monas cd

Live at Mona's cd

Traditional Irish Music from New York’s Lower East Side

This cd is the first recording of a traditional Irish music session in America.  Recorded over a few months in the nondescript and dingy Mona’s pub on Avenue B in New York’s Lower East Side, the album features various configurations of a dozen or so musicians in an informal setting.  Led by guitarist Eamon O’Leary and fiddler Patrick Orceau, Mona’s has been a meeting place on Monday nights for some of the best Irish musicians in world, who brave late hours and questionable environs to play Irish music firmly anchored in the traditions of Clare and Galway.

The album features artistic photographs of the session and bar, notes on the tunes and musicians by Eamon and Patrick, extensive liner notes on the history of the session in New York by Mick Moloney, and recording notes by Scott Spencer.

Review by Earle Hitchner

“…varied, unvarnished, spirited performances complete with background chatter, clacking billiard balls, slamming doors, and the soft thrum of passing traffic. It all serves to put the listener into the session. The lift and pulse of their music are usually the elusive optimal goals of a studio recording, and yet this all takes place matter-of-factly in a pub with no pretense of bohemian swankness. Even so, grit turns grace here.  With a deft technical touch in the recording process from NYU ethnomusicology doctoral candidate Scott Spencer, Ourceau and O'Leary have delivered what Mick Moloney, in his fascinating eight-page historical essay, describes as ‘the very first commercially available recording of a bar session in the history of Irish music in America.’”

Earle Hitchner, Irish Echo

Irish Echo
Irish Voice

Review by Paul Keating

“For a live session recording, I was struck by their ability to capture the tasteful and sympathetic rendering of the music by the lead players and accompanists. This is no helter-skelter mad frenzied session at play, but music played for its own enjoyment in this space and time.”

Paul Keating, Irish Voice

Review by Philippe Varlet

“The album as a whole is very successful at not being just a "container" for music, but instead a vehicle to bring across a whole experience, a sense of being there.”

Philippe Varlet, Celtic Grooves