Michael McGoldrick

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Michael McGoldrick
Michael McGoldrick live in at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in 2012.
Michael McGoldrick live in at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in 2012.
Background information
Birth nameMichael McGoldrick
Born (1971-11-26) 26 November 1971 (age 51)
Manchester, England
GenresCeltic, folk
Occupation(s)Multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer
Instrument(s)Irish flute, tin whistle, low whistle, uilleann pipes, tenor guitar, bodhrán, cittern, vocals
Years active1980s–present

Michael McGoldrick (born 26 November 1971, in Manchester, England)[1] is a folk musician who plays Irish flute, uilleann pipes, low whistle and bodhran. He also plays other instruments such as acoustic guitar, cittern, and mandolin.


McGoldrick has been a member of several influential bands. In 1994 he was awarded the BBC Young Tradition Award, and in 2001 he was given the Instrumentalist of the Year award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.[1]

McGoldrick was a founder-member of the Celtic rock band Toss the Feathers while still at school.[1] He also competed at that time in the Fleadhanna with Dezi Donnelly (fiddle) and John Joe Kelly (bodhrán), whom he had met at local Comhaltas meetings.[1] He made appearances at various local and national festivals and ran whistle/flute workshops at the Cambridge Folk Festival and for Folkworks on their "Flutopia" concert tour.

McGoldrick formed the band Fluke! (later renamed as Flook) with Brian Finnegan and Sarah Allen in November 1995. After one tour, he left to pursue other projects.[1]

He was an early member of Lúnasa from 1997 until roughly 2000 and played on their first albums. He also joined Capercaillie in 1998, playing on six albums (one live) to date.[2]

McGoldrick has played regularly for Afro-Celt Sound System and Kate Rusby's band. As of 2011 he leads the Michael McGoldrick Band.

Between 1996 and the present, McGoldrick recorded five solo albums, all featuring an array of well-known supporting musicians: Morning Rory (1996) showcases his traditional skills. Fused, released in August 2000, explores several other musical genres including jazz;[3] although Wired, released in January 2006, takes the experimental approach of Fused even further, it was preceded by a duo album At First Light (2001), with award-winning uilleann piper John McSherry (also ex-Lúnasa) which goes back to traditional roots.[4] Aurora, released in 2010, features traditional as well as self-penned tunes, and a song (Waterbound) by a Louisiana master of old-time music, Dirk Powell.[5] McGoldrick's latest solo release is Arc (2018).

Between 2007 and 2013 McGoldrick played with the house band for the Transatlantic Sessions (Sessions 3-6) including performing some of his own compositions/arrangements.

In 2010 Michael replaced John McCusker, joining Tim O'Brien on Mark Knopfler's US leg of the Get Lucky Tour.[6] This being a success, he was invited (and accepted) to stay on for the remainder of the World Tour in Europe when John McCusker had returned. He went on to play on the next Mark Knopfler album, Privateering and played with the band for the subsequent World Tour. McGoldrick also recorded for the 'Ceol Tacsi' project with many other British and Irish artists.



  • Champions of the North (with Dezi Donnelly) - Bop Cassettes (1990)
  • Morning Rory – Aughgrim Records AUGH01 (1996)
  • Fused – Vertical Records VERTCD051 (2000)
  • At First Light (with John McSherry) – Vertical Records VERTCD061 (2001)
  • Wired – Vertical Records VERTCD074 (2005)
  • Aurora – Vertical Records VERTCD090 (2010)
  • Live (with John McCusker & John Doyle, 2009 tour) – Vertical Records (2012)
  • The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions (with John McCusker & John Doyle) - Smooth Operations (2016)
  • The Wishing Tree (with John McCusker & John Doyle, studio album) – Under One Sky Records UOSR004 (2018)
  • Arc - Vertical Records VERTCD111 (2018)
  • Dog in the Fog (with Dezi Donnelly) - Boxroom Music (2018)
  • Mike McGoldrick & John Doyle - Boxroom Music (2020)
  • Waterman's (Live) - Vertical Records (2020)
  • The Reed That Bends in the Storm (with John McCusker & John Doyle) - Under One Sky Records (2020)
  • Christmas at Home (with John McCusker & John Doyle) - (2020)
  • At Home This Spring (Live) (with John McCusker & John Doyle) - (2021)
  • At Our Leisure (with John Carty) - (2022)

As band member of[edit]

Toss the Feathers[edit]

  • Live at the 32 - Bop Cassettes (1988)
  • Rude Awakening (1993)
  • The Next Round (1995)


  • Many Happy Returns – Dara Records DARACD080 (1995)


  • Flook! Live! – Small CD 9405 (1996)



Kate Rusby[edit]

Eden's Bridge[edit]

  • All in a Life - Straightway Records (2000)
  • Isle of Tides - Whole World Media Group (2002)
  • New Celtic Worship - Whole World Media Group (2005)

Celtic Melt[edit]

  • Celtic Melt - Cavendish Music Library (2002)

Sharon Shannon, Frankie Gavin / Dezi Donnelly, Jim Murray[edit]

  • Tunes – Compass Records (2005)
  • Upside Down – The Daisy Label (2006)
  • Renegade – The Daisy Label (2007)

Future Trad Collective[edit]

  • Future Trad Collective - Vertical Records (2011)

Usher's Island[edit]

  • Usher's Island - Vertical Records (2017)

As guest artist/other[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Michael McGoldrick – celebrating one of the greatest Irish flautists of all time". Pride of Manchester. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Waterman's Live EP, by Michael McGoldrick". Michael McGoldrick. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  3. ^ Campbell, Al. "Fused". Review. AllMusic. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  4. ^ Anderson, Rick. "At First Light". Review. AllMusic. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  5. ^ Fyfe, Peter (6 February 2010). "Michael McGoldrick – Aurora". Review. Folk Radio UK. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Band | MarkKnopfler.com". www.markknopfler.com. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Michael McGoldrick – Discography". Discogs. Retrieved 10 November 2020.

External links[edit]

Michael McGoldrick on Facebook Edit this at Wikidata