Michael “Mick” McAuley is an Irish musician, composer and songwriter who has recorded and toured internationally for many years. While his music is rooted firmly in the Irish tradition, he has been part of a movement which continues to push the musical boundaries of that tradition to bring Irish music to a wider and more diverse audience around the world. As a long-time member of the Irish-American ensemble SOLAS, he has recorded and toured nine albums with them and received widespread international acclaim. The Boston Herald hailed SOLAS as “the best Irish traditional band in the world”.
As is beautifully common in Ireland, Mick grew up in the embrace of a musical family supported and nurtured by a community of older musicians who gave freely of their time, talent and music to ensure the passing of that centuries-old cultural tradition. By his teens, he was also seeking out more contemporary singers and musicians. He played with Ron Kavana (Alias Band), Terry Woods (Sweeneys Men, The Pogues) while in London in the early ’90’s and began to tour at that time with the acclaimed Irish singer Niamh Parsons. Mick found the ideal balance of traditional and contemporary in the instrumentals and songs of the newly-formed Solas while in the bustling Irish music scene of New York in the mid-nineties. Having guested on Karan Casey’s debut album Songlines in 1997, he soon found himself in the famous SIGMA studios in Philadelphia recording Solas’ third album The Words That Remain with Bela Fleck and Iris Dement as guests.
A multi-instrumentalist, Mick plays accordion, melodeon, concertina, whistles and guitar and has been a guest on many recordings and performances including Patti Larkin, Paul Brennan (Clannad), Susan McKeown and Mick Hanly among many others and more recently spent time playing melodeon for STING in his Broadway Production “The Last Ship”.
His debut solo album An Ocean’s Breadth (Shanachie Records) was awarded Best Celtic Album of the year by Washington Post, and now this Spring 2016 sees the long-awaited release of his new solo album HIGHS AND BELLOWS. It is an acoustic selection of traditional and original instrumentals and songs recorded in New Inn at the turn of the year.