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Sheeran role not going to Brian's Ed!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Sheeran role not going to Brian's  Ed! thumbnailBrian Finnegan, from Armagh, who features on Ed Sheeran's latest release, Divide .

Armagh musician hand-picked by pop sensation for his new album

AN Armagh musician is helping pop sensation Ed Sheeran conquer the charts with his latest album Divide .

Brian Finnegan, a renowned Irish flautist and tin whistle player is no stranger to the music scene, having travelled all over the world.

And, it was his guesting on an album 'How to Tune A Fish' by County Antrim band Beoga in 2011, that caught English singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran's attention.

"The last track on that album is a band composition called Minute 5 and Ed heard it through a mutual friend of his own and Beoga's, the singer Foy Vance," the 47-year-old told the Ulster Gazette.

"He loved the groove of that tune and invited the band over to his place to get a feel for each other's music. It was a very organic process, hanging out and jamming.

"It's always nice to be asked to collaborate. I tend to enjoy that part of music most, the creating, however, it was quite surreal, it's not every day you have Ed Sheeran crooning in your studio cans.

"And it seems that Divide is already the hot album to have all over the world, so a good one to play on.

"I played on four songs in total, one quite abstract, the other three were fully formed, but only two of those made the cut, Galway Girl and Nancy Mulligan.

"My parts were recorded remotely in a lovely studio up in Antrim, all put down in an afternoon."

While Brian is based in his native Armagh, he travels frequently as part of his work.

"I work with a few different artistes, one of whom is based in Saint Petersburg, Russia, so I've been criss-crossing that vast country for the best part of 10 years now.

"Closer to home, the band Flook, who I played with from the formation back in 1996, are back recording and touring after a four year break.

"So live work keeps me busy and recording/creating pushes all the creative buttons; it's an interesting mix and you can never tell where your involvement with a project will one day lead you into the glitzy world of pop for instance!"

For Brian, it was as a young schoolboy during the late 1970s and early 80s that he first showcased his musical abilities at Armagh Pipers Club.

"I have nothing but the most wonderful of memories of my years in the Armagh Pipers Club, I wear my Pipers Club ex-pupil badge with great pride.

"For youngsters with a love of music and a natural curiosity about life, there is no better place to be nurtured in the tradition, than in the Armagh Pipers Club.

"So much that was culturally enriching at the time in Armagh had the guiding hand of Brian and Eithne Vallely on it - music/sport/art.

"It was with the Pipers Club that I stood on a stage for the first time, and if you can manage a St Patrick's Day gig, foundered beyond belief on the back of an articulated lorry trailer at the bottom of English Street, you can handle pretty much anything in life!"

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