"Leonard Barry's handsome piping meets the bold fiddling of Declan Folan on this collection of interesting tunes, new and old. Shane McGowan shows that his engineering skills are as honed as his musicianship. Hurry the Jug is a very satisfying CD of stylish traditional music played by three musicians confident in their craft" KEVIN BRUKE

" Sensational! Real Irish Traditional music played from real Traditional musicians. This recording will be in contention for most all awards at the end of this year." LiveIreland

Leonard Barry, Declan Folan and Shane McGowan: Hurry the Jug review – Graceful collision of past and present

The Irish Times 27th Spetember 2019 

Past and present coalesce gracefully on this fine collection of tunes from Kerry piper Leonard Barry, Sligo fiddler Declan Folan and guitarist Shane McGowan. The pipes/fiddle combination is a linchpin of the tradition, and here they shimmy and slide with the nonchalance of old acquaintances with a deep understanding of one another’s character traits.

Barry’s style is beautifully calibrated to the genteel contours of the pair of hornpipes, The Green Island and Rick’s Rambles, a cap doffing to the late Liam O’Flynn, with whom both tunes have associated. His whistle is equally subtle as it traces a fine path alongside Shane McGowan’s guitar on Declan Folan’s newly composed pristine reel The Carousel.

Folan’s fiddle steps into the limelight for a gorgeous pair of barndances, Kitty Shand’s and Bill O’Malley’s, with McGowan’s guitar delicately tiptoeing in and around Folan’s fiddle, underscoring, punctuating, anchoring, but fettering neither the tune or the fiddle along the way.

There’s a palpable sense of delight and ease permeating this collection. A trio of musicians who’ve parked their egos outside the door and let the music tell its own tales.


This is a big meaty album of Irish traditional music,or a full-flavoured fried tofu feast if your' e vegan. It's seriously tasty either way:pipes,fiddle and guitar from well known  names, put together perfectly. I'm  still chewing on it after a couple of months oflistening, there's so much goodness here. The pure drop is in Hurry the Jug and The Pullet Wants the Cock, old tunes from an earthier time. The Graf Spey, The Hare's Paw  and Tom Billy's are deserved favourites for session players and lis­teners alike.Among a handful of recent compositions, Folan's beautiful slow reel The Carousel stands out, justifying a track on its own.

TheStone in the Field and Bonaparte's Retreat, Kitty Shand's Barndance and Tommy Peoples' Waiting for a Call: there are uilleann pipe and fiddle solos and duets, some nifty bass regulator work and sensitive guitar ac­companiment.

Hurry the Jug has the feel of the old masters, but the polish of a mod­ern production. The final trio of reels Maids of Holywell, Megan's Reel by Sligo fiddler Philip Duffy, and Kitty in the Lane round off a feast of tra­ditional Irish music which will sustain you through the winter and be­yond. Try out the video sample on the band's website.

Alex Monaghan

THE IRISH ECHO 1/10/2019

“Hurry the Jug,” comes from Leonard Barry, Declan Folan and Shane McGowan, and the it's worth hearing, particularly if you’re interested in the fiddle and pipes.

Barry (uilleann pipes), Folan (fiddle), and McGowan (guitar) are three musicians whose playing really stands at the top of the game. Regular readers will be familiar with Barry’s work, both through both his solo album “New Road” (2013) and also his work on “Stone Walls & Street Lights” (2016) with the band New Road, a band that featured many of the musicians who appeared on his 2013 album. Barry, who is originally from Kerry, met Folan in London in the early 1990s and the two developed an early rapport. Folan, from Bunninadden, Sligo, is an All-Ireland fiddle player who grew up playing with fellow Sligo man McGowan, one of the finest backers going. (Earlier this year I saw McGowan with BackWest at Keane’s in Woodlawn, and he was outstanding.) Barry settled in Sligo some years back, which not only let Barry reconnect with Folan but also allowed for more time working with McGowan. Together, Barry, Folan & McGowan make a formidable trio, largely because there’s an intuitive familiarity between them that’s borne of long experience.

The first thing one notices about this album is how relaxed the players sound together. The music here isn’t hurried, desperate to reveal the virtuosity of the players. Rather, it’s about savoring the tunes and finding ways to enhance their inborn beauties, which the three musicians do admirably well.  

Folan’s features on “Dave Collin’s Jig / …” and “Kitty Shand’s / …,” He brings a beautifully inventive approach to ornamentation and variation in his airing of his tunes, and drive is very clearly evident here. However, he’s never overly aggressive in his approach. It’s great stuff all around.

The trio has chosen repertory that really allows them to dig into the music and the sound the pull from their tunes is very full, indeed, largely because they don’t overplay the arrangements or the tempos. “Hurry the Jug /…,” the album’s opening track, is an excellent example of this, as are tracks like “Father Quinn’s Favourite / …” and “Waiting for a Call / ….” Each has a “crunchy” sound that makes them easy, rewarding tracks to listen to. Then, there are tracks like “The Garvogue / …” and “The Carousel” (a Folan original) that have subtle touches in their arrangements that help make them memorable. (McGowan’s savvy guitar playing is particularly noteworthy here.) Barry is, of course, a very fine piper, and his solo work on “Green Island / …” and “The Stone in the Field / …” is wonderfully nuanced. There a lot of great stuff to hear here.

Have a listen, I’m sure you’ll agree that “Hurry the Jug” is a warm, rich album of what one might call “pure drop” playing. There’s nothing particularly fancy here, just strong tune selection, unfussy arrangements, and beautiful playing with a sense of shared purpose from three top players. It makes this an album definitely worth hearing; it’d be great to hear these guys live, too.

So there you have it! “Hurry the Jug” is a great album. Barry, Folan, and McGowan have a superb chemistry, revealed through the lovely tune choices, with the result being a taut album filled with beautiful tuneage. It’s a great album regardless and I consider welcome listening for trad music lovers, especially those interested in a slice of what Sligo’s traditional music scene is about at the moment. For more information, visit barryfolanandmcgowan.com.


Gérard Viel

Au-delà de la musique avec Uilleann pipes, violon et guitare!

Ce trio basé à Sligo, dans le nord-ouest de l'Irlande, représente tout ce qui fait la spécificité de la musique irlandaise aujourd'hui. La cornemuse (Uilleann Pipe) de Leonard Barry, le violon de Declan Folan sont depuis longtemps une fusion, légendaire dans l'histoire de la musique en Irlande. La guitare de Shane McGowan, finalise cette rencontre d'instruments, et apporte des sonorités contemporaines à leur musique issue de la tradition, et avec des pièces composées par ces talentueux et passionnés musiciens. Le passé et le présent se rencontrent pour le plaisir de nos oreilles, les sonorités acoustiques et les arrangements raffinés donnent à cet album une dimension chaleureuse. Un clin d’œil affectueux au regretté Liam O'Flynn avec « the Green Island-Rick’s Rambles ». Le style de Leonard Barry s’est encore personnalisé et il fait corps et âme avec sa cornemuse, la guitare et le violon ne jouent pas le rôle d’accompagnement, ils font partie totalement de cet album. En écoutant ce CD n’hésitez pas à « remplir vite votre flacon » (avec modération…)

Contact : bfmtrio@gmail.com

Folking.com October 2019

As soon as I started to play Hurry The Jug I was struck by an indefinable warmth in the music that immediately made me feel at home. The trio are based in Sligo where Declan Folan and Shane McGowan grew up – Leonard Barry is from Kerry, which is the other end of the country but not to worry – and their repertoire reflects not just the traditions of South Sligo but their familiarity with those traditions.

The second striking thing, right from the opening track ‘Hurry The Jug/The Pullet Wants The Cock’, was the richness and smoothness of Leonard’s piping. The Uilleann pipes, in expert hands, can do things that neither the Scottish pipes nor the Northumbrian small pipes can do and here we have something of a masterclass. Most of the tunes are traditional but hidden away are the names of Joe Liddy and Tommy Peoples. Leonard and Declan swap lead roles and sometimes take a solo or near-solo. I would have liked to hear Shane have a bigger share of the spotlight but the guitar isn’t a major player in Irish traditional music. I thought that it might happen with ‘The Garavogue/Graf Spey/The Hare’s Paw’ but the fiddle rushes in before he really got under way. The same happens with Declan’s lovely composition, ‘The Carousel’, but this time it’s Leonard’s whistle that jumps in.

The only piece that I’m sort of familiar with is ‘Bonaparte’s Retreat’ played here as a set dance but there are some really jolly tunes here, notably a couple of barndances, ‘Kitty Shand’s/Bill O’Malley’s’, and the jigs, ‘Father Quinn’s Favourite/The Humours Of Rahey/The Shoemaker’s Fancy’, but the whole set is a splendid affair.

Dai Jeffries

Leonard Barry, Declan Folan and Shane McGowan Release Hurry the Jug

Hurry The Jug is an exciting new release in July 2019 from the trio of Leonard Barry, Declan Folan and Shane McGowan. The album is a stellar representation of traditional Irish music from these veteran musicians who’ve known one another and played together for decades. If you’re looking for an authentic traditional instrumental album this one belongs in your collection.

The best music seems to come from players who’ve known each other for years, mastering not only the tunes on their own over years of practice and performing but melding each others styles, nuances and other ways of playing to create a seamless, seemingly effortless and joyous performance. On Hurry The Jug the guys deliver on all counts. As you’ll read below, the tune selections for the album were instinctive and intrinsic to all of them. Hurry The Jug is an experience to listen to from beginning to end, with a wide variety of musical textures and tune selections, giving the listener both a feeling of sitting in a back corner of a pub with a pint at a late night session or enjoying the tunes in a concert hall.