Profile: Stockton's Wing

Stockton's Wing was formed by a quartet of All-Ireland champion musicians in 1977 as a progressive band, with an individual style derived from a traditional background. They blend a mix of fiery traditional sets with ballads and folk songs.


In 1977, four All-Ireland champions - Paul Roche, Maurice Lennon, Tommy Hayes and Kieran Hanrahan - met up in Ennis Co. Clare, and along with Tony Callinan formed the group Stockton's Wing, which recorded their first, eponymous, album in 1978. In 1979, singer/songwriter Mike Hanrahan replaced Tony Cullinane and 1980 brought the follow-up album 'Take a Chance'. They toured the European folk festival extensively; it was at the Ballisodare Folk Festival in the west of Ireland that they met Australian Steve Cooney who soon joined the band, on bass and digeridoo. 1982 brought 'Light in the Western Sky', where contempory material comes to the fore over the traditional. The band's popular success resulted in releases of 'Beautiful Affair' and 'Walk away' as singles.

In 1983, Tommy Hayes left and was replaced by Fran Breen on Drums and Peter Keenan on keyboards, giving the band a more pop/electric sound. Their first American tour, in 1984 was marked with the release of their compilation 'American Special', and a live album 'Take One', recorded in Dublin and Galway was released in 1985. Extensive worldwide touring followed; the return to the studio in autumn of 1986 brought 'Full Flight' which itself gave rise to four singles, 'Why Wait Until Tomorrow', 'Avondale', 'New Clare Revival' and 'So Many Miles'. 'Celtic Roots' followed in 1988, and the band topped the bill at folk festivals across America to support it.

The band reshuffled again in 1991: Davey McNevin on banjo and mandolin replaced Kieran Hanrahan, and Fran Breen and Steve Cooney left. This more accoustic lineup recorded their latest album 'The Crooked Rose' at the beginning of 1992 and has been touring both the US and Europe in support of it.

Recent Lineup

Maurice Lennon - Fiddle, Viola, Vocals
From Rossinver, Co. Leitrim, Maurice is one of the original members of the group, and one of it's resident composers. His father Ben is a well-known fiddle player. He has won several Slogadh awards and a 1977 All Ireland Championships medal

Paul Roche - Flute, Tin Whistle, Vocals
The tall man from Ennis, Co. Clare is Maurice Lennon's counterpoint on wind; the two of them together are the fire behind the bands traditional sets. He has composed a number of tunes for the group as well.

Mike Hanrahan - Vocals, Guitar
Another Ennis man, and brother of founded Kieran Hanrahan, Mike is the lead vocalist and balladeer, having composed many of the groups slower songs, such as Beautiful Affair. Before joining Stockton's Wing, he toured with Maura O' Connell for some time.
UPDATE: Eamonn McElholm has replaced Mike Hanrahan as lead singer (and also plays keyboards, guitar and 'cello), sometime in 1995, and is featured on the latest album, Letting Go.

Peter Keenan - Keyboards, Vocals
From Dublin, and with a background in rock, he played with The Lookalikes before joining Stockton's Wing in 1985, in line with the change to a celtic rock/pop format.

Dave McNevin - Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar
He grew up in Dublin from a musical Galway family, who had played accordion and flute for generations. He joined up in 1991 and has the usual slew of All-Ireland medals and Slogadh awards.

To the best of my knowledge, none of the band is involved in other musical groupings. Steve Cooney has been popping up all over the place since he left the band, most recently with in a very dynamic duo with Seamus Begley. Tommy Hayes has recorded with Brian Dunning of Nightnoise (the Puck Fair project) and is still going strong in other guises.


1978    Stockton's Wing                 Tara 2004
1980    Take a chance                   Tara 3004
1982    Light in the Western Sky        Tara 3009
1984    American Special                Tara 4001
1985    Take One (live)
1986    Full Flight
1988    Celtic Roots Revival
1991?   The Stockton's Wing Collection  Tara 4 (compilation)
1992    The Crooked Rose                Tara 3028, Shanachie 3028
1995    Letting Go                      Tara 3036


Most of their current albums are available online from CD Universe.


Copyright (c) 1994-1998 Ceolas. Last major update: 1996.

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