Davy Spillane

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Davy Spillane
Born (1959-01-06) 6 January 1959 (age 56)
Dublin, Ireland
Genres Celtic
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Uilleann pipes, low whistle
Years active 1970 – present
Labels Burrenstone music
Associated acts Moving Hearts, Andy Irvine
Website Davy's Official Website
Notable instruments
Uilleann pipes handmade by Davy Spillane

Davy Spillane (born 6 January 1959 in Dublin) is an Irish musician, songwriter and a player of uilleann pipes and low whistle. At the age of 12, Spillane started playing the uilleann pipes. His father encouraged him and inspired him with his love of all music genres. For the next three years he played at sessions and met many prominent Irish musicians. At the age of 16, he played in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe. In 1978 he began to write his own music. He starred as a gypsy in Joe Comerford's 1981 film Traveller.

Moving Hearts and solo albums[edit]

He was a founder member of Moving Hearts, along with Christy Moore and Donal Lunny in 1981. Although each member had a strong pedigree of Irish folk music, the band played mostly original compositions, sometimes with a political edge and a folk-rock sound. Their final album The Storm (1985) was purely instrumental and had several slower pieces written by Davy. He then made the surprise move of joining up with American musicians Béla Fleck, Albert Lee and others to record a "Davy Spillane" debut album of his new compositions and bluegrass and original blues, Atlantic Bridge. There was a promotional touring band which also recorded Out of the Air in 1988, essentially a live version of Atlantic Bridge. Davy then gathered together a new set of musicians, including Rory Gallagher and Kevin Glackin to record Shadow Hunter, an album of various rock and folk styles. This was followed by Pipedreams in 1991.


Davy played as special guest soloist in orchestral work in 1992 called "The Seville Suite", describing events in 1601 in Irish-Spanish history, Bill Whelan then worked for Davy Spillane and Andy Irvine on the music album EastWind. In 1993, collaborated with Canadian Artists such as Daniel Weaver on his album Weeds as well and Celine Dion's My Heart Will go On as well as the the Titanic soudtrack. In 1994, which inspired Whelan's Riverdance in 1995. Davy was a special guest soloist in Riverdance. Davy also collaborated with Rory Gallagher on the tracks 'The road to Ballyalla', 'Litton Lane' and 'One For Phil' as well as with Enya on her 1988 Watermark tracks 'Exile' and 'Na Laetha Geal M'óige'.

Film Music[edit]

In 1992 Spillane composed music for Peter Kosminsky's film Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and in 1995 reached a larger audience with the film Rob Roy. Other compositions and guesting he has done includes Kate Bush's Sensual World (1989), Mike Oldfield's Voyager (1996), Bryan Adams' MTV Unplugged, Van Morrison and Elvis Costello. Other films include Eat the Peach and The Disappearance of Finbar. Paul Winter's album Journey with the Sun (2002) Davy was awarded a Grammy and also nominated for second one. Davy served his apprenticeship with pipe maker Dan Dowd and Johnny Burke and now makes all his own instruments. In 2000 he recorded his only album of traditional tunes Forgotten Days, together with Kevin Glackin.


Moving Hearts[edit]

Moving Hearts

Solo albums[edit]

  • Atlantic Bridge (1987)
  • Out of the Air (1988)
  • Shadow Hunter (1990)
  • Pipedreams (1991)
  • A Place Among The Stones (1994)
    The title track, 'A Place Among The Stones' is featured on solo albums by both Moya Brennan and Davy Spillane. The song is most commonly credited Máire Brennan featuring Davy Spillane and appears on Moya (Máire) Brennan's Misty Eyed Adventures album. The only difference between the two tracks is that Spillane's has an extra second of silence. Sexual Healing (see below) was originally recorded for this album.
  • The Sea of Dreams (1998)
  • Forgotten Days (2001)
  • Deep Blue Sea (2004)


  • EastWind (1992) (with Andy Irvine) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Calman The Dove (1998) (with Savourna Stevenson)
  • Forgotten Days (2000) (with Kevin Glackin)


  • My Very Favourite Nursery Rhyme Record, Tim Hart (1981) - Uilleann Pipes
  • The Drunken Sailor and other Kids Favorites, Tim Hart (1983) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, Van Morrison (1983) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Dancing With Strangers, Chris Rea (1987) - Uilleann Pipes, Low Whistle & Guitar
  • Under the Influence, Mary Coughlan (1987) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Goreuon, Best of (Featuring Donal Lunny/Davy Spillane), Jim O'Rourke, Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Watermark, Enya (1988) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • North and South, Gerry Rafferty (1988) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • We've Come A Long Way, Liam Clancy/Tommy Makem (1989) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • The Sensual World, Kate Bush (1989) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Winds of Change, Oisin (1989) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Spike, Elvis Costello (1989) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Brand New Dance, Emmylou Harris (1990) - Uilleann Pipes
  • The Sweet Keeper, Tanita Tikaram (1990) - Low Whistle on It All Came Back Today
  • Sojourner's Song, Buddy Greene (1990) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors, Fish (1990) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle on Vigil
  • Two Rooms, Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin (1991) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Mighty Like a Rose, Elvis Costello (1991) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Rude Awakening, Andy Irvine (1991)
  • Smoke and Strong Whiskey, Christy Moore (1991) - Low Whistle
  • The Ways of the World, Mary Custy & Eoin O'Neill (1991) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Lam Toro, Baaba Maal (1992) - Uilleann Pipes
  • High On The Happy Side, Wet Wet Wet (1992) - Low Whistle on Put The Light On
  • Rita Connolly, Rita Connolly (1992) - Low Whistle
  • Something Special In The Air (Single) for Impact 92, Derry City Council (1992) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Sentimental Killer, Mary Coughlan (1992) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Bajo El Signo de Cain, Miguel Bose (1993)
  • Again, Alan Stivell (1993) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Before & After, Tim Finn (1993) - Uilleann Pipes on Many's The Time
  • Solid Ground, Dolores Keane (1993) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Expresso Logic, Chris Rea (1993) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Far from Home, Traffic (1994) - Uilleann Pipes on Holy Ground
  • Traditional Music In Support Of Doolin Coast And Cliff Rescue Service, Various Artists (1994) - - Uilleann Pipes
  • 33 Revolutions Per Minute, Marxman (1994) - Whistles
  • Seville Suite, Bill Whelan (1995) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Cry of a Dreamer, Sean Tyrell (1995) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Misty Eyed Adventures, Moya Brennan (1995) - Low Whistle see above
  • Transatlantic Sessions - Series 1, Various Artists (1995) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Riverdance, Bill Whelan (1996) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Songs From A Secret Garden, Secret Garden (1996) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Volume 1: Sound Magic, Afro Celt Sound System (1996) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Voyager, Mike Oldfield (1996) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Hammer, Zoe (1996)
  • Ao Vivo No CCB, Luis Represas (1996) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Common Ground, Various Artists (1996) - Low Whistle on Whistling Low/Errigal
  • White Stones, Secret Garden (1997) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Kilim, Nikola Parov (1997) - Uilleann Pipes
  • What Did He Say?, Victor Wooten (1997) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Illumination, Richard Souther, Hildegard von Bingen (1997) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Gospel Oak, Sinead O'Connor (1997) - Low & High Whistle
  • Laberinto Volume 2, Miguel Bose (1997) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Ar Galon Digorr (single), Annie Ebrel (1997) on Fest Vraz Musique Bretonnes - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Unplugged, Bryan Adams (1997) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Sun and the Moon and the Stars, Spirit of Eden (1998) - Uilleann Pipes
  • The Peace Within, BMC Band (1998) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Piece of Cake, Lubos Malina (1999) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Celtic Solstice, Paul Winter (1999) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Streams, Various Artists (1999) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Live at Slane Castle (DVD), Bryan Adams (2000) - Low Whistle
  • Journey with the Sun, Paul Winter (2000) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Irvi, Denez Prigent (2000) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Dreamcatcher, Secret Garden (2001) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • The Eternal Knot, Vol 4, Adiemus (2001) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Girls Won't Leave the Boys Alone, Cherish the Ladies (2001) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Unearthed, Posthumus (2001) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • 12 Vox - The Way To be Ourselves, Taro Iwashiro (2001) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Ceol Tacsi, Various Artists (2003) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle on Muladach Is Mi Air M'aineol with Karen Matheson
  • Sexual Healing (single B-side), Kate Bush (2005) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Grief Never Grows Old - (single), One World Project (2005) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • To The Moon, Capercaillie (2008) Tracks from Rob Roy. Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • This Is What I Live For, Richard Anthony Jay (2009) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle on Gone But Not Forgotten
  • A Different Hat, Paul Carrack (2010) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle
  • Lament, Various Artists (2012) - Low Whistle on Lament For the Dead of the North
  • The Peacemakers, Karl Jenkins (2012) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Transparent Music 2, B. J. Cole (2012) - Low Whistle
  • Goodbye (single), Mary Jane Riemann (2013) - Uilleann Pipes
  • Man on the Rocks, Mike Oldfield (2014) - Low Whistle on Moonshine
  • Drowning (single), Simone Kaye (date unknown) - Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistle



External links[edit]