Genres: World
Decades: 1980s 1990s 2000s


This Irish traditional band, in the mould of De Dannan, has achieved popularity on its own merits. Their name was taken from Loch Altan (near Gweedore in north-western Donegal). The line-up of Frankie Kennedy (30 September 1955, Belfast, Northern Ireland, d. 19 September 1994, Belfast, Northern Ireland; flute), Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (b. 26 July 1959, Donegal, Eire; vocals/fiddle), Ciaran Curran (b. 14 June 1955, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland; bouzouki), Dáithí Sproule (b. 23 May 1950, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland; guitar/vocals), and Ciaran Tourish (b. 27 May 1967, Buncrana, Co. Donegal, Eire; fiddle), built up a strong following both in Britain, and the USA, where they first toured in 1988. The band was formed in 1987 following the release ofAltan. At that point, the band was ostensibly Kennedy and Mhaonaigh, who were married in 1981, but with the others playing on the recording a more permanent arrangement was...

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