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Backwest
  • Backwest
  • Website: https://www.backwestmusic.com/
  • Members: P J McDonald, guitars, vocal; Brendan Browne,button accordion; Maureen Browne, fiddles; Peter Vickers, bodhrán, percussion, dance
  • Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Proud to be claimed as Galway City's new "Super Group", BackWest was formed in late 2016, and in March 2017 the group were delighted to announce the release of their debut album titled "The Long Walk".

Featuring Tyrone’s legendary virtuoso PJ McDonald (guitar/vocals/whistle), Galway’s well known brother and sister duo Maureen and Brendan Browne (fiddle and accordion) and Galway’s own ‘Lord of the Dance’ Peter Vickers (percussion/dance) this is not just any four piece. BackWest delivers Irish traditional music, song and dance to their audiences in a highly unique fashion. Their performances are vibrant, energetic and yet foster the organic nature of their home tradition and heritage.

It is without question that they leave their audiences with the warmth of wanting more. Their repertoire leaves no listener disappointed varying from old traditional northern songs, to foot tapping Irish traditional tunes researched from old manuscripts to a celebration of other traditional music of neighboring countries.

From tradition to modernity, Lord of the Dance to historical repertoire, BackWest will bring you on a cultural journey that nurtures the true delight of Irish traditional heritage at it's best!

Their performances are vibrant, energetic and yet foster the organic nature of their home tradition and heritage

PJ McDonald

A multi-talented musician and vocalist from County Tyrone went on to establish a reputation as one of Ireland’s finest tin whistle players, renowned for his dexterity and understanding of the instrument. He was immersed in a singing tradition that dated back generations, resulting in a singing style that has unique rawness yet natural elements of aesthetic authenticity. He has worked with many top names in the Irish Music World including Arty McGlynn, Mairtin O’Connor, Cathal Hayden and Seamie O’Dowd but to name but a few. He was a member of the White Hare Band, The Bad Articles and more recently the Bettys. His music has graced and sold out venues the length and breadth of Ireland as well as having been recorded for the renowned Irish playwright Marie Jones. In 2013 he recorded his first solo album “The Long Road Home”.

Maureen Browne

Described as a ‘child prodigy’ trained at the Cork School of Music under the instruction of Mr. Adrian Petcu. In her late teens she became a member of Johnny (Ringo) Mc Donagh’s band Arcady. She toured extensively with the Alan Kelly Gang and performed with the fabulous Scottish songstress Eddi Reader and Trashcan Sinatras’ guitarist and songwriter John Douglas. In 2016 she performed with the Máirtín O’Connor Band and the Contempo Quartet. She has performed at many National and International Festivals such as the Milwaukee Irish Festival (USA), the Celtic Colours International Festival (Novia Sotia), the Edmonton Folk Festival (Canada) and the National Folk Festival (Canberra Australia) but to name a few. She has shared many stages with worldrenowned musicians from various musical genres and has also toured the world as a performer with Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord of the Dance.’

in March 2017 the group were delighted to announce the release of their debut album titled "The Long Walk"

Brendan Browne

A member of the Riverdance ‘Flying’ Squad band in his late teens has performed as an actor and musician from an early age. Staring in Séamus Ó Scolaí’s translation of Vincent Woods’s At the Black Pig’s Dyke, Ag Claí na Muice Duibhe (under the direction of Maelíosa Stafford) which was acclaimed as a ‘tour de force’ by reviewer Brendán Delap his musical career continued to develop as he performed as a duet piece with his sister alongside Johnny ‘Ringo’ McDonagh of Dé Dannan. He was a member of Full Steam Ahead where he also worked and performed with PJ McDonald and Jim McKee. He has made appearances at National and International Festivals, toured the United States to cities such as Boston, New York, Chicago and Milwaukee not to mention Sydney, Australia where he has also performed in local theatres and venues. He has recorded on many local, national and International radio and television stations such as RTE, TG4 and BBC Scotland and UK.

Peter Vickers

Peter began his dancing career at an early age and hit the stage when he joined Ceol Charri Productions’ ‘To Dance On The Moon’ and ‘Spirit Of Ireland’. Following this he was asked to join Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord Of The Dance’, with whom he toured extensively, entertaining crowds of up to 80,000 people in countries such as Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, South Africa, Mexico, Singapore and Taiwan. In his late teens he developed a love for the bodhrán and has been influenced and encouraged by his musical colleagues down through the years. He grasps audiences with his percussive beats while stimulating them visually through the realm of Irish dance. Peter has danced for Irish Presidents, Mary McAleese and Michael D. Higgins at various corporate functions and at Áras an Uachtaráin. He has also shared stages with many fantastic musicians in the Irish Music World such as Sharon Shannon and Frankie Gavin.