Moving Hearts
Moving Hearts is an Irish folk-rock band formed in 1981. They followed in the footsteps of Horslips
Horslips are an Irish Celtic rock band that compose, arrange and perform songs based on traditional Irish jigs and reels. The group are regarded as 'founding fathers of Celtic rock' for their fusion of traditional Irish music with rock music and went on to inspire many local and international acts....

 in combining Irish traditional music
Music of Ireland
Irish Music is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres on the island of Ireland.The indigenous music of the island is termed Irish traditional music. It has remained vibrant through the 20th, and into the 21st century, despite globalizing cultural forces...

 with rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

, and also added elements of jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 to their sound.


The group was formed in 1981 when Dónal Lunny
Dónal Lunny
Dónal Lunny is an Irish folk musician. Lunny has been at the forefront of the evolution of traditional Irish music for more than thirty-five years and has participated within the renaissance of traditional Irish music in that time period...

The bouzouki , is a musical instrument with Greek origin in the lute family. A mainstay of modern Greek music, the front of the body is flat and is usually heavily inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The instrument is played with a plectrum and has a sharp metallic sound, reminiscent of a mandolin but...

) and Christy Moore
Christy Moore
Christopher Andrew "Christy" Moore is a popular Irish folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is well known as one of the founding members of Planxty and Moving Hearts...

 (vocals and bodhrán
The bodhrán is an Irish frame drum ranging from 25 to 65 cm in diameter, with most drums measuring 35 to 45 cm . The sides of the drum are 9 to 20 cm deep. A goatskin head is tacked to one side...

), of Planxty
Planxty is an Irish folk music band formed in the 1970s, consisting initially of Christy Moore , Dónal Lunny , Andy Irvine , and Liam O'Flynn...

, wanted to explore the possibilities of linking contemporary music to Irish traditional music. They initially intended to form a trio with guitarist Declan Sinnott
Declan Sinnott
Declan Sinnott is an Irish musician and producer.Originally from Wexford, where his family ran a record shop in John Street, he came to Dublin in the late sixties. Around 1970 he was a member of the poetry-and-music group Tara Telephone, in which he composed, sang, and played guitar...

, but then expanded the group to include established Irish musicians Keith Donald (alto sax), Eoghan O'Neill (bass), and Brian Calnan (drums), and prodigious newcomer Davy Spillane
Davy Spillane
Davy Spillane is a songwriter and a player of uilleann pipes and low whistle.early yearsDavy was born in Dublin in 1959 . At the age of 12 he started playing the uilleann pipes. His father encouraged him and inspired him with his love of all music genres...

 (uilleann pipes). During their first year together, Moving Hearts performed to packed audiences during their three-night-a-week residency at the Baggot Inn on Baggot Street in Dublin.

This laid the basis for a powerful and unique Irish sound, which was coupled on the band’s first two albums, "Moving Hearts" and "The Dark End Of The Street", with songs with explicit political engagement, often concerned with the situation in Northern Ireland. The band was organized as a cooperative effort, with all profits and costs borne by the seven band members and three members of the road crew.

Calnan was replaced for the group’s second album by Matt Kelleghan, and, in 1982, Christy Moore left to pursue his solo career and was replaced by Mick Hanly.

Moving Hearts played many prestigious gigs including the Montreux Jazz Festival
Montreux Jazz Festival
The Montreux Jazz Festival is the best-known music festival in Switzerland and one of the most prestigious in Europe; it is held annually in early July in Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva...

, The Bottom Line in New York and the Lorient Festival
Festival Interceltique de Lorient
The Festival Interceltique de Lorient or Gouelioù Etrekeltiek An Oriant was founded in Lorient, Brittany in 1971 by Polig Montjarret...

 in Brittany, and the line-up with Hanly was recorded on the 1983 album "Live Hearts". They also played on two tracks on Van Morrison
Van Morrison
Van Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely...

's 1983
1983 in music
This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1983.-January-April:*January – ZTT Records is founded.*January 8 – The UK singles chart is tabulated from this week forward by The Gallup Organization...

  album "A Sense of Wonder
A Sense of Wonder
A Sense of Wonder is the fifteenth album by Northern Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison released in 1985. When first released original pressings had to be recalled when the W. B. Yeats estate refused to allow Morrison's musical version of the poem, "Crazy Jane on God" to be included on the album,...


For a period after the departure of Mick Hanly, Flo McSweeney and Anto Drennan came in on vocals and lead guitar. The following year the group performed as an instrumental group, recording the acclaimed album "The Storm
The Storm (Moving Hearts)
While the original line-up of Moving Hearts had Christy Moore on vocals and later versions had the likes of Mick Hanly and Flo McSweeney singing, "The Storm" was purely instrumental...

. At this point the line up consisted of Davy Spillane and Declan Masterson on uilleann pipes, Dónal Lunny on bouzouki, synthesiser & bodhran, Keith Donald on sax, Noel Eccles on percussion, Matt Kelleghan on drums, Eoghan O'Neill on bass and Greg Boland on guitar.

The group ceased touring in 1984, appearing only at occasional festivals such as the Presceli folk festival in 1986, but in 1990 sold out Dublin's Point Theatre for a farewell concert, with Flo McSweeney on vocals.

In 2007 the band reformed, announcing concerts in Dublin and at the Hebridean Celtic Festival
Hebridean Celtic Festival
The Hebridean Celtic Festival is an international Celtic music festival, which takes place annually in Stornoway on Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The biggest headliners to date have been Runrig, The Waterboys, Proclaimers and Van Morrison...

 in Stornoway
Stornoway is a burgh on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.The town's population is around 9,000, making it the largest settlement in the Western Isles and the third largest town in the Scottish Highlands after Inverness and Fort William...

. This more recent line up is Dónal Lunny, Davy Spillane, Eoghan O'Neill, Keith Donald, Matt Kellaghan, Noel Eccles, Anthony Drennan
Anthony Drennan
Anthony Drennan is an Irish guitarist noted for his involvement with Genesis, Mike + the Mechanics and The Corrs whom he has played with throughout most of his career. He was born in Luton, England, but moved back to Ireland at a young age. He has also played with Clannad, Paul Brady, Moving...

, Kevin Glackin and Graham Henderson.


  • Moving Hearts (1981)
  • The Dark End of the Street (1982)
  • The Storm
    The Storm (Moving Hearts)
    While the original line-up of Moving Hearts had Christy Moore on vocals and later versions had the likes of Mick Hanly and Flo McSweeney singing, "The Storm" was purely instrumental...

  • Live Hearts
    Live Hearts (album)
    Live Hearts is the only live album by the Irish folk rock band Moving Hearts, recorded in 1983 at the Dominion Theatre London by the Rolling Stones Mobile Unit. Steve Turner produced and engineered the album...

    (1986) (recorded 1983)
  • Live in Dublin (2008)

Compilation album
  • The Platinum Collection (2007)

External links

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