Martin Butler, originally from Cloughjordan Co. Tipperary, has been involved in the Irish music and arts scene in Boston for almost two decades. Martin took up the Bodhran while in Boston and went on to become an American champion, competing in a World Finals, or Fleadh Ceol in Ireland.
His attributes his love of music, history and Irish culture to his late parents; Martin and Bernadette who raised their sons, Alan and Martin, in Newtown, Cloughjordan. His father had a love of local History while his mother was involved in the Cloughjordan Drama Group
In 2005 he began work on an album called Rud Eile with fellow Tipperary man Jerry Murphy, formerly of the Ormond Ceili Band, and Dubliner Colm O’Brien, singer songwriter and guitarist, along with many guest artists. This project gave birth to the band Rud Eile. Their album was critically acclaimed. Martin went on to work with several groups consulting and co-producing many projects.
In 2016 Martin produced the very successful album, Thomas MacDonagh – Poet and Patriot, which featured over 50 artists including Aoife Scott-Clancy, Grammy nominee Janine Randall, Grammy winner Frank Wharton and Irish music legends, Tommy Keane and Tommy McCarthy.
This year he produced an epic album which draws together, in poetry and music, a tribute to his hometown hero – Thomas MacDonagh. His new album Poems and Songs from The Woodlands Edge, features Irish music legends Paddy Moloney and Liam O’Maonlaí and a host of Irish music stars. It has received enthusiastic reviews both in USA and in Ireland.
Poems and Songs from The Woodlands Edge is available to order from the Thomas MacDonagh Museum visit the shop on www.macdonaghheritage.ie
Martin did an amazing job on this album, not just with the artistic vision but in the long list of people who contributed to this CD. I’m thrilled to say it includes myself, my brother Dylan and cousins Muriel McAuley and Michelle Drysdale. My cousin Lucille Redmond wrote the introduction in the liner notes. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley recites The Man Upright.
So many amazing artists contributed; Paddy Moloney from The Chieftains, Liam O’Maonlaí from Hothouse Flowers, award winning actors Patrick Bergin & Aedín Moloney, Martin Maguire, Grammy nominees Aoife Clancy and Janine Randall and many more !!!!
Turlach MacDonagh – Great- grandson of Thomas MacDonagh
I’ve listened several times to this CD – 10 out of 10! Brilliant stuff altogether. Lovely mix of sounds, music, voices and sentiments. A huge achievement by all. I believe it’s very important to show that rebellions are undertaken by thoughtful and insightful people such as Thomas MacDonagh. This is a very meaningful achievement and I’m sure everyone involved is proud of it.
Kevin McCann – Award winning documentary filmmaker of The Boys of St Columbs’.
I will treasure the CD. It brings MacDonagh’s poetry to life in a beautiful way. It was lovely to see my Great-grandfather, Denis Costello, mentioned in the notes to The Man Upright.
Brian Costello – Historian and Great-grandson of Denis Costello N.T.
This album is a beautiful, visceral representation of MacDonagh: the poet, the patriot, and the Irishman in love with his country, proud of his heritage, and determined to see its independent.
Brian O’Donavan – WGBH, TV and Radio presenter of award winning program A Celtic Sojourn
The Woodlands Edge is an extensive examination of the foundations of and the major influences on MacDonagh’s writing and a closer look at him as a poet and writer.
Sean Smith – Boston Irish Reporter
Martin Butler a Tipperary musician now based in Boston has put together a fantastic line-up in celebrating the life and works of Thomas MacDonagh on his latest album Poems and Songs from The Woodlands Edge
Niamh Dillon – Staff of The Tipperary Star
Further details on the album, including an audio sample and liner notes are available on thewoodlandsedge.org