Earlier this month, The Olllam performed at The Ark. What is The Olllam you ask? It’s funky, groovy, contemporary Irish music performed by Ann Arbor resident celebrities Tyler Duncan and Mike Shimmin, and a true Irishman himself John McSherry. John McSherry is an internationally recognized traditional Irish piper and one of the most respected musicians of his trade. He teamed up with local musicians, some of who are alums of the School of Music, to put a fresh, up-to-date twist on sounds reminiscent of classic Irish folk tunes for their newest album.The instrumental album features eight tracks. Each is completely different, representing varying degrees of Irish-ness and electronic infusion. The group appeared in Ann Arbor as a segment of the trans-continental tour, including two weeks in Ireland, and two weeks in the mid-west at an Irish music festival (where they made a sweep of awards). It must have been a treat for the artists to perform in their home town, but really more of a treat for us! I have never heard such a unique and current sound. I am caught off guard by how much I like it- I never thought that Irish music would be my tune of choice when driving on the freeway!
I intended to post my article immediately after the show, but somehow the year started and things got busy…how did that happen? That being said, I have listened to the entire album every day since the show, so its as if a private performance has been perpetually playing in my ears. To get a listen yourself, check out their website. For a deeper insight into the creative process behind the music, watch this gorgeous short documentary on the history of The Olllam. Enjoy!