From North Connemara, Liz and Yvonne Kane, known as The Kane Sisters are much
respected musicians and educators. Born in Letterfrack, they were educated in Kylemore Abbey School. They were taught music by their Grandfather, local fiddle player, Jimmy Mullen and Mary Finn, a Co.Sligo musician and teacher.
Liz and Yvonne first came to national and international prominence during the three year
period in which they toured with accordion player, Sharon Shannon as members of her
band, The Woodchoppers. They traveled all over the world with her band and are
featured artists on Sharon’s album ‘The Diamond Mountain Sessions’. At that time, a Hot
Press review by Siobhan Long confirmed ‘...while 'Fire in their Bellies' (with Liz and Yvonne Kane) is ensemble playing at its best and most naked.'
Following this period of touring with Sharon Shannon, the girls decided to embark
musically on their own and they recorded their first album together entitled ‘The Well
Tempered Bow’. This received rave reviews including this review from well known New
York music critic, Earle Hitchner:
“Aptly titled, 'The Well-Tempered Bow' is fine-honed unison fiddling by two musicians who know how to draw out the heat and light within a melody. There's no superficial flashiness substituting for a more difficult-to-achieve understanding of what makes a tune tick. This duo debut has real depth and heft, with superb accompaniment from guitarist and pianist John Blake, a member of the band Téada. The Kanes Head Up Best Traditional Albums of 2002”
The Kane Sisters toured Ireland and the United States following the release of their first
album and this followed with a second album entitled ‘Under the Diamond’ in 2004.
More reviews followed including this extract below:
“Liz and Yvonne Kane's debut recording ‘The Well Tempered Bow’ was so good in every way it was hard to imagine what the two fiddle playing sisters from Letterfrack, Connemara, would come up with as a follow-up. Well, the old adage "if it ain't broke" is most fitting here. Although they did invite a couple more musicians to participate as accompanists, in all other aspects their new CD is pretty much identical to the first, down to the great mix of esoteric tunes generously sprinkled with more spine-tingling Paddy Fahey compositions. But who's complaining, not me. I loved the first album, and I love this one... almost as much. Liz and Yvonne seem to have a knack for selecting the most gorgeous Irish tunes ever composed-- the jig "The Lakes of Killarney" is on
my list, and so is Liz's own tune "Betsy's Delight"--or having their unique way with old
Based in Letterfrack currently, Liz and Yvonne teach music during the school year and
tour in the US during the summer. Between them, they have close to 200 students and
travel all over the west coast teaching music.
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