Welcome to Modal Citizen Records

An independent record label based in the Irish Borderlands, where pedal steel, trad and jazz guitar meets songs about lost love, drink and Armageddon on a Hiberno-Balkan Odyssey.

Sí Beag Si Mór by Meitheal (with special guest Steve Cooney)

‘Modal Citizens’

A concert by diverse Northwest-based artists in a unique and intimate venue, featuring jazz maestros Mike Nielsen and Richard Nelson, Ronan Gallagher (Singer-Songwriter) and Meitheal (Trad), with special guests ‘Bonita’.

Saturday, November 12th at 8pm. Bundoran Community Centre

What an amazing weekend of Ceol, Craic agus Caint with Hank Wangford, Seamus O'Rourke and The Messages. Sold out shows, standing ovations and wonderful audiences. It was a blast. Go raibh maith agat Fiona Maria Fitzpatrick for putting it all together.

Eero Turkka, CencáR & Meitheal Irish Tour 2022: The Northwest Odyssey.

Irish Tour (Oct)
Wednesday 12th: Bennigan's, Derry
Thursday 13th: Abbey Mill, Ballyshannon (To Be Confirmed)
Friday 14th: Leghowney Hall
Saturday 15th: Bundoran Community Centre (as part of the ‘Festival of Europe’)
Sunday 16th: The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton
Monday 17th: Lough Rinn Hotel, Mohill

‘Music from the Edge of Europe’ with Eero Turkka (Finland), Cincár (Hungary) and Meitheal (Ireland).

Irish Tour: October 2022, 'The Northwest Odyssey'

Reunited after 20 years, these musical friends from the far-flung fringes of Europe are embarking on a musical odyssey of the Northwest of Ireland. The music they play is as broad as the distance between the places they call home. Expect Nordic melodies, Celtic jigs, Balkan Beats and even Tuvan-Throat Singing in what promises to be an intriguing musical experience.

They are performing on the following dates in October… Wednesday 12th: Bennigans Bar, Derry Thursday 13th: Abbey Mill, Ballyshannon (To Be Confirmed) Friday 14th: Leghowney Community Hall, Saturday 15th: Bundoran Community Development CLG (as part of the ‘Festival of Europe’) Sunday 16th: The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton Monday 17th: Lough Rinn Hotel, Mohill

Tickets are available from Eventbrite and from the venues.

Check out www.modalcitizenrecords.com for more info and https://www.facebook.com/ModalCitizenRecords

This project was kindly sponsored by Donegal County Council and the Local Live performance Scheme through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Meitheal with special guest Steve Cooney

Richard Nelson 5Tet @ Arthur's Blues and Jazz Club, Aug 26th 2022

Meitheal playing The Green Fields of Canada and Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór

Meitheal playing The Green Fields of Canada and Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór. with Damien McGeehan, Richard Nelson, Farrah Bogle, Seanan Brennan, Michael Christie, Stephen Gallagher, Johnny Gallagher, Jason Kelly, Fiona Fitzpatrick, Shauna McGeehan, James McNamee and Breege Kelly.

Leitrim Calling Concert Sold Out.

Leitrim Calling: Music from the Ridge County

Only a handful of tickets left as of May 10th, 2022. Grab the last 10 on www.eventbrite.com
'Leitrim Calling' with Steve Cooney, Richard Nelson Quintet, Ronan Gallagher, Meitheal, Rosie Stewart and Mohammad Syfkhan live at Kinlough Church of Ireland. Friday May 27th at 8pm.

Friday Night at the Cadillac Club

The Richard Nelson Sextet playing Friday Night at the Cadillac Club (composed by Bob Berg). This project has been made possible through the support of Leitrim County Council and The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media under the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme.

Matthew Berrill and Mike Nielsen

Part of the Concert in the Courtyard series at the Hugh Lane Gallery. Premiered Aug 22, 2021.

Mike Nielsen @ Rathfarnham Rhythms Festival

Meitheal performing 'Magnolia Wind' by Guy Clark

Magnolia Wind, written by the late, great Guy Clark, performed here by some members of Meitheal for the Ballyshannon Folk Festival 2021 (Virtual). It was great to be playing 'live' again and long live Ballyshannon Folk Festival and McIntyre's, one of the best trad venues in the county.

Liberty by Ronan Gallagher

Liberty by Ronan Gallagher from his new album 'Time Waits for No One'. Out May 2021 on Modal Citizen Records.

'Straight No Chaser'

Mike Nielsen's version of the Monk classic 'Straight No Chaser'. Solo Sound Recipes set at Derry Jazz Festival 2021.

Tenor Madness

The Richard Nelson Trio playing the Sonny Rollins classic 'Tenor Madness'. Part of their set at Derry Jazz Festival 2021.

They Can't Take That Away From Me

Mike Nielsen performing Gershwin's 'They Can't Take That Away From Me' from his Solo Sound Recipe concert at Derry Jazz Festival 2021.

Richard Nelson Trio: Here's That Rainy Day

The Richard Nelson Trio playing 'Here's That Rainy Day', composed by Jimmy Van Heusen. Part of their set for Derry Jazz Festival 2021.

'Memories of Tomorrow'

Mike Nielsen playing 'Memories of Tomorrow', a lovely composition by Keith Jarret. This was part of Mike's set at this year's Derry Jazz Festival

The Richard Nelson Trio: Midnight Blue

The Richard Nelson Trio performing Kenny Burrell's Midnight Blue as part of their set at the Derry Jazz Festival 2021.

Mike Nielsen performing Cheek to Cheek as part of his set for the MAPA Music Showcase at Derry Jazz Festival 2021.

Philip Begley, producer, engineer, (Riverdance, Enya, Clannad, Planxty, Christy Moore, Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine, Davy Spillane, Delores Keane, Eleanor McEvoy, Micheál Ó Domhnaill, Kevin Burke, The Corrs, Bill Whelan, Paul Brady, Clannad, The Dubliners, Daniel O’Donnell and Mary Black to name but a few) will be giving a masterclass on recording today at 3 pm (1/5/21). Part of the MAPA Music Showcase for Derry Jazz Festival

City of Derry Jazz Festival in Partnership with North West Regional College presents "Jazz Masterclass with Mike Nielsen" Friday 30th @ 3 pm online.

Dreamtime, Sonata 1, Movement 1

Dreamtime (Sonata 1) by Lance Coburn: Out Now

Stephen Gallagher Bass Solo on Tenor Madness (Richard Nelson Trio)

Stephen Gallagher bass solo on Tenor Madness with The Richard Nelson Trio. Preview of Derry Jazz Festival 2021. Sunday, May 2nd 7 pm (Online).

Richard Nelson Trio trading lines on 'Here's That Rainy Day'

The Richard Nelson Trio trading lines on 'Here's That Rainy Day' for Derry Jazz Festival 2021. Hear the full concert on Sunday, May 2nd at 7 pm online.

Memories of Tomorrow

A preview of Mike Nielsen performing Keith Jarret's 'Memories of Tomorrow' for Derry Jazz Festival 2021. (April 30th-May 2nd).

'Naima' by The Richard Nelson Trio

A preview of The Richard Nelson Trio performing John Coltrane's 'Naima' for Derry Jazz Festival (Apr 30th- May 1st).

Modal Citizens & MAPA Music Showcase for Derry Jazz Festival 2021

As part of Derry City Jazz & Big Band Festival 2021, MAPA @ NWRC is hosting a series of online masterclasses, workshops and concerts in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council. This year marks the introduction of the MAPA Jazz Education program where well-known artists engage with music students and explore the wondrous world of Jazz. These artists will also perform a series of mini-concerts alongside the Jazz-influenced covers that the MAPA students are presenting. These events will take place on Friday 30th of April and Saturday 1st of May.

● Mike Nielsen: Jazz Guitar Masterclass, Concert (Solo Sound Recipes)

● Richard Nelson: Pedal steel & Jazz Theory Masterclass, Concert (No More Blues)

● Philip Begley: ‘Recording Jazz’ Masterclass

● MAPA Music Showcase for Derry Jazz & Bigband Festival

We are delighted to welcome Lance Coburn to Modal Citizen Records.

Since winning 1st prize at the Tomassoni International Piano Competition, Cologne in 2001, Lance Coburn has established himself as a charismatic performer with an exceptional facility. He has performed with most of the major Australian orchestras including the Sydney Symphony and many international symphony orchestras including the RTE NSO and WDR Rundfunkkorchester Köln. Frequently adjudicating in Irish music festivals, Lance also gives masterclasses nationally and internationally. He is a piano lecturer in the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. Lance is a Blüthner Artist. For more information check out our artists page.

Dreamtime (Sonata 1) by Lance Coburn: Release date, 23rd April, 2021

Sonata 1, Movement 2, composed by Carl Vine.

Dreamtime, the piano works of Carl Vine, performed by Lance Coburn on his upcoming debut release for Modal Citizen Records (April 23rd).

Well done Mike, Ellen and Shane for being voted No. 3 in the Irish Times top jazz albums of 2020.

Giant Steps

Giant Steps, the Coltrane classic from Richard Nelson's latest album 'No More Blues'.

Midnight Blue

Midnight Blue, the Kenny Burrell classic covered here by Richard Nelson on his latest album 'No More Blue'. Available from all major online stores.

Out on Modal Citizen Records November 5th, Basork's latest collaboration with Bulgarian piper Dragni Dragnev and Echo Echo Dance , Derry. Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

No More Blues: New jazz album from pedal steel guitar maestro Richard Nelson.

October 2020 update

Firstly, congratulations to Basork for having the No. 1 single on EthnoCloud's world music charts in June and then being nominated for the NI Music Prize.

Mike Nielsen and Ellen Demos' album 'Microtonal Sound Recipes: Multiple Layers' received a 5 star review from the Irish Times Jazz Critic, Cormac Larkin.

We've been busy during the shutdown, writing, recording and producing more great music because we'd probably go a bit mad if we didn't...Here is what's coming up for the rest of 2020:

Ronan Gallagher latest album 'Time Waits for No One' is almost ready for mixing. Due for release very soon. More details to follow.

Basork have a new single 'Paidushko' coming out in a few weeks.

Richard Nelson's 3rd jazz album 'No More Blues' is mixed and mastered and will be available on all major online platforms shortly.

Mike Nielsen is currently looking at releasing his 'Solo Sound Recipes Live' album.

Meitheal's new album Songs of Erne Volume 2: Border music is due for release in early 2021.

We've also begun working with 5 string banjo virtuoso Rory Corbett on his debut album 'Darker Shade of Emerald'. Rory is currently studying for his PhD in UCC, researching the African origins of the banjo and its subsequent introduction into Irish music.

Whose Land is This? Whose Land is That?

Basork's latest single, Whose Land is This? Whose Land is That? is a special collaboration between Basork, Abby Oliveira and Nikos Petsakos. #Basork #ModalCitizenRecords #music #worldmusicday2020 #worldmusicday

Whose Land is This? Whose Land is That?

Basork's latest single is here at last, on World Music Day. Whose Land is This? Whose Land is That? a special collaboration between Basork, Abby Oliveira and Nikos Petsakos. Happy world music day and (and a big happy 9th birthday to my darling daughter Zoe also). Hope you enjoy the journey. #Basork

I'll Remember April

Richard Nelson (Van Morrison, Paul Brady) performing on 'I'll Remember April'. What a player! #jazz #irishjazz #pedalsteelguitar #ModalCitizenRecords

Whose Land is This? Whose Land is That?

Whose Land is This? Whose Land is That?

Coming June 21st, World Music Day...special collaboration between Basork, spoken word artist Abby Oliveira and Greek bouzouki player Nikos Petsako

Microtonal Sound Recipes reviewed by Irish Times jazz critic Cormac Larkin.

BASORK - Springtime in Varna (feat. Trio Etno). Out now on Modal Citizen Records.

When Andy Irvine set out on his ‘EastWind’ journey to Bulgaria in the late 1960s, it is unlikely that he thought this experience would help transform Irish music into a global phenomenon. From his work with Planxty, then Paul Brady (and continuing with Mozaik), he introduced Balkan music and its rhythms to Irish music. In 1991, he co-produced ‘EastWind’ with Bill Whelan, who subsequently wrote the music for a seven-minute interval-filler at the 1994 Eurovision. Everyone who saw that first Riverdance routine, drenched in Balkan beats, knew that it was one of those ‘Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn’ moments. Derry’s Balkan juggernaut Basork have been continuing on Irvine’s journey, exploring the rhythms and textures of Balkan music for over a decade. This epic composition marks the beginning of a deeper collaborative process between these Irish musicians and their Bulgarian friends, the formidable Trio Etno, from Varna on the Black Sea. Tours of Derry-Londonderry and Varna (thanks to Arts Council NI and Irish Embassy, Sofia) have strengthened these ties and led to new compositions and collaboration. You can expect to hear more Balkan/Irish fusion in 2020.

Kristiyan Nedelchev playing the Gadulka intro to Springtime in Varna

From Basork's latest single 'Springtime in Varna' featuring Trio Etno from Varna on the shores of the Black Sea. Special thanks to The Irish Embassy, Sofia and Arts Council NI for their help with this project.

Mike Nielsen and Ellen Demos

New album from Mike Nielsen and Ellen Demos 'Microtonal Sound Recipes: Multiple Layers'.

September 2019 Updates

After a busy summer recording and playing, the dust is finally settling and am gradually switching over to Winter mode and combing through the backlog of recordings and video with some releases coming soon.

Sessions of note included...

Pre-production and demos of Ronan Gallagher's second studio album...due out in 2020.

Songs of Erne Volume 2 continues unabated, will pick up the pace in October.

Recovery: Debut single 'Where Do We Go',

Began working with Seed of The Oak Tree on their latest single 'Under My Skin'

Basork & Trio Etno: All files recorded between Derry and Varna, mixing of Springtime in Varna has begun and a video is being compiled.

Villa in France are going live with their debut single 1990 tonight.

Additional recording for an amazing Donegal songwriter, Sarah E. Cullen.

Recorded a live rehearsal session with Citadels of the Sun, a new two-part creative collaboration sharing common themes and stories that unite Irish and Indian culture through music, featuring Sarah E Cullen ( fiddle, vocals), Martin Coyle (bouzouki), Paul Cutliffe (uilleann pipes, whistles) with Asin Khan (sarangi and vocals) and Sawai Khan Manganiyar (multi-percussion and vocals). Should have some of the video footage ready soon.

We're still demoing Duozouk and mining through the Guilfoyle/Nielsen Trio sessions.

Mike Nielsen's new material will also be coming out soon and Richard Nelson, when he's not busy playing with the RTE Concert Orchestra at the National Concert Hall has been recording his 3rd jazz album. Will have more info soon. 

On the performance side of things, new residencies were established with more to follow. Very proud to also announce a job promotion...Music Performance Course Coordinator at MAPA (Music and Performing Arts) at the North West Regional College. It's a multi-awarding winning department and a privilege to work there and witness the wealth of talent from the North West. Forgive the indulgence but it goes some way into explaining the label's output. 

Guilfoyle/Nielsen Trio

The Guilfoyle/Nielsen Trio are playing Bennigan’s Jazz Venue, Derry on Wednesday August 7th. 10pm. Entry £10. Get ready for one of the most revitalising experiences Irish jazz has to offer!

Hristos Dance

Hristos Dance by Basork

Down at the Lemon Market by Duozouk

Κάτω στα Λεμονάδικα, Kato sta Lemonadika or Down at the Lemon Market by Duozouk. This beautiful piece of Rebetiko music was written by Vagelis Papazoglou is the 1930s. Quintessentially Greek and still a thriving musical tradition, Rebetiko songs form the soundtrack of almost every social occasions f

Modal Citizen Records Updates May 2019

The Ronan Gallagher Band are chuffed about the RTE Radio plays from Fiachna Ó Braonáin, Cathal Murray and of course John Creedon. But it was people like Jimmy Stafford and Paul McDevitt at Highland, Marion Fitzgerald at Ocean and the consummate gent that is Charlie McGettigan at Shannonside who got behind the band and encouraged and advised us on getting national airtime. We followed your advice folks and are reaping the rewards so thank you so much for that. The band (through Ronan's Machiavellian ingenuity and divine providence lol) are getting their RTE TV debut this summer. And so with some nice festival work coming in, they have already begun pre-production for their second album. The beat goes on. Live, Love Music.

Mike Nielsen is launching his live album followup to 'Solo Sound Recipes' and is going into the studio after the summer to record his long-awaited Micro-tonal Guitar album. You can expect some special from these sessions.

Richard Nelson, in between touring and playing on countless sessions has begun working on his 3rd jazz album. Did we mention he played with Van Morrison and featured on Paul Brady's last album lol? 

Meitheal have begun work on Songs of Erne Volume 2: Border Music. The fieldwork is ongoing but scores of new tunes and songs have been discovered, rediscovered or sourced thanks to the amazing custodial work of people like Marcas O'Murachu, Cyril and Mary Maguire and the legend that is Ben Lennon. The next book/album, whilst embryonic, is shaping up nicely with some of the old crew reuniting for the project. 



The Ronan Gallagher Band. 'I Won't Do That': Official Music Video

Written by Ronan Gallagher
Produced and Recorded by Marc Geagan @ Stracomer Studio, Bundoran
Horns arranged by Donal McGuinness
Mixed and Mastered by Rory Donaghy @ Blast Furnace Studios, Derry

Ronan Gallagher Band Fund It Campaign

A Message from Modal Citizen, Ronan Gallagher: 'I am in the process of recording my debut album ‘Always Broke Never Broken’ but need your help in getting it mixed, mastered, designed, printed, duplicated, and promoted. Thank you. https://fundit.ie/project/always-broke-never-broken

We're delighted to have jazz guitar virtuoso Mike Nielsen on Modal Citizen Records. We have launched his latest album Solo Sound Recipes: Improvisations on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and loads of other online stores. 

Always Let Me Go by Mike Nielsen

Track number 6 from Mike Nielsen's latest album Solo Sound Recipes: Improvisations on Modal Citizen Records. www.modalcitizenrecords.com

Richard Nelson's 'Song for my Father' available to download/stream on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify.

This is pedal steel guitar virtuoso Richard Nelson's 2nd jazz album. After playing on hundreds if not thousands of albums as Ireland's premiere session steel guitarist, Nelson has invited some of his musical compadres to cook up a storm of jazz standards. 


Four Brothers (Preview) by Richard Nelson

A preview Richard Nelson performing Four Brothers from his album 'Song for my Father'. Released on www.modalcitizenrecords.com
Also available on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.

Recorded at Stracomer Studio, Bundoran, Co. Donegal.

Songs of Erne Volume 1: Traditional Music from South Donegal and West Fermanagh Book/CD now available. Visit the store for more information.