper in a gypsy band in the 1974 film, Traveller.

Moving to County Clare, Spillane became absorbed by the Doolin music scene. Approached by Donal Lunny and Christy Moore to join their experimental folk-rock band, Moving Hearts, Spillane accepted the invitation. Although Moving Hearts experienced numerous personnel changes, Spillane remained at the heart of the band's sound for the five years of its existence.

Shortly after Moving Hearts disbanded, Spillane recorded his debut solo album, Atlantic Bridge. Joined by American musicians including Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and Albert Lee, Spillane used the album to focus on the connections between Celtic music and bluegrass. Spillane has subsequently recorded two additional solo albums — Shadow Hunter and Pipedreams — and one album, Out of the Air, with the Davy Spillane Band. In 1991, Spillane collaborated with ex-Bothy Band guitarist and vocalist Andy Irvine to record the stunning, tradition-rooted album East Wind. Spillane's first release on a major record label, A Place Among the Stones, was released in 1998 and featured guest vocals by Marie Brennan of Clannad and Steve Winwood.

An in-demand session player, Spillane has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Kate Bush, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, and Emmylou Harris. In 1998, Spillane toured with Canadian rocker Bryan Adams. Spillane also opened his own recording facility, Burrenstone Studios, in Dublin.


1959 in Dublin, Ireland

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s