Byrne and Barrett – Traditional Celtic Music
Taking the names of their ancestral Irish clans, the
Albany, NY based duo Byrne and Barrett
meld the musical skills of acoustic fingerstyle
guitarist, harmonica player and mandolinist Glenn Weiser with those of singer,
piper and tinwhistle player Greg Schaaf to create an exciting and
versatile Celtic duo. Their music runs the spectrum from lively jigs and
reels to Irish and Scottish songs to haunting slow airs (see the set
Here’s a bit about each musician:
Glenn Weiser, described by veteran folkie Chris Shaw as "a picker's picker," began playing guitar at 13 and studied classical guitar while in high school. In his late teens he switched to steel string fingerpicking and added harmonica, mandolin, banjo and fiddle to his musical arsenal. Glenn has written for Acoustic Guitar, Sing Out!, King Biscuit Time and Acoustic Musician magazines. He has also published the world's largest collection of Celtic music for solo fingerstyle guitar-over 200 pieces in four volumes, and his books have earned praise from Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, Dirty Linen, and Irish Music magazines (see reviews). In addition, he has also written three instructional books for the harmonica, including the first book of Celtic tunes for that instrument. Glenn has just released a Celtic fingerstyle guitar CD, Brian Boru's March - Celtic Fingerstyle Guitar Solos, Vol. I. Mark D. Moss, the editor of Sing Out! magazine, had this to say about it: "Glenn is a consummate musician, and here he delivers impeccably clean playing on stunningly beautiful Celtic melodies. This recording is a rare gift."
Greg Schaaf began playing guitar at age 12 and is also a superb baritone singer-so good, in fact, that when Hank Williams Jr. heard him one time at Saratoga's famed Irish bar The Parting Glass, he offered him a job with his band on the spot (Greg, being focused solely on Celtic music, declined). Greg grew up listening to his Irish grandmother’s traditional singing, and later mastered the Highland, Northumbrian, and Scottish small pipes, the tinwhistle, and the bodhran.
Byrne and Barrett have performed at coffeehouses and festivals in the Northeast, including Caffe Lena, Irish 2000, the Old Songs Festival, Albany’s First Night, and the Saratoga Dance Flurry. A promotional CD is available by emailing Glenn, but you can also listen to MP3 sound clips of Byrne and Barrett by clicking on the links below.
MP3s of Greg and Glenn, together and solo (Tracks 1-4 are from Glenn's CD, and tracks 5-8 are from a 1991 demo):
Also, you can listen to their March 2003 radio performance on Jay Ungar and Molly Mason's WAMC show, Dancing on the Air, by clicking here.
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