Dessie Wilkinson

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A Guide to the Irish Flute An Interview with Desi Wilkinson

Desi Wilkinson Shady Woods

Desi Wilkinson, Cathal Hayden & Jim McGrath

Living Tradition CD review of Cran - The Crooked Stair

There was a great flowering of traditional music all over Ireland in the 1970s and this was no less the case in Belfast where many young flute players such as Dessie Wilkinson, Frankie Kennedy, Gary Hastings, Gerry O'Donnell, Tara Bingham and Hammy Hamilton were developing under the influence of older msucians in the city such as Tommy Gunne, and inspired by players such as Cathal MacConnell.

Dolores Keane, Night Owl
The title track, "The Night Owl," closes the album with an ancient, almost Nordic sound, plus a stunning bamboo flute accompaniment by Dessie Wilkinson. The simple melody, accented by the intricate flute riffs, makes a stirring and memorable ending to this moving collection of songs.

A Shady Woods? Sounds like a right dodgy geezer, I'd remarked when Desi Wilkinson first told me about the working title for his new album, but then there's always been an ingenious element in Desi's music which surpasses the imagination of most Irish traditional flute players. The woods' in question are the variety of wooden flutes, some constructed by his home-town flute-maker, Sam Murray, which the Belfast-born Desi employs on his first solo album for fourteen years, Shady Woods.
Two years in the making, Shady Woods is a complete departure for a flute-player known for playing some of the most hard-hitting music to come out of Ireland over the last couple of decades, not least with the formidable trio Cran (whose other members are singer/bouzouki-player Seán Corcoran and the uilleann piper Ronan Browne). Desi's first album was an enjoyable, fun-packed affair, mirrored by its title, The Three Piece Flute. In contrast Shady is the product of a conscious decision to explore the more mellow sound of the wooden flute, as Desi puts it, allowing the instrument to dictate the pace itself, let it make its squeaks and things the way it wants to.

See Albums: Cosa Gan Bhroga