I made my first recording in 1977 as a member of a four-member band playing Irish, English and Scots music in a neo-traditional style - no synthesizers or electric instruments but plenty of rhythm, harmony, heart and finesse. Every few years I meet someone who tells me he or she recently bought a copy of our LP, The Flying Cloud, on EBay or in a second-hand store and I am always astounded.
Thanks to every man and woman I've ever sung with, and those who helped me make my recordings. Thanks too to everyone who ever gave me a song, and everyone who ever gave me a place to sing it.
I've made five CDs, two for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, an arm of the Smithsonian Institution and a national treasure; and three for Folk-Legacy Records of Sharon, Connecticut, a pioneering company that has made many recordings of important tradition bearers. Smithsonian Folkways compact discs and internet downloads are available online at http://www.folkways.si.edu/ or toll-free at 1-888-FOLKWAYS. Folk-Legacy compact discs are available from the company at www.folk-legacy.com or 1-800-836-0901. Irish Ballads & Songs of the Sea can be downloaded at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/danmilner.
Irish Pirate Ballads and Other Songs of the Sea features many of the star musicians and singers of Irish America: Joanie Madden, John Doyle, Mick Moloney, Brian Conway, Susan McKeown, Robbie O'Connell, Tim Collins and Gabriel Donohue, a truly astounding talent. All the songs are about people caught between some dicey spot in life and an uncertain future.
Civil War Naval Songs, which came out on the 150th anniversary of the assault on Fort Sumter, is unique in that of all Civil War albums it is the only one exclusively of maritime songs. On it, I'm joined by two terriffic American singers - Jeff Davis and David Coffin.
Irish Ballads & Songs of the Sea contains songs of what has been called the Golden Age of Sail. I'm joined by the great Louis Killen, who sang many years with The Clancy Brothers, Mick Moloney, The Irish Tradition - arguably at the time the finest Irish music group in the United States - Brian Conway and other friends.
Irish in America was released in 2001 and on it Bob Conroy and I sing Irish-American songs, many of which come from the great folk music collections of the first half of the 20th century. We're joined by Brian Conway and Pat Mangan (fiddles), Billy McComiskey (accordion), Brendan Dolan and Jan Oosting (pianos), Eliot Grasso (uilleann pipes) and other talented and generous friends.
Irish Songs from Old New England spotlights traditional ballads from the Helen Hartness Flanders collection. They are at once both Irish and American, and the guest singer list is extraordinary including Gordon Bok, Martin Carthy, Len Graham, Frank Harte, Louis Killen, Robbie O'Connell and Ian Robb.
In 2010, I was a commentator and performer in the three-part radio documentary, The Sea in Song, broadcast on RTE Lyric FM in Ireland. The first program is at http://tinyurl.com/seainsong1
I've also been interviewed on BBC Radio, and NPR's All Things Considered.